revcom.us, August 24, 2020 through August 30, 2020 (#662)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/659/bob-avakian_statement-on-the-immediate-critical-situation-en.html

STATEMENT BY BOB AVAKIAN
August 1, 2020

ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION,
THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME,
VOTING IN THIS ELECTION,
AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION

| revcom.us

 

1The situation today holds truly unprecedented and momentous challenges, with profound implications not only for the people in this country but for all of humanity. Three years ago, I spoke to this reality—which has become even more pronounced, and even more dangerous, in the time since then:

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.

This is a regime headed by “a demented bully” with his finger on the nuclear button. It is a regime that, without exaggeration, threatens not just greatly heightened suffering for the masses of humanity but the very existence of humanity itself, through its intensified moves to further the plunder of the environment and its boasts of unequaled weapons of mass destruction and its blatant declaration of willingness to use those weapons, including its massive nuclear arsenal.

I have also emphasized that it is this system of capitalism-imperialism which, through its “normal workings,” has brought forth this fascism, and that no fundamental change for the better can be brought about under this system, and instead this system must be overthrown and replaced by a radically different and far better system, in order to abolish and uproot all relations of exploitation and oppression, and the violent conflicts they give rise to—all of which is built into the foundations of this system and its ongoing functioning and requirements.

Right now, for everyone who is concerned with ending injustice and oppression, and with the question of whether humanity will have a future worth living—or will have a future at all—removing the Trump/Pence fascist regime from power is an immediate, urgent question and truly historic imperative.

And, for those who understand the need for revolution, for the overthrow of this system, as the fundamental solution to the continuing horrors this system causes for the masses of humanity (whether this system is ruled through an open fascist dictatorship, or the disguised “democratic” dictatorship, of the ruling capitalist class), the immediate struggle to oust the Trump/Pence regime from power must be approached not as a “diversion” from (or “substitute for”) building the movement for the revolution that is needed, but precisely as part—a crucial part and urgent requirement—of the overall work of building for this revolution.

Our fundamental goal, and guiding star, remains: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! 

In everything we do, including in all the struggles we take part in that are themselves short of revolution, our consistent approach is, and must be, to make all this serve that fundamental goal of revolution and the emancipation of all humanity.

***********

Normally, we revolutionary communists argue that people should not vote in bourgeois elections, which serve to reinforce the existing system of capitalism-imperialism and feed popular illusions that exploitation, oppression and injustices can somehow be “reformed away” short of getting rid of the system that gives rise to these horrors in the first place. But is this the right position to take in relation to this particular election?

To answer this, we need to look at the whole picture.  [Read again]

2Already, in the nearly four years it has been in power, we have been forced to witness and endure the horrors already committed, and the grave danger posed, by the Trump/Pence regime. Trump ran his campaign in 2016 on what amounted to a straight-up fascist program, including blatant white supremacy and male supremacy, and xenophobic racism toward immigrants, particularly those from Mexico and other countries which Trump regards as “shit-holes,” as well as open advocacy of torture and thuggery by police and Trump’s “civilian” supporters. And, once in power, Trump has blasted ahead with the implementation of this program, steamrolling over any “institutional norms” that stood in the way of this, even in the face of impeachment—and with heightened arrogance and momentum once his fellow fascists in the Republican Party voted to acquit him in the Senate.

Essentially, everything that is described about this regime at the beginning of this statement is what Trump and those around him have carried out with a vengeance. This has become all the more flagrant and aggressive with the approach of the election scheduled for this November. And imagine what Trump will do if he is given a second-term “mandate” through re-election this coming November.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the response of Trump and Pence to this has also provided another graphic illustration of the anti-scientific nature of this regime and its utter disregard for the suffering of masses of people, especially those most despised by this regime and most vulnerable to and hit hardest by this pandemic.

But, as horrific as all this has been, it is not just a matter of horrific policies but of qualitatively different form of rule, based on brutal repression and violation of what are supposed to be the most basic rights.

Already we have seen Trump, in flagrant violation of Constitutional principles, send occupying storm troopers, from various federal government agencies, to criminalize dissent and suppress people protesting in Portland and other cities, and to add to the reign of terror against masses of people in the inner cities of Chicago and elsewhere.

We have seen Trump’s crude displays of “America First” jingoism, including his repeated calls for severely punishing those who, in his view, have failed to show the appropriate patriotic fervor, or who have dared to raise criticism and protest against some of the more glaring oppression carried out by enforcers of this system, in particular the ongoing brutality and murder of Black, Brown, and Native American people by police. We have witnessed his continual encouragement of white supremacist thuggery, by police and by “Second Amendment people” and other “very fine people.”

All this calls to mind the rise to power and the rule of Hitler and the NAZIs in Germany during the 1930s and early 1940s. As Hitler built his fascist movement, thugs would be mobilized to brutalize and terrorize people who didn’t show support for Hitler and the NAZIs—assaulting them on the street and in other public places. Once the NAZI fascist state had consolidated its power, any opposition was severely punished and crushed. All those who did not openly endorse and proclaim the official NAZI ideology were targeted. Large numbers of people were purged from public institutions—all those, in particular Jews but others as well, who were deemed “alien” to the “pure Germanic race” and an obstacle to the monstrous aims of the NAZIs. Beginning with the communists, but before long encompassing the Jewish population, Roma people, homosexuals, and others, concentration camps were filled with those who were considered a threat to the NAZIs or a “stain” on the German nation. And this led, before long, to the mass genocide of millions of Jews in Germany and countries conquered and occupied by the NAZIs.

All this did not happen all at once—but it took place within a relatively short period of time (a decade or so), and with an increasingly accelerating pace. The rule of law was not openly and formally abandoned altogether, but the “law” and “the rule of law” became the same as what Hitler and the NAZIs said it was. Much of what Hitler and the NAZIs did, during their reign of terror and genocide, was “in accordance with the law”—law that they had reduced to nothing more than their barbaric aims and means, murderously enforced by institutions which had been stripped of any meaning or purpose other than what conformed to and served the NAZI agenda, reduced to nothing more than instruments of NAZI atrocity.

In the whole of what Trump is currently doing—including his open calls to overturn Supreme Court decisions and precedents (for example, to outlaw abortion and punish flag burning), along with his repeated violations of the law and due process of the law and his insistence that he is the law—we can see the looming shadow of even more overt fascist dictatorship. For that is what fascism is: open and aggressive dictatorship, trampling on and perverting the rule of law, relying on violence and terror, on behalf of the predatory capitalist system and as an extreme attempt to deal with profound social division and acute crises (both within the country and in the global arena). And with the moves by Trump’s “Secretary of Education,” Betsy DeVos—who is herself a Christian fascist whose ultimate goal is to replace public, secular education with schools based on Christian fundamentalist indoctrination—we can see the outline of the Trump/Pence regime version of “official (Christian fascist) ideology.” We can recognize the looming shadow of a situation where not just school children, but everyone in society, will be required to pledge allegiance to a white Christian fascist America.

A statement from the organization Refuse Fascism (RefuseFascism.org) argues eloquently and powerfully:

Actual lines are being drawn, with catastrophic consequences for all of humanity. If we lose the right to protest—through legal or extra‑legal means—all bets are off. Fascism is not just the worst of a pendulum swing. It is a qualitative change in how society is governed. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All this has been happening for more than three years, yet with concentration camps at the border, Trump acquitted in a sham impeachment trial, and an executive order to protect monuments while First Amendment rights are criminalized with actual jail time, too many still want to bask in the comfortable delusions that this is not really happening. This is fascism. It is happening, and time is running out to stop it.

For far too long, those of us, including the diverse voices represented by Refuse Fascism, who have been pointing to the very real immediate danger—and potentially even greater danger—represented by the Trump/Pence regime were far too often met with arrogant dismissal by those who could not, or would not, see the reality and the trajectory of this regime; who dismissed the danger by ignoring or downplaying many of the terrible things this regime had already done; and who then pointed to whatever had not yet been done by this regime as supposed “proof” that it would not do those things. Now, at this late and crucial hour, to treat as “alarmist exaggeration” the fascist nature of this regime and its very real parallels with the horrors perpetrated by previous fascist regimes—this is to ignore not only vital lessons from history, but also the extremely dangerous reality of the current situation, including the significance of the fact that Trump—fulfilling his promise to Christian fascists—has stacked the courts, all the way up to the Supreme Court, with legions of Christian fascists and other extreme right-wing judges, who will move to “legally legitimize” the whole horrific program of the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

If this regime is able to further consolidate its power and make further leaps in implementing its horrific objectives, this will result in a devastating setback for any attempt to resist injustice and oppression, and will very likely lead to the brutal repression, and even annihilation, of defenders of democratic rights and proponents of any meaningful progressive reforms, as well as any organized forces fighting for fundamental revolutionary change.

In the most essential sense, the urgent need to mobilize masses of people around the demand to force the removal of this fascist regime is not in conflict with the mass outpouring against institutionalized white supremacy and police terror, or other mass movements against the outrages of this system, but is in basic unity with and is crucial for all these struggles, and all this can and must be understood, and built, in a powerful mutually reinforcing way.  [Read again]

3Simply relying on voting to oust this regime will almost certainly lead to very bad, even disastrous results. This is especially true given what this regime is already doing, and what Trump is saying, in relation to the election.

Through completely unfounded attacks on voting by mail, and preparation to intimidate and obstruct Black people and Latinos attempting to exercise their right to vote, moves are already underway by the Trump/Pence regime and its supporters to suppress the votes of those who are likely to vote against Trump. As he did in the 2016 election, Trump has already indicated his likely refusal to accept the result of the election this time if he is not the winner. And now Trump has openly “floated” the idea of “delaying” the election.

Given what Trump has already done, and what he has blatantly declared, as much as it is horrifying it is also very realistic to envision this regime stationing storm troopers, loyal to this regime, in cities all across this country—viciously moving to suppress any expression of resistance or opposition—with the approach of the election, and continuing beyond that.

The ongoing pandemic, or executive orders to quell “civil disorder” (i.e., protests) in many parts of the country, could also serve as pretexts to “postpone” the election, perhaps indefinitely.

And it is certainly not unthinkable that Trump would move to create a “national emergency”—for example, by carrying out acts of war, against Iran or possibly even China—in order to further institute even more extreme repressive conditions, with even greater numbers of para-military storm troopers occupying cities, in order either to cancel (or indefinitely “delay”) the election, or to control the voting and the results of the election if it is held.

It is of critical importance to continue to build resistance, right now and in an increasingly powerful way, against any and all repressive moves by Trump, including by building mass opposition to this regime’s attempts at voter suppression and through mass mobilization in support and defense of those who are targets of such suppression.

With the full awareness of what is represented by this fascist regime, and what it means that Trump is not only seeking to suppress the votes of people who will vote against him but is also preparing to utilize forceful, violent repression to remain in office if he is not declared the winner in the election, it is of critical and urgent importance to build now truly massive and sustained mobilization around the unifying demand that this regime must be OUT NOW!—with an orientation of being prepared to continue this even past the election, if the situation requires it.

From the first days of the Trump/Pence regime, Refuse Fascism has been calling out the fascism of this regime and calling for the mass mobilization to drive out this regime that is now, all the more urgently, required. It would have been very good—it could have made a real difference—if all those who hate this regime but failed, or refused, to recognize its actual fascist nature and the great danger to humanity it poses as such, had much earlier responded to and actively taken up this call by Refuse Fascism. Now, finally, there is a growing recognition, and increasing discussion, about the “authoritarian” nature of this regime, and even the use of the term “fascism” to describe it. (As I have pointed out, on the part of many, this is a case of “Oh, now they’re saying” this is fascism, as if that has just become the case. But, with an understanding of the profound stakes involved, it is important to recognize that now is better than never.) The hour is getting late—but it is still not too late to make this mass mobilization a reality. Relying on, and confining actions within, the “norms” and “regular channels” of this system, including the upcoming election, cannot solve this profound and urgent problem, especially when dealing with a fascist regime and its fanatical followers that are determined to trample on and tear up those “norms.”  [Read again]

4At this critical hour, every appropriate means of non-violent action must be utilized to remove this regime from power. And if, in spite of mass protest demanding the removal of the Trump/Pence regime, this regime remains in power when it is time for voting, then—without placing fundamental reliance on this—using all appropriate means to work for the removal of this regime must include voting against Trump (assuming the election is actually held). To be clear, this means not a “protest vote” for some candidate who has no chance of winning, but actually voting for the Democratic Party candidate, Biden, in order to effectively vote against Trump.

This is not because Biden (and the Democratic Party in general) have suddenly become something other than what they are: representatives and instruments of this exploitative, oppressive, and literally murderous system of capitalism-imperialism. The electoral process continues to be what we revcoms have called it—BEB (Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit). It remains the case that no fundamental change for the better can come about through this electoral process, and that, in general and overall, voting under this system serves to reinforce this system, especially if voting is seen as a way—and more so if it is seen as the (only) way—to bring about meaningful change.

But this election is different.

It is true that, with every election, the Democrats run the same basic con game—blackmailing people who hate injustice and oppression to vote for them as the “lesser evil”— insisting in effect that, “You may not agree with everything we say, you may even have serious differences and criticisms regarding what we’re all about—but do you want them to be in power?!” (the openly white supremacist, male supremacist, climate change-denying plunderers of the environment, and all-around reactionary Republican Party). And the Democratic Party has done this, time after time after time, while itself representing and seeking to preside over this system of capitalism-imperialism which has white supremacy, male supremacy, environmental plunder and wars for empire built into it, at the same time as the Democrats make noises about, and take some steps to implement, minor (and ultimately meaningless) reforms to supposedly address these outrages. All this has actually contributed to the development of things toward the terrible situation we are faced with now. It has politically paralyzed many who seek an end to such outrages, reducing them to passive dependents on the Democratic Party and its role in the electoral process, while adding fuel to the fire of the die-hard fascist sections of society that insist on absolutely no mitigation of these outrages—no concession to the struggle against this—and in fact demand the brutal reinforcement of this oppression and outrage, in extreme terms.

But, again, this election is different—in a crucially important way. The question is not whether Biden and the Democrats represent something “good,” or whether, in fundamental terms, the Democrats are “better” than the Republicans. Both of these parties are ruling class political parties, and none of their candidates represent anything “good” in the most basic and essential sense. Biden is not “better” than Trump, in any meaningful way—except that he is not Trump and is not part of the move to consolidate and enforce fascist rule, with everything that means.

To approach this election from the standpoint of which candidate is “better” means failing to understand the truly profound stakes and potential consequences of what is involved. The fact is that there can be one—and only one—“good” that can come out of this election: delivering a decisive defeat to Trump and the whole fascist regime. Doing this would create far better conditions for continuing to wage the struggle against everything represented by the Trump/Pence regime and all the oppression and injustices of this system, and would be a great gift to the people of the world.

Again, in these very particular, extraordinary circumstances, if the Trump/Pence regime is still in power by the time of the election, in spite of mass mobilizations demanding the ouster of this regime, then the struggle against this fascist regime needs to include voting against Trump by voting for Biden, while continuing to build sustained mass mobilization against this regime and everything it represents and concentrates, and being prepared to carry forward this mass mobilization if Trump loses the election but refuses to leave.  [Read again]

5In recognizing this, however, it is extremely important to stress once again, in the strongest terms, that, for the reasons spoken to here, relying on voting—without this mass mobilizationwill very likely lead to disaster.

There is the possibility that Trump could actually win the election—although whether he wins or loses, this election will involve unprecedented moves to suppress the votes of those opposing him and to use other illegal means to enable him to remain in power. And, even more essentially, with the clear understanding of the fascist nature of this regime, and the full implications of that, this regime is illegitimate, regardless of the means by which it has come to power and moves to retain and further consolidate power. Hitler and the NAZIs came to power in Germany in the 1930s through the “normal channels” of the “democratic system” there—including elections—but there was absolutely nothing “legitimate” about their rule and all the truly unspeakable horrors it led to. And the same basic principle applies to the Trump/Pence regime. By its very nature and content, there is no such thing as “legitimate” fascism.

Whatever happens with the election—and even if Biden wins and succeeds in actually taking office—there will be no “return to normalcy.” First of all, the fascists—those still in powerful positions, and the fascist “base” in the wider society—will not allow it. And, in any case, no one should want it. The “normalcy” of this system has always included the barbaric oppression of Black people and other people of color, with systematic terror, brutality and murder to enforce this oppression. It has always included vicious discrimination, bigotry and violence against immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, and any others regarded as inferior and “alien.” It has always included unjust wars for empire, and continuing crimes against humanity. It now poses a threat to the very existence of humanity through its increasing devastation of the environment and the ever present threat of nuclear war.

The many-sided struggle to oust the fascist Trump/Pence regime must be taken up not as a substitute for but as a part—a crucial part—of moving to get beyond all that is represented by and embodied in the “normalcy” of this system.  [Read again]

6Finally, regardless of what happens with this election, it remains profoundly true—and it is vitally important to recognize, and to act on the understanding—that no fundamental change for the better can come under this system. Even as sustained mass mobilization urgently needs to be built around the unifying demand of Trump/Pence OUT NOW!, all those who have come to see that institutionalized white supremacy, male supremacy and the many other outrages and crimes against humanity perpetrated under this system are in fact built into this system of capitalism-imperialism must work together, in an ongoing way, to build a continually growing movement and to strengthen the organized forces for an actual revolution to overthrow this system.

In summation: Given the truly monumental stakes involved, not only in terms of any particular issue, no matter how important, and not merely in terms of this country, but for the masses of people throughout the world and the future of humanity, there is a great need to approach things and act with the sophistication necessary to handle the complex and difficult contradictions involved in all this—having a broad vision, rejecting petty sectarianism and brittle dogmatism, and not falling into a paralyzing “either/or”: either we fight against white supremacy and police terror, or we fight to bring about the removal of the Trump/Pence fascist regime; either we vote in this election, or we build mass struggle against outrageous oppression and against this fascist regime; either we oppose this regime, by all appropriate means, or we work for revolution. In this extraordinary and very complex situation—and from the point of view of advancing the struggle toward the goal of finally eliminating all exploitation and oppression, everywhere—there is an urgent need to do all of thatand to do so with an understanding of the correct and necessary relation between the different parts of this overall approach: putting the main emphasis and reliance on mass mobilization, with voting in this extraordinary situation necessary and important but not the main thing to be relied upon; and, in fundamental terms, making all this contribute to creating more favorable conditions for, and building up the organized forces for, not only resisting the crimes of this system but finally carrying out the revolution that is needed in order to put an end to this monstrously criminal system and its domination in the world, in any form.  [Read again]

Promote BA's Statement "On The Immediate Critical Situation..."
With These Graphics

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Watch: youtube.com/therevcoms

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/633/bob-avakian-a-radically-different-leader-en.html

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

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

| revcom.us

 

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

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

BA is the author of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, an inspiring application of the new communism—a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a new socialist society, whose fundamental goal is to bring about a world without classes and class distinctions, a world without exploitation and oppression, and without the destructive divisions and antagonisms among people: a communist world.

Ardea Skybreak, a scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and a follower of Bob Avakian, speaks to the importance of what he has brought forward:

Bob Avakian ... on the basis of decades of hard work [has been] developing a whole body of work—theory to advance the science of communism, to advance the science of revolution, to more deeply explain where the problems come from, what the strategy is for getting out of this mess, what the methods and approaches should be to stay on track and actually build a better world, to build a society that most human beings would want to live in. (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)

BA is a leader who is firmly convinced, on the basis of a consistently scientific method and approach, that the goal must be nothing less than all-out revolution, and who at the same time has emphasized:

the new communism thoroughly repudiates and is determined to root out of the communist movement the poisonous notion, and practice, that “the ends justifies the means.” It is a bedrock principle of the new communism that the “means” of this movement must flow from and be consistent with the fundamental “ends” of abolishing all exploitation and oppression through revolution led on a scientific basis. (From Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary)

As a revolutionary leader, BA also embodies this rare combination: someone who has been able 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 broadly accessible.

A leader like this has never before existed in the history of this country, and this leadership is of tremendous importance for the emancipation of all humanity.

What is urgently needed now is for continually growing numbers of people—in the thousands, and ultimately millions—to become conscious and active followers of BA, building the revolutionary movement, based on the new communism, for which BA provides this unprecedented leadership.

Download poster and leaflet:

11x17 poster

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CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/650/bob-avakian_nothing-less-en.html

| revcom.us

 

A statement from Bob Avakian

revolutionary leader, author and architect of the revolutionary new communism.

 

To all those who have risen up so powerfully and are demonstrating to say “No More!” after the murder of George Floyd, and all the other cold-blooded murders by police.

To all those who have drawn inspiration from this righteous uprising.

To all those who have had the blinders forced from their eyes and have been provoked to think anew about what kind of country it is that we live in.

This has raised the biggest questions about what is needed for people everywhere to live fully as human beings:

AN END TO INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM
AND MURDER BY POLICE—NOTHING LESS!

AN END TO ANY WAY PEOPLE ANYWHERE ARE
USED, ABUSED, AND BRUTALIZED—NOTHING LESS!

We need a world without white supremacy and male supremacy—a world where no one is regarded as “alien”—a world without war, where people from all over the globe, with a beautiful flowering of diversity, act together for the common good and are truly caretakers of the earth.

THIS IS NOT JUST A DREAM.

The possibility for this is being powerfully demonstrated in this uprising of the people, of all different races and genders, from all parts of the world—refusing to remain silent or stay passive while all this oppression and brutality goes on.

To Make All This Real
We Need: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

A strategic plan for how to make this revolution, and a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and much better world, where all this can become possible—can be found in the work I have done, including the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

You can learn more about this revolution and become part of making it a reality by going to revcom.us and joining with the revcoms.

We do not need to live in this world where so much of humanity suffers so unnecessarily under this system of capitalism-imperialism that cannot exist without exploiting and degrading people, suffocating their humanity and killing them without mercy.  We can do much better!  Don’t listen to talk about how “it can never happen.” 

Look around you—what seemed impossible yesterday is happening right now!  Revolution, why should we settle for anything less?

WWW.REVCOM.US          

Share everywhere.

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/652/bob-avakian-racial-oppression-can-be-ended-en.html

RACIAL OPPRESSION
CAN BE ENDED—
BUT NOT UNDER THIS SYSTEM

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Everywhere we go, and in everything we do, we revcoms boldly put forward: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

This is not just a slogan—though it is a very good and very important slogan. It is the concentrated statement of a very profound truth, which is also captured in our slogan: This System Cannot Be Reformed—It Must Be Overthrown!

But what do we mean in saying that this system cannot be reformed, and why is that true? In Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, I speak to the “5 STOPS”—deep and defining contradictions of this system—and all the terrible suffering to which this system of capitalism-imperialism subjects the masses of humanity, and why all this cannot be ended under this system.1 Here I am going to focus on the systematic and murderous oppression of Black people, and racial oppression overall—which has been sharply exposed with the outpouring of outrage sparked by the murder of George Floyd—and discuss the basic reasons why this oppression cannot be eliminated under this system, but can (only) be ended through revolution.

The continuing terror and murder carried out by the police particularly against Black people (as well as Latinos and Native Americans) is not fundamentally because the police are racist—although, speaking of the police overall, that is certainly true. The fact that the police are racist is itself an expression and a function of the fact that terror and murder against Black people (and other people of color) is required by this system—is necessary in order to maintain the “order” of this all-around oppressive system—and this would be much more difficult to carry out if the police were not racist.

The Fundamental Causes of This Oppression

But, going deeper, why is this terror and murder necessary for this system, in order to ensure its “order” and its ongoing functioning? The answer is that, from the beginning of this country, white supremacy has been poured into the foundation and built into the institutions and the ongoing functioning of this system. Specifically with regard to Black people, the centuries of oppression they have suffered—from slavery days to the days of Jim Crow segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror, to the present time, with the continuing systematic discrimination against Black people, in every part of society (employment, housing, education, health care, and on and on)—all this has resulted in a situation where masses of Black people today, and in particular youth, have been robbed of a means for a decent life, with many maintained in conditions of desperate poverty and deprivation. This, again, is not simply because those who are in the seats of power and deciding government policy are racist (though that is true of most of them). It is fundamentally because of the nature of the system itself and the historically-evolved requirements and dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism.

Now, that is a big mouthful (“the nature of the system itself and the historically-evolved requirements and dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism”), so let’s break it down. This country was founded on the enslavement of masses of African people, as well as the genocidal subjugation of Native Americans and theft of their land (and its further development involved the conquest of huge parts of Mexico, reducing people of Mexican origin to second-class status as well). This required the propagation of racism to “justify” all the horrific oppression. Then, when the Civil War broke out over the question of slavery, and even when slavery was abolished as a result of that Civil War, given that white supremacy had been, and remained, such a crucial part of the “glue” holding the country together, the only way to “put it back together,” on the foundation of the capitalist system, was to once again forcefully assert white supremacy. That is why, very soon after the end of the Civil War, Black people were subjected to the system of Jim Crow segregation (backed up by systematic terror, punctuated by repeated lynchings), while the genocidal aggression against and theft of the land of Native Americans was stepped up, and immigrants from Mexico were subjected to ongoing discrimination and violence by the enforcers of this system.

Generations later, during World War 2, because of the needs of the rulers of this country in waging that war, large numbers of Black people were able to migrate to the North and get jobs in industries that served the war effort. And then, largely as a result of the fact that the U.S. was on the winning side of that war—and the fact that the war was not fought on its territory and it experienced no damage to its industrial facilities and infrastructure—there was an expansion of the economy in this country after the war. In this situation, significant numbers of Black people were able to continue getting employment in large numbers, including some better-paying jobs in factories (making steel, cars, and so on).

But, at the same time, because of the white supremacy built into the system over centuries—and the fact that really moving to overcome this would tear apart the fabric of the system and crack its very foundation—Black people continued to be subjected to systematic discrimination, including in employment (with “last hired and first fired” an accurate description of the situation of Black people with regard to employment). To cite another ugly example, government policy with regard to housing involved conscious, deliberate discrimination: after World War 2, loans were given to white people to enable them to buy their own homes, and increasingly move to the suburbs, while this was denied to Black veterans (and others) and instead Black people were piled into segregated housing projects in the inner cities. And this was part of the continuing systematic segregation and discrimination to which Black people were subjected.

As a result of the Civil Rights movement and then the more radical Black liberation movement in the 1960s, some concessions were made, and there has been an increase in the number of “Black faces in high places” and a growth of the Black middle class, although their situation is far more precarious than that of white middle class people (something which was cruelly demonstrated in the 2008 crisis, which resulted in large numbers of Black people losing their homes and much, if not all, of any savings they had). And, in more recent times, huge numbers of factories and other sources of jobs for people in the inner city have closed down, often moving their operations elsewhere—particularly to countries in the Third World (Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia) where the desperate situation of masses of people, including children, has left them vulnerable to being super-exploited, at near-starvation wages.

All this, together with increased automation and “cybernation” of production, when combined with the ongoing segregation and discrimination built into this system, has led to a situation where huge numbers of Black people, and especially youth, have, for generations now, not only been unemployed but are left with no prospect of meaningful employment in the regular (“formal”) economy.

The “Toxic Combination” of Capitalism and Racism

Here we see the “toxic combination” of systematic, historically-evolved segregation and discrimination, enforced with brutal violence by the powers-that-be, together with the basic functioning and requirements of the capitalist economy—which involves the greater and greater concentration not just of wealth, but of the means of production (technology, factories and other physical structures, sources of raw materials, and so on) in the possession and under the control of large-scale capitalist enterprises and financial institutions, which are locked in cut-throat competition with each other, not just within a particular country but increasingly on a global scale, and are therefore driven to ruthlessly exploit people and constantly search for ways to even more viciously super-exploit large numbers of desperate people, including children, in a worldwide network of sweatshops. (For example, cell phones and computers depend on the mineral coltan which is mined under horrific conditions by people, including large numbers of children, in the Congo in Africa; and a large part of the clothes that are bought in the U.S. are produced by huge numbers of women working in horrific conditions in the Asian country of Bangladesh.)

In this situation, and especially with the growth of the international drug trade, and its deep penetration into the U.S., many of those, in particular youth, who found themselves locked out of the “formal economy,” have turned to drug-dealing, as well as other criminal activity—something which has been encouraged by government policy that has actually resulted in the movement of large amounts of drugs into the inner city, even as the authorities seize on this situation to carry out systematic repression against the youth in particular, with such things as “stop and frisk.” The result of all this has been a huge increase in mass incarceration, as well as the continual murder of large numbers of “minority” youth by police.

At the same time, the way that the U.S. has continued to dominate Mexico, as well as other parts of Latin America, and to distort the economies, corrupt the governments and bring ruin to the social relations among the people in those countries—all this has resulted in large numbers of people being forced to flee those countries and migrate to the U.S., where they are vulnerable to being viciously exploited in factories and farmlands, and other parts of the economy of this country. And large numbers of the younger generations of these immigrants have also formed (or joined existing) gangs and become involved in the drug trade and related crime.

More recently, however, in at least many of the inner-city neighborhoods, for a number of reasons—including the fact that the “crack epidemic” had taken a terrible toll on people—there has been a decrease in the trade in cocaine and the high profits this brought for the relatively small number of “higher-ups” in the drug trade hierarchy. For a period, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s, given their desolation and desperation, the drug trade was a “major employer” of youth in the inner cities, female as well as male, and a major source of at least a basic income for many (even if the promise of “getting rich” remained an illusion for most). Now, even this source of employment and income—as perverse and harmful as it is—has dried up or greatly diminished for many. This has further added to the miserable situation of massive numbers of inner-city youth in particular who have no future—under this system—no future but prison, an early death or a life of desperate hustling, in one form or another, in the attempt to survive and care for loved ones.

All this cannot be changed—cannot be transformed and overcome—within the confines of this system. Despite what any politician (“liberal” or outright fascist like Trump) may say, there is no way that this system could “reverse itself,” bring large parts of industry back to the inner city and provide meaningful employment, with “a living wage” for all those it is now depriving of this. Even if the government had the “political will” to try to do this, doing so (with the employment of millions of formerly unemployed or “underemployed” people at a “living wage”) would seriously undermine the competitive positions of American capitalists in the global economy. And, if they attempted to do this while at the same time trying to seriously overcome the whole historically-evolved relations of white supremacy, this would completely disrupt the social “cohesion” that “holds this country together,” with white supremacy a crucial part of this.

It is one thing for “good-hearted people”—and in particular many white people—to say (and sincerely mean) that it is wrong for the police to just wantonly, cruelly murder people, and to mobilize in protest against this. But imagine what would happen if, under this system and with the way its economy functions, the government tried to adopt policies that would deal with the long-term unemployment of Black people in the inner cities, who have not only been denied jobs but also the training for the jobs that do exist—imagine what the reaction would be of many white people who would in fact lose their better-off positions as a result of these policies. Imagine what would happen if these kinds of policies were applied not just to employment, but to education, and on down the line. (We have already seen the “backlash” that was fostered in response to even minimal efforts to implement “affirmative action” programs in employment and education.)

Again, this is not simply a matter that “white people are racist.” Many are racist, although many do not want to be. But the deeper problem is that given the basic way the capitalist economy works, and how everyone is encouraged to be “out for yourself”—and, more fundamentally, the fact that people are actually driven and compelled to compete with each other in every significant part of life, including employment and education—it would actually create destructive chaos and conflict among the people, and tear apart the “cohesion” of the society, to try to really and fully undo and overcome the reality and effects of centuries of racist oppression—under this system.

This most definitely and emphatically is NOT an argument for holding back from struggling against every form of discrimination, inequality and oppression in every part of society. Fighting back against oppression, and wrenching concessions from the powers-that-be, is very important—in enabling masses of people to feel their own strength in standing up and standing together in opposing oppression, and drawing people from all parts of society to join in this struggle—rather than feeling isolated, beaten down and hopeless. And it is important in contributing to the ability of masses of people to gain the understanding and build up the organization necessary for the final all-out struggle to bring down the whole oppressive system. But that is just the point—as important as these mass struggles are, if they are not built toward, and do not finally get to the point of, taking on the whole system, with the aim of bringing it down, and bringing something much better into being, then, as I have emphasized before, even where concessions are won, “so long as this system remains in power, there will be powerful forces who will move to attack and undermine, and seek to reverse, even these partial gains,” and people will remain oppressed and once more weighed down with a feeling of demoralization, as they are once again divided and pitted against each other.2

The basic and crucial point is that the fight against racial oppression (and all oppression) must not remain confined within the limits of this system, and instead must be carried out and carried forward as part of the overall struggle toward the goal of abolishing this system. The fact that this oppression cannot be abolished under this system is not a reason for giving up in despair—it is a compelling reason why this system must be and can be abolishedand it is the fundamental basis for why people can be won to wage the revolutionary struggle to finally bring it down!

All this is why there will not be any real and meaningful move by the powers-that-be (and any of its politicians and political parties) to overcome the centuries-long experience and legacy of brutal racist oppression and the situation it has led to today, where millions and millions of Black youth and other youth of color have no prospect of a decent future—under this system.

As I have pointed out before: “So what does this system do with youth that have no future and no prospects? It contains them.... contains them violently.”3

And all this is why there is systemic and systematic police terror directed at Black people and other people of color. It is why this is brought down not only on the youth (and others) in the inner cities, but why it can and does lead to harassment, brutality and murder of any Black person, anywhere, even those with more education and status in society. If the system needs the police to “violently contain” the masses of people in the inner cities—and it does—then this is bound to “spill over” and be applied to Black people, and other people of color, more generally. The police have neither the interests, nor the ability, nor the will to make distinctions between “good” ....... (fill in the blank as to what racist terms they use) and “bad” ones. And, beyond that, the “random” nature of the brutality and murder makes it all the more effective in terrorizing people—making everyone, even the “better off,” feel, correctly, that they could be a target of this.

There IS a Solution: Revolution and a Radically New and Different World

It is for all these reasons that racist oppression will continue so long as people are living under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism. It is not only right but crucially important to rise up and wage a determined fight against this, but it is also crucial to recognize that this racist oppression will never be, can never be, eliminated under this system—and, to finally put an end to it, we need a radically different system.

We need a radically different economic system—a socialist economic system (mode of production) that is geared to and proceeds by developing and utilizing the means of production collectively, to meet the needs of the masses of people, materially (for employment, food, housing, health care, and so on) as well as their needs intellectually and culturally, and to provide them with the means not only to live a life worthy of human beings, but also to scientifically understand the basis and need, and to more and more consciously take part in, carrying forward the transformation of society to finally and completely eliminate all relations of oppression and exploitation, and to support that struggle throughout the world. And, as one of its highest priorities and goals, this will involve the determined struggle to overcome and finally eliminate racial oppression in every aspect of society.

The radically different socialist economy (mode of production) will provide the foundation on which the ongoing process of uprooting racial oppression, and all oppression, can be waged on favorable ground, and can finally succeed in overcoming all this. The following from my work Breakthroughs speaks to this key relation and process:

Ultimately, the mode of production sets the foundation and the limits of change, in terms of how you address any social problem, such as the oppression of women, or the oppression of Black people or Latinos, or the contradiction between mental work and manual work, or the situation with the environment, or the situation of immigrants, and so on. While all those things have reality and dynamics in their own right, and aren’t reducible to the economic system, they all take place within the framework and within the fundamental dynamics of that economic system; and that economic system, that mode of production, sets the foundation and the ultimate limits of change in regard to all those social questions. So, if you want to get rid of all these different forms of oppression, you have to address them in their own right, but you also have to fundamentally change the economic system to give you the ability to be able to carry through those changes in fundamental terms. To put it another way: You have to have an economic system that doesn’t prevent you from making those changes, and instead not only allows but provides a favorable foundation for making those changes.4

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America provides a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for such a radically different economic system, and for government institutions, laws and a legal system, as well as an approach to education, science, art and culture that go along with this mode of production and contribute to its continual development, opening the way to finally eliminating all oppression and exploitation.5 And in Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution (as well as other works of mine) the basic strategy is spelled out for carrying out the revolution that will make it possible to apply this Constitution in working to bring about a world free of all the unnecessary suffering and madness to which the masses of humanity are subjected under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism.

This is why, and this is how, racial oppression, and all the oppression, which is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism, can be ended—but only through a revolution to abolish this system.

This is why we continue to emphasize this basic truth: we have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!

This is why we continue to boldly raise the slogan: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

 

1. The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian (Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution) is available at revcom.us. [back]

2. The statement quoted in this part of this article is from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. [back]

3. Bob Avakian On Police Brutality And Murder: Consent Decrees Won’t Stop This—We Need A Revolution! This excerpt from a Question and Answer Session with Bob Avakian, after his presentation in 2018 in Chicago of the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, is also available at revcom.us. [back]

4. This statement is contained in Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary, by Bob Avakian, which is available at revcom.us. It originally appeared in the book by Bob Avakian, The New Communism: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, Insight Press, 2016. Italics in the original. [back]

5. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is also available at revcom.us. [back]

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

THE NEW COMMUNISM

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

Download PDF of book here

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/650/bob-avakian-revolution-roger-federers-tennis-en.html

REVOLUTION, ROGER FEDERER'S TENNIS:
WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?
A LOT, ACTUALLY.

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The title of this article will likely come as a surprise to many—not least Roger Federer himself, since he is clearly not an advocate of the kind of revolution I am talking about, a revolution to bring about socialism and ultimately communism throughout the world, in place of the current capitalist-imperialist system that now dominates the world. Federer himself is not merely a tennis player with world-class—and, as I will speak to, unrivaled—abilities; he is also a multi-millionaire, on the verge of becoming a billionaire, as a result of business deals and investments that his tennis achievements have made possible. (At the same time, Federer has devoted significant resources, and personal efforts, to charity benefitting children in southern Africa in particular, and he is widely respected and admired for being, at the risk of sounding corny, “a genuinely nice guy” on a personal level. Federer, from the small country of Switzerland, is one of the most recognized, and popular, athletes in the world, not only among tennis fans but more generally, and that is not just because of his accomplishments on the court, or simply because of successful “marketing of his brand,” but also because of what people perceive in his personality.)

What is put forward in the title of this article—that Federer’s tennis has a lot to do with revolution—can be understood to be profoundly true, once there is the necessary appreciation for both Federer’s unique, unmatched approach to and performance in tennis and what the revolution I am speaking of is, and needs to be, all about. Here, I am not going to enter directly into the debate about whether Federer, or on the other hand one of his current main rivals, Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) in men’s tennis ( although I have made a case for why that title legitimately rests with Federer in an Appendix at the end of this article). What defines Federer’s tennis, and more than anything sets it apart from even his greatest rivals—more than all of his great accomplishments, playing at the highest level of men’s tennis for nearly two decades, from the time he was around 20 to the time, now, when he is approaching 40—is the artistry and beauty of his game. And the revolution I am talking about—a revolution guided by communism, in its further development with the new communism that has resulted from decades of work that I have carried out—this revolution, and the radically different society and world that it aims to bring into being, could not do without, and has as one of its main goals and requirements, precisely an appreciation of and the flowering of beauty and artistry, in many different dimensions of human endeavor.

As I have emphasized, one of the essential qualities that defines human beings is “the need to be amazed.”1 Certainly, in the tennis of Roger Federer there is a continual source of amazement. It is not simply that he can—and, in the course of his matches, repeatedly does—hit every conceivable shot (and many that seem inconceivable). It is not just the fact that, if you pay careful attention, you can see an incredible display of skill and artistry even when Federer hits a ball to a ball girl or boy (young people responsible for collecting and distributing balls to the players) between points in a match. It is, more than anything, the footwork, the movement—the flow—as Federer floats around the court to get himself in position to hit the ball. While with more or less everyone else among the world’s top men’s tennis players—including Djokovic and especially Nadal—their movement is broadcast with various noises, and their striking of the ball is often accompanied by audible, and often loud, grunts, Federer moves silently, seemingly effortlessly, and the only sound accompanying his strokes is that of the racket meeting and delivering the ball, with an incredible consistency, to just the spot where he intends it to go. Metaphors that could be invoked to describe this movement, such as those comparing it to ballet or other dance, are not, in this case, cliches but actually come close to capturing the fluidity and beauty of Federer’s movement.

Djokovic and Nadal are clearly great tennis players—legitimately considered among the greatest of all time—but one of the things that sets Federer apart from them (and this may seem ironic or even illogical at first) is the fact that their greatest strength is their consistency, while in the course of a match, or a tournament, Federer is likely to have more “ups and downs.” Nadal is relentless, intensely playing each point, and even each shot, as if the whole match depended on it; and, besides—or, in a real sense, even more than—his highly skilled shot-making, it is the wearing down of his opponents through this relentlessness that marks Nadal’s game and accounts for his great success. The key to Djokovic’s game is his defensive skill, which rests to a large degree on his considerable physical flexibility: he is able to return powerful (and/or well-placed) serves and great ground strokes by his opponent, time after time, in a way that puts Djokovic in at least a “neutral position,” and often at an advantage, in relation to the opponent, enabling Djokovic to eventually turn defense into offense and win the point. Here, again, although in a somewhat different way than with Nadal, it is Djokovic’s consistent relentlessness that is his greatest strength.

With Federer it is different. As more than one observer has commented, Federer is an artist, and with an artist you are going to have times of brilliance, beyond what others are capable of achieving, and you are also going to have times when that brilliance does not fully shine. Ironically again, to some degree errors on Federer’s part (and specifically what, in tennis terms, are considered “unforced errors”) stem from his tremendous abilities, particularly his movement and footwork, which allow him to be in position to hit a variety of shots at a given time, and his “racket skill” which enables him to execute so many different shots. There are many instances when Federer gets himself into a position where he has many options in terms of hitting a shot, and on some occasions having so many options—rather than being more limited and forced to just play quickly and “instinctively”—actually results in Federer “out-smarting” himself, including sometimes when he “changes his mind at the last second” about where and how to hit the ball, causing him to either hit an ineffective shot or to miss a relatively easy shot and lose the point. One of the things that makes Federer so uniquely great and breathtaking to observe is that we see the artist at work, trying things that others would not dare to try, willing to fall down at times, in the immediate, in order to find the way to reach the greatest heights.

This comes through in all aspects of Federer’s performance on the court. There is the unrivaled precision, combined with artful deception, in Federer’s game. This finds perhaps its most concentrated expression in Federer’s serve (starting the point), which is one of the very best and most impactful in the men’s game. In the case of Federer, this is not because of raw speed and power—there are many in the men’s game who significantly exceed Federer in those categories—but rather because of disguise (it is very difficult to tell where Federer is going to deliver his serve) and placement (he regularly succeeds in putting the ball right where, or very near to where, he intends to place it with his serve). With his ground strokes, once the point is underway (on his own serve or that of his opponent), it is the same—the same deception and precision, combined with effective power, or subtle “touch.” Watching Federer “paint the lines” (hit the ball right on, or very close to, a sideline or the baseline) is indeed like taking in a breathtaking painting. And there is no equal, anywhere in tennis, to his balance and racket skill at the net (volleying back a shot by the opponent from a position near the net) and here, too, he often makes even the most difficult of these shots seem effortless.

Once again, it is the movement that underlies all this and makes it all possible. As tennis author and journalist Mark Hodgkinson puts it, in a book analyzing not just Federer’s prowess and accomplishments but his unique presence on the court: Federer “Moves Like A Whisper.”2

To some, in particular those who have never concerned themselves with questions of this kind, this might seem “forced,” but in the way Federer is able to use his movement, and his other remarkable skills, to neutralize and overcome the raw power of the “heavy hitters” in men’s tennis, there is an analogy to how the stranglehold of the world’s most powerful oppressive forces could actually be broken and shattered, by the creative action of masses of people, freeing them to embark on the road of bringing into being a society and world free of oppression. But the comparison and relevance of Federer’s tennis to revolution cannot, and should not, be reduced to that. Beyond that, it is the fulfilling of profound human needs—“the need to be amazed,” the appreciation of artistry and beauty—that is the link between the tennis of Roger Federer and the revolution that humanity needs.

Federer’s tennis is not simply the product of a genetically-established high-level athleticism, but also of a great appreciation for the creative and innovative, beyond that of even his most highly skilled world-class contemporaries and competitors. Among the highest level tennis champions, it is only Roger Federer who will frequently experiment with shots, running the risk of losing a point, or even a game, during the course of a match in a high-stakes tournament. It is only Roger Federer who would feel, and at times say openly, that if he did not do this he could find such a match boring, even while he was winning. This is not a “lack of discipline” on Federer’s part, but once again a real appreciation for, and giving life to, an artistry and beauty that can and should characterize the sport of tennis—and does, in its highest form, in the game of Roger Federer. There are a few others near the top ranks of tennis who are willing, or who feel the need, to try “trick shots” and other displays of artistry, at the risk of losing a point, a game, or even a match. Nick Kyrgios, an athletic and highly-skilled young player from Australia, is the most striking example of this, but neither Kyrgios nor anyone else besides Federer has achieved the combination of brilliant artistry with the necessary focus and, yes, discipline—channeling and translating this into world-class level competitive tennis, with the consistency required to repeatedly win matches and tournaments, including the most prestigious and highly-prized Grand Slam tournaments (which involve all, or nearly all, of the world’s top tennis players and require winning seven consecutive matches, within the two week period of the tournament, in order to claim the title).

As much as there is a “magical quality” to Federer’s tennis, it is at the same time the product of consistent hard work—both off the court, in physical work-outs, to reach the peak of fitness, and on the court, in endless hours of practice. And there is the constant striving to increasingly master the game mentally. Federer is a great student of tennis. It has been noted, and demonstrated in practice, that he is very often able to tell (in observing the footwork and position, and knowing the “preferred tendencies,” of his opponent) where that opponent is going to hit a shot, even before that opponent has begun his stroke. And Federer possesses the greatest ability to adapt his game, including in the middle of a match—something that can be seen not only by serious students of the game but even by more casual observers in paying attention to the changes he makes in his approach, including the kind of shots he chooses to make, whether he “stays back” on the baseline or increasingly “comes to the net,” and so on.

All his mental as well as physical preparation and continual “refinement” of his game underlies and is the basis for Federer’s ability to both have tremendous success competitively and to do so with his unparalleled artistry. Hodgkinson writes that, early on, Federer was inclined toward the stand that doing things with artistry was even more important than winning, even as Federer has always had a very strong competitive drive. This was reflected, even fairly far into Federer’s success atop the men’s game, in the fact that Federer resisted using the “drop shot” (hitting the ball just a little ways over the net, especially when the opponent is far back in the court), believing that this shot was somehow a violation of the aesthetics (and perhaps the ethics) of tennis. But, not only did Federer change his mind on this and develop one of the game’s most effective, and yes artistic, drop shots, but more generally, and fortunately for Federer—and for everyone who appreciates the beauty with which the game of tennis can be played—Federer has achieved an unrivaled combination (or synthesis) of artistry and competitive achievement overall.

And he has continued to adapt to competitive challenges, and to technological changes that have affected the competitive challenges. For example, less than a decade ago, Federer was still playing with a racket that was smaller than those of nearly all of his major opponents, feeling that he possessed the necessary skill to hit the shots he needed/wanted to hit, and to avoid excessive errors, with this smaller racket. But the rising level of competition finally convinced Federer to increase the size of his racket, which has played a significant part in his finally gaining a decisive upper hand over his long-time rival and significant nemesis Rafael Nadal. In coming back from a knee injury and surgery in the latter part of 2016 and resuming competitive play in early 2017, aided by the increase in his racket size, Federer worked systematically to improve his backhand stroke, which was key in enabling him to overcome the tactics Nadal had used against Federer to force him on the defensive and out of position, making him more vulnerable to winning shots from Nadal. (For those interested in some of the more technical aspects involved in how Federer has been able to offset Nadal’s tactics and decisively gain the upper hand in matches with Nadal—or, as Federer himself has put it, “crack the Nadal code”—in a footnote below some of the details involved are discussed.*)

Federer has continued to play competitive tennis on a world-class level, vying still to be at the very top of men’s tennis, into his late 30s (which is extraordinary, since in terms of world-class tennis, this is definitely considered “old”). It is remarkable that Federer has been able to retain a powerful competitive spirit, and at the same time an unequaled “cool,” not only during the time when he was the undisputed “number one” in men’s tennis (and frequently referred to then as the Greatest Of All Time) but for many years after that as well. It is one thing to be “hungry” and “focused” when one is young and “rising,” striving to get to the very top of the rankings—or in the situation with Djokovic, who has yet to become, but has openly declared his intention to become, the holder of the most Grand Slam titles and presumably the honor of being declared the Greatest Of All Time—but it is a whole other matter to continue to strive for greatness at the highest level long after one has seemingly achieved all there is to achieve, as has been the case with Federer for some time now.

But, even as he was planning, after another knee injury and surgery, to return once again in the summer of this year (2020) to compete at Wimbledon, the most prestigious of the Grand Slams—and the tournament where Federer has had the most success, winning 8 times—with the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, including the cancellation of this year’s Wimbledon tournament, it is unclear when Federer will return to tennis (interestingly, the French Open, normally held in the late spring, has been re-scheduled for the fall, and as of now has not been canceled—see below, in the Appendix, for the relevance of this to the “GOAT” question). In any case, before too long, Federer’s age will finally catch up with him, and he will retire from world-class level competition. When he does, it is likely that Djokovic and/or Nadal (who are both about 5 years younger than Federer) will continue playing for a few more years; and, if they have not done so already, it is possible that one or both of them will then surpass Federer’s Grand Slam titles record, which now stands at 20 (again, more on this, and how it relates to the question of Greatest Of All Time, in the Appendix below).

But, as truly great as Djokovic and Nadal are, and with whatever specific number of Grand Slam titles they ended up winning, when they leave tennis there will be others, young and hungry, who will rise to, or near, the level of play that has characterized the best of Djokovic and Nadal. With Federer, however, it is not a matter of quantity, not something that can be captured simply with statisticsthe number of Grand Slams and other tournaments won, the amount of time as the top-ranked player, and so on—but much more one of quality: the artistry and creative genius of Federer, which has no equal in tennis, in any era, including the present one. As much as the governing bodies of a sport—and the television networks and other financial institutions which profit from it—seem to feel the need to market things in terms of “rivalries,” and this is definitely the case with tennis, there really is no “rival” to Federer, no one whose approach to the game and performance on the court compares to his or gives expression to the same synthesis of artistry and accomplishment. When Federer leaves, it will be a long time, if ever, before someone comes along who will bring to tennis the beauty and, yes the awe and wonder, that Federer has embodied and inspired.

To return to the theme of this article, as expressed in the title, in the future being aimed for with revolution based on the new communism, tennis will not play the same role as it does in the world as it is now, dominated by the dynamics and dictates of the system of capitalism-imperialism and consequently restricted far too much to those with (or with backing from those with) a certain level of finances and resources. But, as spoken to in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and far better society and world—there will continue to be a need for and importance to sports, with an emphasis on basic sports activities involving the masses of people, to promote their health and recreation, but also providing for full-time (professional) sports, which will take place within the overall framework of the relations and values of this radically new society, and will serve to foster friendship and comradeship among those competing, and those following such competition, while promoting and giving expression to the joy, the beauty and the wonder that sports, at its best, can inspire.3

From this perspective, as we look forward to and work actively to make a reality of this revolution, and everything it will finally make possible, if we do not wish to diminish the vision and the goal to which this revolution must aspire, and the kind of society and world it must strive to bring into being, we cannot fail to appreciate beauty and wonder, in the natural world and in the creations of human beings, even now amidst the terrible conditions which this currently ruling system of capitalism-imperialism imposes on the masses of humanity. And from that standpoint, the tennis of Roger Federer has a great deal to do with the revolution we need, even as that revolution will give rise to beauty, and give expression to the need to be amazed, in ways beyond what can even be imagined today.

 


* Note on Federer’s Gaining Decisive Dominance Over Nadal:

Nadal is left-handed and, particularly with his forehand, he hits the ball with a lot of “top spin,” which causes the ball to bounce high after it lands (this is true on all tennis court surfaces but is especially so on clay, which is by far Nadal’s favorite surface, on which he is most effective—more on that below, in the Appendix). Both of these factors (Nadal’s “left-handedness” and his extreme top spin) for some time enabled Nadal to create a lot of problems for Federer in their matches, because (for various reasons, including the fact that the net is lower in the middle of the court than it is on the sides) hitting the ball cross-court is easier and less risky than hitting it “down the line” (over the higher part of the net, on the same side of the court the player is on when hitting the ball). So, in the course of points in matches against Federer, Nadal would repeatedly try, with a large amount of success, to hit the ball with his forehand cross-court, where Federer (being right-handed) would be forced to hit the ball, not with his own forehand—his stronger stroke—but with his backhand. And the extreme top spin with which Nadal hit his forehand cross-court—causing the ball to bounce up to shoulder height, or sometimes even higher, before Federer could “make contact” with the ball—often resulted in a situation where Federer either hit a weak shot, setting Nadal up to hit a “winner” ( a shot Federer could not return) or Federer actually “missed” with his backhand (hit the ball into the net or “out” of play), giving Nadal the point. And this was especially so in the frequent exchanges where Nadal would hit forehand after forehand with top spin to Federer’s backhand—something Nadal was often able to do, because it was difficult for Federer to “redirect” the ball “down the line,” to Nadal’s backhand, and in attempting to do so Federer would run a higher risk of mis-hitting the ball and either losing the point outright by hitting it out, or into the net, or hitting a weak shot in response to which it would be easy for Nadal to hit a winner.

In recovering from a knee injury and surgery, and in preparing to return to competitive tennis, in the latter part of 2016, Federer focused on improving his backhand—aided, again, by his now larger racket—which enabled him to “stand his ground” on the baseline (rather than being pushed back farther and farther behind it, in an increasingly defensive position) and, from that position on the baseline, “take the ball earlier” with his backhand (before it could bounce as high), giving him more control and the ability to hit winners with his backhand and generally to hit backhand strokes with more variety, including by “re-directing” balls “down the line” to Nadal’s backhand, his less imposing shot. This resulted in Federer beating Nadal in the final of the Australian Open (one of the four annual “Grand Slam” tournaments) in early 2017. Since then, in matches played between the two, Federer has beaten Nadal 4 out of 5 times—the only exception being a semi-final match in the 2019 French Open (another of the Grand Slams), a match on clay, played moreover in conditions so ridiculous, with such powerful gusts of wind, that it was impossible for Federer to come close to playing his normal game, which relies, much more than other top players, not so much on power but at least as much on finesse and “touch” and fundamentally on movement to get in position to hit an incredible variety of shots—all of which was effectively impossible under the conditions.  [back]

 


Appendix: The Greatest Of All Time

As spoken to in the main part of this article, in one sense the argument about who is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) in men’s tennis (a debate that now centers around Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic) is mis-placed, especially if (as is generally the case) this debate focuses on matters of quantity—numbers of Grand Slam titles, etc.—because with Roger Federer it is above all a matter of quality: the unique and essentially irreplaceable artistry he brings to the game, playing on a world-class level. But, without abandoning that decisive understanding, let’s examine the question of quantity—in a scientific way, drawing on relevant evidence in its significant dimensions.

First of all, in what is generally regarded as the most essential measure of greatness and achievement, there are the totals of Grand Slam titles won. While, as I will speak to shortly, this number, taken by itself, is not adequate to determine the issue of greatness (or, specifically, Greatest Of All Time), it does provide one important part of the picture. The current Grand Slam title numbers are: Federer 20; Nadal 19; Djokovic 17.

Looking into this further, however, we see that a clear majority of Nadal’s titles (12 of the 19) have been won on one particular surfaceclay—at the French Open Tournament. It is true that a large number of Federer’s Grand Slam titles have been won on his most favored surface—grass, at Wimbledon—but the majority of Federer’s titles have been won on other surfaces. And it is not simply the case, as more than a few commentators are known to say: “Well, Federer is the best on his favorite surface, and Nadal is the best on his.” If we subtract from Federer’s total of 20 the 8 he has won on grass at Wimbledon and subtract from Nadal’s total of 19 the number he has won on clay at the French Open (12), we end up with this count: Federer 12, Nadal 7—a difference far greater than the total numbers (20 and 19).

Beyond that, clay is not just “another surface.” It is a very different surface than either grass or “hard courts” (courts consisting mainly of asphalt or concrete), the other surfaces on which Grand Slam Tournaments are played. Clay causes the ball to bounce higher and effectively “slows down” the game, with the result that hitting “winners” (either with the serve or other shots) is more difficult, and those players whose game relies to a large extent on lengthy rallies, wearing down opponents, have an added advantage. All this plays heavily into the strengths of Nadal’s game. That there is not just a minor but a qualitative difference between clay and the other main tennis court surfaces is reflected in the fact that, on the one hand, in the men’s game specifically, there are at least 10 people who have won the French Open but have never won another Grand Slam title, while there are a number of tennis greats, with multiple Grand Slam wins (on grass and/or hard courts), who have never won on clay at the French Open—including not only Pete Sampras (with 14 total Grand Slam titles) but also Jimmy Connors (8), John McEnroe (7), Stephan Edberg, and Boris Becker (6 each). (Also, among women, those who have won multiple Grand Slam titles but never won at the French Open include Venus Williams, Virginia Wade, and Martina Hingis. And, although she has won at the French Open, Serena Williams—who can legitimately be considered the greatest women’s tennis player of all time, and indeed is one of the world’s greatest athletes in any sport—has had much less success on the clay at the French Open than she has on other surfaces.)

This difference in surfaces is strongly reflected in the head-to-head competition between Federer and Nadal: On every surface except clay Federer has the advantage, while on clay Federer’s wins against Nadal are less than 15%!

There is also the fact that changes, beginning more than 15 years ago, in the other surfaces besides clay—and in particular the grass at Wimbledon—has meant that, even while it is still the case that on Wimbledon’s grass the ball tends to “skid” through the court, overall the courts at Wimbledon do not “play faster” than many of the hard courts. In short, these surfaces, other than clay, have become much more similar, with grass no longer significantly different than hard courts—and the difference is certainly nothing like that between grass, and hard courts, on the one hand, and clay on the other. Thus, Federer’s wins at Wimbledon—which have come after these changes began there—are in no way in the same category as Nadal’s at the French Open.

All this puts into perspective the actual significance of Grand Slam titles won by each. Even if Nadal were to equal Federer’s total of 20 by winning the French Open this year (assuming it is actually held), that would not change the reality that Federer’s total of Grand Slam titles is much more meaningful in terms of being representative of overall accomplishment.

In regard to Djokovic, his Grand Slam total of 17 titles is also more evenly spread out among the different tournaments, with most coming at the Australian Open, but also significant numbers at Wimbledon and at the U.S. Open, the last of the 4 Grand Slam Tournaments. (Notably, Djokovic, like Federer, has only won once at the French Open.) A number of commentators have offered the opinion that Djokovic, who is presently healthy and in “top form,” is likely (some even say “almost certain”) to catch or surpass Federer in number of Grand Slam titles.

This, however, is not certain. Federer won a majority of his titles before 2010, when he was in his 20s—although it is a measure of his greatness that he has won 3 titles in the last 3 years, at the age of 35 or older. Djokovic is now 33, and just as Federer faced very strong competition, from Nadal and then from Djokovic as he hit his prime just after 2010 (when he was in his early to mid 20s), as alluded to in the main part of this article, there are now a number of very talented younger players in the men’s game, who are just as hungry to win Grand Slams as Djokovic is to become the all-time Grand Slam title winner. Besides the question of age in general (and again, in terms of world-class tennis competition, being well past 30, and especially beyond 35, is “old”) there is also the fact that, with increasing age the likelihood of injuries, including more serious injuries, increases, and Djokovic has already not been free of injury during the overall period when he was at, or near, the very top of the men’s game. (It is another manifestation of Federer’s greatness that he has not only won a number of Grand Slam titles at 35 and older, but that he has done so after being sidelined with a knee injury serious enough to require surgery and then a period of rehabilitation.) For these reasons, among others, one is inclined to reply “not so fast” when hearing predictions that Djokovic will (almost) certainly surpass Federer, and overtake Nadal as well, in Grand Slam titles (besides the very real possibility that Nadal will win more Grand Slams, particularly keeping in mind his peculiar success at the French Open, there is also the fact that it would be a mistake—one which has been made before with regard to Federer—to discount the possibility of his winning one, or more, additional Grand Slam titles).

In terms of the GOAT argument, there is the fact that Djokovic has an overall narrow lead over Federer (27 to 23) in head-to-head matches. Here it has to be noted that this is the result of the fact that Djokovic gained the upper hand over Federer in head-to-head matches only after Federer was well past 30, while Djokovic was only in his 20s. Djokovic has continued this overall dominance in recent years, although a number of the matches he won were very close, and in 2 of their last 3 matches Federer has either beaten Djokovic—as he did convincingly in the end-of-the-year championships in 2019—or he has very, very narrowly lost to him, as happened in the 2019 Wimbledon final. (In that final Federer had two “match points”—a situation where he needed only to win one of the two next points in order to finish the match victoriously—on his own serve, but he was unable to finish Djokovic off and eventually suffered a heartbreaking loss in a classic match that was extended to nearly 5 hours. See the footnote below for some analysis of why Federer did not succeed in winning one of those two match points.**)

It was after this devastating defeat that Federer rebounded and decisively defeated Djokovic in two straight sets (2 sets to 0) in the end-of-the season championship (although Federer did not go on to win that tournament). It is true that Federer lost to Djokovic a couple of months later in the semi-finals of the Australian Open (a tournament won by Djokovic), but in that semi-final match Federer was clearly injured and not capable of playing anywhere near his best. Assuming world-class tennis is able to resume, in more or less its full dimensions, before so much time has elapsed that finally Federer has actually passed his prime, it remains to be seen whether, as he has with Nadal, Federer can gain a decisive upper hand over Djokovic, one more time, before Federer does finally decide it is time to give up competitively playing the sport he loves.

In any case, while Grand Slam titles and head-to-head competition are a significant part of the picture, in terms of determining who deserves the title of Greatest Of All Time, they are not the only factors that matter and they do not, by themselves, settle the question. As indicated above, the fact is that Federer has only been overtaken by Djokovic in head-to-head competition in more recent years when Federer has been in his 30s, even past 35—an age when, before Federer (and Serena Williams, in the women’s game), tennis players would have been considered well past their prime, certainly in terms of winning Grand Slam tournaments, something Federer has done as recently as 2018 (and very nearly did the next year at Wimbledon). Federer’s “longevity” is another important dimension to his greatness and to the argument for his status as the Greatest Of All Time. This is not just a matter of “hanging in there,” even at the very highest level, but of continually adding to an incredible record of accomplishment.

Looking at overall achievement, Federer has won far more tournaments overall (103) than either Nadal (85) or Djokovic (79). He has won far more matches (1,227) than Nadal (977) or Djokovic (893). He has gotten to more Grand Slam finals (31) than Nadal (27) or Djokovic (26). Federer has won more Grand Slam semi-finals (47) than Djokovic (36) and Nadal (33). Even more remarkably, Federer has far out-done both Djokovic and Nadal in consecutive appearances inGrand Slam semi-finals (23) and quarter-finals (33), accomplishments that are incredibly difficult to achieve.

It would be possible to go on at greater length into various statistics (and, while I believe the most relevant statistics strengthen the argument for Federer as the Greatest Of All Time, there are some that could be cited that are favorable to Djokovic or Nadal); but again, statistics, while part of the picture, do not give the full story, nor get to the essence of the matter. So, with regard to all that has been spoken to here, let me end with what I wrote near the conclusion of the main part of this article:

But, as truly great as Djokovic and Nadal are, and with whatever specific number of Grand Slam titles they ended up winning, when they leave tennis there will be others, young and hungry, who will rise to, or near, the level of play that has characterized the best of Djokovic and Nadal. With Federer, however, it is not a matter of quantity,not something that can be captured simply with statistics—the number of Grand Slams and other tournaments won, the amount of time as the top-ranked player, and so on—but much more one of quality: the artistry and creative genius of Federer, which has no equal in tennis, in any era, including the present one. As much as the governing bodies of a sport—and the television networks and other financial institutions which profit from it—seem to feel the need to market things in terms of “rivalries,” and this is definitely the case with tennis, there really is no “rival” to Federer, no one whose approach to the game and performance on the court compares to his or gives expression to the same synthesis of artistry and accomplishment. When Federer leaves, it will be a long time, if ever, before someone comes along who will bring to tennis the beauty and, yes the awe and wonder, that Federer has embodied and inspired.

 


** Note on Federer’s Narrow Loss to Djokovic in the 2019 Wimbledon final:

Federer’s failure to win one of the two match points he had on his serve in the 2019 Wimbledon final against Djokovic has to do, on the one hand, with Djokovic’s “grittiness” but even more, and more concretely, with minor mis-steps on Federer’s part. On the first of those two match points, Federer narrowly missed his first serve—which, if he had gotten it in play, would very likely have resulted in his winning the point, and the match—and on the second serve of that point, after Djokovic returned the serve to a spot deep in the middle of the court, Federer attempted to hit the ball back on an angle into Djokovic’s backhand corner, which if it had succeeded would likely have put Djokovic on the run and given the advantage to Federer, with the probable result that Federer would have prevailed. But, in attempting this, Federer “went for a little too much” (hit the ball on too sharp an angle), with the result that the ball landed out and Djokovic won the point. On the next point, Federer’s first serve was in and, in response to a fairly routine return by Djokovic, Federer chose to come to the net, with the aim of finishing the point off quickly with a successful volley that Djokovic could not return (or could return only weakly, setting up Federer to finish off the point with his next shot). But, in this case, Federer’s “approach shot” (the shot he hit to set up his coming to the net) did not have quite enough on it (it was hit toward Djokovic’s forehand corner, but not deeply enough or at a sharp enough angle to force Djokovic into a position where he could only hit a weak shot in return, enabling Federer to finish off the point, and the match, from a solid position at the net). Instead, in response to Federer’s approach shot, Djokovic was able to set up well and hit a forehand winner, which got past Federer at the net and landed securely within the court, beyond the reach of Federer’s attempted forehand volley. From there, a no doubt momentarily deflated Federer lost the next two points and the game—and the chance to finish the match off then and there—although he was far from “folding,” and in fact he continued to fiercely battle Djokovic for another 8 games, before losing the final match-deciding “tie-breaker.”

Again, credit definitely has to go to Djokovic for “hanging tough” and “refusing to fold” when he was on the brink of defeat. But, at least as much, this was a matter of Federer quite understandably feeling the great pressure of being “oh so close” to what would have constituted one of his greatest victories—winning a Grand Slam title, at this late point in his career, in a match against another great player who has dominated Federer for most of the last few years. The result was that, in a situation where literally inches decide things, Federer failed, by the thinnest of margins, to prevail. If Federer had played either of these two match points a little less anxiously, it is very probable that he would have succeeded in winning the match. (With the first match point, Federer could have “gone for a little less” with his first shot after Djokovic’s return of serve—hitting the ball toward Djokovic’s backhand corner but “leaving a little more margin,” to make sure the ball was “in,” while still being an effective shot—and then working from there to gain the advantage in the point and finish it off. With the second match point, here again having an aggressive approach, as Federer did, rather than passive one, is right and necessary—and also difficult, because in a situation like this it is very tempting, and seemingly easier, to just keep the ball in play and hope that the opponent will make a mistake and “give you the point.” But, instead of “coming into the net” right away, Federer could have again “worked the point” a little longer, in order to get a clear advantage and then finish the point by coming to the net or with a winning ground stroke. Or, if Federer were going to come to the net early in the point, as he did following his first shot after Djokovic’s return of serve, then it would probably have been better to hit an “approach shot” into Djokovic’s backhand corner, forcing him to hit a difficult “passing shot,” which could then be volleyed away for the win. Of course—of course!—it is easier to offer these opinions here and now, far removed from the court and the crucial moment of play, and without any of the pressure that inevitably accompanies such a momentous situation, in which a decision has to be made on literally a “split-second” basis; but observations removed from the heat of the moment can be valid and valuable—and, in any case, I could not resist offering these observations here, for whatever they are worth!)

As I wrote in the main part of this article:

It is remarkable that Federer has been able to retain a powerful competitive spirit, and at the same time an unequaled “cool,” not only during the time when he was the undisputed “number one” in men’s tennis (and frequently referred to then as the Greatest Of All Time) but for many years after that as well. It is one thing to be “hungry” and “focused” when one is young and “rising,” striving to get to the very top of the rankings—or in the situation with Djokovic, who has yet to become, but has openly declared his intention to become, the holder of the most Grand Slam titles and presumably the honor of being declared the Greatest Of All Time—but it is a whole other matter to continue to strive for greatness at the highest level long after one has seemingly achieved all there is to achieve, as has been the case with Federer for some time now.

Ironically, however, that very determination almost certainly results in a feeling of tremendous pressure, especially up against one’s major competitors, in a situation where beating them still has great significance, especially after they have for some time had the upper hand over you, as was the case for Federer in his 2019 Wimbledon championship match against Djokovic.  [back]

 

1. See "Materialism and Romanticism: Can We Do Without Myth?" This is an excerpt from Getting Over the Two Great Humps: Further Thoughts on Conquering the World, which is available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.  [back]

2. Mark Hodgkinson, Fedegraphica, A Graphic Biography of the Genius of Roger Federer, Updated edition, Aurum Press; Revised edition, 2018“Moves Like A Whisper” is the title of the fourth chapter of this book.  [back]

3. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is also available at revcom.us.  [back]

 

 

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Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/659/refusefascism-as-trump-threatens-the-elections-stay-in-the-streets-in-august-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

Everyone, everywhere, all out for:

SEPTEMBER 5, 2020

Protest and Demand

TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

On September 5th we must make a LIVING DECLARATION to the world that we are uniting, we are organizing, we are determined, we are preparing to struggle with all we've got, starting now and not stopping until the Trump/Pence regime is driven from power and its fascist program brought to a halt.

 


July 4, 2020, New York City

 

 

Signup to Protest

Why Protest September 5th?
Read the Refuse Fascism Call for Mass Protest

We are speeding toward an election that Trump is already contesting and now threatens to delay.

This election, if there is an election, will be a showdown over the form of rule in this country. Will the Trump/Pence regime hold on to power and be given a “mandate” to violently suppress dissent and criminalize protest? Will a regime that brands as their enemy all those who struggle for a better world – whether for Black lives or the environment or immigrants’ rights – be unleashed to exact revenge aimed at destroying our ability to stand up again?

This and worse is unfolding now, and it has a name: fascism.

Now is the time to marshal the people for a determined struggle to demand the Trump/Pence Regime get OUT NOW. All who have been demonized and criminalized by this regime and the millions who hate Trump and what he stands for must unite with an unwavering resolve to remove this regime from power at the soonest possible time.

A fierce battle for the future is underway.

The energy that millions of people, from many different nationalities, backgrounds, and political beliefs, brought to the streets across this country after the horrific murder of George Floyd, and the determination that thousands brought to the streets of Portland to stand strong against Trump’s stormtroopers, can and must become the force to remove this hateful regime from power.

For more than three years, people have relied on the normal channels to stop this regime, only to watch them turn into dead ends. But the months of Black Lives Matter protests show how dread can be transformed into a force for hope. Our power is sustained, mass, non-violent protest in the streets. Our strength is our diversity. Our demand is for justice. These are the ingredients that have driven out hated regimes and corrupt leaders around the world, from South Korea in 2017 to Armenia in 2018 to Puerto Rico in 2019.

Using voter suppression and gerrymandering, unfounded accusations of voter fraud (mainly by immigrants and Black people), attacks on mail-in ballots, and a plan to recruit ex-military and police as “poll watchers” to “challenge” voters they deem as suspicious, the Trump/Pence regime has shown its determination to maintain a stranglehold on power through legal and extra-legal means. Even talk of canceling or indefinitely “postponing” the elections is not outside the realm of possibility. Relying on the upcoming elections without a mass struggle now to demand the removal of the regime is a mistake with catastrophic consequences for people in this country and around the world.

We cannot wait for the Trump/Pence regime to further delegitimize and degrade the elections. Just as the German people could not have stopped their genocidal fascist program without driving out Hitler and the Nazi regime, we must act with all our resolve to drive this regime – a 21st century fascist regime led by a demented bully with his finger on the nuclear trigger – out of power. Allowing a regime like this to consolidate its rule in the most powerful country in the world is to foreclose on a future for humanity and the planet.

There is no painless resolution to this deepening crisis. In the words of the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass “If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. ...Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

To stop a vicious American fascism that threatens the very future of humanity, the necessary and unifying demand – for every struggle for justice to advance – is Trump Pence Out Now! The regime has already gone after the most vulnerable while continually expanding the groups of people in its crosshairs. Even if you survive that, what will you be forced to accept in the process? Who will you become as you accept the unacceptable?

We have everything to lose if we wait, but everything to gain if we act now to bring millions into the streets refusing to accept a fascist America.

There are two futures before us. Which one we get is up to us.

Everyone, everywhere, all out for:

SEPTEMBER 5, 2020

Protest and Demand

TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Launch 60 Days of Struggle
Mass Nonviolent Protest Everyday

TELL THE WORLD: we are uniting, we are organizing, we are determined, we are preparing to struggle with all we’ve got, Starting Now and Not Stopping Until the Trump/Pence Regime is Driven from Power and its Fascist Program Brought to a Halt.

The Trump/Pence regime is moving fast to consolidate fascist rule and hammer in a nightmare for humanity.

Police gun down Black and Brown people. The Trump/Pence  regime backs the police; sends paramilitary forces against the people and calls for racist thugs to exact vengeance against the people. Peaceful protesters are run down and shot down.

We were millions demanding justice in June and July. We must rise again. The next 60 Days Must Be Our Time – Not Trump’s, Not His Fascist Goons.

If masses of people are in the streets every day by October, if every attempt by the regime to subvert the election, to repress protest, to implement new fascist measures are met with growing numbers demanding Trump/Pence OUT NOW! in nonviolent protest we could force a different political equation going into November, constraining Trump’s ability to easily postpone or subvert the election and we would already be mobilized and prepared if he did so on election day.

Every movement for justice must act on the understanding that we are at a “Both/And” moment – for every struggle for justice, for people’s lives, AND for demanding Trump/Pence OUT NOW! This is not a time for “Either/Or,” my struggle not yours.

Humanity all over the world and the survival of the planet depends on what we do. Will it be said, when facing an American fascism in the most powerful country in history, that people here could not put aside their differences to stop a great horror? Or will history tell that people rose, as many acting together, and stopped a great horror? 

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

Printable flyer of the call for September 5 

All Protest! times & places

Share this call

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.

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/lenny-wolff-on-michael-slate-show-guidance-to-all-of-humanity-en.html

Lenny Wolff on The Michael Slate Show:

The Strongest Suit People Have ... Guidance to All of Humanity

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Following are lightly edited excerpts from remarks by Lenny Wolff (in response to questions) on the Michael Slate Show, which was focused on Bob Avakian’s historic statement, ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION, THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME, VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION. Bob Avakian is often referred to below as BA.

[Fascism] is a different form of rule. ... As BA says, it is based on brutal repression and violation of what are supposed to be the most basic and fundamental rights, so if you read the statement it puts the meat on the bones of those conclusions.

Ask yourself what has this regime meant for immigrants whose children are still in concentration camps and what would its triumph this fall mean?

What has it meant for women in their struggle to be treated as full human beings to have the very right over their own bodies in so many different dimensions taken from them and what would it mean if this regime were able to fully consolidate, or even to make a big leap in consolidation, through the course of the fall?

What has it meant for the environment and humanity’s really desperate effort to save and salvage the web of life?

What has it meant for Black people, for people of color more generally, for Indigenous people? You know, under Obama, and Biden, you know, the Obama/Biden rule, when people rose up in Ferguson, they were met with savage repression and they fought back against it, and they... there was the whole “hands up don’t shoot” and the movement spreading, standing firm in Ferguson and spreading to other cities and coming up against that repression, and that’s an expression of the fact that even in the democratic form of capitalist rule it’s still a dictatorship. It’s still the capitalist power structure, the capitalist state, that is utilizing instruments of force to deal with people’s protest.

But in a fully fascist regime, if Trump fully consolidates, what do you think he would do? What do you think he meant, what do your listeners think he meant when he talked about “dominating the streets,” when he talks about everybody who’s out there in the streets, you know, characterizing them as an “enemy.” What happens when the rule of law is suspended?

What happens... you got a preview of that in Portland, which he was also pre-positioning for forces loyal to Trump for the fall. You are getting a preview of that at the border with the concentration camps that, again, are still going on. So the first thing we have to do is come to terms with the actual reality we face.

Fascism is not a curse word. It is a scientific term that is trying to capture and describe a different form of class rule, under capitalism, in which the dictatorship is naked; it’s open, there are no democratic rights at all within it and that is a matter of grave consequence and concern. It’s that reality and what is driving that forward where we have to begin the discussion I think... with everybody.

I think that, in other words, in the excerpt you said he talks about, in what you played, he [BA] precisely talks about what it’s going to mean if this regime is able to come to power, the annihilation of defenders of democratic rights and proponents of meaningful progressive reforms. Then everything I said earlier about what it is going to mean for masses of people as well, and all the different fault lines or forms of oppression that this system, in its daily functioning, visits on people but which will take another leap further in the event of the imposition, the full imposition of fascist rule....

***

[W]hy do we need to be in the streets, why is that the way we need to try to, the fundamental way we need to try to, deal with this? And that gets back to... let’s take just a very recent example.

Which did more to awaken people to the reality of what the police do in Black and other oppressed communities and to force people to confront the structures of institutionalized white supremacy and to actually back off, to push back forces of the ruling class and to actually open people’s minds and bring forward people and develop their sense of organization and their ability to resist night after night up against real savage repression. What did more to do that, a year and a half of working for this or that Democratic presidential candidate or the four weeks of the beautiful uprising, the four to eight weeks I guess that began in May and stretched forward through July. Think about it.

This is the strongest suit the people have, is the masses of people aroused and organized and refusing to.... (hello?) I’m trying to get the right word, refusing to let the instruments of the oppressor run roughshod over them. And at the same time raising their heads, and debating and thinking about a whole different world and drawing the energy and the inspiration and the ability to solve problems collectively actually in practice. This is... This has gotta be something that carries over now to actually drive out the regime. ... This is the actual call in the statement for people to actually get out there in the streets now.

If we don’t do this, this is tantamount to just saying we are going to wait to do that until November 4, it’s as if the Los Angeles Lakers said, well, we are going to bench LeBron James and the rest of our starting lineup for the first two quarters, and then we will really come back in the second half, but by the second half you will be so deep in the hole, you won’t be able to come back, or it will be a very, very hard thing to do. You won’t have your team, your guys, or your women if it is, I forget the name of the LA women’s basketball team, but your team is going to be rusty, they’re not going to be on their game. ... And the other team is going to be running roughshod over you. Now that is a very rough analogy and it doesn’t really apply when the other team is moving right now to disqualify voters, to make it impossible to vote, to put its most loyal instruments of repression in the major cities to unleash its very rabid base of supporters in the streets.

These are all... We’ve got to begin moving now, and we can begin moving now. We’ve shown we can begin moving now over the past three or four months. Something very important has been born in this country and now we have to draw from that. And as the part of the statement you played says, what BA says, this is not in conflict... driving out this regime is not in conflict with going forward in the struggle against institutionalized white supremacy and police terror. This is somebody who makes a big deal out of “Trump loves cops and cops love Trump...” ...

This is something that badly, badly has to be done, there is a tremendous urgency to this and that urgency is what we have to bring to people, to bring people forward and bring them out against this threat.

***

[T]he method that underlies it [the BA statement], to go to the deepest... you can’t point to a deeper critique of the role generally played by elections in this system. You can’t point to a deeper understanding of the different contradictions and the different relationships between things that are involved in the whole electoral process as it usually is... but at the same time what does happen, what BA does do, is that he goes and he interrogates, where does this sit in relation to everything we’ve just talked about or everything he’s talked about and laid bare, about the actual situation we face and the actual threat that is posed by this regime making another leap in consolidation through the electoral process.

And in that light, the need, if there is an election, that is if Trump has not either been driven out beforehand, which we do have to strive to do, or if Trump succeeds in canceling or postponing the elections, which will again put a tremendous importance to people being in the streets, going into that possible juncture,... including to prevent that from happening. If that is the case, then yes, people need to vote for Biden; there needs to be the biggest, the most decisive defeat for Trump.

And why? Because doing this, what BA says is, doing this would create far better conditions for continuing to wage the struggle against everything represented by the Trump/Pence regime and all of the oppression and injustices of this system and would be a great gift to the people of the world.

That’s... this is not a sound bite which too often in this society, it’s “what’s the takeaway?” It’s not, you even have a rival show, not a rival show but a show on another network called The Takeaway. “What’s the takeaway?” It’s not about the takeaway. It’s about getting a deeper understanding of the dynamics we are up against, the reality that we live in, and then on that basis, moving decisively to transform it and looking at everything in light of what it is going to take to move, to make the necessary... to make the changes that cry out to be made and to do this in the way that leads to the elimination of all the oppression and injustices of this system; to do this in a way that is consistent with that, and building to that. And that’s what I think... that’s what strikes me about this section of the statement and about the statement as a whole. This is put in the context of a mass movement to... of the need to drive out this regime and then where do the elections fit into that....

***

If you go through this statement, if you go through the analysis being made, the development of this fascism in the parts you played is very much linked to this system and it’s one reason, one very important reason why we say this system... it cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown.

And not just say it, but Bob Avakian has brought forward a... not just a science with which to understand what we face and the driving dynamics of it, but a strategy for how to make a revolution. A Constitution for what a new society that would be on the road to eliminating these age-old oppressions and injustices and the exploitation that makes this system run every single day and every single minute of its life, no matter who’s presiding over it.

But right now,... the battle for revolution must encompass and must take up the battle to drive out this regime. And this is a life-and-death battle; I can’t emphasize this enough. You are dealing with a Hitler in a fascist party with a Hitler-type at its head. OK? And you have to... if you want to make the debate about that, then let’s have the debate, and what it would be with a Hitler.

If you want to talk about what a different form of rule means, you can look at the early days of Reconstruction in which Black people were still in this country in the South, right after the Civil War, where Black people were still denied very basic rights. Where the Ku Klux Klan was being organized in waging a reign of terror, but where people were fighting and holding, you know, were owning land, where people were voting, where people were developing schools and new institutions, where people could raise their heads. And you compare that to what happened when the federal troops, in an election which went to the House of Representatives, were pulled out of the South in 1876, and what was clamped down in its place was a system of legalized segregation of absolutely no rights whatsoever including voting rights, but even the right to speak, even the right to move off your... the land to which you were chained as a sharecropper, where there was lynch mob terror that was enforcing all this. And this lasted for three or four generations. This was not inconsequential.

So how radical are you when you raise this objection to what is being put forward in this statement and when you take a statement and boil it down to one admittedly very important element of it? It is important because it concentrates a principal. And if you don’t get what is said in the excerpt you played you’re not really getting the gravity of what we face and the strategy with which to drive it out. ... That’s how I see that. I think there are different places people are coming from when they raise it, but I think at its bottom it shares a failure to really come to terms with what we are facing.

***

[W]e must rely on the struggle of masses of people in the streets and that it would be as Bob Avakian says in the statement, disastrous to just wait to vote, to rely on the voting.

That’s not the main thing, but on the other hand, if you don’t see the need, if you don’t see the importance of a massive repudiation of Trump through the election, you are not getting... you are not looking at this from the right vantage point. You are still from within “who do I like better in the Democratic Party?” or “who do I like worse?” or “can we have a different party?” which would eventually, maybe could influence the Democratic Party or “AOC is better than this one.”

This is not... this is not getting to the root of the problem and it’s not confronting what we are actually facing here... I keep returning to that point, but I think that is the heart of the matter. Are you really confronting that this is fascism and that it is straining, through this election to make a leap in its consolidation? OK? If you get that, then ... a lot of other things will begin to come into sharper focus.

That’s not the only thing you need to get. And again I want to urge you to go to revcom.us. Read this statement, go back to the statement, study it, give it to your friends, talk about it with your friends. Do what you just did, call in and argue with us about it. But this, this is guidance to the whole, to all of humanity right now.

Lenny Wolff on The Michael Slate Show August 21.

See also:

Bob Avakian on: The Need to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime and the Fundamental Need for Revolution

Videos and articles

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTEST
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

September 5 Events by City:


Refuse Fascism, Philadelphia.

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.

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/excerpts-a-struggle-for-nothing-less-than-the-future-of-humanity-en.html

A Struggle for Nothing Less Than the Future of Humanity

September 5th: A Living Declaration That We Are Not Stopping Till This Regime Is Driven From Power

by Andy Zee

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Following are lightly edited excerpts from remarks by Andy Zee on the The RNL—Revolution Nothing Less—Show, Episode 22

***

Refuse Fascism has issued a Call for nationwide protests on Saturday, September 5, 2020, to demand: Trump/Pence OUT NOW!

This begins a new decisive stage of the struggle for nothing less than the future of people here and around the world.

...

We face a regime with powerful backing, organization and millions of followers prepared to fight to bring into being a radically reactionary, yes, fascist America. This word has meaning, which is why many fear to utter it, but when fear stands in the way of confronting and calling hard truth for what it is, it is masses of people who will pay a terrible price. This is why Refuse Fascism has said since its founding in December 2016 after Trump’s election and before his inauguration, In the Name of Humanity, WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT A FASCIST AMERICA.

September 5, 2020 needs to be A LIVING DECLARATION by masses of people in this country that we are determined, we are organizing, we are uniting, we are preparing, to struggle with all we’ve got starting now and not stopping until this regime is gone from power and the fascist program it is bludgeoning into place is indeed stopped.

The hour is upon us. From the first days of the Trump/Pence regime, Trump and the movement that backs him have seen this regime as their “last chance” to save their America, a white-supremacist, Christian patriarchal vision of America First.

***

The Democratic Party and all who have relied on the “normal” workings of this system are confronting yet again, now with the highest of stakes, the unrelenting dynamic of fascism that cares nothing for what have been the normal workings of the system—its laws, its courts, its congressional hearings, its separation of powers, its impeachment process—all of this fascists shred in pursuit of their horrific program….

Have we forgotten all that saviors which people waited and hoped for the system to do for them over these past four years?

All this evidence ignored how a fascist regime plays by their own different rules to make new rules to fit their vision and program. And now as we face the potential of the consolidation of fascism with all that means for people here and around the world... and in the face of all the rigging of the election by the fascist machine of the Trump/Pence regime and the Republi-fascists in state governments around the country and/or his contesting and refusing to leave office, we are told to just channel all our efforts into the elections, full stop.

There are others who say that we must prepare now to protest later if Trump steals the election or refuses to leave if he loses. The warning of what is unfolding is an important truth and preparation matters, but waiting and failing to prepare while acting now ignores the reality that Trump is already doing violence to the results of the election with his voter suppression campaign and it misses the repressive moves already being carried out to intimidate, disorganize, brutalize, throw heavy charges and imprison the very backbone of the resistance needed against these fascists. This is happening now.

NO—we must be in the streets, not only countering his every move but making the case that the very fact that we are having the discussion of what we “might” need to do “if” Trump tries to steal the election (which he has made no secret of) shows the URGENT need to drive out this regime NOW.

***

In the first part of today’s commentary, I talked about the need to get into the streets from the perspective of NOT waiting for Trump to bust more norms and checkmate us before we even make a move. But there’s an even larger reason, a moral dimension:

We have covered many times on The RNL Show how the Trump/Pence regime’s racist denigration of Black, Brown, and Native American people... their celebration of the Confederacy and of support of police brutality. Trump’s open embrace and unleashing of fascist white supremacists as very fine people and his rallies and tweets calling for more brutality from the police and fomenting his “Second Amendment” very tough people.

In the last few episodes, we discussed and showed the paramilitary forces he has deployed against peaceful protest in Portland, Oregon.

Bob Avakian in his statement on the immediate critical situation we face has drawn a sharp parallel to rise to power of Hitler and Nazi's in Germany in the 1930's. After he describes the process by which this unfolded over a whole period, he goes on to say this:

[plays audio of BA statement]

All this did not happen all at once—but it took place within a relatively short period of time (a decade or so), and with an increasingly accelerating pace. The rule of law was not openly and formally abandoned altogether, but the “law” and “the rule of law” became the same as what Hitler and the NAZIs said it was. Much of what Hitler and the NAZIs did, during their reign of terror and genocide, was “in accordance with the law”—law that they had reduced to nothing more than their barbaric aims and means, murderously enforced by institutions which had been stripped of any meaning or purpose other than what conformed to and served the NAZI agenda, reduced to nothing more than instruments of NAZI atrocity.

In the whole of what Trump is currently doing—including his open calls to overturn Supreme Court decisions and precedents (for example, to outlaw abortion and punish flag-burning), along with his repeated violations of the law and due process of the law and his insistence that he is the law—we can see the looming shadow of even more overt fascist dictatorship. For that is what fascism is: open and aggressive dictatorship, trampling on and perverting the rule of law, relying on violence and terror, on behalf of the predatory capitalist system and as an extreme attempt to deal with profound social division and acute crises (both within the country and in the global arena). And with the moves by Trump’s “Secretary of Education,” Betsy DeVos—who is herself a Christian fascist whose ultimate goal is to replace public, secular education with schools based on Christian fundamentalist indoctrination—we can see the outline of the Trump/Pence regime version of “official (Christian fascist) ideology.” We can recognize the looming shadow of a situation where not just school children, but everyone in society, will be required to pledge allegiance to a white Christian fascist America.

[End BA audio]

Is this not what four years have shown is unfolding, step by killing step: “open and aggressive dictatorship, trampling on and perverting the rule of law, relying on violence and terror, on behalf of the predatory capitalist system and as an extreme attempt to deal with profound social division and acute crises (both within the country and in the global arena)”? That is fascism. And, to those fascism “experts” who say where’s the fascist organization built up that has come to power—look no further than the Christian fascist political movement developed over decades that is at the core of the Trump/Pence regime’s base.

***

…. where this goes with a second term... Look at Prime Minister Modi in India, who upon winning his second term practically overnight put a whole state, Kashmir, under total lockdown martial law and soon after millions of Muslims were stripped of their citizenship. Go to revcom.us and read the important article: What Happens When a Fascist Leader Is Re-Elected? A Flashing Red Warning Sign from India.

Miles Taylor, who was head of the Department of Homeland Security under Trump, then was fired, recently told that Trump said he had magical powers that lets him do whatever he wants. Taylor went on to say that people who are still serving in this administration told him, “Just wait until the second term. It’ll be no holds barred, it’ll be shock and awe, we’ll do what we want.”

In March, Trump’s attorney general William Barr revealed new emergency measures that would take away basic rights on their say so—effectively allowing the government to imprison people INDEFINITELY, without ANY legal recourse.

Too many of our youth don’t know what’s coming. They need to be reached. Now. As much hell as they catch every day under this system, they need to know fascism is on a whole other level. This is a regime, a movement and people who glorify the Confederacy, who have been seething in anger about the Black Lives Matter protests, and should the Trump/Pence fascist regime succeed in staying in power they will exact a tremendous vengeance on the people.

In his statement BA said that the stakes include this:

[Plays BA audio:]

If this regime is able to further consolidate its power and make further leaps in implementing its horrific objectives, this will result in a devastating setback for any attempt to resist injustice and oppression, and will very likely lead to the brutal repression, and even annihilation, of defenders of democratic rights and proponents of any meaningful progressive reforms, as well as any organized forces fighting for fundamental revolutionary change.

[End BA audio]

***

We need to act, starting now. Everyone watching or listening to this show needs to be part of planning and building for the most powerful possible actions on September 5th to demand Trump/Pence OUT NOW! In the weeks to come, I and others on this show will be contributing to the wrangling that must go on to develop, very quickly, the vision, unity, strategy and organizational capacity to do what humanity requires of us at this urgent crossroads. I am going to close with the words of Bob Avakian:

[Play audio]

With the full awareness of what is represented by this fascist regime, and what it means that Trump is not only seeking to suppress the votes of people who will vote against him but is also preparing to utilize forceful, violent repression to remain in office if he is not declared the winner in the election, it is of critical and urgent importance to build now truly massive and sustained mobilization around the unifying demand that this regime must be OUT NOW!—with an orientation of being prepared to continue this even past the election, if the situation requires it.

For the full remarks from Andy Zee, go here.

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTEST
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

September 5 Events by City:

Andy Zee Commentary: On Fascism Accelerating & Sept. 5th Protests to Demand: Trump/Pence Out Now!

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/a-struggle-for-nothing-less-than-the-future-of-humanity-en.html

A Struggle for Nothing Less Than the Future of Humanity

September 5th: A Living Declaration That We Are Not Stopping Until This Regime Is Driven From Power

by Andy Zee

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Following are remarks prepared by Andy Zee for Episode 22 of the The RNL—Revolution Nothing Less—Show, and which were improvised during the filming.

***

Refuse Fascism has issued a Call for nationwide protests on Saturday, September 5, 2020, to demand: Trump/Pence OUT NOW!

This begins a new decisive stage of the struggle for nothing less than the future of people here and around the world.

The Refuse Fascism Call for these protests begins:

We are speeding toward an election that Trump is already contesting and now threatens to delay.

This election, if there is an election, will be a showdown over the form of rule in this country. Will the Trump/Pence regime hold on to power and be given a “mandate” to violently suppress dissent and criminalize protest? Will a regime that brands as their enemy all those who struggle for a better worldwhether for Black lives or the environment or immigrants’ rightsbe unleashed to exact revenge aimed at destroying our ability to stand up again?

This and worse is unfolding now, and it has a name: fascism.

Now is the time to marshal the people for a determined struggle by Labor Day to demand the Trump/Pence Regime get OUT NOW. All who have been demonized and criminalized by this regime and the millions who hate Trump and what he stands for must unite with an unwavering resolve to remove this regime from power at the soonest possible time.

That was the opening of the Refuse Fascism Call for September 5th.

We face a regime with powerful backing, organization and millions of followers prepared to fight to bring into being a radically reactionary, yes, fascist America. This word has meaning, which is why many fear to utter it, but when fear stands in the way of confronting and calling hard truth for what it is, it is masses of people who will pay a terrible price. This is why Refuse Fascism has said since its founding in December 2016 after Trump’s election and before his inauguration, In the Name of Humanity, WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT A FASCIST AMERICA.

September 5, 2020 needs to be A LIVING DECLARATION by masses of people in this country that we are determined, we are organizing, we are uniting, we are preparing, to struggle with all we’ve got starting now and not stopping until this regime is gone from power and the fascist program it is bludgeoning into place is indeed stopped.

The hour is upon us. From the first days of the Trump/Pence regime, Trump and the movement that backs him have seen this regime as their “last chance” to save their America, a white-supremacist, Christian patriarchal vision of America First.

This past Monday, August 17, Trump said, “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged,” telling us that he will not accept the results if he loses.

Trump and the Republican party that he commands have stripped thousands of voters from registration rolls, they have closed polling places, they are mobilizing tens of thousands of vigilante poll watchers from their fascist Confederacy-loving goons—recruiting the police and former special military forces, and they are subverting mail-in voting at a time when people must shelter in place to prevent the coronavirus from killing and damaging even more people.

Trump’s undermining the election has sounded an alarm, as it should. The Democratic Party and all who have relied on the “normal” workings of this system are confronting yet again, now with the highest of stakes, the unrelenting dynamic of fascism that cares nothing for what have been the normal workings of the system—its laws, its courts, its congressional hearings, its separation of powers, its impeachment process, all of this fascists shred in pursuit of their horrific program. And now, people have been told by the Democratic Party, their media and mass organizations to rely on what? The normal political processes—the 2020 elections—which are being undermined, subverted, de-legitimized and possibly cast aside with Trump refusing to leave should their fascist regime see doing that as necessary to hold power if he loses—an electoral loss which is not at all a sure thing.

Will this basic lesson be heeded—this essential feature of fascism that it disregards, ignores and, in actuality, tears up the rule of law while remaking law into whatever they say it is? Democratic Party politicians, pundits and academics endlessly repeat with dramatic shock and dismay of Trump: “This is not who we are,” “This is not how things are done,” while the fascists don’t give a fuck... because they are moving to rip all of that up. Trump says it and then he does it. His flunkies in the regime and Republican Party implement it, Fox News and the fascist mob cheer. Is this not what has happened over and over? And, politics as usual is what you want to rely on? Instead of getting in the streets and staying as we did, and some are still doing, for Black and Brown and Native American lives?

The Democrats draw an analogy and say that Nero (the Roman emperor) fiddled while Rome burned and yes, you joke, Trump golfs while hundreds of thousands are dying... but couldn’t it be said that Trump/Pence bludgeoned into place fascism disregarding every political norm and every ounce of humanity and morality in pursuit of total power while people thumbed through the rule book waiting to see if it really could get worse? Then, we’ll do… we’ll do what? Make a deal?

Have we forgotten all that saviors which people waited and hoped for the system to do for them over these past four years?

All this evidence ignored how a fascist regime plays by their own different rules to make new rules to fit their vision and program. And now as we face the potential of the consolidation of fascism with all that means for people here and around the world... and in the face of all the rigging of the election by the fascist machine of the Trump/Pence regime and the Republi-fascists in state governments around the country and/or his contesting and refusing to leave office, we are told to just channel all our efforts into the elections, full stop.

There are others who say that we must prepare now to protest later if Trump steals the election or refuses to leave if he loses. The warning of what is unfolding is an important truth and preparation matters, but waiting and failing to prepare while acting now ignores the reality that Trump is already doing violence to the results of the election with his voter suppression campaign and it misses the repressive moves already being carried out to intimidate, disorganize, brutalize, throw heavy charges and imprison the very backbone of the resistance needed against these fascists. This is happening now.

NO—we must be in the streets, not only countering his every move but making the case that the very fact that we are having the discussion of what we “might” need to do “if” Trump tries to steal the election (which he has made no secret of) shows the URGENT need to drive out this regime NOW.

There is tremendous damage to the world that this regime can do between now and November. The more we are in the streets, forging unity, strengthening collective muscles, demanding Trump/Pence OUTNOW! not only is it possible we could stave off the great calamity of this regime but people will be prepared for what is surely to be a tough battle. And we must never accept that a fascist regime is legitimate—no matter how it comes to power.

Here we are going to go to a video that brings to life just how serious the regime’s plans and actions are to subvert the election.

***

In the first part of today’s commentary, I talked about the need to get into the streets from the perspective of NOT waiting for Trump to bust more norms and checkmate us before we even make a move. But there’s an even larger reason, a moral dimension:

We have covered many times on The RNL Show the Trump/Pence regime’s racist denigration of Black, Brown, and Native American people... their celebration of the Confederacy and of support of police brutality. Trump’s open embrace and unleashing of fascist white supremacists as very fine people and his rallies and tweets calling for more brutality from the police and fomenting his “Second Amendment” very tough people.

In the last few episodes, we discussed and showed the paramilitary forces he has deployed against peaceful protest in Portland, Oregon.

Bob Avakian in his statement on the immediate critical situation we face has drawn a sharp parallel to the rise to power of Hitler and Nazis in Germany in the 1930s. After he describes the process by which this unfolded over a whole period, he goes on to say this:

[plays audio of BA statement]

All this did not happen all at once—but it took place within a relatively short period of time (a decade or so), and with an increasingly accelerating pace. The rule of law was not openly and formally abandoned altogether, but the “law” and “the rule of law” became the same as what Hitler and the NAZIs said it was. Much of what Hitler and the NAZIs did, during their reign of terror and genocide, was “in accordance with the law”—law that they had reduced to nothing more than their barbaric aims and means, murderously enforced by institutions which had been stripped of any meaning or purpose other than what conformed to and served the NAZI agenda, reduced to nothing more than instruments of NAZI atrocity.

In the whole of what Trump is currently doing—including his open calls to overturn Supreme Court decisions and precedents (for example, to outlaw abortion and punish flag-burning), along with his repeated violations of the law and due process of the law and his insistence that he is the law—we can see the looming shadow of even more overt fascist dictatorship. For that is what fascism is: open and aggressive dictatorship, trampling on and perverting the rule of law, relying on violence and terror, on behalf of the predatory capitalist system and as an extreme attempt to deal with profound social division and acute crises (both within the country and in the global arena). And with the moves by Trump’s “Secretary of Education,” Betsy DeVos—who is herself a Christian fascist whose ultimate goal is to replace public, secular education with schools based on Christian fundamentalist indoctrination—we can see the outline of the Trump/Pence regime version of “official (Christian fascist) ideology.” We can recognize the looming shadow of a situation where not just school children, but everyone in society, will be required to pledge allegiance to a white Christian fascist America.

[End BA audio]

Is this not what four years have shown is unfolding, step by killing step: “open and aggressive dictatorship, trampling on and perverting the rule of law, relying on violence and terror, on behalf of the predatory capitalist system and as an extreme attempt to deal with profound social division and acute crises (both within the country and in the global arena)”? That is fascism. And, to those fascism “experts” who say where’s the fascist organization built up that has come to power—look no further than the Christian fascist political movement developed over decades that is at the core of the Trump/Pence regime’s base.

What has already been “accomplished” in law, in local and state governments in the first four years—in relation to women’s basic right to control their own bodies, in public secular education, in terrorizing immigrant communities—including making them death traps for the coronavirus: We could spend the entire show cataloguing measures already taken.

But the point here is, where this goes with a second term... Look at Prime Minister Modi in India, who upon winning his second term practically overnight put a whole state, Kashmir, under total lockdown martial law and soon after millions of Muslims were stripped of their citizenship. Go to revcom.us and read the important article: What Happens When a Fascist Leader Is Re-Elected? A Flashing Red Warning Sign from India.

Miles Taylor, who was head of the Department of Homeland Security under Trump, then was fired, recently told that Trump said he had magical powers that lets him do whatever he wants. Taylor went on to say that people who are still serving in this administration told him, “Just wait until the second term. It’ll be no holds barred, it’ll be shock and awe, we’ll do what we want.”

In March, Trump’s attorney general William Barr revealed new emergency measures that would take away basic rights on their say so—effectively allowing the government to imprison people INDEFINITELY, without ANY legal recourse.

Too many of our youth don’t know what’s coming. They need to be reached. Now. As much hell as they catch every day under this system, they need to know fascism is on a whole other level. This is a regime, a movement and people who glorify the Confederacy, who have been seething in anger about the Black Lives Matter protests, and should the Trump/Pence fascist regime succeed in staying in power they will exact a tremendous vengeance on the people.

In his statement, BA said that the stakes include this:

[Plays BA audio:]

If this regime is able to further consolidate its power and make further leaps in implementing its horrific objectives, this will result in a devastating setback for any attempt to resist injustice and oppression, and will very likely lead to the brutal repression, and even annihilation, of defenders of democratic rights and proponents of any meaningful progressive reforms, as well as any organized forces fighting for fundamental revolutionary change. [End BA audio]

With all the damage done to the rule of law, to the truth, to science and most of all to the lives of people here and around the world already... with all that the regime—Trump; Pence, the attorney general Barr —have said they are going to do and have already begun, including subverting the coming election... this reality and history has taught us that it can become too late to stop fascism... Does it make any sense to simply rely on voting in the election by itself, to remove the regime?

To be clear, because of the extraordinary danger of fascism, if there even is an election, people should vote against Trump and for the Biden/Harris ticket to contribute to what needs to be a decisive defeat for Trump. BA says in his statement doing so will create far better conditions for “continuing to wage the struggle against everything represented by the Trump/Pence regime and all the oppression and injustices of this system, and would be a great gift to the people of the world.”

But, “Simply relying on voting to oust this regime will almost certainly lead to very bad, even disastrous results.”

We need to act, starting now. Everyone watching or listening to be part of planning and building for the most powerful possible actions on September 5th to Demand Trump/Pence OUT NOW! In the weeks to come, I and others on this show will be contributing to the wrangling that must go on to develop, very quickly, the vision, unity, strategy and organizational capacity to do what humanity requires of us at this urgent crossroads. I am going to close with the words of Bob Avakian:

[Play audio]

With the full awareness of what is represented by this fascist regime, and what it means that Trump is not only seeking to suppress the votes of people who will vote against him but is also preparing to utilize forceful, violent repression to remain in office if he is not declared the winner in the election, it is of critical and urgent importance to build now truly massive and sustained mobilization around the unifying demand that this regime must be OUT NOW!—with an orientation of being prepared to continue this even past the election, if the situation requires it.

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTEST
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

September 5 Events by City:

Andy Zee Commentary: On Fascism Accelerating & Sept. 5th Protests to Demand: Trump/Pence Out Now!

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/reflections-on-ba-statement-en.html

Reflections on BA's Statement

Monumental ... Inspiring ... Scientifically grappling with real contradictions

| revcom.us

 

Editors' Note: Following are edited excerpts of reflections from readers on the historic statement by Bob Avakian, "ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION, THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME, VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION"

It is extremely important, it IS monumental, especially its correct assessment of the extreme situation, and what is objectively at stake in the election should it happen, but also including the conclusion with its points about the complexity of the situation, and uniqueness, and the need not to pose against each other many things that we have in fact posed to some degree against each other, including voting out Trump and mass upsurge against the regime. Yes, to cast away dogmatism and sectarianism, to have a broad vision....

Within the framework of how extreme the situation is, the danger of fascism, and what this would mean for humanity, this assessment is crucial:

But, again, this election is different—in a crucially important way. The question is not whether Biden and the Democrats represent something “good,” or whether, in fundamental terms, the Democrats are “better” than the Republicans. Both of these parties are ruling class political parties, and none of their candidates represent anything “good” in the most basic and essential sense. Biden is not “better” than Trump, in any meaningful way—except that he is not Trump and is not part of the move to consolidate and enforce fascist rule, with everything that means.

If it comes down to it, and there is an election, and Trump is not ousted by the people, would we be better off with a Trump defeat in the election, or a Trump victory? I think we would be better off with a Trump defeat. But if Trump is defeated by voting, but there is not movement in the streets, then the people would be in a very weak position, and the forces of fascism would have a great deal of initiative to carry out coups, to refuse to accept the results, to claim it was simply manipulation by elites, and to find ways to hold on to power, or, if Trump actually accepted defeat, to take to the streets and find ways to reassert fascist authority—while Biden is stretching his hand across the aisle and seeking to find unity. That would be a very bad picture.

But if there were an electoral defeat combined with mass uprisings against the regime, it would greatly impact on the ability of the fascists to carry out things like coups, and even to claim that the defeat was the work of manipulators behind the scenes (Soros...).

[I]f you look at it, in three weeks the mass BLM movement did more to combat police murder and racism than three years of people sitting on their butts is true. But I think a stronger way of making a similar point is that the BLM movement did more in three weeks than a year of Democratic Party candidates including Bernie, flying all over the country.

This points to the fact that the Democratic Party candidates actually support white supremacy, if in a “nicer” form, but it also points to the fact that the mass movement can change things in a big way, fast, that can impact and weaken Trump far more than sticking to normal channels can do. We need to make more of this which has been graphically demonstrated by recent events ... the people in Congress taking the knee which you did not see them do before—this is the kind of thing that the mass movement can do—it does not make the Democrats into something other than what they are, but it can force them to respond to necessity posed from below—from their own class interests.

Part of what we are dealing with in this is the relation between the aspect of civil war, and the aspect of the contradiction between the masses and the state, as it takes expression in elections and the results of elections. The question has been posed—including by people who have a basic agreement that this is fascism, whether big defeat in the elections would help to get rid of Trump. Of course the liberals have argued all along that that is the only way to get rid of the regime, and part of their argument is that this is the only legitimate way to get rid of the regime, that the regime must be and can only be really de-legitimized by elections. For the liberals, the point of “de-legitimize” means to de-legitimize on the terms of bourgeois democracy and the system. BA makes the point that there is no legitimacy to the fascist regime, regardless of how they came to power. It is important to sort these “legitimacies” out.

I think that what is true and real is that a defeat in the elections, combined with masses in the street, especially a resounding one, would politically weaken the regime. Not just in bourgeois democratic terms—they would lose the election, but they would also lose politically. For one thing, a major electoral defeat combined with a powerful mass movement against the regime—on the terms of “in the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America”—would strip away or demoralize some of their supporters, even while it would harden others. It would also greatly embolden and uplift the people who hate Trump and want him out.

So not only would the combination of uprising and electoral defeat lead to the fascists most likely losing state power or at least the Presidency (more on that later) it would also weaken their ability to wage a civil war.

But in a situation in which there were a defeated regime, with a powerful mass movement playing a decisive role, there would be a lot of “entanglement” of the “legitimacy” of elections, and the legitimacy on terms of basic interests of humanity. After such an upheaval, there would be a huge political struggle—if a section of the fascist base were somewhat neutralized and weakened, the people who are more attached to the need for things like laws from Congress and elections, the hard core fascists would be out in force, furious and outraged, almost certainly carrying out actions which were armed and violent as well and merely threatening violence (as they do now). The mainstream imperialists would immediately seek to assert military and police control of the situation, and at the same time mobilize everything they had to pull people into the process of re-consolidating “normalcy,” which would of course mean involving the Republican Party in running the government. Remember how Obama refused to go after the CIA torturers1 in the name of the larger interests and unity of the U.S., Biden would do that only immensely more so. The broader anti-fascist masses would be pulled in different directions about what to do next. There would be complex political struggle. ...

One other angle in looking at this. Another possibility is that there were a powerful mass movement, and Trump either canceled the election, or won. (I do think that one likely effect of the mass movement in the streets, especially to the degree it is clear that it is not opposing elections, is that it would weaken Trump electorally, and strengthen Biden, but it would still be possible under some circumstances that Trump would win. And certainly possible that he would use the excuse of the mass movement, the virus, and other possible things, to cancel the election.) If Trump canceled the election in the face of millions of masses demanding his ouster, it would enormously sharpen everything. He would have to have backing from the military or sections of it, and he would bring every fascist group he could into the street. If Trump somehow won a rigged election with a mass anti-fascist movement in the street, it would also sharpen things up very hard and fast.

An important point is this point about why we need to have the slogan and politics of Refuse Fascism at the forefront, and why revolution must be in the mix in a growing way. The basic reason is that for the movement to have the strength and determination to come back repeatedly to drive out the regime, and for it to have the political and ideological coherence and the moral authority, it has to be led with the politics of Refuse Fascism.... The question of political power must change is really important, and will make things or break things—and not just change in any way, but the fascist regime must go. I do not anticipate that such a movement would be organizationally cohesive. But how strong the understanding in the leadership and in the broader movement that this is about removing fascism from power in the interests of humanity will make a huge difference in whether it can succeed, and whether it can deal with the situation that exists if it does succeed.

Looking through these scenarios has made it clearer to me that what BA is arguing for is correct. Refusing to recognize and correctly handle this election would lead to pitting the mass movement against voting even if we tried not to do that (e.g., RF doesn’t make a dividing line out of voting. But that is not enough.) ... The point though is that what we do IS very important for the mass movement—which is the principal and decisive factor....

BA says in the statement:

The fact is that there can be one—and only one—“good” that can come out of this election: delivering a decisive defeat to Trump and the whole fascist regime. Doing this would create far better conditions for continuing to wage the struggle against everything represented by the Trump/Pence regime and all the oppression and injustices of this system, and would be a great gift to the people of the world.

Because this is true, acting in concert with this should not pull us away from, but should enable us to also act in relation to our fundamental objectives and goals, to strengthen the forces and movement for revolution. This will be complex and very hard, and the pulls will be strong, but it IS possible to do this.

***

At the outset, I was thoroughly inspired by revolutionary essence of it, learning from every well-reasoned and inspiring argument as to why going all out to remove this regime, even at this late hour, is an “immediate, urgent question and truly historic imperative.”

I was inspired by his orientation in reaching out to the people as a whole, whose future literally rests in the balance. Inspired by his approach in reaching out to those like myself active in Refuse Fascism who have labored to navigate a forest of illusions and self-delusion, of stubborn paralysis—not to mention official and unofficial adversity—in our efforts to drive out this regime.

I was inspired by BA’s message to comrades who, at great risk and with great heroism, have been working on the frontlines through the Rev Clubs to make revolution a mass question and to put BA on the map throughout the fascist “Trump era”, while strengthening the #OutNow movement (as noted in “Some Points on Strategic Orientation for the Next Period,” March 2017).

I was inspired by BA’s strategic confidence in the people and contempt for the enemy which infused all of his statement from start to finish.

And yet, I was driven all week to read especially what BA has written on the question of elections. In his memoir, his method and approach stood out in two remarks:

1) In “Agonizing Over McGovern”: “I wrestled deeply with the question: could it actually be true that this was an exceptional case, where which bourgeois candidate got elected might make a profound difference? ... trying to understand more deeply the principles of Marxism and how they applied concretely to this situation.”

2) in “Nixon and Watergate: ‘Throw the Bum Out’”: “But life is always changing, and you have to examine things in real life and not have a dogmatic approach.”

When I 1st read BA’s unequivocal remarks that “all appropriate means to work for the removal of the [Trump/Pence] regime must include voting against Trump ... actually voting for ... Biden in order to effectively vote against Trump”, my first instinct was that it made perfect sense. But then very quickly, “why did he have to say it, spell it out, why does the Party have to take such an ‘odious’ public stand?”

I kept thinking how disturbed I was when first reading (in the days of the RU) about the hardships and Mao’s personal sacrifice in the victorious Chinese revolution, and then the fact of Mao literally shaking the hand of Chiang Kai Shek2 (“Why did Mao do that/how could he personally stomach it?; what message did it send symbolically, regardless of intentions?”) That was my initial, instinctive reaction, my form of “agonizing.” But more importantly I remember how much that was a transformative experience for me, how inspiring it was for me in coming to terms with what an all-the-way revolution is really all about, why communism was the vision and path I should fully embrace, and I think that will apply to some who must be led to wrestle with BA’s position in regard to Biden.

Beyond the power of the Statement itself, looking back at the “mouthful sentence” (once again in “Some Points...”) anew, and renewing my determination to reject any semblance of populist epistemology that I might have read into it, led me to consider BA’s statement at this defining moment as one of great revolutionary courage, courage on a scientific basis, what we are all called upon to emulate.

That is a great, attractive magnetic force for the revolution. And it must and will be fought for.

***

I recently re-read BA’s memoir. Among many other things, the section on the election of ’72 really jumped out at me. In particular, the approach he took to the question of voting in general, and voting in that particular election, and the criteria he used—an approach radically different from facile dogma. When I read that passage, it did give me pause to think about whether ’72 was a “one and done” that settled the issue of voting once and for all. But BA clearly once again “agonized” (as he says in the memoir) over this and came up with a deep and provocative synthesis that has the potential to impact and transform the entire political and social landscape (as well as jolt the communists).

The whole piece, but especially the conclusion, made me think of the “six paragraphs”3 and carrying out the 3 prepares, and continually striving, collectively and individually, to the stature of “strategic commanders” in a complex social swirl that engulfs all of this society on a scale beyond anything in a long time—probably in the lifetimes even of people my age.

 


1. After Obama was elected president in 2008, he declared that his “Justice” Department would not prosecute anyone under the previous George W. Bush administration who carried out torture and other war crimes.  [back]

2. In the 1930s, imperialist Japan invaded and occupied China, carrying out horrible war crimes. The Chinese communists, led by Mao, spearheaded the fight against the Japanese imperialists and for national and social liberation. At a certain stage of this, the communists entered into a united front with the U.S.-backed forces led by Chiang Kai-shek. After the defeat of Japan in China and in World War 2 overall, civil war broke out between the communist-led forces and Chiang’s forces. After four years of intense war, the Chinese revolution triumphed in 1949.  [back]

3. This refers to the first six paragraphs of part 2 of Bob Avakian’s 2007 talk, Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity. You can read those paragraphs here.  [back]

See also:

Bob Avakian on: The Need to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime and the Fundamental Need for Revolution

Videos and articles

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTEST
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

September 5 Events by City:


Refuse Fascism, Philadelphia.

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.

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/the-democratic-convention-what-this-means-for-humanity-en.html

The Democratic Convention: What Did Happen, What Didn't Happen, and What This Means for Humanity

| revcom.us

 

What Did Happen, Why, and Why It Is Significant

The most significant thing that happened was this: the major spokespeople for the Democratic Party – Bernie Sanders, Barack and Michelle Obama, Joe Biden as the nominee – to a certain degree rang the alarm on the situation we face with Trump.

Obama, speaking with the Constitution as the background, warned, “Don't let them take away your democracy”; Sanders, who is Jewish, said his family and others know “the insidious way authoritarianism destroys democracy, decency and humanity,” obliquely referring to Hitler and the Nazis; and Biden himself ended his speech by recalling how Trump praised as “very fine people” the racists, fascists and anti-Semites who paraded around Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 and ended up killing a counter-demonstrator. Crystallizing this danger, Biden said, “Decency, science, democracy... They are all on the ballot.” All this, without using the word, invoked the specter of fascism, a form of bourgeois rule in which rights are dispensed with, vicious mobs are unleashed against the people, and there is blatant dictatorship exercised by the regime.

The Democrats in the main also put forward a very multicultural lineup, going against Trump’s blatant white supremacy, and continually spoke to the importance of equality and the struggle to end institutionalized racism. Such a lineup and the profession of such ideals served as a contrast to the unapologetic white supremacist future represented by Trump. They also went after the gross negligence and anti-science mentality of the way the regime has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

But on a basic level, the convention was BEB – Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit. The Democrats once again made promises to be “better than” the Republicans, from social welfare to national security. In reality, this means to do better at presiding and ruling over this system of capitalism-imperialism: a system of bitter exploitation and global plunder; a system that has “baked into” all its social structures the ugly relations of white supremacy, male supremacy, the plunder of the environment and the oppression of the majority of the world and the endless wars to defend all that; a system that has now brought things to the point where humanity faces the real prospect of a consolidated fascist America.

But again, the Democrats also signaled to the world that what we face in the Trump regime is different. They put out, from their own standpoint and in a way that they have not done before, that there is a unique threat concentrated with this regime.

This threat is also posed against them directly, as Trump has explicitly threatened to prosecute, jail or even execute his opponents in the ruling class, without regard for what have been the norms (or normal standards) of how the ruling class settles differences among themselves. This includes not only political opponents like Hillary Clinton (“lock her up”) and Obama (“Obamagate”), but also those like ex-FBI Director Comey who oppose Trump.

But it is not just, or even mainly, that. Trump has also, as Bob Avakian has said, not only sought “to suppress the votes of people who will vote against him but is also preparing to utilize forceful, violent repression to remain in office if he is not declared the winner in this election” (from ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION, THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME, VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION). This too was pointed to, if not explicitly, and decried by Obama and others.

Coming from their own interests as defenders of this worldwide system of plunder, the Democrats see Trump as damaging those interests around the world.1 Moreover, in their eyes, his fascist regime runs the risk of dangerously “destabilizing” U.S. society itself, leading to possible social upheavals.

In short: the convention illustrated that the contradiction between those who want to lock in fascism and those who oppose it is a sharp contradiction at the top ruling levels of society.

What Didn’t Happen, Why... and Why That Is Even More Significant

What did NOT happen at the convention is that none of the major speakers used the word fascism from the official podium.2 Why?

If they were to use that word (especially in a formal speech and not in a wink-wink tweet or somewhere else),

a) What does that say about the history of this country and the nature of their system, a system that gave rise to this ugly fascism and of which the Democrats are a ruling class party? And

b) What does that say about how the fight should be waged to prevent that form of rule from being imposed?

Think about it: if Obama were to say that we had to face down and fight a fascist regime in the White House, what would it say about their system that let it get there? What would it say about the strength of white supremacy – that even after a Black president, white supremacy is still strong enough to turn back the so-called “moral arc of the universe”? What would that imply about how “dug in” and interwoven this problem (and others like misogyny) are with this system and society?

To say that we are facing fascism would admit that the rights and protections which are supposedly guaranteed to people by this government – even as hemmed in as they are by the domination and, yes, ultimate dictatorship of the capitalist-imperialist class – actually can vanish. To say that word would admit that the victories that people do win are not some story of gradual but steady progress, but concessions wrung out of the ruling class by blood that can be snatched back when the system finds itself up against sharp contradictions and dominant sections of the ruling class decide to resort to extreme measures.

The second reason they did not mention that word is that, if they were to admit this is fascism, you must come to grips with this truth, laid out in Bob Avakian’s statement quoted above:

Relying on, and confining actions within, the “norms” and “regular channels” of this system, including the upcoming election, cannot solve this profound and urgent problem, especially when dealing with a fascist regime and its fanatical followers that are determined to trample on and tear up those “norms.” (CRITICAL SITUATION..., emphasis added)

And nobody even came close to doing that – to calling on people to step outside the norms of their system and engage in mass political resistance. All the focus and reliance was put on voting, voting, voting – despite dire warnings at the same time that Trump is engaged in voter suppression.

Yes, it is important, as Bob Avakian has put it, that “a decisive defeat” be delivered to “Trump and the whole fascist regime” in the election. Why? Because as BA goes on to say, on the basis of masses taking the streets and demanding the ouster of the regime, such a defeat “would create far better conditions for continuing to wage the struggle against everything represented by the Trump/Pence regime and all the oppression and injustices of this system, and would be a great gift to the people of the world.” (ibid.)

Biden is not Trump – he is not attempting to implement fascism – and for that reason people should vote for him and resistance must be waged against any attempt whatsoever to prevent people from voting.

But that will not be enough – and cannot be relied on.

Look, Trump is already hinting at, showing us and at times even telling us what he will do: how he will use trickery and force to prevent people, especially Black people and other people of color, from voting; how he will sabotage the vote-by-mail efforts; how he will falsely claim fraud; how he will hack the results; how he will tie up the courts while he calls out his armed followers and perhaps even the army itself; and on and on and on. How does just voting prevent any of that?

All this again drives home BA’s point from CRITICAL SITUATION: Simply relying on voting to oust this regime will almost certainly lead to very bad, even disastrous results.”

What We URGENTLY Need to Do... and to Set in Motion NOW

If we can recognize that we face a fascist regime with its hands on the levers of power, one that is moving relentlessly to use the election to make a leap in the brutal exercise of that power... then we must come to grips with the need for massive protest, in the streets, beginning as soon as possible to drive this regime out of power. This has not only been done in other countries – many of you now reading this participated in or at least witnessed a powerful mass uprising right here, in the spring, with the defiant demonstrations that demanded justice for George Floyd and spread to take on police terror in general and institutionalized racism.

Do you remember how overnight the impossible suddenly became possible, in so many ways? How the perverted injustices of this system, so long accepted as the “way things are,” were suddenly “put on trial” by the people and hateful statues toppled? How people found solidarity with each other, told each other the truth, and learned how to stand together in a society that a day before had been one of total isolation and me-first? And how the police were forced to back off, how even the army was forced to apologize,3 and how the fascist mobs – at least at the beginning – did not dare come out, at least in the open?

At the same time, the top Democrats face a sharp contradiction. To actually rally the majority to defeat what actually IS a threat to them, they do need to say some of the truth. Thus they warn of the “danger to democracy”; this badly understates the depth of the problem, but even that carries the risk of alarming people and potentially making them more open to protesting.

The conflict at the top between the fascists concentrated in Trump and the Republican Party on the one hand, and the Democrats on the other, matters. It can make a difference in relation to what is most needed: the thousands and then millions of people mobilized and led in sustained resistance till this regime is driven from power. The two paragraphs we run on our website capture this dialectical relationship, dynamically interacting aspects:

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 gobecause of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.

 


1. For instance, Colin Powell said, in a theme echoed by others in the national security establishment, that Biden “will restore America's leadership in the world and restore the alliances we need.”  [back]

2. AOC did call the regime fascist during the convention – and has done so before – but did not do this in her allotted official time of 90 seconds.  [back]

3. After initially going along with Trump’s violent dispersal of protestors in front of the White House on June 1 and posing for a “photo op” with the fascist-in-chief, Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest-ranking person in the military, felt compelled to apologize by the massive outcry outside, but also inside, the armed forces. This was truly unprecedented.  [back]

See also:

Bob Avakian on: The Need to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime and the Fundamental Need for Revolution

Videos and articles

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTESTS
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

September 5 Events by City:


Refuse Fascism, Philadelphia.

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.

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/hayes-tilden-compromise-of-1877-betrayal-of-reconstruction-en.html

Crucial Lessons from a Previous Hotly Contested Presidential Election

The Hayes-Tilden Compromise of 1877—and the Betrayal of Reconstruction

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: As we come upon what is likely to be a highly contested election, if it happens, what follows are some lessons from history that are extremely important and worth noting. The stakes at that time included the violent assertion and imposition of a different form of rule. While the circumstances then were different and analogies are limited, we face similar stakes today.

The Presidential election of 1876 came 10 years after the American Civil War ended, putting an end to nearly 250 years of the enslavement of Black people. During that decade, known as Reconstruction, the federal, or Union, army remained in the South as the enforcers of real and significant reforms in the rights of former slaves. Three constitutional amendments passed during the years of Reconstruction, though never fully realized, granted the former slaves the rights of citizens, including the right not to be chained to the land; the right to vote; and the right to hold political office. It is estimated more than 1,500 Black men were elected to high office in many southern states during the Reconstruction era.

But all of these gains were met with the most vicious acts of depraved violence by southern whites, mobilized by the former slave owners in defense of their white supremacist “way of life.” The Ku Klux Klan was founded and grew dramatically in these years, carrying out lynchings, night raids, and terroristic assaults upon newly freed Black people across the entire area of the former Confederacy. Seven months before the 1876 election, the U.S. Supreme Court put their stamp of approval on racial terror in the Cruikshank1 decision, which reversed the convictions of 3 killers in the 1873 mass racial murder in Colfax, Louisiana.

The future of Reconstruction, and the future of the lives of the former slaves, came to a head in the intensely disputed election of 1876. Samuel Tilden of New York, the candidate of the Democratic Party, got more votes than the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio. (At that time, the Democratic and Republican parties were different from what they are today. The Democratic Party was the party of the former slave owners and those who supported slavery. The Republican Party was the party of Lincoln, which had opposed the expansion of slavery.)

A Disputed Election Decided by U.S. Congressmen

But neither had enough electoral votes to claim victory. The results in three southern states had been disrupted by violence and voter fraud by Democrats. For four months, the person who would become president of the U.S. was in doubt—until an unwritten agreement was struck by a group of U.S. Congressmen to decide the outcome.

In what is known as the Compromise of 1877, a group of politicians decided that Hayes would become President. But in return, Hayes agreed to remove all the federal troops from the South. The terms of this compromise were that the South would have the right to deal with Blacks without northern “interference”—known as “home rule.” There were outcries that Tilden had been cheated, and threats of forming armed militias to march on Washington. But President Grant tightened military security, and the march on Washington never took place.

This election compromise, worked out in a back room by a group of Congressmen, meant nothing less than the reversal and betrayal of Reconstruction. While the full promise of rights to former slaves, including the promise of “40 acres and a mule,”2 was never realized under Reconstruction, there had been significant changes and improvements in the lives of Black people in the South. What would now replace it was a different form of rule.

A 90-Year Nightmare

The result of this electoral “compromise” was that Black people were step by step stripped of even the partial economic and political gains they had made under Reconstruction, and condemned to another century of subjugation and degradation. Southern Democrats regained control of state after state. They passed measures like “black codes,” which restricted the right of Black freedmen to own property or run businesses. The former slaves were again chained to the plantations in conditions of near-slavery as sharecroppers. And poll taxes and literacy tests were imposed—under the threat of violence—to keep Black men from voting. It’s estimated that by 1905 nearly all Black men were effectively disenfranchised by state legislatures in every Southern state.

In this way a whole legal system of white supremacy, called “Jim Crow,” was put into law in each Southern state. And this became enshrined by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision. Plessy legalized the formal second-class status of Black people by upholding “separate but equal.” Laws were passed that meant that Black people were legally required to attend separate schools and churches; use public bathrooms and water fountains marked “for colored only;” eat in separate sections of restaurants if not excluded altogether; and sit in the rear of a bus, or in a separate railroad car.

And the Ku Klux Klan became the extralegal terrorist enforcers of this unfolding crime against humanity. The Tuskegee Institute estimates that 4,743 people—mostly Black men and sometimes Black women—were lynched between 1882 and 1968 in the U.S. Their bloated, tortured, disfigured bodies were left hanging in public places—as a warning to Black people everywhere that they could be murdered at any time for challenging their second-class status, or for no reason at all.

Once the rule of white supremacy was put back in place, it became “normalized,” with its grotesque treatment of a whole people, along with never-ending violence. And this continued for nearly 90 years. It was not until the 1950s and 1960s, with the courageous efforts and sacrifice of the people in the civil rights movement, that legal segregation was ended, and the struggle for Black liberation emerged.


1. The essence of the Cruikshank decision was that if a mob of “ordinary citizens” did the killing, and the local and state officials allowed it to happen—that was no violation of the U.S. Constitution. In other words, the federal government would do nothing to prevent the lynchings and pogroms against Black people by organized racist mobs. For more, see the revcom.us American Crime series article The Colfax Massacre of 1873... and the Supreme Court Stamp of Approval for Racist Terror. [back]

2. “Forty acres and a mule" (referenced in Spike Lee films) was the promise of land (and the basic means to work it) that was made to Black people during the Civil War. [back]

Colfax MassacreCruikshank decision in 1876, reversed conviction of three killers in the 1873 Colfax Massacre depicted here.

Electoral Commission, 1877Electoral Commission of 1877 decided that Hayes would become president in return for removal of federal troops from the South, and thus allowing the South to deal with Blacks without interference. It was a whole different form of rule. (Image: LOC)

KKKKu Klux Klan carried out night raids and terroristic assaults upon freed Black people throughout the South. Image from Texas History textbook.

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/qanon-cultivating-lunacy-in-the-service-of-fascism-en.html

Letter from a Reader

QAnon: Cultivating Lunacy in the Service of Fascism

| revcom.us

 

On August 11, a QAnon believer1 won a Georgia Republican congressional primary. On August 19, Trump praised her as a “future Republican Star” and went on to praise the QAnon movement as “people that love our country.” And Trump said that if QAnon wants his help “to save the world from problems, I am willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there.”

QAnon is a movement of people who follow and sometimes act on2 a conspiracy theory that is being elaborated in thousands of posts from “Q.” Q claims to be a high-level U.S. intelligence operative close to Trump, but Q’s actual identity is unknown publicly. It is quite possible that “Q” is not one person, but a team, or that one person started as “Q” but was then replaced.

Q began posting in October 2017—since then QAnon has grown to at least hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of “true believers,” and has much broader influence, with millions viewing QAnon pages or videos on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and other social media.

The “Cabal,” “The Storm” and Why Fascism Needs QAnon

Q’s posts are often cryptic, and part of the “life” of the QAnon movement is people gathering in thousands of chat rooms to discuss their meaning. So there are a range of interpretations. But the unifying core is that an evil international cabal controls the government, the media and the culture and runs an international network that traffics in young children who are raped and perhaps murdered by “depraved elites” so they can drink their blood.

QAnon adherents are fanatical Trump supporters who believe that Trump was selected (maybe by top military officials, maybe by “God”) to lead the fight to expose and vanquish these “elites,” and in so doing not only “save the children,” but also bring about renewed American “Greatness.” The culmination of all this is “The Storm”—when Trump will move decisively against these “elites.”

And Q is clear on what must be done with them: “These people need to ALL be ELIMINATED.” Q supporters post things like this about Hillary Clinton: “I want to see her blood pouring down the gutters!” and “The buzzards rip her rotting corpse to shreds.”

Many people’s first thought on reading all this is “These people are bat-shit crazy!” And they are. But this is not just lunacy, it is fascist lunacy—and extremely dangerous.

Journalist Adrienne LaFrance studied QAnon and made this important point: once you strip away the “sex trafficking” part, “the core beliefs are really Trumpist.... Anything that Donald Trump says you can find echoed in what Q posts about. And so it's this anti-establishment, anti-democratic, very violent rhetoric, certainly anti-free press, anti-media. It really reads like, you know, the note cards from a Trump rally.”

QAnon’s list of “evil pedophiles” is largely a cross section of powerful, prominent and influential people who in one way or another oppose Trump. That’s not an accident! QAnon targets “the Deep State”; Democratic Party leaders like the Clintons and Barack Obama; “international bankers” like George Soros; and cultural figures like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Ellen DeGeneres.

Let’s dig into this further—why is the “Head of State” (Trump) and his most fanatical followers attacking the “Deep State”3? Why this intense hatred of people like Oprah Winfrey? Why, rather than “reaching across the aisle” to work with Democrats (as U.S. presidents have historically done), do these forces target them for imprisonment or execution?

As BA points out, fascism is one form of rule for the system of capitalism-imperialism that has caused so much suffering for billions of people around the world. But it is “a qualitatively different form of rule, based on brutal repression and violation of what are supposed to be the most basic rights.”

But in order to do this, to impose this rule, along with suppressing the masses in opposition, these fascist forces have to shatter the power of those sections of the ruling class and government apparatus who think this fascist transformation will be a very bad thing—first and foremost, bad for the functioning of capitalism and the empire. The main vehicle for that “mainstream” section of the ruling class is the Democratic Party, and many of these forces are also entrenched in the government bureaucracy, civil service, and the military, and are resisting and blocking Trump and the fascists in various ways—including impeachment, law suits, leaks, etc. And the cultural establishment and much of the mass media also is more supportive of the U.S. continuing to have a democratic form of government and multi-cultural society as they understand aiming for equality of peoples and genders, and especially is opposed to the racism, misogyny, ignorance and general cruelty of the regime.

All this is to say that the fascists need to crush the opposition of these forces in order to consolidate their own rule. And QAnon—which is made up of a section of the masses that also feels extremely threatened by the great changes of recent decades—is being developed as a crucial part of the forces that fascism needs to carry out the destruction of their enemies.

As I read more about QAnon, it seems this is part of what “The Storm” is more fundamentally about.

Christian Fascist Fantasies of Armageddon and Real-World Plans for Fascist Violence

QAnon is made up in large part of Christian fundamentalists.4 LaFrance points out that “The language of evangelical Christianity has come to define the Q movement.” So QAnon envisions this fascist onslaught and massacre in apocalyptic terms, as “the final battle between good and evil, between God and Satan,” and leading to the “Great Awakening.” 

And what better way to prepare your followers to take part in reactionary slaughter than to paint your enemies as child-rapists? This cry of “save the children,” combined with religious fanaticism, has already proven effective for Christian fascist anti-abortion forces to “justify” murdering dozens of people by claiming that abortion (a fundamental right of women!) is “killing millions of babies.”5 And in 2016, Edgar Welch, a deeply religious father of two, went into a crowded Washington, DC pizza parlor and fired his AR-15 because he thought Hillary Clinton was operating a child sex ring in its basement. Welch said it was necessary to sacrifice “the lives of a few for the lives of many” and to fight “a corrupt system that kidnaps, tortures and rapes babies and children in our own backyard.”

What Q is ideologically training and preparing millions to support and participate in—is quite “earthly,” though draped in religion. In one of Q’s earliest posts (November 1, 2017) he gives a sense of what “The Storm” will look like:

[W]e are taking back our great country (the land of the free) from the evil tyrants that wish to do us harm and destroy the last remaining refuge of shining light.... On POTUS’ order, a state of temporary military control will be actioned and special ops carried out.... Organizations and/or people that wish to do us harm during this time will be met with swift furycertain laws have been pre-lifted to provide our great military the necessary authority to handle and conduct these operations (at home and abroad).... The spill over in the streets will be quickly shut down.... stay alert, be vigilant, and above all, please pray. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Love is patient, love is kind.” God bless my fellow Americans. [Emphasis added.]

And as the crisis in the U.S. intensifies and QAnon grows, its military dimension has become more open. LaFrance reports that over the 4th of July, “We saw a bunch of videos online in which QAnon followers started saying that they were taking the oath. And what that meant is sort of promising to be part of Q's army.” One of the people who did this was General Michael Flynn (ret.), Trump’s former national security advisor and still a close ally!

Who Is Behind QAnon?

No one knows what connection Q may or may not have to the Trump/Pence regime. But Q was prompted to start his posts by Trump’s comments at an October 5, 2017 White House meeting with military leaders. Trump said the meeting was “Maybe the calm before the storm.” Then he repeated it. When asked by a reporter “What storm?” Trump replied “You’ll find out.”

Since QAnon began, it has been promoted by a host of fascist luminaries and organizations, including Fox’s Sean Hannity, radio host Alex Jones, and the anti-abortion group “Operation Rescue.” For people who’ve had to distance themselves from QAnon’s lunacy, The Epoch Times6 developed “Spygate”—a sanitized version of QAnon without the child sex trafficking—which is also more “acceptable” for Fox News to publicly promote.

But most importantly, Trump himself has found many ways to support QAnon—including retweeting QAnon followers at least 201 times. And now he is all-but-openly supporting them.

What all this adds up to is that QAnon is a movement through which millions of (mainly) Christian fascist fanatics are being prepared and oriented to be shock troops for a showdown with anti- or non-fascist forces. That they are now taking “vows” to be part of Q’s army, and being openly embraced by Trump, should serve as an urgent wakeup call of the need for those who oppose this fascist lunacy to themselves mobilize and take to the streets in massive, sustained non-violent protest demanding OutNow to this dangerous fascist regime.

 

1. Marjorie Taylor Greene—one of 50 congressional candidates who supported QAnon, though only one other won her primary. [back]

2. QAnon supporters have been charged with killing a reputed Mafia boss, threatening Joe Biden, hijacking a train, and numerous other crimes. [back]

3. The “state” refers to the three branches of government and the armed forces they command, along with the many agencies (CIA, FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, Department of Justice, etc.) that have been set up to implement and enforce laws and policies. The “Deep State” is a term developed by right-wing conspiracy theorists to refer to just the agencies and especially their leadership. These agencies have developed over many decades, and much of the leadership and rank and file are steeped in a culture and outlook that is at odds with fascist transformation. [back]

4. Believers say things like “God led me to Q. I really feel like God pushed me in this direction.” [back]

5. Since 1993 there have been 11 murders and 29 attempted murders of doctors, nurses and staff at abortion clinics; 10 bombings; 45 arsons; one stabbing and dozens of other acts of vandalism. [back]

6. The Epoch Times is a right-wing “news” outlet; it has an associated YouTube channel that reaches tens of millions. Published by Falun Gong supporters (a Chinese religious cult that is suppressed in China), it situates “SpyGate” in a struggle to “save all sentient beings” in a forthcoming divine battle against communism. [back]

 


October 5, 2017, Trump tells reporters that this meeting with military leaders could be "the calm before the storm." Three weeks later "Q" posts his first thread titled "The Calm Before the Storm."

Read more

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/rise-and-consolidation-of-erdogan-fascist-regime-in-turkey-en.html

The Rise and Consolidation of Erdoğan’s Fascist Regime in Turkey

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Last week, we published an article about developments with the fascist regime in India headed by Narendra Modi. This week, we are focused on the fascist regime in Turkey headed by Recep Erdoğan. These experiences illustrate how fascism takes a leap either through an election “mandate” or freedom seized by other means such as suppressing coups—and the serious implications of this for the masses of people.

Although what we face with the Trump/Pence regime is not identical, the examples of India and Turkey help illustrate the reality that if Trump is able to come through the next months of the election and stay in power—that will not simply be a matter of things getting somewhat worse. It will be a leap—a definite leap toward such consolidation. Thus, as Bob Avakian states in his recent statement, “Right now, for everyone who is concerned with ending injustice and oppression, and with the question of whether humanity will have a future worth living—or will have a future at all—removing the Trump/Pence fascist regime from power is an immediate, urgent question and truly historic imperative.”(Read the whole statement, ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION, THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME, VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION.)

A fascist is in power in Turkey—Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been president since 2014. Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) did not start off as clearly fascist. The secular, highly militaristic and repressive government before Erdoğan was widely hated, and the country faced an economic crisis. Erdoğan and his AKP won popularity—seen as representing “moderate” Islam and a program of “modernizing” Turkey, with economic policies hospitable to the U.S. and other Western imperialist countries. Many hoped Erdoğan would solve Turkey’s economic problems and bring about a more “open” society.

But over a relatively short time, less than six years, Erdoğan has increasingly implemented and consolidated a whole fascist program. And in particular, in just four years, since a failed coup attempt in 2016, Erdoğan’s hold on power and his fascist program has greatly intensified.

As revcom.us has pointed out, “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…” But “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…”

Indeed, in a series of stages, there have been nodal points where Erdoğan has used the situation to implement new and increasingly repressive, fascist, measures.

Failed Coup

In July 2016, after a failed coup attempt by elements in the military, Erdoğan instituted more fascist measures. More than 150,000 state employees were dismissed, 50,000 people were arrested. Erdoğan purged former allies who he accused of involvement in the attempted coup, and a whole campaign of repression was carried out.1

Declaring a state of emergency gave Erdoğan power to issue emergency decrees. More than 8,000 members of the Kurdish-led Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) were jailed, more than 6,000 university academics were dismissed and protests against the government were outlawed. Tens of thousands were arrested, including judges, teachers, academics, university deans and presidents, writers, students, workers and journalists.2 Erdoğan made further alliances with fascist ultra-nationalist forces. The state of emergency originally declared for three months was extended seven times before being ended in 2018.

Referendum and Re-election

In April 2017, Erdoğan succeeded in passing a nationwide referendum giving him vast new powers to control the judiciary, make law by decree and undermine the prime minister and the parliamentary system. The new rules said Erdoğan could run for two more five-year terms.

The referendum supposedly passed in a popular vote, but this election took place in a whole atmosphere of violence, intimidation and fear and continuing detention and arrest of tens of thousands.

The 2017 referendum changed the government from a parliamentary system to a presidential system of government. This was further consolidated when Erdoğan won a second term in June 2018. Originally set for November 2019, Erdoğan moved the vote six months earlier, preventing opposition forces from building their campaigns and allowing Erdoğan to quickly move forward to consolidate his fascist hold on power.

The day of the vote, critics of the government were rounded up and imprisoned. Between the attempted coup and this election, more than 100,000 were imprisoned, and Turkey became the country with the greatest number of jailed journalists in the world.

The consolidation of Erdoğan’s fascist rule has also gone hand-in-hand with increased repression and terror against the Kurdish people, the largest ethnic minority in Turkey. The Kurds have suffered decades of oppression. They have been a source of cheap hyper-exploited labor in dangerous “unskilled jobs.” Racist ideas about the Kurdish people are promoted in society and their culture has been denigrated. The Kurdish people have a long history of fighting against their oppression, and Erdoğan has stepped up attacks on the Kurds and repression against their continuing struggle. Protests against the mistreatment of Kurdish people is simply not permitted. Authorities censor Kurdish publications and social media, Kurdish writers are arrested and jailed and the government has sent in forces to attack and destroy uprisings in Kurdish towns using tear gas, tanks and artillery, killing many and forcing hundreds from their homes.

According to its 1928 Constitution, Turkey is supposed to be a secular country. But another aspect of Erdoğan’s fascist rule is his Islamicization of society. An article in the Huffington Post, just six months after the failed coup, reported, “Recently, a slew of government initiatives has pushed Islam deeper into Turkey’s secular education system. Examples include a plan to build mosques in 80 different state universities and convert one Istanbul University into an Islamic studies center. In December 2015, ‘a government-backed education council recommended extending compulsory religious classes to all primary school pupils, as well as adding an extra hour of obligatory religious classes for all high school students.’”3

In 1934, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the secular founder of the Turkish Republic, turned Hagia Sophia—a famous ancient cathedral that was later converted to a mosque—into a museum. But in July this year, after a Turkish court ruled to annul Atatürk’s decision, Erdoğan immediately signed a presidential order to turn the site back into a mosque. Erdoğan then made a big show of leading worshippers in the first prayers in Hagia Sophia.

Fascist Attacks on Dissent and Protest

Many thousands of teachers, professors, activists, lawyers, writers, workers, students and more have lost their jobs, been arrested and jailed, and tortured, many for just a tweet or an article in a newspaper.

In 2019, award-winning author Asli Erdoğan (no relation to President Erdoğan), speaking from self-imposed exile in Germany, said that after the 2016 failed coup, Turkey descended toward fascism. She had been associated with a pro-Kurdish newspaper and after the failed coup was arrested on charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization.” There has been controversy over whether to call the Erdoğan regime fascist. But Asli Erdoğan said, “Maybe it is really time to use the word ‘fascism.’”4

Right now, two people’s lawyers, Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal, are on a “hunger strike to the death”—as of August 11, Timtik for over 220 days and Ünsal for over 190 days. They are demanding a fair trial and the right of lawyers to defend people without being charged with being “terrorists.” They have been force-fed—internationally recognized as a form of torture that can result in permanent disability or death. Three other political prisoners on hunger strikes have already died this year. Two of them were members of a leftist band Grup Yorum. The government had banned their concerts and prevented them from performing. Six members of the band were arrested on August 5 as they were rehearsing for a concert.5

Erdoğan’s fascist attacks on dissent have even reached across Europe and the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. In 2019, the Erdoğan government labeled NBA Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter a “terrorist.” Kanter had called Erdoğan the “Hitler of our century” and been very outspoken against the sweeping political repression and arrests in Turkey. He received death threats, and Turkey issued an Interpol Red Notice for Kanter—a kind of international arrest warrant—labeling him a “terrorist.” In response, Kanter tweeted: “The only thing I terrorize is the rim,” along with a video of himself dunking.6

The Pandemic and Further Repression

Erdoğan is now using the COVID-19 crisis to further repress political prisoners. While releasing thousands of prisoners convicted of crimes like theft, rape or murder to alleviate crowded conditions, tens of thousands of political prisoners remain behind bars, subjected to the high danger of getting and dying from COVID-19.

Since 2002, when Erdoğan first emerged as a major political power, the number of people behind bars has gone from 60,000 to nearly 300,000. A major reason for this is the creation of new crimes, like “insulting the president.” Those convicted of this are not eligible for the COVID amnesty because most of them are charged with “membership in a terrorist organization.”7

The regime has also created new provisions that allow the government to target and arrest people during the COVID crisis for creating “panic and fear,” or provoking the public to “hatred and hostility.” More than 500 have been detained under these provisions, most commonly for criticizing the way Erdoğan is handling the pandemic.8

*****

In a relatively short time the fascist regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has brought down horrific terror on hundreds of thousands of people. Step by step Erdoğan has put more, and even more blatantly fascist, measures in place and strengthened his hold on power. The ability for the Turkish people to speak out and protest is on the brink of being wiped out. The prisons in Turkey are filling up with people, from all walks of life, who dare to speak out against the regime. The founding tenet of secularism is increasingly being trampled on. This is what it means when a fascist is elected, re-elected and allowed to stay in power.

 


1. PBS Newshour, August 30, 2017.  [back]

2. “The Roots of Turkish Fascism,” crimethnic.com, November 12, 2019.  [back]

3. “Erdogan’s Lust For Power Is Destroying Turkey’s Democracy, Huffington Post, January 27, 2018.  [back]

4. “Exiled Novelist: Turkey Tilts Toward Fascist Regime,” IPA News, March 31, 2019.  [back]

5. “Turkey: Hunger striking lawyers defy Erdoğan’s repression,” Struggle La Lucha, by Greg Butterfield, August 11, 2020.  [back]

6. “Boston Celtic Enes Kanter Calls Foul on Repression in Turkey,” Wall Street Journal, by Elizabeth Winkler, November 8, 2019.  [back]

7. “Erdogan is using the coronavirus crisis to continue repressing political prisoners,” by Can Dundar, Washington Post, April 9, 2020.  [back]

8. “Turkey: how Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is using coronavirus to clamp down further on dissent,” The Conversation, July 23, 2020.  [back]



In less than six years, Erdoğan has implemented and consolidated a whole fascist program, greatly intensifying his hold on power and his fascist program since a failed coup attempt in 2016. Here, Turkish police surround house to arrest alleged supporters of Islamic State, November 20, 2017. (Photo: AP)


Thousands of teachers, professors, activists, lawyers, writers, workers, students and more have lost their jobs, been arrested and jailed, and tortured – many for just a tweet or an article in a newspaper. Here, heads of Turkish lawyers' associations protesting fascistic laws are confronted by riot police and prevented from marching to the capital, Ankara, June 22, 2020. (Photo: AP)


Two people’s lawyers, Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal are on a “hunger strike to the death,” demanding a fair trial and the right of lawyers to defend people without themselves being charged as “terrorists.”


April 3, mourners in Istanbul honor the prisoner hunger striker, Helin Bölek, member of a popular folk music group banned by Erdoğan, who died during the strike. (Photo: AP)

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/661/india-what-happens-when-a-fascist-leader-is-re-elected-en.html

What Happens When a Fascist Leader Is Re-Elected?
A Flashing Red Warning Sign from India

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: This week, we are bringing to our readers the following article about developments with the fascist regime in India headed by Narendra Modi. This experience (and others, such as with Recep Erdoğan in Turkey) illustrates how fascism takes a leap either through an election “mandate” or freedom seized by fascists out of necessity—and the serious implications of this for the masses of people. Although what we face with the Trump/Pence regime is not identical, the example of India helps illustrate the reality that if Trump is able to come through the next months and declare “victory”—whether through an election win, a delayed or canceled vote, or some other way—that will not simply be a matter of things getting somewhat worse. It will be a leap—a definite leap toward consolidation of fascist rule in the U.S. Thus, as Bob Avakian states in his recent statement, “Right now, for everyone who is concerned with ending injustice and oppression, and with the question of whether humanity will have a future worth living—or will have a future at all—removing the Trump/Pence fascist regime from power is an immediate, urgent question and truly historic imperative.” (Read the whole statement, ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION, THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME, VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION.)

In May of 2019, Narendra Modi was reelected as prime minister. A coalition of parties led by Modi’s BJP won 44% of the vote, trouncing a coalition led by the Indian Congress Party (the main ruling class party since India’s founding), which got only 25%.

This victory empowered and emboldened Modi’s regime to accelerate the Hindu-fascist transformation of India, which began with Modi’s first election in 2014.1

Modi has always been an open Hindu supremacist, but during his 2014 campaign and through part of his first term he downplayed this in favor of “carefully moderated public positions ... in line with his projected image as a pro-development leader and global statesman.” Modi sought to reassure “minority groups” that India remained a multi-national and secular society. And he implemented some popular reforms, including building a hundred million toilets in a country in which lack of sanitation is a source of widespread disease and humiliation.

Simultaneously Modi moved to consolidate power throughout Indian society, getting control of the courts and most mass media, and appointing Hindu nationalists to leading positions in universities and the government—BJP figures who took the lead in promoting open and virulent racism against Muslims and other minorities.

Modi appointed Amit Shah, the president of BJP, as Home Minister. Shah regularly referred to Muslims as “termites” who BJP would “throw into the Bay of Bengal.” He also appointed, Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu priest, as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state. Adityanath was jailed in 2007 for inciting anti-Muslim riots, after a speech in which he threatened, “If one Hindu girl marries a Muslim man, then we will take 100 Muslim girls in return ... If they [Muslims] kill one Hindu man, then we will kill 100 Muslim men.” He publicly defended a Hindu mob that killed a Muslim man suspected of slaughtering a cow (cows are sacred in Hinduism) and suggested that the murdered man’s family should be prosecuted instead. (He has also praised Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration!)

This in turn unleashed BJP activists to carry out attacks on Muslims for such crimes as herding cattle. Dozens were killed and hundreds injured in these attacks during Modi’s first term; BJP leaders responded by saying things like “We will hang those who kill cows,” and “I will break the hands and legs of those who do not consider cows their mother and kill them.”

The BJP also waged a broad ideological campaign to literally rewrite the history of India to extol the “greatness” of Hinduism and its alleged persecution by Muslims. They even went so far as to insist that Hindus were using airplanes, stem-cell research and the Internet in 1000 A.D.! And as renowned Indian historian Romila Thapar pointed out, the Hindu nationalist version of reality “has the patronage of the government, is well financed, and is popularized in a variety of ways. Those critical of this Hindutva history are already being labeled anti-national in an attempt to subvert historical research.”

But all of this, terrible as it was, was only a prelude to what the Modi regime would do once he was reelected in 2019 and could claim a “mandate” for fascism. Fifteen months later, an Indian commentator described the results as a “systematic and ruthless action toward rewriting the constitution and ushering in a new grammar of state power.” The New York Times reported that “Critics are deeply worried that Mr. Modi is trying to wrench India away from its secular, democratic roots and turn this nation of 1.3 billion people into a religious state, a homeland for Hindus. ‘They want a theocratic state,’’ said B.N. Srikrishna, a former judge on India’s Supreme Court.”

Here are four examples of Modi’s post-reelection fascist offensive:

Invasion and occupation of Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu and Kashmir is the sole Muslim-majority state in India. Under India’s constitution (Article 370) it is guaranteed full autonomy, except for matters of defense and security.

On August 5, 2019, without warning Modi abrogated (violated) Article 370 and invaded. Revcom.us described what happened next:

August 5 Kashmir woke up caged. Every home was turned into a jail with a statewide curfew.... Over five hundred Kashmiri politicians were jailed and thousands more arrested in one swoop. Any spontaneous protest was crushed with an iron fist, and people were beaten, maimed, jailed and killed mercilessly. ...young boys, 10 to 13 years old, were kidnapped and abducted from families in night raids by Indian forces, and are being held in jails without charges... Kashmiri jails are full, the children are now taken to jails of other states. The aim is clear—to eliminate Muslims from Kashmir, perform an ethnic cleansing, and change its demographics forever.

India also completely shut down the Internet in Kashmir for five months, as well as barring all foreign journalists. A year later, heavy repression continues.

New “Citizenship Law” Threatens Muslim Population with Loss of Rights, Deportation—or Concentration Camps:  In August 2019, in the state of Assam, the government initiated a process compelling everyone to produce documentary proof that they or their ancestors were born in India prior to 1971, or lose their citizenship. Under this law a person of immigrant heritage who was born in India 58 years ago could lose their citizenship. Two million Assamese “failed the test.”

This process was openly aimed at finding undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh, India’s predominantly Muslim neighbor, millions of whom fled to India during Bangladesh’s War of Independence from Pakistan in 1971. This new citizenship test unleashed great fear among Muslims, which only grew as “foreign tribunals” were thrown together to “judge” citizenship and detention camps built for the newly-created “non-citizens”—at least 10 camps are planned. (India has no treaty under which it can deport people to Bangladesh, so “non-citizens” of Bangladeshi heritage are subject to indefinite detention.) Dozens of people committed suicide, including a 14-year-old girl.

On November 19, 2019, the BJP Home Minister announced in parliament that it would go nationwide with the hunt for Muslim “illegals.” Then, to make the anti-Muslim character of this completely clear, on December 11, 2019, BJP passed a law providing Hindu, Christian and Buddhist immigrants—but not Muslims—a path to citizenship. A human rights activist got to the heart of what BJP was doing: “Muslims are the enemy. It’s a war on the Indian Constitution.” 

(Go here and here for more on the citizenship laws.)

Police Brutality and Unleashing Pogroms to Suppress Protests: Protests erupted against the new citizenship laws, starting among Hindu students in Assam but quickly spreading to all faiths and across the country. The government responded with the same savage brutality as in Kashmir, shooting one Christian protester to death, teargassing students in a library, and surrounding and beating protesting Muslims in New Delhi. A nine-year-old boy riding his bicycle was crushed in a stampede of people fleeing police attack. The Internet was shut down, curfews were imposed. On January 30, a gunman opened fire on protesters in the capital city of Delhi, wounding one student, as police stood by and casually watched.

According to the New York Times, although the traditional ruling class opposition parties were “fractured” and on the sidelines, the defiance of the protesters posed “a threat to [Modi’s] ideological agenda.” The Times quotes a professor in the city of Varanasi: “I’m hearing it all over town: People are fed up with this regime.” The protests continued to spread in the face of severe repression until at least late February. For the first time since his election, the Times noted, Modi was on the defensive

Then on February 23, 2020, Kapil Mishra, a local BHP politician, called a counter-protest against mostly women demonstrators who were blocking a road in Delhi. According to the Times, he gave “a fiery speech in which he issued an ultimatum to the police: either clear out the demonstrators, who were blocking a main road, or he and his followers would do it themselves. Within hours, the worst Hindu-Muslim violence in India in years was exploding. Gangs of Hindus and Muslims fought each other with swords and bats, shops burst into flames, chunks of bricks sailed through the air, and mobs rained blows on cornered men.” 

By the time it was over, at least 46 people were dead and terror gripped Muslims in the capital. Not long after, Modi locked down all of India in a disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic. At least for a time, the “threat” of people of different religions uniting to oppose Hindu-fascism had been quelled.

Building a Hindu Temple on the Ruins of a Mosque Destroyed by Hindu Nationalists:  In November of 2019, in a mark of the growing subservience of India’s judicial system to the Hindu-fascist regime, the Supreme Court ruled that Hindus could build a temple at the site of a destroyed mosque in Ayodhya. Muslims had built a mosque there in the 16th century. Hindu nationalists—claiming that it was on the birth-site of the Hindu god Rama—destroyed it in 1992, setting off religious violence that killed 2,000 people. Ever since the fascists have wanted to build a Hindu temple there.

Modi chose August 5, 2020—the first anniversary of his invasion of Kashmir—to offer “holy water” and to set the ceremonial cornerstone for the new temple, declaring, “The wait of centuries is coming to an end”! 

According to the Times, this was “an unmistakable milestone in [Modi’s] efforts to shift India’s secular foundations toward a more overtly Hindu identity” and “another decisive step toward an India that officially favors its Hindu majority.” And they quote another expert saying it “symbolized Mr. Modi’s ‘total domination over India.’”

So, “What Happens When a Fascist Leader Is Re-elected?”

Shashi Tharoor, a liberal politician says Modi “delegitimised dissent and criticism as hostile to the national interest, and every liberal thought and contrarian idea as undermining national pride and unity.” And Tharoor quotes political scientist Suhas Palshikar saying Modi “formalised the peripheralisation of the Muslims both spatially and politically, while the celebrations openly involving state machinery underscore the officialisation of the status of Hindu religion as the basis of the new republic.” 

Or to put it simply, when fascists are allowed to remain in power, they use their power to implement fascism—in his case a Hindu-fascist theocratic state.

Does any of this seem familiar?

 


1.  India is a country of 1.3 billion people. 80 percent are Hindu, 14 percent—200 million—are Muslim, and there are many other religious minorities, including Christians, Sikhs, and Buddhists. 

The area that is now India and Pakistan was colonized by Britain for hundreds of years. The British used contradictions between Muslims and Hindus to maintain their own domination. When they were forced out of the region in 1948, they divided it into India—predominantly Hindu—and Pakistan—predominantly Muslim—as a way to weaken the newly independent countries and keep the region under imperialist control. That partition process set off sectarian violence in which hundreds of thousands were killed

The founding Constitution of India established it as secular (not based in religion) and non-sectarian (not favoring any religious group over another.) But within this legal framework, reactionary forces have continued to stoke religious differences to gain power and to weaken and oppress the masses, and bloody outbreaks of religious violence spatter across India’s history. This is also bound up with contention between India and Pakistan to be the dominant power in the South Asian region, and with the machinations of various imperialist powers backing one or the other (or both) of them.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (the BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is a Hindu fascist party. Similar to the Christian fascists in the U.S., BJP’s objective is to transform India into a Hindu country, period. As one India scholar put it: “He sees himself as the architect of a new India, built on a foundation of technological, cultural, economic and military prowess, and backed by an ideology of Hindu nationalism.” This can only be done by violently oppressing Muslims and other minorities, suppressing dissent, and discarding or ignoring the existing Constitution.  [back]


Map of India


Protests erupted against the new immigration law, starting among Hindu students in Assam but quickly spreading to all faiths and across the country. (Photo: AP)


The government responded with savage brutality against protests. (Photo: AP)


On August 5, 2020—the first anniversary of the invasion of Kashmir—Modi offered "holy water" to set the ceremonial cornerstone of the new temple, shifting India's foundations toward a more Hindu identity. Police guard the scene. (Photo: AP)


Trump visited India in February 2020. The two fascists, Trump and Modi, embraced.

See also:

Bob Avakian on: The Need to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime and the Fundamental Need for Revolution

Videos and articles

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/portland-protesters-go-up-against-fascists-en.html

Portland: Protesters Go Up Against Fascists—as Pigs Let the Reactionaries Attack

| revcom.us

 

The people of Portland, Oregon have been righteously protesting against police violence, white supremacy, and for Black lives for over 80 days now. On Saturday, August 22, some 200 pro-Trump fascists, including the Proud Boys and QAnon followers, staged a “Back the Blue” rally in front of the U.S. courthouse to support the police. Many carried American flags, shouted “USA, USA,” and some were openly armed, including with assault rifles, and wore tactical military gear.

In response, over 200 anti-fascist, Black Lives Matter protesters organized a righteous counter-protest. The fascists repeatedly charged into the anti-fascists, attacking them with pepper spray, paintballs, bats, fists, and more. At least one fascist drew a gun on protesters. The people refused to back down in the face of these reactionary threats and violence. They courageously stood their ground, and the stand-off lasted some three hours, with the anti-fascist, anti-white supremacy protesters refusing to back off and righteously defending themselves. The clash ended when, according to a Washington Post report, “the far-right crowd retreated to their cars.”

All this time the pigs—both the Portland police and the federal Department of Homeland Security forces deployed by Trump—did nothing to stop the violence being carried out by the fascists. When the fascists left, the official pigs called the Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist protesters an “illegal assembly” and forced them out of the park. The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) released a statement outrageously claiming, “PPB members have been the focus of over 80 days of violent actions directed at the police, which is a major consideration for determining if police resources are necessary to interject between two groups with individuals who appear to be willingly engaging in physical confrontations for short durations.” Aside from the lying characterization of the Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist protesters as “violent,” these pigs are blaming the protesters for the police not stopping the fascist goons!

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/joining-the-struggle-against-nazi-brownshirts-en.html

From a member of the National Get Organized for an Actual Revolution Tour:

Joining the struggle against Nazi brownshirts

| revcom.us

 

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

For months, MAGA-fascist Trump supporters have been holding weekly rallies in Tujunga, a suburb of Los Angeles, and have been met by courageous groups of anti-fascist and Black Lives Matter counter-demonstrators. These protests have intensified in recent weeks, with fascists sucker-punching people and openly doing Nazi salutes. This gathering in Tujunga of increasingly emboldened fascist thugs is not unique, but is part of a bigger trend of similar rallies and marches in Portland, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Stone Mountain, Georgia, and other places.

These modern-day Nazi brownshirts, spreading their vile “America First” poison, explicitly rally for a continuation of the reign of terror that has been the first four years of the Trump/Pence regime, many of them brandishing massive pro-Trump flags, wood and metal sticks and shields, clearly ready to initiate violence against any and all forces of opposition, and especially those who stand up against police terror and murder of Black people by the police. A common sight among the fascists is the “Thin Blue Line” flag, signifying a full-throated endorsement of the police in their role as enforcers of this brutal order which has white supremacy as a key element. Among the fascists who’ve been rallying in Tujunga are Proud Boys and other violent individuals, including some of the same people who attacked a Refuse Fascism demonstration in Santa Monica, California, on October 19 last year, spraying people with bear mace. In line with their anti-science fascist worldview, most of these Nazi fucks don’t wear masks, recklessly endangering people in the middle of a pandemic.

These are not just Republicans showing support for their candidate, but a hard-core fascist base getting organized and prepared to go to defend Trump and his regime, doing whatever they see as necessary to keep him in power.

It was very important that local Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist activists put out photos and video exposing what these fascists have been doing, and rather than be intimidated by it, they called on even more people to come out this past week, on Friday, August 21. We decided that we had to go out there to be part of this. A lot of young people from all over the LA area also showed up for this, and joined the local activists who’ve been out there protesting every week. There were probably about 100 people total on each side. 

Our approach to impacting the situation was multi-pronged: on social media, we immediately started livestreaming, interviewing people there on the ground, and agitating to our followers and viewers about the situation there, and what this shows about why we can’t rely simply on voting to remove a fascist regime that’s rigging (and preparing to steal) the election, and unleashing paramilitary forces and fascist street thugs to impose their will. This included concrete calls for engagement with Bob Avakian’s historic August 1 statement, and to take up the call from RefuseFascism.org for mass protests demanding Trump/Pence OUT NOW starting on September 5th, which we got out to the crowd. Refuse Fascism also had a banner with the details for the 9/5 march.

One thing we noticed was the “localism” of many on the anti-fascist side—the idea that “we can’t let these fascists come to our neighborhoods.” We should mobilize against them when they come to our neighborhoods. But this is also totally insufficient given that the fascist regime currently has state power. There is not only the need to confront and shut down these Nazis in your own hood—we have to take on the tidal wave of fascism from the state. Everyone there could see the connection to Trump—anyone with eyes could see the towering figures of the Trump flags and those ugly red hats—but still some are trapped in fascism-denialism, or had illusions that the vote alone would solve this crisis, or that somehow they could just “ride it out.” But still, there were others who did see the urgency of the situation, and word about the 9/5 protests got into the hands and the heads of many concerned people there. And all this is why Bob Avakian’s deep analysis of our current situation and what we need to do is so critical for people to dig into.

Things came to a head during the 5:00 pm hour. After shouting matches and intimidation from the fascists turned more physical, the police put on their helmets and started attacking the anti-fascist side with tear gas, and shooting people with “nonlethal” munitions. The entire time, the police were facing our side, making very clear who they were protecting. The Revcoms and a leader in the local RefuseFascism.org chapter were in the mix near the front of the action, boldly projecting our core message of “No More! Revolution, Nothing Less!” and “Trump/Pence OUT NOW!”

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/belarus-staying-the-streets-en.html

Belarus: Staying in the Streets, Protesting a Hi-jacked Presidential Election

| revcom.us

 


August 18, 200,000 protest in Belarus.

Since 1994 Aleksandr G. Lukashenko has been president of Belarus, an Eastern European nation with a population of 9.5 million people. He is widely hated and many call him a “dictator.” He was up for re-election on August 9 and afterwards claimed victory, saying he had won 80 percent of the votes. But the “results” cited by Lukashenko are widely believed to be falsified. That night demonstrators took to the street and have stayed in the streets. August 22 marks two weeks of continuing protests demanding a new election and Lukashenko’s resignation. Forbes described the protests as “joyful, steadfast affairs, in which participants gather or march through the wide streets of the cities or in parks, chanting in unison.” There have been protests in urban, rural, and industrial areas and in just about all of Belarus’ major cities. The ones in the capital city of Minsk have been as large as 100,000 to 200,000. 

The government hoped by brutally coming down on the protests from the very beginning that this upsurge could “nipped in the bud.” The crackdown has been brutal – night after night, cops using tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets, batons, water cannons, live ammunition. There have been violent clashes with the police, thousands arrested, many injured, and reports of the death of at least three protesters. But in the face of all this the people have not been intimidated and have come back into the streets, night after night with even more determination. One news article said, “Shocked by violence, Belarusians lose their fear.” Those arrested have been subjected to overcrowded jails, the injured denied medical care, there have been reports of people being beaten and tortured. But the mass arrests and mistreatment of people in jail has not frightened or stopped people from protesting. In fact, this produced a new wave of demonstrations, with people’s resolve even stronger. 

The protesters are of all ages and from many walks of life. There are students, workers, professionals, people in the arts, and more. There have been processions of women wearing white, carrying roses. Workers have gone on strike and joined the protests. Staff at a TV station walked out and joined protesters. An international soccer player, Ilya Shkurin, announced he would not play until Lukashenko stepped down. One protester, Ilona Elyashevich who works for an urban development organization in Minsk said, "We are not afraid. The worst has already happened to us. We want a new government, a new president. We want clear and honest elections." Vlad Dobrovolsky, 28, a marketing professional with an IT company, has been bringing protesters water and food. Handing out supplies in front of a detention center he said the screaming of those being tortured inside was unbearable. A 24-year-old student and choir singer dressed in a traditional Belarusian national costume came out to sing to protesters as a sign of support. 

People have been chanting, "Get out! Get out! Get out!" And they are angry about many things, including how Lukashenko has dismissed the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic, and touted unscientific “cures” like vodka, tractor drives and sauna visits. Protesters have also developed other ways to protest – for example, taking to the streets in smaller groups and in broad daylight, and lining up along roadways chanting and holding signs. On Friday, August 2, after a meeting with the riot police, Lukashenko vowed to crush the protests, saying, “Believe me, in the coming days we’ll solve it.” The next day, the Guardian wrote, “Minsk still feels like a capital city in revolt, with gatherings of flower-waving women standing defiantly at intersections and the honking of horns by motorists providing a constant aural accompaniment.”

It is unclear what will happen now. But what can be said is that a hated ruler in Belarus has not been able to extend his rule with a fraudulent election without setting off massive and sustained protests demanding, GET OUT! GET OUT!

August 22, protests continue day and night. (Twitter: @BenFranklin2018)


Protests spread to factories and rural areas. Here MTZ factory in Minsk, August 18. (Photo: Screen grab @ThomasVLinge)

 

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So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/fascist-juggernaut-moves-forward-rapidly-and-aggressively-en.html

Fascist Juggernaut Moves Forward Rapidly and Aggressively

Operation Legend stormtroopers, new anti-abortion laws, sending thugs to polls, and more…

| revcom.us

 

The fascist Trump/Pence regime has been moving rapidly, aggressively, and in many dimensions to develop and implement fascism. Below are some measures taken or that came to light in the past week alone.

Detroit police attacked and arrested peaceful protesters, including a legal observer and a photographer. Protesters were demanding an end of Operation Legend. Detroit is among nine cities where dozens of ATF, DEA, and FBI agents have been deployed. (Photo: Adam J. Dewey) 

“Operation Legend”—Stormtroopers Rampage in Nine Cities: On August 19, U.S. Attorney General William Barr boasted that about 1,400 arrests had been made so far in “Operation Legend.” The core of OL is “surging” federal agents and resources into cities, where they stage large-scale raids and arrests with local pigs. Barr also said “unnecessary” quarantines ordered by local and state governments with Democratic Party leadership, along with “efforts … to demonize police and defund their work,” are causing “pent-up aggression” and a “bad year in crime.” Operation Legend, he said, is “at the heart of the federal government’s response to this upturn in violent crime.” The day after Barr spoke, Trump tweeted, “I STAND FOR LAW AND ORDER AND I TOOK ACTION!” Barr said that OL will continue, and Trump has vowed his regime can “go into all the cities.... We’re ready. We’ll put in 50,000, 60,000 people … they are strong, they’re tough, and we can solve these problems so fast.”

The government claims OL’s goal is to take “violent criminals” off the streets. In reality, OL is a ferocious leap in violent, police-state repression of Black and Brown communities, and a key component of the fascist regime’s effort to fully consolidate its form of rule, with unchallengeable power over both the masses and the regime’s ruling class opponents.

 


 

More here

 

Following Supreme Court Ruling, Arkansas Effectively Prohibits Abortion: On August 7, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated four laws that effectively prevent women in Arkansas from receiving a legal abortion. The court based its ruling on an opinion Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a case last June. At that time, many media reports claimed Roberts had “joined the court’s four liberal justices in rejecting a Louisiana law that restricted women’s access to abortion.” In fact, Roberts’ written opinion in that case provided what journalist Dahlia Lithwick called an “engraved invitation” to states to gut the right to abortion. And since Roberts’ opinion was “controlling,” it became the law of the land.

The 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in this country. Another ruling in 1992 placed some restrictions on abortion and also said that states couldn’t place an “undue burden” on women seeking abortion. Roberts’ opinion redefined “undue burden” to the point that it allows states to enact virtually any abortion restrictions short of straight-up outlawing it. For example, the Arkansas law includes the vile requirement that women impregnated as a result of a rape notify their rapists before terminating the pregnancy! The right to safe and legal abortion is fundamental for women to function as full human beings. Completely eliminating it is a cornerstone of the fascist program of the Trump/Pence regime, and a goal they are dangerously close to achieving.

 


 

More here

Trump Intensifies Attacks on Immigrants: Last week in Yuma, Arizona, Trump bellowed that if he doesn’t win the election, “really bad people … I mean murderers. I mean rapists” would “flood all across our border….” His regime also announced measures that will grind legal immigration “to a halt,” as an immigration policy expert put it. The New York Times reported that over 100,000 migrants have been “expelled” from the U.S. without any hearing since Trump enacted an “emergency measure” along the southern border in March. Among them have been hundreds of children and infants who are placed in a “shadow system of detention and swift expulsions.”

For Trump and his legions of racist followers, “Making America Great” means making it white, English-speaking, and Christian. For three years his regime has implemented repressive measures aimed at driving out immigrants already in the U.S. and preventing others from arriving. Among these measures: the “Muslim ban”; concentration camps for children; severe limits on the right to apply for asylum, and dozens more. Trump routinely mocks and insults people because of their nationality, inflaming and encouraging racists to attack and humiliate people they think look or speak differently. The fascist regime’s onslaught on immigrants is horrendous and has truly genocidal implications, and Trump has announced his intention to take this to even more monstrous levels.

 


 

***


Read more

 


 

The 14th Amendment reads: All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Trump’s Ominous “Birther” Accusations Against Kamala Harris: After Joe Biden named Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate, Trump “questioned” her eligibility. Harris was born in California; her parents were immigrants. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, begins, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States … are citizens of the United States…” But Trump picked up on and amplified a magazine article that argues, falsely, that if both parents are not citizens or permanent residents at the time of their child’s birth in the U.S., the child is not necessarily a citizen.

Trump began his attacks on birthright citizenship in 2015. He has claimed that “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment [to change birthright citizenship]. Guess what? You don’t.” In 2019, he said to reporters, “We’re looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship…. It’s frankly ridiculous.” Trump’s challenge to a longstanding tenet of constitutional law has deeply threatening implications. Trump is implying he could use his “executive powers” to revoke citizenship against a political opponent. He is also implying he could potentially do this as a foundation to launch ethnic cleansing campaigns against millions of people born in this country.

 


 


PEADS – Secret Framework for Total Authority: News items in the New York Times and CBS exposed enormous powers concentrated in the hands of the president. Documents called “Presidential Emergency Action Documents” (PEADS) provide a framework for implementing “extraordinary presidential authority in response to extraordinary situations.” PEADS have existed since the 1950s, but no PEAD has ever been declassified or leaked. Congressional oversight of PEADS is non-existent. The little that is known about PEADs comes from references to them in other documents. A 1987 newspaper report described a PEAD authorizing “suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the U.S. over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law….” The content of subsequent PEADs is unknown.

In March, Trump stated his “right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about.” He has already used executive powers to create his “Muslim ban,” threatened to end birthright citizenship by executive order, and said he may postpone the November elections. His attorney general belligerently insists that the president has virtually unlimited power. This is an extremely dangerous situation. As Bob Avakian wrote in his August 1 statement, the fascism the Trump/Pence regime is working to consolidate “is not just a matter of horrific policies but of a qualitatively different form of rule, based on brutal repression and violation of what are supposed to be the most basic rights.”

 


 

Trump would have you confront this when you go to vote. (Photo: Doug Brown, ACLU)

Sending Police and Thugs to the Polls: On August 20, when asked about his plan for poll watchers on election day, Trump replied, “We’re going to have everything. We’re going to have sheriffs, and we’re going to have law enforcement, and we’re going to have, hopefully, U.S. attorneys … and attorney generals.” He said “the only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged. Remember that.… And we can’t let that happen.” The Republicans also are organizing 50,000 goons to intimidate and threaten people, mainly Black and Latinx people, at polling places in 15 “battleground” states. Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s press secretary, when asked if Trump would accept election results if he doesn’t win, replied, “The president has always said he’ll see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath.”

What is shaping up around the November elections is a concentration of whether or not fascism in this country makes a leap in its further consolidation. Trump and the Republicans are mobilizing to suppress voters and the vote itself. They are declaring in advance that they will consider an electoral loss for Trump illegitimate, and threatening that police and thugs will be in the streets and at the polls to reject a Trump loss.

***

An Impending Disaster and an Urgent Challenge

The above is some of the damage done by the fascist Trump/Pence regime—in one week! The consequences to humanity and the planet if this regime remains in power worsen daily, and will be disastrous if it isn’t stopped.

As Bob Avakian wrote in his August 1 statement, “Right now, for everyone who is concerned with ending injustice and oppression, and with the question of whether humanity will have a future worth living—or will have a future at all—removing the Trump/Pence fascist regime from power is an immediate, urgent question and truly historic imperative.”

***

SOURCES

Operation Legend

Trump gambles on law-and-order strategy, TheHIll.com, 8/21/20

Trump: We could deploy 50,000-75,000 federal agents to cities facing increased violence, Washington Examiner, 7/24/20

Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Updates on Operation Legend at Press Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, US Dept. of Justice

Attorney General Barr: Operation LeGend ‘just getting started’ in Kansas City, 43 charged, KMBC News, 8/20/20

Barr says Operation Legend…, Washington Post, 8/19/20

Barr, federal authorities tout Operation Legend, AP, 8/19/20

With AG Barr in charge, Operation LeGend will continue until KC crime drops, he says, Fox 4 KC News, 8/19/20

 

Arkansas Abortion Ruling

John Roberts’ Stealth Attack on Abortion Rights Just Paid Off, Slate.com, 8/7/20

Roberts Sides With the Liberals, Again, NY Times, 6/30/20

Hopkins v. Jegley, Rewire.com

Courts are already cutting off…, Washington Post, 8/17/20

The court ruling reinstating Arkansas anti-abortion laws was even worse than you may already have thought, Arkansas Times, 8/10/20

John Roberts sides with liberals on Supreme Court to block controversial Louisiana abortion law, CNN, 6/29/20

 

“Birther” Accusations

Trump's Racist 'Birther' Attacks On Harris Are A Return To Familiar Territory, NPR, 8/15/20

Why the surge in racist misinformation about Kamala Harris is so worrisome, Vox.com, 8/15/20

Trump’s birthright citizenship…, Washington Post, 10/31/18

Trump targeting birthright citizenship with executive order, Axios.com, 10/30/18

Trump says he is seriously looking at ending birthright citizenship, Reuters, 8/21/19

 

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/louisiana-people-take-to-streets-after-pigs-murder-trayford-pellerin-en.html

As We Go to Press —

Lafayette, Louisiana: People Take to the Streets After Pigs Murder Trayford Pellerin

| revcom.us

 

Protesters took to the streets on Saturday, August 22, in Lafayette, Louisiana, one day after police fired 11 shots at close range into Trayford Pellerin, a 31-year-old Black man, outside a convenience store. The police had followed Pellerin half a mile on foot and justified the killing by claiming he had a knife.

The shooting of Pellerin was captured on video by a bystander and spread widely on social media. The video shows at least five cops opening fire for no reason. His mother said he suffered from anxiety related to social situations. His aunt said, “He was very quiet. He had a big heart.” The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana said in a statement, "Once again, video footage has captured a horrific and deadly incident of police violence against a Black person who was brutally killed in front of our eyes." He went on, “None of our communities are safe when the police can murder people with impunity or when routine encounters escalate into deadly shooting sprees."

After a community rally, people marched in the streets, blocking traffic and chanting, “No justice, no peace.” As the protesters approached a police precinct, police in riot gear fired smoke grenades into the crowd and made arrests.


One day after the murder people marched in the streets, blocking traffic and chanting, "No justice, no peace." Photo: @katie_gagliano

 

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/657/bob-avakian-capitalism-imperialism-the-suffocation-of-seven-billion-en.html

CAPITALISM-IMPERIALISM—THE SUFFOCATION OF SEVEN BILLION— AND THE PROFOUND NEED FOR A WORLD ON NEW FOUNDATIONS

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The rulers of this country, and those who represent their interests, are forever boasting about the supposed “freedom, initiative and creativity” that, according to them, the capitalist system (and only the capitalist system) makes possible, and the great wealth this has created for people in this country especially. And they continually slander communism as a repressive system where people have no freedom and their initiative and creativity is not encouraged and rewarded but stifled and suppressed. All this is fundamentally wrong and completely upside-down.

First of all, the wealth that these people boast about is extremely unevenly distributed, even within this country, where a very small percentage of the people control the great bulk of the wealth. But, beyond that and more essentially, this wealth rests on a foundation of unspeakable crimes against humanity, historically and right up to the present time. To begin with:

The USA is a country which established its territory and built the foundation of its wealth through the armed conquest of land, genocide, slavery, and ruthless exploitation of successive waves of immigrants to America.1

And today, “the wealth and power of the U.S. rests today on a worldwide system of imperialist exploitation”—an international network of sweatshops, mines and corporate-controlled farms—“that ensnares hundreds of millions, and ultimately billions, of people in conditions hardly better than those of slaves.”2

This system of capitalism-imperialism—a system resting on ruthless exploitation, and super-exploitation, of masses of people, and marked by the cut-throat competition between major capitalist enterprises and financial institutions, and rivalry between capitalist states—suffocates the freedom, initiative and creativity of billions of human beings (the great majority of the more than seven billion people on the earth) including the huge numbers of children who are slaving away at near-starvation wages, and the vast masses of people who have been uprooted from the countryside, throughout the Third World (of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia) and are crowded into swelling shantytown slums in rapidly expanding urban areas, where most can only survive by hustling in the “informal” economy, legal and illegal.

The freedom, creativity and initiative of literally billions of women is suffocated and suppressed, often with extreme brutality, under this system, with the patriarchal male supremacy that is built into it.

Tens of millions of people have died, and countries have been devastated, in wars directly waged by rival imperialists (such as World Wars 1 and 2), or wars in which they have backed contending local forces—all to gain (or maintain) control of strategic parts of the world, in the bloody pursuit of key natural resources, markets, and domination of populations whose desperation leaves them vulnerable to life-stealing exploitation.

Here is a “snapshot” of the ugly reality beneath all the grand talk about the “greatness” of this system of capitalism-imperialism:

we live in a world where large parts of humanity live in stark poverty, with 2.3 billion people lacking even rudimentary toilets or latrines and huge numbers suffering from preventable diseases, with millions of children dying every year from these diseases and from starvation, while 150 million children in the world are forced to engage in ruthlessly exploited child labor, and the whole world economy rests on a vast network of sweatshops, employing large numbers of women who are regularly subjected to sexual harassment and assault, a world where 65 million refugees have been displaced by war, poverty, persecution, and the effects of global warming.3

And the very future of humanity is seriously, and increasingly, endangered by this system with its accelerating destruction of the environment as well as its ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation.

Within the U.S. itself (this “richest of all countries”) tens of millions, especially in the inner cities, are living in conditions of severe deprivation, with many denied the opportunity to find work at a “living wage,” or denied the opportunity to be employed at all (in the regular “formal economy”) while they are also subjected to discrimination in education, housing, health care, and every other dimension of society—with all this enforced through continual police terror, punctuated repeatedly by outright murder.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has both highlighted and heightened the profound inequalities, in the world as a whole, and within this country, as people who were already bitterly oppressed and impoverished, and denied access to decent health care, have been hit hardest by this pandemic.

And, even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with its crushing effects on the livelihood of masses of people, tens of millions in this country who had been regularly employed were living paycheck-to-paycheck, striving to provide for loved ones and hoping to provide a better future for their children, with many saddled with huge debt and only a serious health crisis away from financial ruin, while their work created wealth for a capitalist (or capitalist corporation) dictating the conditions of work, treating people as cogs in a machine or in many cases the extension of a machine—whether on an assembly line or a computer—work that, in these conditions, can only be alienating and mind-numbing.

In these (and countless other) ways, this system crushes and deadens the human spirit as well as grinding away the life—or outright stealing the life—of billions of people in every part of the world.

Think of the tremendous waste—and outright destruction—of human potential that results from all this. All this is the consequence of the fact that the world, and the masses of humanity, are forced to live under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism

All this is the basis on which a relatively small part of the people within this country, and a very small part of humanity as whole, has the conditions and the “freedom” to develop and apply their initiative and creativity—only to have this serve, under this system, to reinforce the “lopsided,” highly unequal and profoundly oppressive conditions in the world as a whole and for the masses of people in the world.

And all this is completely unnecessary.

Revolution, the New Communism and the Unleashing of Human Potential

Even under these conditions imposed by this outmoded, monstrous system of capitalism-imperialism, creativity bursts through repeatedly in many different ways—and notably in music, literature and other expressions of art and culture—from every part of society and every part of the world, including among those most downpressed and despised by this system and its rulers. Think of how much greater this creativity could be—and all the ways it could be unleashed to meet the needs of the masses of people, materially as well as culturally—if the ways in which billions are chained down and suffocated by this system were shattered and cast off through revolution.

Through the decades of work I have carried out, drawing crucial lessons from the previous experience (positive but also negative) of the communist movement and a wide range of human experience, I have developed a more consistently scientific communist theory, the new communism, which provides the basis for leading this revolution: the methods and principles, and the strategy for carrying out this revolution and, in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and much better society, on an entirely new foundation—a radically different economic system (mode of production) based not on exploiting the masses of people but on unleashing their creativity and initiative to do away with exploitation and oppression of every kind.4 With this socialist mode of production the means of production (land, raw materials, machinery and other technology, factories and other physical structures, and so on) will be publicly owned (not privately owned by capitalist exploiters locked in chaotic and destructive competition and rivalry). This public ownership will make it possible to marshal and utilize the resources of society in a planned and flexible way, to meet people’s needs, both materially (for food, shelter, health care, and so on) and culturally and intellectually, in a continually expanding wayand to respond in a timely way to unforeseen developments and emergencies, while supporting the revolutionary struggle worldwide toward the goal of eliminating all exploitation and oppression everywhere with the achievement of communism throughout the world.

With this mode of production, people’s initiative and creativity will be encouraged and fostered, and there will be the basis for people to apply this initiative and creativity, in unprecedented ways, in the interests of the masses of people, and ultimately all of humanity: Everyone will be able to work and to acquire the basis for a decent life, while contributing to the development of society on the road to overcoming exploitation, inequality and oppression—contributing through their ideas as well as their work—without being forced into relentless competition with each other in order to survive, or striving to advance at the expense of others (a poisonous way of thinking that will be continually struggled against).

It is a fundamental understanding and principle of communism, which is given great emphasis in the new communism, that people are the most important productive force—not just as “producers” of the social wealth but also as conscious participants in the planning and overall development of the economy, not only for the benefit of the people in the particular country but most fundamentally to serve the revolutionary transformation of the entire world toward the goal of communism. And:

The development of the socialist economy has as its source and relies upon the initiative and work, intellectual as well as physical, of the masses of people, of the members of society broadly, in conditions which are increasingly freed from relations of exploitation, and with the aim of overcoming all vestiges and aspects of such relations, and the effects of such relations, not only in... [a particular socialist country] but everywhere on the earth.5

Along with, and fundamentally on the basis of, this radically different mode of production, there will be radically different political institutions and processes, and an ongoing struggle to transform the social relations which have embodied oppression, with the goal of abolishing and uprooting all relations of oppression as well as exploitation. There will be a radically different approach to education and culture—one which fosters and unleashes the scientific curiosity and artistic creativity of masses of people and “embraces” all this and enables it to contribute, “through many divergent paths, to the advance along a broad road toward the goal of communism.”6 There will be a radically different relation with the rest of the world—not exploiting and super-exploiting people around the world but supporting the struggle everywhere to throw off the rule of exploiters and oppressors and advance toward the goal of eliminating and uprooting all exploitation and oppression. And there will be a radically different relation with the environment—where human beings, instead of being chained to a system that plunders and destroys the rest of nature, are working together to be fit caretakers of the earth.

This will be a new society aiming for a whole new world, without the suffocation, suppression, and disfiguring of the potential for the masses of humanity to understand and change the world in accordance with what are in fact the fundamental interests of humanity—to live in a world where no part of humanity is subordinated to and dictated to by another part, and where all of humanity is no longer dictated to by the fundamental workings and dynamics of a system that requires antagonistic relations among people, enforced with the continual threat and use of massive violence, where the masses of humanity are no longer reduced to merely a means to make wealth for a small number who rule over them, or are cast off as “surplus” populations that can no longer be exploited in this way.

This new society and world will not be some kind of “utopia” where all problems and difficulties have “magically disappeared”—and it will not come as a “gift” from some non-existent god—but will be the result of the struggle of masses of people to cast off unbearable exploitation and oppression, and to transform themselves and their thinking in close inter-connection with this struggle to transform their conditions—struggle led by those who have taken up the scientific method and approach of the new communism and are winning growing numbers of people to themselves take up and apply this scientific method and approach to transforming the world in an increasingly conscious way on the basis of their voluntary initiative and cooperation.

All this will involve whole new dimensions of freedom, and unleashed initiative and creativity of the masses of humanity, on this whole new foundation, with radically different institutions and relations among people, and radically different ways of thinking that correspond to these emancipating relations among people.

 


1. From The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. Video of this speech by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us.  [back]

2. BAsics 1:4 (Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian). This statement by Bob Avakian is originally from Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, which is available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.  [back]

3. This is from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make RevolutionVideo and the text of this speech by Bob Avakian are available at revcom.us.  [back]

4. The strategy for revolution is spoken to in depth in the speech by Bob Avakian Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution (video and the text of which are available at revcom.us), and further thinking on this is contained in A Real Revolution—A Real Chance To Win, Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution (which is also available at revcom.us). The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is also available at revcom.us.  [back]

5. From Article I, Section 2, sub-section A2, page 19 of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. The principles and guidelines for the development of the socialist economy are more fully laid out in Article IV of this Constitution.  [back]

6. From the “Preamble” to the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.  [back]

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

Get Into BA »

See also:

Four Months Into the Global COVID-19 Health and Economic Crisis...
Notes on the Utter Cruelty and Obscene Irrationality of Capitalism-Imperialism

by Raymond Lotta

Read more

The New Communism

Click to read and download (PDF)

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

Click to read and download (PDF)

 

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Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/therevcoms

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/parasitism-and-class-social-recomposition-in-the-us-en.html

Parasitism and Class-Social Recomposition in the U.S. From the 1970s to Today: Introduction-Summary

by Raymond Lotta

| revcom.us

 

In Breakthroughs—The Historic Breakthrough by Marx and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, Bob Avakian writes that an increasingly globalized capitalism:

relies to a very great degree for production and for maintaining the rate of profit on a vast network of sweatshops, particularly in the Third World of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, while capitalist activity in the capitalist-imperialist “home countries” is increasingly in the realm of finance and financial speculation, and the “high end” of  (not the physical production of the basic physical materials for) high tech, as well as the service sector and the commercial sphere (including the growing role of online marketing). As Lenin phrased it, this puts the “seal of parasitism” on the whole of societies such as the U.S.

 In relation to that “seal of parasitism,” Bob Avakian posed two intertwined questions for research and grappling: Is there a definite and operative connection between heightened globalization and intensification of exploitation by imperialism, in particular U.S. imperialism, in the Third World (or “global South,” as it is often called) and the changing social and class composition of the U.S, as a defining expression of imperialist parasitism? The answer is yes.

This research paper is now posted at revcom.us. In what follows, I highlight some of the key findings and conclusions.

A profound transformation of the occupational structure and of the distribution of income in the U.S. has occurred over the last 45 years. This is bound up with important demographic shifts and changes, like a growing proportion of women, and proportionately more immigrants from the Third World, in the labor force. American society is very different than it was in 1970. How people enter into the economy, job prospects, living standards, the goods that people consume, declining social mobility, patterns of inequality—all this and more are part of the picture.

Different factors have been at work—but deeper imperialist penetration into the Third World, and fuller integration of the oppressed economies into the world-capitalist economy, has been decisive.

Parasitism is an important concept that V.I. Lenin, the great communist theorist and leader of the Russian Revolution of 1917, worked with extensively in his analyses of imperialism, the system that dominates the world. Parasitism refers to the ways in which the imperialist countries benefit from the superexploitation of labor—horrific conditions of employment with pay that is at bare subsistence or below-subsistence levels—in the poor countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The subjugation of the oppressed countries by imperialism not only distorts the economies and societies of the global South but also “reacts back” on the entire social structure of the imperialist countries. The profits, or “spoils,” of empire enable the imperialists to maintain a certain, relative social stability in the heartlands of empire in normal times. Parasitism results in the greater concentration of wealth among bourgeois-financial strata evermore divorced from organizing production.

Bob Avakian has further extended and applied this concept of “parasitism” to develop a deeper, a more scientific, understanding not only of defining economic features of the world imperialist economy today, but also ideological and cultural phenomena: like the “selfie” and “brand me” individualism rampant in America, and the aggressive chauvinism that sees America as the source of wealth and “good” in the world. People need to understand the material roots of the changes that have taken place in U.S. society. These changes have implications for revolution—for its bedrock and broader forces, and the potential for and obstacles to making revolution. And for understanding the highly parasitic society that the socialist-communist revolution must transform

In this light, Bob Avakian's New Year's Statement A New Year, The Urgent Need for a Radically New World—For the Emancipation of Humanity  is essential reading—to understand the dynamics that have led to the dire situation that humanity is now confronting and why revolution, guided by the new communism that Avakian has developed, is the only real alternative to this system of capitalism-imperialism with all its horrors.

Globalization, de-industrialization, and downsizing of the last few decades have not led to a “great leveling” in the U.S. Rather, this has contributed to an increasingly fractured, polarized, and “enclaved” society—not only racially but also in terms of different social groups. America is a society marked by extreme deprivation on the bottom...income and employment gains for “credentialed” professional-technical strata...the transfer of value produced by superexploited labor in the oppressed countries to the imperialist countries...and the extreme, grotesque upward redistribution to and concentration of wealth among a smaller fraction of society.

Here are more specific findings of the study:

*By the 2010s, 80 percent of global trade was flowing through global supply chains dominated and controlled by Western transnational corporations. These supply chains connect different units of production worldwide in the manufacture and transport of goods. They combine high-tech, 21st century coordination with 19th century sweatshop conditions. Women workers are a major share of the supply chain labor force, as in the garment factories of Sri Lanka. Think about it. Apple, the iconic emblem of so-called “American ingenuity,” would not exist without global commodity chains that require and thrive on brutally “efficient” assembly lines in China, where suicide was a form of work protest in the early 2010s. Think about it, Apple would not be the U.S.'s first 2 trillion dollar company without the 40,000 children who dig tunnels and haul rocks in the cobalt mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

*From 1970 to 2012, the share of developing nations in world exports of manufactured goods— like auto and plane parts, apparel and electronic devices—rose from 20 percent to 60 percent. Many of these exports become part of domestic production in the imperialist countries.

*In 1950, 34 percent of the world's industrial workers lived in “less developed regions”; in 1980 that share rose to 54 percent; and in 2010 it soared to 79 percent. This industrial-labor force shift has enhanced the profitability of imperialist capital and put downward pressure on wages worldwide.

*In the U.S. over the last 40 years, manufacturing employment (traditionally better paid and more stable) declined as a share of total U.S. employment: from 28 percent in 1960 to 8 percent in 2017. The loss of millions of manufacturing jobs over this period is very much connected to global outsourcing and sub-contracting, as in border factories in Mexico, and direct investment (U.S. companies opening auto factories in China). This decline in manufacturing employment, along with more output being produced by fewer workers, is also the result of technological transformation—like robotics, information technology, transport innovations, etc.—and corporate strategies of downsizing and “more efficient” modes of workplace organization. In 2010 China replaced the U.S. as the world's largest manufacturer (measured by output).

*Two or even three service jobs are often required to replace the income of one decent-paying manufacturing job.

*The disruptive and job-squeezing effects of “deindustrialization” have hit Black and Latino workers especially hard. Many African-American workers have become part of a “surplus” labor force—unemployed or underemployed. Many of the formerly incarcerated are locked out of the labor market or channeled into poverty-wage, irregular jobs.

*A major demographic change in the U.S. economy over the last 50 years is the further leap in women's participation in the labor force, including the professions. At the start of 2020, women were the majority (slightly over 50 percent) of employees in the U.S. This change has been driven both by economic necessity and political-social struggle. The “traditional” patriarchal household (married-couple family with children and a sole male breadwinner) no longer prevails. Yet shifting gender norms are colliding with the brutal reassertion of patriarchy, including pervasive sexual harassment and entrenched inequality.

*The vast increase of low-cost imported consumer goods based on superexploitation—high-productivity/low (often below subsistence) wage labor—in the oppressed countries has allowed prices to fall (the “Walmart price”) and cheapened the cost of labor-power in the U.S. These imports have also helped sustain mass-consumer purchasing power in the imperialist countries—even with advancing de-industrialization and downward pressure on wages and employment.

*The single largest employment category in the U.S. is retail.

*Heightened globalization has gone hand in hand with heightened financialization of the U.S. economy. By the early 1990s, the finance, insurance and real estate sector surpassed manufacturing as a share of the U.S. economy (GDP).

*Imperialist parasitism—superexploitation of the labor forces of the oppressed countries and plunder of raw materials—and fierce imperialist competition for markets has contributed to growing occupational polarization in the U.S. The U.S. economy requires engineers, money managers, and information technology workers...but it also needs cashiers, hospital orderlies, and low-paid logistics and delivery workers.

*Globally, an important trend is the expansion of non-standard or what is called “informal” work—non-regulated, low pay, and irregular (legal and illegal) employment. This is what rules in the burgeoning urban slums of the Third World, where well over 1 billion desperately struggle to survive. 

*In the U.S., 1 in 10 workers relies on “gig work” (freelance, contract, like Uber) as their primary income source.

*Heightened imperialist globalization has led to a significant increase in immigration (both official and undocumented) to the U.S. and other imperialist countries from the oppressed countries. Key sectors of the U.S. economy rely on immigrant labor for profitability—like construction, meatpacking, and crop farms—with workers subjected to cruel conditions of employment, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the system's edict to work and possibly die...or go hungry and homeless.

*A “brain drain” from the oppressed to the imperialist countries has severely impacted the impoverished countries—at the same that it has been a source of competitive advantage for U.S. imperialism. Seventy-one percent of tech employees in Silicon Valley in the mid-2010s were foreign born. Why did Silicon Valley end up in America? The answer is multidimensional, but the “brain drain,” especially from South Asia, is an essential factor.

*Slightly more than 1 in 4 doctors in the U.S. is foreign-born. Africa, which has the “greatest “disease burden” in the world, was losing on average 1 African-educated physician to the U.S. a day in 2015. Keep in mind that during the height of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, there was an average of 45 doctors per 100,000 in Nigeria—compared to 250 in the U.S. One in 10 nursing, psychiatric, and home-health aides comes from the Caribbean and Central America alone—while basic health needs go unmet in these countries.

*A trend towards pervasive and widening income inequality is a basic feature of the U.S. labor force: income inequality between college- and non-college educated, between highly skilled and lesser skilled, etc., and within professions. Upward mobility in the U.S. is almost entirely for the college-educated but almost entirely downward for non-college educated (still the majority of the labor force). 

*The traditional “blue-collar” middle class has shrunk, but the middle-class has not disappeared; rather, it has become more centered around higher-paid business and professional services.

*The labor force of the so-called “knowledge economy” (professional-financial-university/educational-information technology) is clustered in certain geographic areas, especially cities. So there are great regional divergences in income as well. This is linked with the role of cities like New York City and Los Angeles as parasitic financial-administrative-command centers of imperialist capital and empire. And with this has come the emergence of a new underclass of “urban servants” servicing “wealth workers.”

As stated at the start, the U.S. is a far more polarized, fractured, and segmented society than it was in 1970. Globalization and deindustrialization have not led to a “great leveling.”

Bob Avakian reveals the underlying reality of this capitalist-imperialist system:

This system crushes and deadens the human spirit as well as grinding away the life—or outright stealing the life—of billions of people in every part of the world.

Think of the tremendous waste—and outright destruction—of human potential that results from this. All this is the consequence of the fact that the world, and the masses of humanity, are forced to live under the dominance of this system of capitalism-imperialism. 

All this is the basis on which a relatively small part of the people within this country, and a very small part of humanity as a whole, has the conditions and “freedom” to develop and apply their initiative and creativity—only to have this serve, under this system, to reinforce the “lopsided,” highly unequal and profoundly oppressive conditions in the world as a whole and for the masses of people in the world.

And all of this is completely unnecessary

(Bob Avakian, CAPITALISM-IMPERIALISM—THE SUFFOCATION OF SEVEN BILLION—AND THE PROFOUND NEED FOR A WORLD ON NEW FOUNDATIONS)

 

See also:

CAPITALISM-IMPERIALISM—
THE SUFFOCATION OF SEVEN BILLION—
AND THE PROFOUND NEED FOR A WORLD ON NEW FOUNDATIONS

by Bob Avakian

Read more

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/657/bob-avakian-police-prisons-reformist-illusions-revolutionary-solution-en.html

POLICE AND PRISONS:
REFORMIST ILLUSIONS
AND THE REVOLUTIONARY SOLUTION

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

In the course of the beautiful uprising against institutionalized white supremacy and police terror, the notion of “defunding,” or even “dismantling,” the police—replacing the existing police with a different kind of force, and accompanying this with a focus on meeting the social needs of the people who are now the main target of police violence—has been put forward as a “solution.” But does this idea of changing institutions and shifting priorities and funding, within this same system, really represent a way to put an end to police brutality and murder, and at the same time overcome the conditions of discrimination and poverty that cause people to be caught up in continual violence—both the violence carried out by the police and the violence among the people themselves, and in particular the youth in the inner cities?

No. In reality, this idea (of “defunding” or “dismantling” the police and shifting priorities and funding) is something that will not, and cannot, solve the problems it claims to be addressing. It is something that will not, and cannot, happen under this system of capitalism-imperialism. It is actually a dangerous illusion—or delusion—which will lead people to being disarmed ideologically in a demoralizing dead-end. This is because of the fundamental nature, functioning and requirements of this system itself. To end police terror you have to put an end to the system that needs police terror.

Let’s get into why this is true.

The “Priorities” of This System Are Determined by the Basic Nature of the System

Thinking about this, I was reminded of the days of the mass movement against the U.S. imperialist war in Vietnam, when groups like the tired-out “Communist Party” (which in fact was not about real communism or actual revolution) would raise demands like “Money for Jobs, Not War!” It had to be pointed out then that the reason that the U.S. imperialists were waging war in Vietnam was the same reason that there were unemployed people in this country: both of these things flowed out of the basic nature, functioning and requirements of this system of capitalism-imperialism.

People were unemployed within this country because they could not be profitably employed—that is, exploited—by the capitalists who rule this country (or they could not be exploited profitably enough, given the compulsions these capitalists faced in cut-throat competition with other capitalists, not just within this country but on an international scale). It was more profitable, and conformed to the competitive compulsions of the capitalists, to introduce technology to replace many workers in this country, and at the same time to super-exploit people, at much lower wages, in other parts of the world (in particular the Third World of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia). And waging war in Vietnam was part of the same fundamental necessity of those who rule this system—in this case their need to control strategic parts of the world in order to maintain their dominant position in the world. For the capitalist-imperialist rulers of this country to have “shifted their priorities”—ending their war in Vietnam and using the money instead to create jobs for unemployed people in this country—would actually have gone against their fundamental needs and interests.1

And it is for the same basic reasons that, under this system, there will be no “dismantling” or real “defunding” (or changing of the essential role) of the police and no meaningful shifting of priorities and funds into the social needs of the people now violently targeted by the police.

The fact is that even the allocation of huge amounts of money for social programs in the inner cities could not overcome the desperate conditions of millions of people that has resulted from years, decades, generations and centuries of oppression, through slavery, segregation and ongoing discrimination. As I pointed out in Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System:

Despite what any politician (“liberal” or outright fascist like Trump) may say, there is no way that this system could “reverse itself,” bring large parts of industry back to the inner city and provide meaningful employment, with “a living wage” for all those it is now depriving of this. Even if the government had the “political will” to try to do this, doing so (with the employment of millions of formerly unemployed or “underemployed” people at a “living wage”) would seriously undermine the competitive positions of American capitalists in the global economy. And, if they attempted to do this while at the same time trying to seriously overcome the whole historically-evolved relations of white supremacy, this would completely disrupt the social “cohesion” that “holds this country together,” with white supremacy a crucial part of this.2

On the terms of this system, and from the point of view of its ruling class, to bring about the severe damage to the competitiveness of “American capital” and the massive “social upheaval” that would be caused by actually attempting to overcome the conditions of oppression and deprivation of masses of people in the inner cities of this country—and the inequality built into this—would be highly destructive and irrational. And that is why this will not happen under this system.

There Is Police Terror Because This System Needs Police Terror

Growing numbers of people have begun to get a basic sense that white supremacy has been built into this system in this country from its very founding. In a number of writings (and most recently in Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System), I have analyzed scientifically and in some depth why the oppression of Black people (as well as Latinos and Native Americans) cannot be abolished under this system, but is bound to continue, as a result of the “toxic mix” of racism and capitalism. And this is a major reason why the police cannot be either literally “dismantled” or fundamentally “reformed” to function without terrorizing, and outright murdering, masses of oppressed people.

But the ruling powers of this system need this kind of brutal police force not only to violently enforce racial oppression, as significant as that is. This system rests upon, and continually gives rise to, social divisions and conflicts—between masses of people and the ruling class, and among the masses of people themselves—conflicts which hold the potential for, and frequently erupt into violence and “chaos,” which in some circumstances can reach dimensions that threaten the “stability” of the system. So the capitalist ruling class requires a force of organized institutionalized violence—the police (as well as the military)—to contain and control these conflicts, and to forcibly suppress them when they erupt into violence and “chaos” that does immediately, or potentially, threaten the “established order.” Even with real, and in some ways sharp, differences among them, about some of the particulars of how this should be carried out, the entire ruling class is in fundamental agreement on the need for this, because once again it flows from and corresponds to the fundamental nature and requirements of this system.

A serious contradiction in this society—something which is the result of the “workings” of this system itself but at the same time does cause real problems for the system’s ruling class—is the fact that there are large numbers of people among the oppressed who have been effectively “locked out” of the regular “formal economy,” and for whom, in the conditions and on the terms of this system, crime seems like the only means to make a way in the world, or for some the only means of survival, even with all the risks it involves. A heartbreaking part of this is the fact that, in this situation, large numbers of oppressed youth in the inner cities are killing each other. These days especially, there are all these fascist asses braying about “Black-on-Black” crime. These racists are complete hypocrites: They care nothing about the horrors that the masses of Black people suffer, and they raise “Black-on-Black crime” only to distract attention from, or to justify, the police terror and murder against Black people—to convey the “message” that Black people are “a bunch of animals” who need to be kept in check, as violently as necessary, by police. But the reality is that Black people, and in particular the youth, killing each other is a very real and serious problem, and a cause of deep anguish for all those who genuinely want to see an end to this and to the conditions (and ways of thinking) that have given rise to this and keep it going.

The way forward out of this terrible situation is not unleashing even more terror against these youth by police (or the National Guard or the army!), or simply preaching at them to stop the violence, but winning growing numbers of them to become part of the revolution aiming to put an end to their oppressed conditions, and all oppression, by putting an end to this system.

But, of course, crime is not committed only by some people in the inner cities. Crimes, including violent crimes, are and will be a significant phenomenon and problem, in the society as a whole, so long as society is marked by relations of exploitation and oppression and the divisions and conflicts they give rise to—all reinforced by the ideology (the way of thinking) of “getting yours” and advancing your own interests at the expense of others, which is widely promoted throughout this society, from top to bottom.

And here is a heavy contradiction: In this kind of society, on the one hand, without the police crime would be an even greater problem, not just for the ruling class but for the society and the people overall; while, on the other hand, the police will be directed to “selectively” enforce the law, and to use the fact of crime as a “justification” for terrorizing whole sections of people, especially masses of Black people (and others) whose mere existence, in conditions of systematic discrimination, oppression and deprivation, is seen as posing a threat to the system. There is no way out of this under this system.

To sum up the essential point: So long as society is founded on relations that embody exploitation and oppression, and give rise to antagonistic conflicts and violence, including violent crime—so long, in other words, as this system of capitalism-imperialism continues to rule and set the terms for how society functions—there will be a police force that will use violence and terror to maintain the “order,” and enforce the conditions and relations, that conform to the basic nature and requirements of this system. No illusions or wishful thinking can change this reality.

And the same applies to the existence and role of prisons.

Under this system, prisons can never and will never be abolished, or play any fundamentally different role than what they do now: to exercise control and, yes, terror, over those (both those actually in prison and those for whom prison is a real and ever present possibility) who might pose a threat to the “orderly functioning of this system,” in one way or another—through “subversive political activity,” or “common crime,” or merely because their oppressed condition itself, and the likelihood that it will lead to rebellion, is seen as posing a potential threat to the system.

For these basic reasons, under this system, the politicians who get into, and remain in, the seats of power will never actually adopt policies that will have the police (or the prisons) do anything fundamentally different. Even if (or where) someone might be elected to office on a platform of “re-envisioning the role of the police” (or “prison abolition”) they will be frustrated, defeated and turned away from any attempts to implement changes that seriously threaten or undermine the basic functions of these institutions and forces of violent repression and control—whose role and “mission” is to maintain the rule and “order” of this system—whether in more blatantly extreme forms (as with the fascist program, represented by the Trump/Pence regime and the Republican Party) or with minor and ultimately meaningless reforms (as with the “mainstream” section of the ruling class, represented by the Democratic Party).

The reason politicians pushing such platforms are bound to fail is not simply that they would be outnumbered by “outdated” and “behind-the-times” representatives of the “old status quo.” More fundamentally, it is because this system could not function—it would “come unraveled,” or be torn apart, actually descending into destructive chaos—without these institutions (the police and prisons) performing these repressive functions, as viciously and violently as necessary.

This is a system which cannot be “pressured” to become other than what it is, just because some people, or even many people, would like it to. It can function only in accordance with its fundamental nature, requirements and dynamics. And, sooner or later (most often sooner), anyone who tries to have things work in a fundamentally different way under this system—in a way that runs counter to its basic nature and requirements—will be reminded, often forcefully, of the impossibility of this.

All this can be ended—not, however, under this system, but only through the revolution to abolish this whole system and bring a radically different and much better system into being.

Revolution: A Radically Different Society, Radically Different Public Security

As set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and emancipating society—in that new, socialist society there will still be a need for laws and institutions of public security (and armed forces), as well as prisons, because (in addition to the threats from remaining imperialist and other reactionary governments and forces in the world) there will still be contradictions within the socialist society itself that give rise to conflicts, including violent conflicts. Although “common crime” will no longer be a major social problem, it will not yet be possible to eliminate all such crime. There will be forces who will seek a return to the old society through violent means, and they will need to be defeated in this. But there will be no need for, and no tolerance for, police that trample on the rights of people and terrorize whole sections of the population—and, in fact, any such actions will themselves constitute a violation of the law, and will be punishable under the law. It will be a basic principle guiding the institutions of public defense and security that one of their main purposes is to safeguard the rights of the people in this new socialist society, including the right of people to dissent and protest. Even the right to oppose the new system and seek a return to the old, exploitative society will be protected, so long as this does not involve violence.

With regard to prisons, for the reasons referred to here (and spoken to more fully in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America), they will still be necessary for some time, in dealing with serious violations of the law. But prisons, too, will be radically different in this new society. Torture in any form, and cruel and unusual punishment of any kind, will be outlawed in dealing with people imprisoned (and in society as a whole). As this Constitution explains, the basic orientation with regard to people convicted of crimes and imprisoned will be to rehabilitate them, and to “release them and reintegrate them as productive members of the larger society, as soon as it may be possible to do so, in accordance with the judgment that this can be done without unacceptable risk and danger to society and the people, and where doing so would not be contrary to what is set forth in this Constitution.” And no one will be “kept in prison for a period longer than that provided for by law and through legal proceedings embodying due process of law.” Further:

To this end, education, in accordance with the principles set forth in this Constitution... including education in the communist worldview and values but also access to a wide variety of political and philosophical, scientific, literary and other works, expressing a diversity of views—shall be afforded prisoners, and they shall be provided with the means to engage in productive work which can make a contribution to society, under conditions which are not only humane but which conform to the general standards of work in society at large.3

Only with the advance to communism throughout the world—with the abolition and uprooting of all economic relations and social relations that contain elements of exploitation and oppression and give rise to antagonistic conflict, and with the revolutionary transformation of the culture, morality, and ways of thinking of the people—only then will it be possible to do away entirely with armed forces and institutions of public security as well as prisons. But, with the overthrow of the system of capitalist-imperialism, which is based on exploitation and oppression, it will be possible for these institutions to be radically different and to serve the process not of exploiting, oppressing and degrading people but of moving toward the goal of ending all exploitation, oppression and degradation.

If there is going to be a real dismantling of police that terrorize masses of people, this can only happen, and can only really lead to something positive, if it happens as part of the revolution that is needed. And, with this revolution, the institutions of organized repression and violence of this system (the police and the armed forces, as well as the prisons) will be replaced by new institutions which are led with a radically different outlook and are serving a radically different purpose and goal.

Does this mean that the only thing that can be done now is to wait for this revolution to somehow “magically” come about? NO. This revolution must be actively, consciously, scientifically worked for. And a big part of this is fighting back now against institutionalized white supremacy and police terror, as well as the other ways that this system oppresses, degrades, and slaughters masses of people, in every part of the world, while plundering the environment—building these struggles as powerfully as possible, linking them together on the basis of the recognition that they all have a common source in this system of capitalism-imperialism, and building up the basis to bring down this system through an actual revolution.

Working for this revolution—working now to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, For Revolutionthis is what is urgently needed. This means:

strengthening the resistance and rebellion of masses of people against the outrages and injustices of this system, while waging struggle to win people to the emancipating outlook, methods, goals, and morality of this revolution, based on the scientific understanding that only the overthrow, the defeat and dismantling, of this whole system, and all its oppressive and repressive institutions, can finally put an end to all these injustices and outrages;

organizing growing numbers of people into the ranks of the revolution on this basis;

moving to make the “political terrain” and the thinking of masses of people more favorable for revolution, in order to “hasten” the development of things toward the situation where this revolution becomes possible, and building up the organized revolutionary forces that will be capable of seizing on that situation.

This is what we revcoms are dedicated and determined to do, now and going forward.

In this we base ourselves on the new communism, which has further developed communism as a consistently scientific outlook, method and approach, program, strategy and guide to action, bringing alive the need, the possibility, and the means and goals of this revolution, whose ultimate aim is the emancipation of all humanity from every form of exploitation and oppression with the achievement of communism throughout the world.4

This is what everyone who really wants to see an end to institutionalized white supremacy and police terror, and all oppressive relations, needs to become actively involved in, now—casting off illusions and working for revolution.

 


1. The U.S. imperialists were eventually forced to withdraw from Vietnam, because they were unable to achieve their objective of defeating the Vietnamese liberation fighters and subjecting Vietnam to U.S. domination, and a “consensus” finally developed, among the political representatives of this system, that it was best to “cut their losses” in Vietnam before this fundamentally undermined and threatened their position in the world overall—and within the U.S. itself, where there was massive opposition to the war and militant protest and rebellion against the oppression of Black people and other outrages perpetrated by this system, a radicalization that reached right into the U.S. imperialist armed forces themselves. But neither this withdrawal from Vietnam, nor later the “victory” of U.S. (and allied) imperialists in the “cold war,” with the unraveling of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s—none of this produced the “peace dividend” (government spending for social programs, etc.) that various reformists had declared could be the result of ending these (“cold” and “hot”) wars. Why this did not happen is once again because of the basic nature, functioning and requirements of this system of capitalism-imperialism.  [back]

2. This article by Bob Avakian (Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System) is available at revcom.us.  [back]

3. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is available at revcom.us. The passages from this Constitution quoted (or referred to) are from Article III, “Rights of the People and the Struggle to Uproot All Exploitation and Oppression,” Section 2, “Legal and Civil Rights and Liberties.”  [back]

4. The substance of the new communism, brought forward by Bob Avakian (BA), is contained in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us. This includes BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution. Along with the sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different society in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, the strategy for the revolution leading to this radically new society is spelled out in BA’s speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution (the text and video of which are available at revcom.us), and is spoken to in more recent writings by Bob Avakian, in particular A Real Revolution—A Real Chance to Win, Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution, which is also available at revcom.us. As the title suggests, a basic summary of the new communism, and its relation to the communism founded by Karl Marx, is found in BA’s work Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary (which is also available at revcom.us); and there is a fuller presentation of the new communism in the book by BA, The New Communism, The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation (Insight Press, 2016).  [back]

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

Get Into BA »

See also:

RACIAL OPPRESSION CAN BE ENDED—BUT NOT UNDER THIS SYSTEM

Read more

 

 

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

Click to read and download (PDF)

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/651/it-takes-science-and-leadership-to-truly-get-free-en.html

To Those Rising Up and Awakening:
It Takes Science and Leadership to Truly Get Free

| revcom.us

 

This is written especially to those who have been righteously standing up and fighting back against murder by police and the oppression of Black people more generally, and to all those who have taken heart and inspiration from this, who are newly encountering the Revolution. Welcome! We stand side by side with you in this struggle and unite with your outrage and fury against centuries of oppression that truly must be NO MORE. This outpouring of resistance must continue and it must grow. People must stay in the streets, and this upsurge must get bigger, broader, deeper, and even more determined. At the same time, the big question that now presents itself—one that literally millions of people are asking—is: What will it take to truly put an end to police brutality, murder by police, and the oppression of Black people, once and for all?

The answer is that it will take far more than just people staying in the streets and fighting back, as critically important as that is. And this oppression can never be ended by trying to make a few reforms to a system that is completely rotten to its core. As with any big problem—whether a natural disease like COVID-19 or a social disease like racial oppression—solving that problem will take a deep understanding of the cause of that problem and the solution to it. In other words: It will take science. And it will take leadership. So let’s talk about what science and leadership have to do with changing the world.

Many people hear “science” and think biology and ecology; climate change and the environment; chemistry and physics; labs and microscopes; medicine, technology and new inventions. All of these are very important examples of—or closely related to—science. But for some reason, many people don’t think you need science to understand and change human society as a whole, or even that you can apply science for this purpose. This makes absolutely no sense. Science means investigating reality, gathering evidence, analyzing that evidence, identifying patterns, and drawing conclusions about reality on that basis. Why would it possibly be that this scientific method can’t or shouldn’t be applied to understanding and changing society? Because human society is complicated? All the more reason you need science to understand it!

Many people hear “leadership” and think of an activist with a bullhorn or a person leading a protest. These can be important and necessary examples of leadership, but leadership in the most important sense is something much bigger than that: Leadership in that sense is a matter of identifying and leading others to see the most fundamental problems confronting humanity and the solutions to those problems. Leadership is a matter of saying “Here’s why we’re in this situation and here’s how we can get out of it.

In Bob Avakian (BA), we have the science, the leadership, and the understanding of problem and solution we need to not only emancipate Black people but all of humanity from centuries of oppression. Sound like a bold statement? GOOD. It’s meant to be. And it’s backed up with more than 50 years of substance.

BA came forward as a revolutionary in the 1960s, working and struggling alongside the Black Panthers. In the decades since he has been working tirelessly on bringing forward and continuing to develop the deep, scientific understanding of the need to NOT reform but rather overthrow and completely sweep away this system through an actual revolution; the strategy for bringing into being the conditions necessary to make that revolution and win in those conditions; and the vision for a completely new and radically different system, society, and world. Underlying all of this is BA’s scientific method, which he continues to apply to the biggest questions facing humanity while leading a movement for revolution. A deep understanding of and visceral hatred for the oppression of Black people and the ways that Black people suffer, and a burning desire to see Black people free of this oppression, is at the core of BA and everything he is about, and is a constant thread that runs through his life and work over decades.

People throughout society and throughout the world need to know about BA. Thousands now and ultimately millions need to follow him in order to make an actual revolution to get free of this monstrous system and bring a far better society, world, and future into being.

See for yourself. Start with BA’s powerful new statement, “NOTHING LESS!Read it and spread it to everyone you know. Go to revcom.us to see the latest articles from BA on an incredibly broad range of topics related to revolution and radically changing the world, and learn more about and find out how to get involved in the revolution BA is leading. Check out BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution, and the film Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Could Really Make Revolution. Go to the BA portal to get deeper into his extensive works. Learn more as you get involved in spreading this throughout society. Write to us to find out how you can specifically learn more and get involved. Write to us with your questions and let us know what’s on your mind.

One last thing: Make no mistake—hell yes, this is controversial. Once again, we say: GOOD. Think about this: Could there ever be a genuine movement for an actual revolution that didn’t offend anyone or make them uncomfortable!? There are all kinds of people out there who might talk a big game but are scared of an actual revolution, who want to get in on this system and try to get a better deal for themselves, or who just plain don’t know what they’re talking about. There are people who would have you believe that if the skin color of a person who has a way out for humanity is white, you shouldn’t listen to that person. Needless to say, these people are not going to like BA and what he stands for. And they’re going to come up with all kinds of lies, cheap shots, and slander to attack BA and cover their own asses. This kind of behavior is despicable, it is very harmful and it must be taken seriously and fought against. But it is not at all surprising.

So let’s end with a question back to you: Are you going to listen to lies and bullshit from the mouths of people who—in one form or another—want to keep the world basically the way it is? Or will you have the courage, integrity, and intellectual honesty to go directly to the source, get into BA, and see for yourself? Just how badly do you want to end oppression, change the world, and get free once and for all?

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

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

Read more         

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/646/bob-avakian-on-emancipation-from-mental-slavery-all-oppression-en.html

Bob Avakian On
EMANCIPATION
FROM MENTAL SLAVERY AND ALL OPPRESSION

| revcom.us

 

In 1863, mid-way in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln finally issued the Emancipation Proclamation and, as a result of the Civil War, Black people were formally freed from literal, physical slavery. But today the question is: When, and how, will Black people finally be free from all forms of slavery and oppression? And this poses straight-up this big question:

When will Black people finally emancipate themselves from the mental slavery of religion?!

We have seen the possibility of a world without oppression powerfully expressed in the not-too-distant past, during the radical upsurge that took place within this country and throughout the world during the 1960s and early 1970s.1 Within this country, the struggle of Black people was at the forefront of all this, and as that struggle became more radical in opposition to the system itself, and groups like the Black Panther Party, driven by the impatience and daring of Black youth, grew and gained influence, the advanced role of the struggle for Black liberation exerted an even more powerful positive role. And, as a very significant part of the widely and strongly held conviction that it was not only necessary but possible to put an end to the nightmare that had been endured for so long:

among Black people—who we’re always told are just sort of inherently religious—there was a massive turning away from religion, especially among the youth. Why? Because people were filled with hope, they didn’t believe that there was no hope for a better world. They were full of hope for a better world right in this world. And so, among Black people, there was, on the part of the youth in particular, a major turning away from religion and from all the old conventions that went along with religion that were conservatizing influences holding down the people.2

Hard Truths, Emancipating Truths

But the great promise of the 1960s radical upsurge, and the hopes that it raised, were not realized—fundamentally because things did not go all the way to an actual revolution. And, over the decades since then, through conscious policy by the ruling powers to foster the growth of more bourgeois and petit bourgeois strata among Black people, while at the same time maintaining and containing the masses of Black people in conditions of deprivation, oppression and vicious repression, this bitter reality has resulted:

Among the basic masses of people, including Black people (not the more middle class strata being developed through conscious ruling class policy, but the masses of oppressed people), there was a tremendous amount of demoralization and sense of defeat, and the introduction (including through deliberate ruling class policy and action) of massive amounts of drugs further intensified the desperate conditions of the basic masses and further reinforced the sense of demoralization. A lot of people were dying or being reduced to broken wretches on the basis of turning to drugs out of despair—the lack of hope, or the death, in immediate terms, of the hope that inspired so many people, on a real basis, through the course of the 1960s upsurge, which had now ebbed and been transformed. And this situation was made even more desperate and demoralizing with the growth of gangs in the ghettos and barrios of this country (as well as internationally), with youth drawn to the gangs in conditions of increasing deprivation and desperation and what was for most the illusion of getting rich, with the orientation of “get rich or die trying,” fueled by the growth of the drug trade and the influence of the putrid culture promoted throughout society that fostered and extolled the exploitation and degradation of others as the means for making it big, whether on Wall Street and on the world stage, or on the streets in the neighborhoods of the inner city.3

In the face of all this, amidst a feeling of fatalistic hopelessness, there has been, on the part of large numbers of Black people, a retreat into religion. It is often claimed that religion is what has allowed Black people to endure and persevere through all the trials and tribulations—the very real horrors—they have been subjected to throughout their experience in America, and that this remains the case now. But this is a logic of defeat—it rests on the underlying assumption (spoken or unspoken) that the system will basically remain as it has been, and that Black people will continue to be despised and discriminated against, persecuted, brutalized and terrorized, and the best they can hope for is to somehow survive, and strive to thrive, through all this—or, if you suffer in this life but you “get right with the Lord,” or submit to Allah, you will be rewarded in some “next life.”

Once more, the question is sharply posed: How can Black people be finally and fully emancipated from centuries of oppression, and how does this relate to ending all oppression, of all people, everywhere?

The answer is that the possibility of this is real, but it can happen only on the basis of a scientific approach to changing the world and the scientifically-grounded understanding that this oppression is rooted in and caused by the system of capitalism-imperialism—the same system that is viciously exploiting and murderously oppressing people not just in this country but all over the world and is plundering the natural environmentand that this system must and can be overthrown through an actual revolution and replaced by a radically different and far better system: socialism, whose final goal is a communist world, without any oppression or exploitation of anyone, anywhere.

As I have put it, expressing a simple and basic truth: “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—ormake revolution!”4

And, in relation to this, I have also spoken to this profound truth:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.5

But here is another way that, in fundamental terms, there are two choices: either cling to the mental slavery of religion and remain oppressed, or cast off the mental chains of religion while rising up to fight with a real chance to get finally and fully free, in putting an end to all oppression and exploitation.

Religion may seem to give people comfort in the face of the oppression and anguish they are forced to endure, or to make people feel that with religion they can keep from “doing wrong”—or, even though they may “do wrong,” they still have some worth. And it is true that, for some people, their religious views are a motivation to fight against various forms of oppression, and many people who approach things from a religious standpoint have insights and knowledge that it is important to know about and learn from. But it is also true that, as a way of thinking and a guide to acting, religion relies on the invention of supernatural beings that do not exist but which are said to ultimately shape and control reality, including the fate of human beings. Religion calls on people to submit to those imaginary supernatural beings (or, to very human authorities speaking in the name of those imaginary supernatural beings) and to follow scriptures that in reality do not lead to ending oppression but actually promote and reinforce all kinds of degradation and horror. (This is something I have illustrated very concretely in the book Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, particularly with regard to the three main monotheistic [one-god] religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.6) In this way religion stands in direct opposition to taking up a consistently scientific approach to understanding reality and waging a scientifically-grounded fight to end all oppression.

This is why the powers-that-be, whose very existence, wealth and power rest on oppression and exploitation, continually promote religion. It is why the very same slavemasters who prohibited Black people from learning to read (and severely punished those who did) actively encouraged their slaves to take up religion and get down on their knees in prayer. And it is why today, the ruling powers in this country are only too willing to provide a platform for, and parade around, any Black people who are inclined to engage in passionate “god-talk.” This may be painful to hear, but the question is: is it true, or not? Think about it.

It is neither possible nor principled—and no one should ever try—to force people to give up beliefs they hold at any given time. In the most fundamental terms, emancipation—from every form of slavery and oppression—must be the voluntary and conscious act of people. But there is a great need and importance to waging ideological struggle, in a principled way but as sharply as necessary, to win people to take up a scientific approach to understanding, and changing, the world and break with ways of thinking that actually contribute to keeping them, and others, oppressed.

Again, it is true that many religious people take part now in important struggles against oppression; and it is also true that many religious people will be among the millions taking part in the revolution to do away with this whole oppressive system. But this revolution, and the continuing struggle to end all oppression and bring about real and complete emancipation, must be led by those, among the most oppressed, and others as well, who have taken up a scientific approach to changing the world and have cast off the mental slavery of religion, along with every other way of thinking that promotes, or at least rationalizes and objectively justifies, oppression.

A bitter truth is this:

Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.7

But, an even greater, emancipating truth is this:

The notion of a god, or gods, was created by humanity, in its infancy, out of ignorance. This has been perpetuated by ruling classes, for thousands of years since then, to serve their interests in exploiting and dominating the majority of people and keeping them enslaved to ignorance and irrationality.

Bringing about a new, and far better, world and future for humanity means overthrowing such exploiting classes and breaking free of and leaving behind forever such enslaving ignorance and irrationality.8

 


1. In HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASISBreaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism (available at revcom.us), Bob Avakian speaks to this major change taking place during the 1960s:

In the 1960s, masses of people all over the world, including in this country, were filled with hope and determination about the prospect of bringing into being a radically different and better world. Throughout the Third World, there were liberation struggles aimed at throwing off the yoke of colonial oppression that had been imposed on them for decades, generations and even centuries. And in the imperialist countries themselves—including, in particular, the U.S.—the generation that came of age in the 1960s had both the understanding of the need and a real belief in the possibility of bringing a radically different and better world into being, and was not interested in hearing all the arguments about why things had to be the way they are.  [back]

2. HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS.

In Bob Avakian Responds to Mark Rudd on the Lessons of the 1960s and the Need for an Actual Revolution (available at revcom.us), this point is emphasized:

in moving from the limitations of the civil rights movement to the more advanced position of demanding Black liberation and linking this with liberation struggles in the Third World, those Black revolutionaries exerted a powerful positive force in influencing the movements of those times, including among educated youth, toward a more revolutionary orientation, even as that orientation was (in the parlance of those times) a “mixed bag,” involving a complex of conflicting tendencies, including the revolutionary communism that was coming from China as well as various revolutionary nationalist and other contradictory trends.  [back]

3. HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS.  [back]

4. In the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, from which this quote is drawn, Bob Avakian speaks to those crucial questions. The text and video of this speech are available at revcom.us. And in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, (available at revcom.us) there is a sweeping vision and a concrete blueprint for a socialist society aiming for the final goal of communism throughout the world.  [back]

5. This statement, along with other works by Bob Avakian speaking to the oppression of Black people and the road to their full emancipation, is available at revcom.us.  [back]

6. Bob Avakian, Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, Insight Press, 2008.  [back]

7. BAsics 4:1 (BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian).  [back]

8. BAsics 4:17, emphasis added.  [back]

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/661/september-5-beginning-60-days-of-struggle-trump-pence-outnow-en.html

September 5, 2020...
beginning 60 days of struggle to demand:
Trump/Pence OUTNOW!

| revcom.us

 

To state the situation we face truthfully and simply:  

The future depends on you being on a mission now to move heaven and earth to arouse and organize people to take to the streets and prepare to stay in the streets to demand the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime Must Go Now!

Take the time now to sit, read, and think about two different visions of the next 75-plus days. Consider where one or the other vision leads. Then decide where you stand and what you will do.

One: The Trump/Pence regime wins the election, steals the election, and/or refuses to leave office, and the people like you who oppose this have not been mobilizing, organizing, and already coalescing into the streets and as a force demanding that this fascist regime is illegitimate and must go now.   

Two: From now through September and October, more and more people from all walks of life and different political persuasions are on a mission to spread the word and organize so that masses of people are repeatedly taking to and staying in the streets—in the way millions did in response to the wanton racist police murder of George Floyd—raising the unifying demand and objective: TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!.  

Bob Avakian, in his statement On The Immediate Critical Situation, The Urgent Need To Drive Out The Fascist Trump/Pence Regime, Voting In This Election, And The Fundamental Need For Revolution, plainly and sharply lays out the stakes of the coming period:

If this regime is able to further consolidate its power and make further leaps in implementing its horrific objectives, this will result in a devastating setback for any attempt to resist injustice and oppression, and will very likely lead to the brutal repression, and even annihilation, of defenders of democratic rights and proponents of any meaningful progressive reforms, as well as any organized forces fighting for fundamental revolutionary change.

He goes on to say:

Simply relying on voting to oust this regime will almost certainly lead to very bad, even disastrous results.

The stakes are devastating setback, brutal repression, even annihilation. Is this true? Is it hyperbole?   Ask the immigrants in concentration camps. Ask the paramilitary fascist forces mobilized by the regime and the police unions around the country, or Trump’s fascist MAGA mobs who refuse to wear masks, what they are preparing for. The truth of these stakes is concisely made in Bob Avakian’s statement (cited above) and amply documented on this website1 and on the website RefuseFascism.org. If you think this is exaggeration, make your case—you can write us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com. But, do not turn away without a full confrontation and reckoning.

What is mainly happening now is vision #1—waiting. What needs to happen now,is #2.

Trump has said that if he loses, he will declare it to be a fraud and theft. Fox News will echo this, enraging and mobilizing millions of MAGA forces. Trump has told and shown that he is already subverting the U.S. Postal Service so millions of people can’t vote by mail, and he has called for recruiting cops and former Navy Seals and Special Forces to “watch [i.e.: intimidate at] the voting polls.”

Organizations, writers, and even former military are sounding the warning of this subversion,2 but thus far these people are saying we will do something if and when he does this at election time. This is as dangerous as it is foolish. 

Four points:

[1] The Trump/Pence regime is already fascist3 and has implemented fascist measure after fascist measure and is already stealing the election at the national and state levels. Every move towards doing so should be opposed in the course of building an overall struggle that raises the overarching demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go Now!

[2] The logic of protesting only once they have fully stolen the election and/or refused to leave office is the logic of playing by the rules, and defending the very norms and institutions they are now in the process of, and by then may have succeeded in, obliterating.

[3] They have their forces out in the streets and being hardened within the government and sections of their armed forces already. They are gaining strength and initiative on their side and intimidating the people’s side. Trump sent paramilitary forces to cities like Portland and Seattle to brutally crush legitimate dissent and has launched plans to go into the big inner cities like Chicago.4 The MAGA fascists have been holding armed rallies around the country. This could contribute to the regime actually “winning” the election “legitimately.” If this happens, and we do not have an aroused and mobilized people in the streets, where will we be and what will you do then?5

[4] The last point is that there is another way: for you and hundreds and thousands more to be on a mission now to spread the word far and wide and organize like the future depends on it for September 5th—a day that launches an autumn of growing mass nonviolent struggle of many different kinds to demand the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

We should spread a vision of what could be possible if we mobilize and unite now for September 5th and then be on mission to make it so.

In the struggle around the murder of George Floyd we saw what is possible when a determined people come into the streets over and over around a just cause. The struggle of the masses of people ripped open the reality of this country’s white supremacy as statues were torn down and institutions everywhere were forced to begin to confront their roots in slavery and its continuing legacy in discrimination, bigotry, police murder, mass incarceration, and shortened lives of Black people. The head of the U.S. military was forced to apologize to the people in opposition to his commander in chief, Pig Trump.

We are at a “stop everything” moment in history. September 5th needs to be a significant outpouring inspiring 60 days of struggle. If every attempt by the regime to subvert the election, to further repress protest, to implement new fascist measures is met with growing numbers demanding Trump/Pence OUT NOW! we could force a different political equation going into the election, constraining Trump’s ability to easily postpone or subvert the election.

If masses of people are already in the streets over the 60 days running up to the election and then the regime attempts to discount, challenge, or dismiss the results, we would be a people organized and mobilized to act in defiance that this not go down. And, if we launch this struggle and increasingly tap into and mobilize the deeply held desire of millions to see the ouster of the fascist Trump/Pence regime, no one can say how far this can go or how fast.

This has to be our vision-mission: a vision of broad, deep, and determined resistance, and the mission that we must all be on—from many different viewpoints—united and acting in sustained nonviolent protest demanding that this regime must go.

We don’t have a crystal ball to predict just how these events will unfold, but we can, with a great deal of certitude, say that this is already a highly contested period with confrontations already afoot. That is not going away without an organized, mobilized opposing force. Trump and Pence, the fascist forces that back them, and the virulent fascist base they have mobilized are not going away without a mass, determined struggle. It is on each and all of us to make September 5th a broad-based united day launching 60 days of struggle before the election.

 


1. See "Trump/Pence Regime Accelerates Fascist Juggernaut" at revcom.us.  [back]

2. See "This Presidential Election A ‘Dozen Floridas,’ a ‘Vast Array’ of Lawsuits, a ‘Lot of Mischief’...." at revcom.us.  [back]

3. The following definition of fascism appears frequently at revcom.us:

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]

4. See "Operation Legend: A Fascist Wolf in Pig’s Clothing, Part 1" at revcom.us.  [back]

5. Trump/Pence will invoke a second term as a mandate to go on a rampage. Look at the fascistic ruler of India in his second term, who on the heels of his reelection put an entire region of the country (Kashmir) under brutal martial law, and initiated a process that threatens the citizenship of tens of millions of non-Hindu people in India.  [back]

See also:

Bob Avakian on: The Need to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime and the Fundamental Need for Revolution

Videos and articles

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

Stay in the streets in August Build for UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTEST Saturday September 5 DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

September 5 Events by City:


Refuse Fascism, Philadelphia.

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.

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/658/support-members-of-the-national-revolution-tour-in-portland-en.html

Donate to Support the Members of the National Revolution Tour Now in Portland

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Some members of the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour are now in Portland. We received this first report from them—and we call on readers to respond to their call for donations and support.

We are here because we were inspired by the courageous people who have stood up against the fascist Trump/Pence regime’s deployment of federal pigs into Portland. We share the outrage and horror of the implications of what is promised by Trump—this being just the beginning of a heavier deployment of federal agents suppressing opposition and violating constitutional rights here and around the country. The Trump/Pence regime is attempting to make a disastrous leap forward in the consolidation of fascism, abducting protestors off the street, violently assaulting people with physical force, tear gas and “less than lethal” munitions. They are out to crush all dissent and opposition to the fascist program of white supremacy, male supremacy & Christian fundamentalism embodied in Trump's platform of making Amerikkka great. A serious struggle for the future is underway. The opposition to this fascist clampdown must immediately grow in size and strength, and thousands now must be brought into the ranks of the revolution as a part of this struggle to prepare to put an end to the system that commits atrocities against humanity and that gives rise to fascism through it’s normal working.

The Tour needs your support to join the struggle against fascism in Portland, Oregon and to organize and actively recruit the forces needed, taking up the revolutionary strategy and theory of the new communism to prepare for and hasten a revolutionary situation, preparing the ground, the people and the vanguard to lead an all-out struggle when those conditions have been brought into being. You can make this possible by donating to support the work of the Tour members here. We need funding for travel, housing, food, organizational material including literature, pamphlets, t-shirts, banners, etc. Donate to support the effort to build and grow this revolution. We need to raise $2,000 to sustain the Tour for one week. This includes the expenses listed above. You can donate on Venmo @RevolutionTour and on Paypal at Revcom.us.

We got here yesterday and joined the protest in front of the federal building. We, like many others, were inspired by the courageous actions of the protesters in coming back in the face of ugly repression. “We are at a crossroads” is a serious sentiment throughout the resistance of those on the ground in Portland. One woman we spoke with commented, “I feel there is a real need to continue the resistance to these federal agents here. I feel like people are looking to Portland as an example and we can’t let them get away with this.” She was underlining the seriousness of the fascist moves by the Trump/Pence regime. She and many others were sparked to come out in protest after being horrified at the sight of people being kidnapped by men in army fatigues, Trump’s gestapo. Fascism has become more widely recognized and called that by name. People come out in helmets with gas masks, some have body armor-like vests. People were passing out homemade shields, and the press looked fully suited for a war zone. “This is how we dress to protest police brutality, this is what is necessary and it’s sick,” said one protester we spoke with.

People have stood up time and time again against the crimes of their government only to have their anger & justified outrage funneled back into the very same system that produced it in the first place. To see an end to this system and get beyond the revolting barbarity it produces, we need a revolution—nothing less. As a part of this growing struggle in Portland and nationwide, there is a real urgency to organize thousands of people now, to lead a revolution to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time. The system that gave rise to fascism to begin with is the system of capitalism-imperialism that has no future for humanity. We have the tools for such a revolution in the work that Bob Avakian has done, developed in the new communism. People have the hope and fire to struggle for a better world, but not enough people know what it will take to put an end to the unnecessary suffering brought about by this system. Not enough people have the scientific understanding and strategy of the new communism. That has to change. You can be a part of this revolution by supporting the revolutionary work of the Tour members. Donate and share this call widely to grow this much needed revolution.


On day of arrival to #Portland, The National Revolution Tour makes this statement signed by many people in #LosAngeles. Photo: AP

Donate now to support the members of the National Revolution Tour in Portland:

Venmo: @RevolutionTour

PayPal: CLICK HERE

 

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Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/kenosha-wisconsin-pigs-shoot-jacob-blake-in-the-back-en.html

Kenosha, Wisconsin, Pigs Shoot Jacob Blake IN THE BACK

| revcom.us

 

It’s happened AGAIN. This time in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a city of 100,000 people. Sunday night, August 23, the pigs shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, multiple times in the back.

Neighbors said Blake had stopped at a friend’s apartment, carrying gifts for the friend’s 8-year-old son. Three of Blake’s six children, aged 8, 6, and 3. were in the back seat of Blake’s car. Then the fucking pigs arrived.

An eyewitness who captured a video of the shooting told CBS News that before he began filming a cop had Blake in a headlock, another was punching Blake in the ribs and another tased him. Then in the video you see Blake walking around the front of a car towards the driver’s side door and away from the police. Several cops with their guns drawn are following close behind. When Blake opens the door to the car, a white cop grabs Blake’s shirt, and then seven shots ring out as the cops shoot Blake point-blankBlake was taken to the hospital where he is now in stable condition in the intensive care unit. On CNN Attorney Benjamin Crump, who has been retained by Blake’s family, said Blake's children will have to deal with the psychological issues from "seeing their father shot these many times in the back from the people who were supposed to protect and serve him.”

Cops say they were responding to a call about a “domestic disturbance”—the BS excuse used so many other times after the pigs have shot and killed a Black man. People at the scene said Blake was trying to break up a fight between two women. And the video is clear for all to see—the pigs shooting a Black man who was not threatening them at all. Even the lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, Mandela Barnes, had to admit, “Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times in front of his children. And let me be clear, this was not an accident.... This felt like some sort of vendetta being taking out on a member of our community.” 

Within hours, video of the shooting spread across social media—and protest in Kenosha started that night, into the early hours of Monday. Large crowds stayed in the streets, confronting the cops, and there were reports of rocks, bricks, and at least one Molotov cocktail being thrown. Dump trucks and other vehicles were set on fire, and store windows were smashed. The cops used tear gas to try and disperse the protest. On Monday, a press conference by Kenosha Mayor John Antarmian that was originally supposed to be in a park was moved inside the city’s public safety building, which houses the cops and sheriffs. Hundreds of protesters tried to get in the building and snapped the hinges off the door. Cops in riot gear pepper sprayed the crowd. A curfew was declared for Monday night. The Wisconsin governor called in the National Guard to back up the local pigs.

There is outrage across the country, and many people are speaking out against yet another wanton shooting of a Black man by the pigs. There were protests against the shooting of Jacob Blake in other cities around the country on Monday, including in New York City, Portland, and Milwaukee. NBA star LeBron James called for justice in a Twitter post that linked to the video of the shooting: “And y’all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!! Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another black man being targeted. This sh*t is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE.”


Jacob Blake

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/california-wildfires-disaster-on-top-of-disaster-en.html

From a Reader:

California Wildfires: Disaster on Top of Disaster

| revcom.us

 

Once again, California is ablaze. Over the last week, wildfires across California have burned more than 1 million acres, or 1,500 square miles. More than 119,000 people have been evacuated, hundreds of homes have been destroyed and at least 6 lives have been lost. Many old-growth coastal redwoods, some of which may be close to 2,000 years old, were damaged or killed.

The fires have gotten worse year after year. The amount of area burned by wildfires in California has increased five-fold since the 1970s. All of the 10 largest fires since records were kept have occurred since 2003. And each of the last few years has been horrendous. 

This is one more expression of the raging global environmental disaster driven by capitalism’s anarchic competition and drive for profit (see the recom.us special page Capitalism-Imperialism Is Destroying the Planet... Only Revolution Gives Humanity a Real Chance to Save It). The increase in fires in California comes largely from climate change stemming from this system’s consumption of fossil fuels. As the climate has warmed, fire season in California has increased by 78 days over the last three decades. 

The intensity of these fires is giving rise to new features that make them more destructive. One example of this is the “fire tornado” that was part of the current Loyalton Fire. It produced a smoke plume that towered 30,000 feet high, produced winds over 60 miles per hour and itself produced lightning strikes. The fires are also causing pyrocumulus clouds, which form when the very hot temperatures from the ground quickly warm the air and produce instability that make it dangerous for fire fighters.

These wildfires are happening in the midst of a pandemic, posing further sharp challenges. Due to the threat of COVID, shelters for people escaping the fires cannot hold as many evacuees, and many of those displaced are fearful of the virus in the shelters. N-95 masks, which are needed to prevent the breathing in of small particles released into the air, are in short supply. Firefighters can’t be close to each other when fighting fires and can’t live in communal camps. 

Further, the smoke from the fires will likely impact the spread and damage caused by the virus. “We know that people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are at higher risk for both acquiring Covid-19 and having more severe symptoms if they do become infected,” Dr. Jeanne A. Noble, an emergency medicine doctor and the director of the COVID-19 response at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center’s emergency department, told the New York Times. “Adding smoke inhalation into the mix will further increase the vulnerability of everyone to COVID-19, but particularly for those with respiratory problems.” 

A Spreading Fire and a Fascist Response

In the days before the fire started, California was in the midst of a heat wave. This followed a winter with little rain. In the Central Valley, Modesto, Stockton and Sacramento all broke their all-time heat records for the month of August, reaching temperatures of 111, 112 and 113 degrees. Death Valley hit 130 degrees, which may turn out to be the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet. At the same time, large tropical storms with high levels of moisture were aimed at the state from the Pacific. These combined to produce a rare summer dry lightning storm, which produced 12,000 lightning strikes. The heat, the dryness, and the lightning sparked 585 fires across the state. 

Both the increasing intensity of tropical storms and longer and hotter heat waves have been linked to climate change. 

As of Sunday, August 23, the five largest fires in California were all less than 20% contained. "The worst is not behind us," the chief of Cal Fire, the state's firefighting agency, tweeted. A new round of dry lightning and hot weather is predicted for early this week. On Sunday, parts of Alameda County were evacuated and people in the Berkeley Hills were told to prepare to evacuate “with or without warning.”

All this is taking place BEFORE the regular fire season in California, which usually starts in September and October when Santa Ana winds blow hot air from inland over the forests dried out over the summer.  

As the smoke from the fires expanded, the San Francisco Bay Area had the worst quality air in the world on August 19. Many parts of California had AQI (Air Quality Index) readings of more than 400. Readings between 151 and 200 are considered unhealthy for everyone, anything above 200 is very unhealthy, and over 300 is hazardous. Yet farmworkers were being forced to continue to work in these conditions. There are reports that smoke from the wildfires is reaching Idaho and Colorado.

In the face of the fires, the first response of Trump was to threaten to deny emergency aid to California. His excuse for this was ridiculous—that California didn’t sweep the forest floors and was therefore responsible, even though sweeping the forest is idiocy and more than 50% of California’s forests are controlled by the federal government. Everyone knew that he intended this as punishment for the state whose main elected leaders oppose him. Denying lifesaving aid to a region because its leaders disagree with them is part of the Trump/Pence regime’s fascism. And even though Trump has backed down and offered some aid, his fascist threat still lingers and sets the tone for what is to come if he remains in power.

Drive Out Trump AND Put an End to This System!

The wildfires are one example of the horrors that climate change is bringing at an ever-accelerating rate across the globe. Sea-level rise inundating cities, hundreds of millions driven from their homes by famine and heat, massive extinctions harming the very biodiversity of the planet, and much more. 

Neither climate change nor devastation of the environment began with Trump. They come from the capitalist-imperialist system. But the Trump regime is throwing gasoline on already raging fires. He has packed the government with people who reject science in the name of religion and/or profit and are accelerating changes which pose a threat to the environment and even human existence. 

Human beings on this planet confront unprecedented challenges. Driving the Trump/Pence regime from power would in itself be an immense contribution to the people of the world, would increase the options for humanity at this point in history, and would open up real possibilities for revolution, which is the only solution to the fundamental problems, including the environmental catastrophe, that we are up against on this planet. 

The future is not settled. The protests that Refuse Fascism has called for on September 5 across the country are crucial to seizing on this moment when history is turning. We must draw forward a growing movement of people, ultimately millions, who will not accept a fascist America. 

Trump/Pence Out Now! 

 


Flames from the LNU Lightning Complex fires leap above Butts Canyon Road on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in unincorporated Lake County, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)


Wildland Fire Map from the San Mateo Fire Department.

New Horrors for California Prisoners

The people in California state prisons, which have already been ravaged by COVID-19, are facing new horrors due to the fires: unbreathable air, unendurable heat, failure to evacuate, and fears that policies due to the fires will lead to a new surge of COVID-related deaths.  

The LNU Complex fire, the largest of the fires, spread within miles of two state prisons—California Medical Facility (CMF) and Solano State Prison. In Los Angeles, a separate fire has grown near the Lancaster State Prison. Despite the prisons’ being inside the evacuation areas, prison officials have refused to evacuate the prisoners. 

“They are breathing in fire and smoke, and they have nowhere to run,” Sophia Murillo, whose brother is incarcerated at CMF in Vacaville, told the Guardian. “Everyone has evacuated but they were left there in prison.” 

The virus has spread across the California prison system, infecting more than 9,700 people and killing 55, due to negligence and criminal policies. Prisoners with COVID-19 have been unable to talk to loved ones. Inmates have reported being reprimanded for wearing face coverings. Prisons remain vastly overcrowded.

At CMF, which imprisons terminally ill people in hospice care and the elderly and medically vulnerable, 80 prisoners had been moved to outdoor medical tents to prevent the spread of COVID. Now these prisoners are being moved back inside because of the fires, increasing the possibility of COVID spread. 

“It’s disaster on top of disaster on top of disaster,” said Kirsten Roehler, whose 78-year-old father is imprisoned in Lancaster, where more than 140 people have contracted COVID and is doing what he can to protect himself from the nearby Lake fire.

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTESTS
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

Protest! times & places

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/report-from-republican-convention-day-one-en.html

Report from the Fascist Shit Show, aka Republican Convention, Day One

| revcom.us

 

This was a dual message: on the one hand, straight-up fascist assault rhetoric that Trump is defending Western civilization against “them.”  

Who is the “them” that people should fear?

  1. the supposed “socialists” in the Democratic Party
  2. the so-called “mob” (referring, that is, to the several million protesters who righteously stood up against police brutality, pitting their bodies against tear gas, batons, rubber bullets and all the rest and NOT the real mob of AK-carrying fascist thugs out in support of their “brothers” in the police force); 
  3. any countries that the Trump people tell you to fear;
  4. anyone who does not wish to live in a white Christian theocracy!  

This theme was hammered by Charlie Kirk, Kimberly Guilfoyle, the white vigilantes who backed up Trump by arguing for the apartheidization of suburbia, and Junior Trump. Junior even said that the choice was between “Work, Family, and Church” (which by the way has been the historic slogan of fascism in Europe) and “rioting, looting, vandalism”—referring, again, to the millions-strong, multicultural, beautiful protests of the spring!

To sum up the theme: Heil Mein Trumpf!! Vanquish Our Enemies!!

Trump himself in the morning claimed again that the only way he could possibly lose would be through massive voter fraud—thereby setting things up further to unleash his armed thugs and DHS goons, in concert with local pigs, to nullify results. And in case you didn’t get it, he also said that his “Second Amendment” people (again, armed fascist thugs) could “clean up” Portland in a day.  

He is telling you that he will not recognize the results of the election and that he will do things that go way beyond what he has already done. And the other speakers are working to whip up his followers into rabid dogs.

Oh, and then there was the second theme. The fascists trotted out their Uncle Tom Division—the chump Herschel Walker (who jumped at the chance to be on TV again to claim Trump is not a racist), the opportunist lowlifes Nikki Haley and Tim Scott whose tongues are long enough to lap up anything if it will advance their careers, and some other assorted fools who sell their souls to the highest bidder to claim that Trump is actually the great friend and upholder of Black people.   

Meanwhile, Trump, the supposed “anti-racist,” campaigns on segregating suburbia, crushing dissent, and unleashing the police to a whole other level, as well as his programs of forced pregnancy and childbearing for women and back-in-the-closet for LGBTQ, the destruction of the environment, unchecked aggression, and instituting a program in the ghettos and barrios that will make the last 40 years of mass incarceration pale in comparison.

See also:

Bob Avakian on: The Need to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime and the Fundamental Need for Revolution

Videos and articles

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTESTS
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

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Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/cheers-to-the-nfl-packers-and-their-coach-for-speaking-out-on-jacob-blake-en.html

Cheers to the NFL Packers and Their Coach for Speaking Out Against the Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

| revcom.us

 

The day after Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot seven times in the back by pigs as he was walking away from the cops, the National Football League team Green Bay Packers and their coach spoke out against the shooting and systematic racism. Green Bay is in northern Wisconsin, and the shooting of Jacob Blake took place in Kenosha in southern Wisconsin.

The Packers’ coach, Matt LaFleur held a meeting with player leaders and afterwards spoke to reporters via a Zoom news conference. LaFleur said, “You know, it’s amazing to me that this is still happening. So, I wanted to get our guys’ perspective, and try to float around some ideas on how we can make a difference and use our platform, because things have to change... The social injustice, the police brutality, the antiquated laws, just got to bring awareness to everybody that Black lives matter. We can’t stand for this any longer...

“It keeps happening over, and over, and over again, and it blows my mind that we’re sitting here in 2020, and we can’t treat everybody the same. I don’t know, I’m just kind of at a loss for words. I know I don’t know all the facts around the case, but it keeps happening over and over and over again.”

Billy Turner, a tackle on the Packers team, put up an Instagram post on the same day saying: “Imagine...Living your entire life & every time you see a police car/officer you fear for your Live & start praying because you are fearful that you’re going to lose your life at the hands of people who are supposed to serve & protect you. Black On Earth.”

The Packers’ team organization released an official statement saying they were "shocked to see the video that showed police shooting Jacob Blake multiple times in the back. We are hopeful Jacob makes a full recovery, and our thoughts are with his family. While we understand a full investigation of this terrible incident will take place, we are deeply troubled at what again has become a painful example of the significant challenges we face with respect to police brutality, systemic racism and injustices against Black people....”

Last June, Packer players, Black and white, and LaFleur released a video titled “It’s Time for Change” after the police murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis, saying, “Enough is enough.”


Jacob Blake

The video made by Green Bay Packer players after the police murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis.

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/kenosha-murder-of-two-protesters-en.html

Wednesday

On the Murder of Two Protesters and the Wounding of a Third in Kenosha Last Night: What We Know Now and What It Means

| revcom.us

 

What we know now:

  1. That Jacob Blake, Jr. was shot in the back, in cold blood, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with his three children looking on – for the “crime” of attempting to unlock his car door to see about his kids.  That Jacob Blake is now in intensive care.  That this comes after a summer of millions of people rising in protest and those in power – including even the racist-in-chief Donald Trump – crying crocodile tears about the police murder of George Floyd and vowing to make reforms.
  2. That people in Kenosha rose up in righteous rebellion against this outrage.  That police used heavy tear gas and other repression against them.  That police also refused to comment on the shooting or even release the name of the pig who shot Jacob Blake, Jr.  That people around the country expressed shock and anger that this could happen yet again, so blatantly and so quickly... and some people in some cities also began protests against the brutal attempted murder of Jacob Blake, Jr.
  3. That armed white fascist thugs began to roam the streets of Kenosha, heavily armed in full combat gear, in the guise of “defending property.”  That these thugs have been attacking protesters for months now, encouraged by Trump and growing bolder and more violent by the week.  That as fascist thugs provoked and messed with protesters last night, two protesters were killed and one was wounded.  
  4. That Donald Trump, the fascist-in-chief, took the occasion of opening his “convention” on Monday to say that “Second Amendment people” – that is, the very kind of THUGS who have been attacking demonstrators in Kenosha – could “take care” of Portland in a day. That not even 36 hours later the blood of protesters ran in the gutters of Kenosha.

What this means:

  1. That the fascists and racists, led by Trump, are not just escalating their threats and but making good on them.  They are showing you what another term for Donald Trump will mean.  If this fascist dog gets another term, either through “winning” the election or preventing it or stealing it, this will mean the slamming back of Black people and other people of color to a situation even worse – qualitatively worse – than today, one in which people will have no rights whatsoever and the threat of genocide will be real and present.  And this will be just one of the horrible crimes that will go on far worse than it does today, far worse than most of us can imagine.

    WE NEED TO ACT ON THIS UNDERSTANDING!
  2. That the fight against the outrageous police murder of Black and other oppressed peoples and institutionalized racism on the one hand, and the fight to drive out this fascist regime on the other, are not separate fights but linked together like blood and bones.  That BOTH these fights must now step up stronger.  And that masses of people need to flood the streets beginning now, and on September 5 COME TOGETHER IN ACTIONS demanding the immediate ouster of this criminal regime and determined not to let this danger to humanity get another term.  Go to Refusefascism.org for more information on this.
  3. That people need to urgently ask themselves: what kind of a system brings forward a Donald Trump?  What kind of a system gives you a choice between facing police batons and tear gas when you do protest the howling injustices it brings down every day on the one hand, which is what we have now... or outright fascist terror and murder to prevent any protest whatsoever, which is what we face in Trump-Pence?  A system that must be overthrown, through revolution.  This revolution IS possible – there is a strategy to make it, there is a positive and viable vision and blueprint for what will replace it, there is leadership in Bob Avakian who has brought that forward, and there is a movement – the revcoms – who are fighting to bring this into being.  Read Bob Avakian’s statement on the situation we face right now at revcom.us; and go there, and The RNL Show on YouTube, to find out more about and get organized with the revcoms.

Stay tuned to www.Revcom.us and follow us on social media for further updates.

 

Download poster

Download a PDF of this statement

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTESTS
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

September 5 Events by City:

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/collaboration-between-white-supremacist-militia-and-police-in-the-kenosha-en.html

Collaboration Between White Supremacist Militia and Police in the Kenosha Shooting of Protesters

| revcom.us

 

From a reader:

A little before midnight on Tuesday in Kenosha, two people were shot and killed and at least one other wounded by white supremacist militia types. These thugs had taken it on themselves to supposedly guard a “boarded-up” gas station on Sheridan Road in Kenosha.  

Videos posted on social media1 show:

* A militia member openly claims that police told the militia fascists that they would push protesters “down by them” so that they could “deal with them.”

* Shooter identified by crowd is seen earlier being offered water by riot pigs who thanked the white supremacist militia, saying, “We appreciate you guys being out here.”

* Fascist thug identified by the crowd as the shooter heads towards the police and National Guard arriving on the scene in vehicles. He has a long gun across his chest that he keeps handling, sometimes his hands up as if to surrender. As captured on video, the pigs don’t even get out to detain him. One after the other, they drive on past after asking a question.

* Recruiting for the fascist militia in Kenosha appeared on InfoWars. The alleged shooter’s social media is all about “Blue Lives Matter.”

* Protester Devin Scott, 19, told the Chicago Tribune that he witnessed one of the shootings: “We were all chanting ‘Black lives matter’ at the gas station and then we heard, boom, boom, and I told my friends, ‘That’s not fireworks,’ and then this guy with this huge gun runs by us in the middle of the street and people are yelling, ‘He shot someone! He shot someone!’ And everyone is ... chasing him and then he started shooting again.” Scott said he cradled one of the victims in his arms.

Echoing Trump’s “When the Looting Starts, the Shooting Starts,” white supremacist militia yelled at Black Lives Matter demonstrators earlier, “You loot, we shoot.”2 As many have noted, it was the day after the Republican National Convention promoted the wealthy St. Louis couple who stood with guns and threatened BLM protesters walking by their house.

 


1. See videos posted @IGD_News and @JoshuaPotash  [back].

2. Chicago Sun Times 8/26.  [back]

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTESTS
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/1-2-3-murder-how-it-works-in-trumpworld-en.html

1-2-3 Murder: How It Works In Trumpworld

| revcom.us

 

  1. Monday morning: Trump says “2nd Amendment” people could “solve” protests in Portland in a day...
  2. Monday night: Republi-Fascist Convention gives air time to two white racist “heroes” who threatened nonviolent Black Lives Matter protesters with guns, including an automatic weapon...
  3. Tuesday night: heavily armed fascist thugs roam the streets of Kenosha, trying to intimidate and terrorize protesters against the outrageous shooting of Jacob Blake, Jr. by the police. Police are seen in friendly conversation with the thugs.

Murder: two protesters dead, a third wounded, and nobody arrested.

This is what a fascist America looks like.  What will YOU do to turn it back and drive it out?

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/vision-statement-from-refuse-fascism-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

The Trump/Pence OUTNOW! Movement: A Vision and Mission Statement

| revcom.us

 

RefuseFascism.org* has initiated the nationwide Trump/Pence OUTNOW! Movement. (#TrumpPenceOutNow)

This is a call for non-violent mass protest every single day gathering in the city centers and town squares across the country starting on October 3rd and continuing through the election and until the Trump/Pence regime is removed from power. This movement, these protests, are united by one single demand: Trump and Pence Must Go. The OUTNOW! movement is broad, diverse, and welcomes everyone who sees the great danger in allowing the Trump/Pence regime to remain in power. See the RefuseFascism.org Call and Pledge for this movement.

The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go

Trump has told you he will not abide by an election he loses and tells his white supremacist thugs to “stand by.” The Republican Party is Trump’s Party and they are attacking and sabotaging people’s right to vote now. They have readied armed MAGA thugs to intimidate at the polls, and to be in the streets to enforce the Trump/Pence regime’s plans to disregard the election results should they lose. THIS WE CANNOT ALLOW. WE CANNOT WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS ON NOVEMBER 3RD. THIS IS WHY WE MUST ACT NOW.

Mike Pence, a dangerous holy warrior fighting to take away the hard-won rights of women and LGBTQ people, must go. Bill Barr, hammering in a “law and order” that tears up the rule of law, must go. The whole Trump/Pence regime is fascist, crushing basic rights and liberties, unleashing open terror and violence, accelerating the destruction of the environment, and demonizing group after group on a road to unspeakable horrors.

If fascism fully takes hold in the most powerful country in the world, the consequences for humanity will be catastrophic.

We have already let this come too far. Now we must stop it by driving this regime out of power. Together there is a way out of this nightmare, but you have to act. While we must vote in massive numbers, if we rely only on voting, or wait to see how the vote turns out, it will be a disaster and the regime will likely stay in power, and it will be exponentially harder to stop them.

What We Need to Do Now

Come into the public squares of cities and towns across the country for non-violent protests that continue day after day, united by the demand Trump/Pence Out Now, growing in numbers and not stopping until our demand is won. Inspire others to join you, organize people to mobilize their communities, and keep coming back into the public square in bigger numbers.

Think of this as Grand Central Station – marches come in and go out, teams of organizers come in and go out, news comes in and goes out – reaching and inspiring more people to join the convergence. This is a protest and organizing hub where many things can happen: art and music, film showings, organizing trainings, but the overwhelming and unifying projection is Trump Pence Out Now. This is not an occupied safe space cut off from reality. In fact it is the opposite, bringing people together to squarely face the danger of the Trump/Pence regime and act together to stop it, with everything calling out to broader society to JOIN US! JOIN US! DRIVE OUT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME!

Through this process, we build up our numbers, unity, and resolve so that if the regime is not driven out by Election Day, we have a mighty force of people committed to continuing non-violent protests – a mass movement that will not allow whatever the regime tries to do to nullify, sabotage, or steal the election. We have a mighty force of people who refuse to be taken down a road to conciliation, whether Trump wins or loses, and continues to grow and demand Trump/Pence Out Now until they’re driven out.

Imagine all who were in the streets in June and July in the beautiful rising for Black lives, veteran activists from the 60s, youth who are fighting for a future on this planet, or people who have never protested before, coming together in a coalition of the decent people; this is what the German people did not have in order to stop the Nazi regime.

Imagine students, teachers, scientists, medical professionals, lawyers, clergy and their congregations, unions, civil rights and justice organizations, artists, athletes and others in the cultural arena speaking powerfully from their perspectives on why this fascist regime must go and organizing their networks to join the OUTNOW movement. Imagine teams of people going out every day to neighborhoods with stacks of flyers and posters to spread, getting trained as grassroots organizers, coming back in with new people they’ve brought into the movement.

Imagine contingents from other social movements coming in with banners, literature, and just demands, but adding their voices to the demand Trump/Pence Out Now with the recognition of how this regime threatens us all.

How We Can Win

As the world begins to see that there is a growing force of people in the hundreds of thousands nationwide becoming millions, refusing to back down or be provoked by Trump’s howling mobs and “tough” people, holding fast to principles of unity and non-violence, celebrating our diversity in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence regime, every corner of society will be pulled to respond to this movement from below – including the media and those in power.

Just as we saw from the mass protests in June and July, the regime and their base become overwhelmed by our numbers and determination. Our side seizes the initiative and their side is on the defensive, but even that is not enough. We keep growing, keep coming back. That kind of political crisis, caused by millions in the streets refusing to stop until the regime is gone, leads to a situation where Democratic politicians and even some other major political forces, who have thus far gone along with the Trump/Pence regime, come to see that something must be done to stem the tide of protest, and are compelled to meet our demand. It is this basic process that has driven out hated leaders all over the world in the recent past – in Egypt, South Korea, Armenia, Puerto Rico, Lebanon – and can and must be done here.

Imagine the celebration in the streets, all over the world, when this regime has been driven from power by the power of the people, and this genocidal fascist program is brought to a halt. We are on a mission to knock this regime off its collision course with humanity. Two futures are facing off. It is time to struggle with all we’ve got, using our power of daily non-violent protest demanding Trump/Pence Out Now, for the future we want.

 

* RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met. This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! Refuse Fascism invites all who agree with our mission to join us, as well as other groups and organizations to partner with us in the broader OUTNOW! movement of mass nonviolent protests that don’t stop till the regime is removed. [back]

Now More Than Ever!

See excerpts and the Q&A of this film

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

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

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

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/day-two-of-the-republican-national-convention-en.html

Day Two of the Fascist Shit Show, a/k/a Republican National Convention

| revcom.us

 

Black and Brown bootlickers sing praises of the fascist Trump, Melania runs her "humanizing" bullshit... and meanwhile, Trumpite militia murder protesters in the streets of Kenosha: the Kool-Aid that makes the murders go down oh, so easy.

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/day-three-of-the-republican-national-convention-en.html

Day Three of the Fascist Shit-Show, a/k/a the Republican National Convention

| revcom.us

 

On day one of the shit-show, the day after Kenosha, Wisconsin, police had shot Jacob Blake, Jr. in the back seven times for nothing besides being Black and people righteously rose up against that... Donald Trump started the morning by saying that “Second Amendment” people (that is, fascist vigilantes) could handle Portland (that is, violently suppress the righteous struggles against police murder and racism going on there) in a day. Night one, the fascists paraded two white people whose only claim to fame is brandishing automatic weapons against peaceful, unarmed Black Lives Matter demonstrators.  

On day two, a fascist vigilante killed two demonstrators on the streets of Kenosha.  

This was all just too much for many people. Listen here to Doc Rivers, coach of the Los Angeles Clippers National Basketball Association team, denounce the fear-mongering of the Republican Convention and talk about who really must live in fear; listen here to Chris Webber, retired five-time NBA all-star, talk about the urgency to act; and read here what Lebron James said. By evening the entire NBA and WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) and six major league baseball teams had refused to play.  

And what did the fascist shit-show do? Spreading the word in advance that Vice President Mike Pence would speak to the issues of Kenosha, they had the overgrown choirboy adopt his most pious, priestly tone to call for... what? An end to vigilante violence? An end to a situation where every sentient Black person in the U.S., no matter how prominent or well-off, must live in fear of encountering the police? An end to the howling disparity of an unarmed Black man being shot down by the police in broad daylight as he checked on his kids in the back seat of his car, while those very same police two days later wave on a white man with an automatic weapon on his shoulder and his hands up, leaving a scene in which shots have just rung out and bystanders are yelling that the walking man had shot people? At minimum, a call for those racist vigilantes to NOT go out to demonstrations armed with automatic weapons and spoiling for a fight? That’s not much, but it would be the bare minimum you might expect.

No. Pence, adopting his sternest tone and facial expression, called for law and order. LAW AND ORDER. LAW AND FUCKING ORDER, FULL STOP!!!

Pence came off like a medieval inquisition priest. You can just imagine him a few centuries ago, scolding some free-thinking non-believer or accused witch before lighting the fire that would burn her at the stake, back in what the fascists think of as the good old days.

And where did he do it? At Fort McHenry, the site that “inspired” the national anthem (the only national anthem that we know of with a verse upholding the enslavement of human beings). On a night when military might of the U.S. was celebrated and brandished and China threatened... when the right of women to control their bodies was attacked and the fascist program of forced child-bearing was celebrated... when reality was totally denied and an alternate world put forward where Donald Trump led a battle against the coronavirus, instead of denying the scientific reality and recklessly causing untold needless death... and when once again a handful of Black fools and tools came out to provide window dressing for this white supremacist.

On a night when the future in store if this fascist stays in power became clearer than ever.   


Download poster

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

As Trump threatens the elections and sends fascist stormtroopers into cities:

UNITED NATIONWIDE MASS PROTESTS
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

 

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Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/tucker-carlson-on-air-endorsement-of-cold-blooded-murder.html

Tucker Carlson's On-Air Endorsement of Cold-Blooded Murder

| revcom.us

 

After a white 17-year-old was arrested Wednesday on charges of shooting at protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killing two and wounding one, Tucker Carlson of Fox “News” said on the air, “So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”

This is straight-up justification for cold-blooded murder. 

The alleged shooter was among the white fascist thugs that began to roam the streets of Kenosha after the people rose up in righteous rebellion against the outrageous pig shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. These fascist militia gunmen, many in full combat gear, threatened and attacked protesters under the guise of “defending property.” The police, who used heavy tear gas and other violent repression against protesters, allowed the fascist gunmen free rein

Armed fascists like these have been attacking protesters around the country for months now. And they have been encouraged by Fascist-in-Chief Trump. At the opening of the Republican National Convention on Monday, Trump declared that “Second Amendment people”—that is, the very kind of armed fascists attacking protesters in Kenosha—could “take care” of Portland in a day. Less than 36 hours later, protesters were gunned down in Kenosha. 

As revcom.us said in the statement on the shooting of protesters in Kenosha:

The fascists and racists, led by Trump, are not just escalating their threats and but making good on them. They are showing you what another term for Donald Trump will mean. If this fascist dog gets another term, either through “winning” the election or preventing it or stealing it, this will mean the slamming back of Black people and other people of color to a situation even worse – qualitatively worse – than today, one in which people will have no rights whatsoever and the threat of genocide will be real and present. And this will be just one of the horrible crimes that will go on far worse than it does today, far worse than most of us can imagine.

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

PROTEST EVERYWHERE
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

See also:

FUCKER CARLSON, FASCIST "FOX NEWS" AND THE BROADCAST OF WHITE SUPREMACY

by Bob Avakian

Read more

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/on-the-need-for-the-new-communism-not-dogmatic-posing-en.html

On the Need for the Science of the New Communism, Not Dogmatic Narrow Nationalist Posing

An Answer to a “Phony Left” Attack on the August 1 Statement by Bob Avakian, ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION, THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME, VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION

| revcom.us

 

The response by Noche Diaz to a Facebook post by a dogmatic narrow Black nationalist, claiming to be a “Revolutionary Marxist‑Leninist‑Maoist,” is very important. In responding to this dogmatic attack on Bob Avakian’s Statement of August 1, Noche hits the main points very well. And it is worth looking further into the claim by this dogmatist that both the bourgeois political parties are fascist—that there are the outright fascists of the Republican Party and the “liberal” fascists of the Democratic Party (whatever that means). If this were true, it would mean that we have been living under fascism for decades now, and the Trump/Pence regime represents nothing essentially different.

People who make ridiculous claims like this are playing around in their own heads and not dealing with the actual reality. This kind of thinking is typical of dogmatists: in place of a scientific analysis and synthesis of reality, and its motion and development—and where the interests of the masses of humanity lie on that basis—we get the attempt to impose on reality “religious articles of faith” (such as: never, under any circumstances, vote for a bourgeois politician). Especially in today’s extreme circumstances, with the momentous stakes involved, this kind of thinking is not simply foolish but very harmful.

If there were really fascism ruling over us during the administration of Obama and Biden, for example—as the extension of a fascism that had been in power for decades, under both Republican and Democratic administrations—then there could have been nothing like the mass outpouring of protest against the police murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson. Such protests would simply have been outlawed. Any attempt to hold such protests would have been immediately and thoroughly crushed, and anyone taking part would have been sent to prison, or to concentration camps, and perhaps quickly executed. This is precisely the kind of thing Trump would want to do, what he is making real moves toward doing now, and what he would very likely do, on a truly monstrous scale, if his regime—which is nothing less than fascist—is able to make further leaps in fully consolidating its fascist rule.

It is true that, in the “Ferguson uprising,” and today in the beautiful rising against white supremacy, police brutality and murder, there has been vicious repression carried out by police (and National Guard troops), ordered by Democratic Party politicians. That is a reflection of the fact that we live under a dictatorship all the time—the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (capitalist class). But, before the Trump/Pence regime, this has been a dictatorship that has been exercised in the form of bourgeois democracy (democracy that is based in, conforms to and remains within the confines of the capitalist system and rule by the capitalist class over the masses of people). That contradiction—between the outer democratic appearance and the inner essence of dictatorship—has real meaning. It means that, so long as the form of bourgeois dictatorship is “democratic,” in order to maintain that democratic shell, the political and legal representatives of the ruling class have to allow certain “civil rights and liberties” to be exercised, up to a point, and at least make a pretense of respecting a “rule of law” that is not simply and nakedly the exercise of brute force over society as a whole, and against any attempt to oppose what the government is doing.

The reason that some people think that any kind of severe repression equals fascism is basically because they are fooled by the outer appearance of democracy—and in their minds “democracy” means that there is not supposed to be any repression, or at least not any severe repression—so when there is such repression, even in “normal times,” they believe that this is something other than democracy, when in fact the exercise of bourgeois dictatorship includes plenty of brutal repression when that dictatorship is exercised in the “democratic” form. But that is still qualitatively different than an actual fascist bourgeois dictatorship, which essentially drops all pretense of “democracy” and rules openly through violence and terror.

At times, times like now, the contradiction between the appearance of democracy and the essence of dictatorship can become very acute for the bourgeois ruling class. The fascists—the actual fascists concentrated in the Trump/Pence regime who are now in power, not the imaginary “liberal fascists” in this dogmatic narrow nationalist’s head—have been acting with a vengeance, and in an accelerating way, to resolve this contradiction by moving towards undisguised dictatorship, relying openly on terror and violence against those who oppose this regime and everyone this regime regards as a threat, without the pretense of allowing dissent and protest.

To act as if it makes no difference to the masses of people—and to any movement against oppression and injustice, let alone any movement for an actual revolution—whether these very real fascists succeed in fully consolidating their fascist rule, is not simply to be out of touch with reality. It is to be out of touch with—and acting against—vital, indeed life-and-death, interests of the masses of people, not just in this country but throughout the world.

The reason for referring to this person as a “dogmatic narrow Black nationalist” is not simply because of their positive reference to the New Afrikan Black Panther Party. This line of argument—that there is really nothing new, or qualitatively different, in the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime—is something that is representative of a certain outlook, particularly among some bourgeois and petty bourgeois Black people who refer to the horrific oppression that is already being inflicted on Black people in this country to deny (or minimize) the very real danger—the far worse horror for Black people, for all oppressed people and ultimately for all of humanity—that is posed by the Trump/Pence regime and what it is moving to do, and will be in a greatly strengthened position to do, if it remains in power, and especially if it is given a re-election “mandate.” 

This calls to mind a routine by Richard Pryor. He talks about how some Black people say, “I ain’t scared of no NAZIs, I’ll tell those NAZIs...” You won’t tell those NAZIs shit, Pryor retorts—except maybe, “Oh, nice boots you got there.” In other words, all this downplaying of the danger posed by real (not imaginary) fascists, who are already in power, will lead to craven capitulation to them when confronted with the reality and the full force of even more firmly consolidated fascist rule.

As Bob Avakian emphasizes in his August 1 Statement, using all appropriate means to remove this fascist Trump/Pence regime from power—including but emphatically NOT RELYING ON voting for Biden, if it comes to that, but with primary reliance on the continuing mobilization of masses of people around the demand that Trump/Pence must be OUT NOW!—is of crucial and urgent importance to prevent the full consolidation of fascist rule, with the even greater horrors this will involve, and to build toward the revolution that is needed as the fundamental solution to all the ongoing outrages caused by this system of capitalism-imperialism which, as Bob Avakian has also repeatedly emphasized, has given rise to this fascism.

See also:

A Facebook Exchange between a Dogmatist and Noche Diaz

Stop Your Windy Nonsense, the World Is Being Turned Upside Down

Read more

 

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Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/therevcoms

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/fascism-open-bloody-dictatorship-without-pretending-people-have-rights-en.html

Fascism Is Open Bloody Dictatorship, Without Even Pretending That People Have Rights*

| revcom.us

 

It is true that, in the “Ferguson uprising,” and today in the beautiful rising against white supremacy, police brutality and murder, there has been vicious repression carried out by police (and National Guard troops), ordered by Democratic Party politicians. That is a reflection of the fact that we live under a dictatorship all the time—the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (capitalist class). But, before the Trump/Pence regime, this has been a dictatorship that has been exercised in the form of bourgeois democracy (democracy that is based in, conforms to and remains within the confines of the capitalist system and rule by the capitalist class over the masses of people). That contradiction—between the outer democratic appearance and the inner essence of dictatorship—has real meaning. It means that, so long as the form of bourgeois dictatorship is “democratic,” in order to maintain that democratic shell, the political and legal representatives of the ruling class have to allow certain “civil rights and liberties” to be exercised, up to a point, and at least make a pretense of respecting a “rule of law” that is not simply and nakedly the exercise of brute force over society as a whole, and against any attempt to oppose what the government is doing.

The reason that some people think that any kind of severe repression equals fascism is basically because they are fooled by the outer appearance of democracy—and in their minds “democracy” means that there is not supposed to be any repression, or at least not any severe repression—so when there is such repression, even in “normal times,” they believe that this is something other than democracy, when in fact the exercise of bourgeois dictatorship includes plenty of brutal repression when that dictatorship is exercised in the “democratic” formBut that is still qualitatively different than an actual fascist bourgeois dictatorship, which essentially drops all pretense of “democracy” and rules openly through violence and terror.

At times, times like now, the contradiction between the appearance of democracy and the essence of dictatorship can become very acute for the bourgeois ruling class. The fascists—the actual fascists concentrated in the Trump/Pence regime who are now in power—have been acting with a vengeance, and in an accelerating way, to resolve this contradiction by moving towards undisguised dictatorship, relying openly on terror and violence against those who oppose this regime and everyone this regime regards as a threat, without the pretense of allowing dissent and protest.

To act as if it makes no difference to the masses of people—and to any movement against oppression and injustice, let alone any movement for an actual revolution—whether these very real fascists succeed in fully consolidating their fascist rule, is not simply to be out of touch with reality. It is to be out of touch with—and acting against—vital, indeed life-and-death, interests of the masses of people, not just in this country but throughout the world.

 


* This is an excerpt from the article “On the Need for the Science of the New Communism, Not Dogmatic Narrow Nationalist Posing,” which is available at revcom.us.  [back

 

See also:

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/trump-fascism-a-far-greater-horror-for-black-people-humanity-as-a-whole-en.html

Trump Fascism:
A Far Greater Horror for Black People, All Oppressed People, and Humanity as a Whole*

| revcom.us

 

This line of argument—that there is really nothing new, or qualitatively different, in the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime—is something that is representative of a certain outlook, particularly among some bourgeois and petty bourgeois Black people who refer to the horrific oppression that is already being inflicted on Black people in this country to deny (or minimize) the very real danger—the far worse horror for Black people, for all oppressed people and ultimately for all of humanity—that is posed by the Trump/Pence regime and what it is moving to do, and will be in a greatly strengthened position to do, if it remains in power, and especially if it is given a re-election “mandate.” 

This calls to mind a routine by Richard Pryor. He talks about how some Black people say, “I ain’t scared of no NAZIs, I’ll tell those NAZIs...” You won’t tell those NAZIs shit, Pryor retorts—except maybe, “Oh, nice boots you got there.” In other words, all this downplaying of the danger posed by real (not imaginary) fascists, who are already in power, will lead to craven capitulation to them when confronted with the reality and the full force of even more firmly consolidated fascist rule.

As Bob Avakian emphasizes in his August 1 statement, using all appropriate means to remove this fascist Trump/Pence regime from power—including but emphatically NOT RELYING ON voting for Biden, if it comes to that, but with primary reliance on the continuing mobilization of masses of people around the demand that Trump/Pence must be OUT NOW!—is of crucial and urgent importance to prevent the full consolidation of fascist rule, with the even greater horrors this will involve, and to build toward the revolution that is needed as the fundamental solution to all the ongoing outrages caused by this system of capitalism-imperialism which, as Bob Avakian has also repeatedly emphasized, has given rise to this fascism.

 


* This is an excerpt from the article “On the Need for the Science of the New Communism, Not Dogmatic Narrow Nationalist Posing,” which is available at revcom.us.  [back

See also:

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/on-the-endless-flow-of-lies-at-the-republican-convention-en.html

Food for Thought:

On the Endless Flow of LIES at the Republican Convention

| revcom.us

 

All bourgeois politicians/representatives of the capitalist-imperialist system lie when they feel it is necessary in pursuit of their objectives; but the fascists, with Trump the concentrated example of this, lie regularly and systematically and as a basic means of communication—that is to say, manipulation.  

This is the difference between lying for a purpose and lying as a mode of operation. This is analogous to the difference between what the “mainstream” media (again, not Fox “news”) do and, on the other hand, the garbage that characterizes to a significant degree “news” (or what substitutes for news) on social media. It is also another expression of the difference between bourgeois dictatorship in the “democratic” form and outright fascist bourgeois dictatorship.

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/nba-players-boycott-games-over-the-police-shooting-of-jacob-blake-en.html

Inside the NBA, "Fuck this, Man!!! We demand change"
NBA players boycott games over the police shooting of Jacob Blake

| revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Something unprecedented is happening in pro sports in the U.S. On Wednesday, the NBA (National Basketball Association) players boycotted all three playoff games scheduled that day in protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin, pigs. This is a huge development—players from a professional sports league boycotting games en masse against injustice.

The boycott is being led by the Milwaukee Bucks, who play about an hour away from Kenosha, where Jacob Blake, unarmed and walking away from cops, was shot seven times in the back and now is in serious condition, possibly partially paralyzed. As their game with the Orlando Magic was about to start, the Bucks players stayed in their locker room. The Magic players eventually left the court.

After a three-hour meeting, the Bucks players made a statement to the press, read by two the team members, including George Hill, saying in part, “The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities.... We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable...”

Following the lead of the Bucks’ players, the players from the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and Portland Trailblazers announced they also would not play on Wednesday.

Wednesday night, all the NBA players held a mass meeting. The Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers voted to boycott the entire playoffs. All other teams wanted to continue playing. LeBron James of the Lakers walked out of the meeting and was followed by all the Lakers and Clippers players. The players decided to resume their meeting on Thursday morning, which most likely means that no games will be played on Thursday. One player commented that if the Lakers and Clippers won’t play, how can they still have the playoffs?

Since the shooting of Blake, players, coaches, and even some league officials have been angrily speaking out. LeBron James tweeted out “F*** this, Man!!! We demand change.” Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets, who is having a fantastic playoff run, tweeted out, “We Demand Justice!”

Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks said, “I mean, I think this is why we have so many people outraged all over the country. The man was shot seven times at point-blank range in the back. It doesn’t get any sicker than that.” George Hill, also of the Bucks, said, “This world has to change.”

Jaylen Brown, a star Boston Celtics player, had been part of Black Lives Matter protests before the NBA restarted its season in the midst of the pandemic. After the Jacob Blake shooting, Brown expressed his desire to leave the playoffs and get back into the streets. When asked what he was going to do if he left, he answered, “Be in the trenches.”

Doc Rivers, coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, whose father was a cop, gave an emotional post-game press conference on Tuesday night. With tears welling up in his eyes, he said, “Just watching the Republican Convention and the spewing of fear. Like all you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear. We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that have been denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot.... And it amazes me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back.... How dare the Republicans talk about fear. We are the ones that need to be scared...”

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players joined in with the NBA players to boycott all their games on Wednesday. All the WNBA players gathered in the middle of the court and took a knee. The players for the Washington Mystics, in a powerful statement, made T-shirts with the letters of Jacob Blake’s name on the front and seven holes in the back of the shirt to represent the seven shots to Blake’s back.  

The voices of outrage and protest are also being raised among other pro sports. The coach of the National Football League Green Bay Packers spoke out, condemning how the police murders of Black people keep happening “over and over and over again” and that “we can’t stand for this any longer.” Five Major League Soccer (MLS) games were canceled because the players decided not to take the field. The Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball announced that they would refuse to play their game on Wednesday. And Seattle Mariners players said they voted unanimously not to play their game against the Padres in San Diego. The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers called off their game in support of the protests. Holy shit—this has even gotten into baseball.

Kenny Smith, former NBA player and one of the hosts on the TV sports show The NBA on TNT, walked off the set in protest. Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, also former NBA stars and the other hosts on the show, did not leave the set.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka pulled out of her semifinal tennis match at the Western Southern Open being played in NYC to support the NBA players’ boycott and to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake. She said, “Before I am an athlete, I am a Black woman.” Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who has refused to stand for the national anthem, tweeted a shout-out to Colin Kaepernick for “starting this revolution” four years ago. Kaepernick, who was the NFL San Francisco 49ers quarterback, kneeled when the national anthem was played before a game—and since then has been kept out of the sport by team owners and has been the target of attacks by Trump and others.

 

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Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/rnl-show-episode-23-announcement-en.html

Episode 23 of
The RNL Show—Revolution, Nothing Less!

| revcom.us

 

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"Bloodlust at Trump's RNC, Bloodshed in Kenosha, Abortion Under Attack: Trump/Pence Out Now!"

The Revolution, Nothing Less Show

Andy Zee and Sunsara Taylor speak on the ongoing police terror, rising vigilante violence, the outright fascist bloodlust at the RNC and the stakes for humanity. They drive home the importance of moving heaven and earth to mobilize mass, nonviolent sustained protest to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime, with a powerful launch called by RefuseFascism.org on September 5. 

As abortion rights hang by a thread, Sunsara interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning NY Times writer Linda Greenhouse on the growing legal restrictions on abortion, Trump's judicial appointees, and the moves towards theocracy.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/the-fascist-pageant-at-the-white-house-en.html

The Fascist Pageant at the White House:
Anti-China Hate, Lies, and War Fever

by Raymond Lotta

| revcom.us

 

And so it goes in Trump's fascist telling in his RNC acceptance speech. China is “stealing our jobs” ... “ripping us off” ... “robbing our country blind”... and bent on “owning the country.” 

Der Führer blamed China for the COVID-19 virus, using the racist label “the China virus.” The truth is that this virus is an animal-to-human pathogen (a disease-causing micro-organism). While the scientific consensus is that COVID-19 originated in China, Trump's insinuation that China deliberately spread the virus is utterly unfounded. Indeed, the evidence is that the likely source of the majority of infections in the U.S. is Europe. And let's be clear, this is one planet and a global pandemic. Trump's sensationalistic lies have been part of a sordid attempt to cover up the regime's criminal role in turning a public health crisis into an utterly unnecessary social-health catastrophe. 

More ominously, Trump is whipping up war fever against China. He insisted that “China will be held fully accountable for this national [COVID-19] tragedy.” A few days earlier, he declared, “if I don't win...you're going to have to learn to speak Chinese.” At the White House, he boasted of being the only politican who can and will “stand up to China.” 

Meanwhile, U.S. and China warships encounter each other in the South and East China Seas ... as the hired opera singer intonated “God Bless America” to the lunatic throngs on the White House lawn ... as the fireworks went off.   

1) Setting the record straight about the U.S. economic relationship with China.

* Beginning in the late 1980s and taking off in the 1990s, China has been a cheap-labor/sweatshop “paradise” for U.S. and Western capital. American companies in high-tech, like Dell, Microsoft, and IBM shifted manufacturing operations to China. Workers on these production lines in the first decade of the 2000s were working upwards of 68 hours a week, being paid 65 cents an hour, and subjected to a relentless pace of work and cruel systems of control. 

As the 2010s opened, most of Apple's iPhones were assembled in a single factory complex—in central, coastal China—that housed 450,000 workers! The 2017 factory cost of the iPhone, taking in all of its suppliers, was $237. But only $8.46 went to firms in China assembling the phone and producing its batteries. Of the final selling price of $649 at the time, $283 of the total gross profit went straight to the coffers of Apple. 

Similar horror stories and financial windfalls could be told about apparel companies subcontracted by Target, and other large transnational U.S. firms “sourcing” production of low-priced consumer goods in China, Bangladesh, Mexico, elsewhere. The “Wal-Mart” price, largely based on “made in China,” has enabled U.S. capital to keep wages down and raise profitability. U.S. auto investments in China have allowed these companies to more directly penetrate a rapidly growing market—and this has been vital to overall corporate earnings and global competitiveness. The U.S. government has also collected duties and tariffs (these are like taxes) on goods entering the U.S. from abroad.

* China provided another source of stimulus for the U.S. economy. The Chinese government and banks derived revenues from the export sales of Chinese capitalist manufacturers to the U.S. and other Western markets. The Chinese government and banks invested a lot of that “foreign exchange” (generally dollars earned through export sales) in bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury. That money coming into the U.S.—its origins largely in sweatshop manufacturing—lubricated the U.S. economy. It helped make it possible for the U.S. government to run up (and finance) monumental deficits. More money was now sloshing through the U.S. economy, and that in turn stimulated growth and financial profits in the 1990s and 2000s, including through the housing boom and bubble. 

* The U.S.-China relationship since the late 1980s, had been dominated by and overwhelmingly benefited U.S. capital—enhancing profitability. 

But by the time of the 2007-08 global financial crisis, the U.S.-China relationship was growing more complex and changing. China is a rising capitalist-imperialist power. It has gained its own vast and independent economic strength and clout. China is now the world's 2nd largest economic power. China has become a technological innovator. Its currency and banking system play a growing role in global financial markets. China is investing heavily in other parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. China is challenging the U.S. for markets and global influence. And China is building up its military.

2) Setting the record straight about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

* Yes, millions of manufacturing jobs have been outsourced and subcontracted from the U.S. to Mexico, China, and other parts of the “Global South.” Not because these countries are “stealing jobs” but because U.S. capital, facing intense international competition, roams the world in search of greater profit.

* The main reason U.S. manufacturing jobs have disappeared over the last few decades is technological transformation. Auto companies, steel firms, aerospace, and others have introduced robotics, worker-displacing equipment, information technology and more that have led to much higher output per worker ... and fewer workers! And U.S. firms have not only downsized but restructured work processes. 

* Donald Trump has not reversed these trends. Yes, several hundred thousand manufacturing jobs were added in the three years up to the outbreak of the pandemic (although that happened under Obama, too). But the share of manufacturing jobs in relation to total U.S. employment has declined sharply in the past few decades: from 28 percent in 1960 to a post-World War 2 low of slightly over 8 percent today. These jobs are not coming back—no more so than agricultural jobs that used to be at the heart of the U.S. labor force ... but which were mechanized out of existence. 

U.S. capital depends on global, cheap-labor supply chains. These chains move and morph throughout the “global south.” The profitablity and very functioning of U.S. capital requires super-exploitation in the Third World. It's why the Trump administration pressured the Mexican government to keep factories controlled by U.S. capital open as the pandemic hit, churning out goods for the U.S. and global market. 

3) Anti-China xenophobia and escalating war moves.  The U.S. military under Trump has been guided by and is operating according to a new National Security Strategy enunciated in 2018. That strategy is nothing less than a dark vision for U.S.-China conflict. As Trump chest-thumped to the TV audience—and reminded China—he has presided over an enormous military build-up (and this build-up includes expanded nuclear-war waging capacity). [See “The Absurd and Dangerous Fantasy That Donald Trump Is Not a War Monger”] 

Trump's acceptance speech was the culmination of a RNC Hitlerian pageant. A virulent step in the racist-fascist juggernaut of clampdown at home and escalating moves towards war.

See also:

The Absurd and Dangerous Fantasy That Donald Trump Is Not a War Monger

by Raymond Lotta

Read more


"Our Savior Has Come, Prepare for the Crusade – Heil Mein Trumpf!"

Fascist Shit-Show Hits the White House

Read more

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/fascist-shit-show-hits-the-white-house-en.html

"Our Savior Has Come, Prepare for the Crusade – Heil Mein Trumpf!"

Fascist Shit-Show Hits the White House

| revcom.us

 

Day 4 of the Republic National Shitshow brought the whole fascist package together: a foreign enemy to fear and blame for “Our Glorious Nation’s” misery... an “enemy within” to hate and crush... an alternate universe of lies about a once-upon-a-time-but-soon-to-be-recovered “greatness” to believe in—and die for... and a heaven-sent messiah to lead his demented minions to violently enforce that universe.

To break it down further:

Trump, and his whole convention, conjured up an America that never existed. In the last few months, tens of millions have been challenged to come to grips with the profound and basic truth that the foundations of this country were poured with slavery and genocide, and that these foundations persist and disfigure every aspect of American society today. But Trump insisted on the bullshit lie of “brave (white) pioneers who worked hard.”  

Trump, and his whole convention, pointed to—and knowingly demonized—a “foreign enemy” (China) to explain every failure of his administration and of the whole capitalist system for the last 30 years. This, too, is a lie. The truth is that the normal workings of this capitalist-imperialist system that Trump loves so much have wreaked havoc in this country in the past few decades—and, not so by the way, most of all on Black and Brown people and other people of color, including many immigrants, as well as large sections of white people in the middle and working classes. But Trump wants his minions to blame China, which is just another imperialist country itself. He even accuses China of foisting the coronavirus on the world—that same virus that the antiscientific and ignorant Trump has allowed to rampage through the country. And—unspoken but well understood in a convention in which the Vice President gave his speech at Fort McHenry, in which wounded war veterans were slobbered over, and in which the insane military buildup Trump has overseen was hailed—it is China that you must prepare to fight. 

Trump, and his whole convention, conjured up “an enemy within” to vanquish. An evil enemy that supposedly wants to invade your suburb, loot your store, burn your house, and tear down your crosses. This is another lie. 

The truth is that those whom Trump portrays as the “enemy” are the millions who rose up to protest the hard truth that police murder and institutionalized racism are REAL. Trump’s “enemy” are the millions who insisted that America confront the truth about its society and a very large part of its ugly past. This “enemy” that Trump accuses of violence are those who stood up bravely against the ultra-violent police, national guard, army and the Trumpite armed mobs who came at them with tear gas, rubber bullets, guns, cars and the rest and who beat them and kidnapped them and put them in jail and threw heavy charges at them ... and even killed them. This “enemy,” of course, also includes the millions more who sympathized with them. This enemy is YOU... is US... is the people of the whole planet who are thrilled to see this outpouring and in many countries took heart and did the same. These justice-loving people and the cause they fight for are who and what Trump is summoning his followers to crush. 

The fact that Trump not only paraded the racist couple who threatened peaceful and mainly Black protestors with semi-automatic weapons but then chose not to condemn the murders in Kenosha for which one of his “Second Amendment” followers stands accused ... the fact that not only Trump but speaker after speaker celebrated the police and spoke not a word of the heinous attempted murder by pigs of Jacob Blake, Jr in Kenosha leading into the convention ... this spoke volumes on HOW he intends to enforce his lie of an America where “the overwhelming majority” of police are heroes and (Black and other oppressed) people should be “grateful” and not raise their “grievances” (and yes, those quotes are from speakers at the convention).

But it is not just these people and principles he aims to destroy. The Trump/Pence regime aims to enchain women who demand to control their bodies and their lives ... those gay and lesbian and transgender and all kinds of other people who wish to love whom they please ... those people who choose not to bow down to Trump’s version of religion or who dare to profess no religion at all ... those who would burn American flags to defy Trump’s patriotism, which he intends now to enforce with jail sentences ... and all those who refuse to accept the whole upside-down universe of lies, lies and more lies that Trump insists is the truth every single day. 

Throughout the convention, one person after another was brought forward to attest to Trump’s “special greatness.” Trump sealed all this at the end of his speech with a Vegas-meets-Nuremberg (the site of Hitler's rallies) pageant of fireworks and a long view of the White House lawn—a pageant that would have been ridiculous were it not so deadly serious. For this is the kind of shit that inspires the fools, racists, misogynists and haters who make up his fascist base. And that is who he is mobilizing and unleashing to violently impose his will, now and to an even greater extent should he lose the election—and Trump, remember, opened the convention by saying the “only way he could lose is if it’s rigged.”

Now the challenge is on us. Will we confront the reality of what the last four years and now the last four days have meant ... and will mean? Will we get up and put on our marching shoes and join the hundreds, including Refuse Fascism and the revcoms, as well as many others, who broke the spell and demonstrated outside the White House on the final night of the convention against Trump, and made so much noise outside his pageant that reality intruded? Will you be there on, and will you build for, September 5, and the weeks that must follow it ... and all the way through, however long it takes and wherever it leads?

We close with this point from Bob Avakian:

With the full awareness of what is represented by this fascist regime, and what it means that Trump is not only seeking to suppress the votes of people who will vote against him but is also preparing to utilize forceful, violent repression to remain in office if he is not declared the winner in the election, it is of critical and urgent importance to build now truly massive and sustained mobilization around the unifying demand that this regime must be OUT NOW!—with an orientation of being prepared to continue this even past the election, if the situation requires it. (from ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION, THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME, VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION)

There is a semi-official narrative about the history and the "greatness" of America, which says that this greatness of America lies in the freedom and ingenuity of its people, and above all in a system that gives encouragement and reward to these qualities. Now, in opposition to this semi-official narrative about the greatness of America, the reality is that—to return to one fundamental aspect of all this—slavery has been an indispensable part of the foundation for the "freedom and prosperity" of the USA. The combination of freedom and prosperity is, as we know, still today, and in some ways today more than ever, proclaimed as the unique quality and the special destiny and mission of the United States and its role in the world. And this stands in stark contradiction to the fact that without slavery, none of this—not even the bourgeois-democratic freedoms, let alone the prosperity—would have been possible, not only in the southern United States but in the North as well, in the country as a whole and in its development and emergence as a world economic and military power.

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:8

The Call from RefuseFascism.org:

PROTEST EVERYWHERE
Saturday September 5
DEMAND TRUMP PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

If this regime is able to further consolidate its power and make further leaps in implementing its horrific objectives, this will result in a devastating setback for any attempt to resist injustice and oppression, and will very likely lead to the brutal repression, and even annihilation, of defenders of democratic rights and proponents of any meaningful progressive reforms, as well as any organized forces fighting for fundamental revolutionary change.

(From ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION, THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME, VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION)

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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