revcom.us, September 14, 2020 through September 20, 2020 (#665)

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]

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/promote-ba-statement-on-the-immediate-critical-situation-with-these-resources-en.html

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

| revcom.us

 

 

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

 

Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/664/bob-avakian-voting-will-not-be-enough-pt1-en.html

VOTING WILL NOT BE ENOUGH—
WE NEED TO TAKE TO THE STREETS,
AND STAY IN THE STREETS
DEMANDING TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Part 1

THE DEMOCRATS CAN'T FIGHT TRUMP
THE WAY HE NEEDS TO BE FOUGHT

 

In the 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, I spoke to this important point:

At 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.

At the same time, however, I strongly emphasized that:

Simply 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.

Trump’s Blatant Racism and Support for White Supremacist Violence

It has become increasingly clear that a pivotal part of Trump’s strategy, in relation to the election scheduled for November, and his overall approach to holding power, is to make more and more blatant appeals to racism by trumpeting a call for “law and order.” Trump portrays the ongoing protests against white supremacy and police terror as violent—and, as is typical with him, he flagrantly and grossly lies about the extent and causes of this violence. He paints a crude horror scene of you-know-who coming to pillage and rape—to violate the homes and the people, especially the women—in the suburbs, which in Trump’s vision are all white. This is a direct “echo” of the vile tactics used by white supremacists organizing mobs to lynch Black people during Jim Crow segregation, and of how Hitler stirred up hatred of and violence against Jews in NAZI Germany. Here again, facts do not matter to Trump and his fascist regime and its supporters—or, rather, facts are to be deliberately distorted, defied, and perverted in pursuit of literally murderous aims.

It has been shown (for example, in a study by Princeton University) that, overwhelmingly (more than 90 percent of the time), these protests against white supremacy and police terror have not been violent; and violence that has been committed by the protesters themselves has been relatively minor (some fires, looting, and trashing of a few buildings, in small, confined areas, often at or near police stations—nothing like the picture Trump paints of whole cities being burned down and destroyed). But, beyond that, most of the violence in connection with these protests has been perpetrated by Trump supporters—by police, who have repeatedly attacked the protests, and by armed fascist thugs (those Trump calls “Second Amendment people”). At least 20 protesters have been killed in this way. And Trump and his supporters have justified—and even glorified—this violence by white supremacists.

The Democrats, and the “mainstream media” generally in the same camp (CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and so on), have largely tried to shift the focus away from the protests and onto questions where they feel Trump is more vulnerable—in particular Trump’s truly reckless handling of the COVID pandemic, and things such as statements by Trump (or attributed to him) insulting U.S. soldiers. But Trump will continue his racist attacks on the protests against white supremacy and police violence, and his attempts to paint the Democrats as backers of violence and “carnage” by Black “thugs,” anarchists” and other “far leftists”; and this will have the effect of forcing the Democrats to devote significant attention to responding to this. And what has been the response of the Democrats? They have made the point that most of the protests have been peaceful, and they even say that Trump wants violence; yet, at the same time, the Democrats accept, to a large extent, the terms (and the trap) Trump has set. They have put a great deal of emphasis on denouncing violence by protesters, without giving the same emphasis to pointing out who is responsible for most of the violence connected to the protests—once again, overwhelmingly Trump supporters. The Democrats do not highlight the bitter irony that here are people protesting violence by the police and, even when (overwhelmingly) their protests are peaceful, they are subjected to yet more violence by the policeThe Democrats don’t emphasize yet another glaring irony: Here are Trump and his supporters denouncing and attacking people overwhelmingly carrying out peaceful protests against racist violence, while Trump defends monuments to “heroes” of the Confederacy, who waged a war, in which they killed hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers, in the attempt to preserve and extend slavery.

Strategies by Democrats That Flow From and Reinforce the Problem Itself

There are two basic causes for how the Democrats and their allies do—and do not—respond to what Trump is doing with his attacks on the protests and his contrived racist horror story of mobs of “those people” bent on violently attacking innocent (white) people and their property. First, the Democrats’ electoral strategy is focused on winning a relatively small number of “swing voters,” largely white people in the suburbs, in a small number of “swing states.” Flowing from this, and once again largely accepting the terms Trump has set, the Democrats see it as very important to reassure these voters that the Democrats, too, denounce—and, by implication, will use the power of the government to suppress—violence that supposedly is carried out by protesters and supposedly threatens these (white suburban) “swing voters.” Here it has to be said that, even on its own—very wrong and perverted—terms, this is likely a losing strategy. Not only is it the case that, by far, most of the violence connected with the protests has been carried out by Trump supporters (including the police), while overwhelmingly the protests themselves have been peaceful; but, even if the intent of everyone protesting were to remain completely peaceful, including when provoked and attacked by the police and armed “civilian” racists, there will still be violence—exactly because Trump and his supporters will continue to carry out, and to escalate, the violence, no matter what the protesters do.

It is true that, at this point, the vote in a few states essentially determines the outcome of presidential elections—so that, as was the case with Trump in the previous presidential election, someone can lose the popular vote and still become president. But, even given this reality, an electoral strategy that could work much better for the Democrats would be to take on Trump’s whole racist approach, directly and forcefully, and appeal to Black people and other people of color, and the large number of white people (especially, though not only, younger generations) who have shown that they are motivated by a definite desire for an end to social injustice, blatant inequality, and rampant police violence. That is a great “reservoir” that, theoretically, the Democrats could focus on appealing to.

But the Democrats themselves will not—cannot—really do this. And this gets to the deeper reasons why the Democrats approach things in the way they do. Although, in the present situation, where there has been a massive outpouring against police terror, the Democrats have felt the need to talk in general terms about “police reform,” as representatives of this system of capitalism-imperialism the Democrats are very firm about the fundamental need for the police to enforce the oppressive “law and order” of this system, with the racist violence that involves. So, the Democrats cannot carry out a campaign that actually unites with the strongly and widely held sentiment that this police violence must end. At the same time, as representatives of this system, and as upholders of its traditional institutions and “stability,” they do not want to win an election and head the government on the basis of appealing to and further arousing a force of tens of millions filled with passionate intensity to end police terror and white supremacy, which in fact are built into and required by this system. Better, from the Democrats’ point of view, to appeal to longings for “a return to calm and normalcy”—which are likely to resonate with many middle class suburbanites—even though there will not be any “calm and normalcy,” in large part because the fascist forces will not allow it.

Appealing to the “Grievances” of the Fascists Will Only Strengthen Fascism

Once again now, as was the case during and in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 election, there are “mainstream” voices (such as CNN’s Chris Cuomo, brother of the Democratic Governor of New York state, and Thomas Friedman, a prominent proponent of the “great benefits” of highly globalized capitalism) who argue that, in order to win this time, Biden and the Democrats should appeal to Trump’s “base” by recognizing their “grievances,” rather than humiliating them. But there are deep-seated bases for this fascism, and the minds of these fascists will not be changed by “being nice” to them or acting as if their “grievances” are “legitimate. As I (and others who have seriously studied this fascist phenomenon) have pointed out, the reality is that these “grievances” flow from resentment against any changes that even slightly undermine white supremacymale supremacy, xenophobia (hatred of foreigners), rabid American chauvinism, and the unrestrained plundering of the environment. And, even though, in the most fundamental terms, the Democrats represent this system of capitalism-imperialism, which embodies and enforces all of this, the Republican party, as it has become more and more blatantly fascist, has cultivated and organized its “base” through aggressively promoting, in extreme terms, this inequality, oppression, and plunder of the earth, along with a rejection of, and passionate “resentment” against, the scientific method and rational thinking. For example, there is this important analysis, by African-American theologian Hubert Locke, speaking particularly to the Christian fundamentalists that are the driving force of this fascism:

It is not happenstance that it is a movement that draws its strength and finds its support principally in the so-called heartland of the nation and especially in its southern precincts. This is the portion of the United States that has never been comfortable with post-WWII America. The brief period of normalcy after the war was followed within a decade by a pent-up and long overdue racial revolution that overturned centuries of culture and tradition, especially in the South. The disillusionment, two decades later, with an unpopular war in southeast Asia shook the foundations of traditional/conventional patriotism in American life; it was followed in the next decade by a sexual revolution that upset deeply entrenched views among this portion of the American populace about the subordinate place of women in society and the non-place of gay and lesbian persons in American life. These political and social and cultural defeats have now erupted into a pitched battle to turn back the clock on the last half-century and return America to its pre-war purity. It is not without significance that teaching creationism in the schools, for example, is such a prominent part of the religious right agenda. That was a battle the right lost in the mid-1920s but it is not one that the right ever acknowledged losing‑‑just as some die-hards have never acknowledged losing the Civil War. Consequently, the restoration the religious right seeks is one that would recapture a way of life that disappeared in this nation a half-century ago.1

This is what “Make America Great Again” actually means. The Democrats could not “compete” with this, without abandoning their own “identity” as the party that supposedly cares about social justice and addressing the environmental crisis.

All this, in turn, is tied in with the fundamental reasons why the Democrats will not call out the Trump/Pence regime for what it actually is—fascist—which, as I have emphasized, “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.”2 First of all, if you acknowledge that this regime is in fact fascist, then that raises very big questions about the whole system, and how it is that such a fascist regime could come to power—not through something like a military coup, but through the “normal channels” and institutional procedures of this system. And, along with that, if you recognize that this regime is fascist, then that has very big implications in terms of what must be done to deal with the dangers posed by this fascism—which, in reality, requires stepping outside of the “norms” of this system and mobilizing masses of people in determined, non-violent but sustained struggle in the streets to demand the ouster of this regime, as is being called for by RefuseFascism.org.

The Immediate Urgent Need for Mass Mobilization Against This Fascism

In sum, the Democrats, being who and what they are, will not and cannot deal with all this—neither the election, nor the larger situation in which this election is taking place and the profound stakes that are actually involved—in any way other than on the terms, and within the limits, established by this system, which has produced this fascism, and to a large degree on the terms set by the fascists themselves.

This can be seen in what the Democrats have done in their attempts to deal with the way in which the Trump/Pence fascist regime has—repeatedly, and in an escalating way—trampled on the “norms” of this system. Time and again, the Democrats have sought to deal with this by trying to utilize the very “norms” and institutions that this fascist regime is defying and tearing up, or bending to its fascist aims—the courts, congressional hearings and proceedings, and so on.Time and again, the Democrats have failed. Yet they stubbornly refuse to seek any means of opposing this regime other than by resorting to these “norms” and procedures. This is what they are doing, and will be strongly inclined to continue doing, even in the face of Trump’s increasing and intensifying moves to suppress votes in the upcoming election and his clearly indicated determination to have himself declared the winner in the election, or to remain in power regardless of the outcome of the election.

All this is why—even though, if it comes down to it, voting against Trump by voting for Biden will be necessary and important—it will very likely lead to disaster to rely on voting and just hope that the election will solve the problem.

And all this points to the very great likelihood that regardless of the actual outcome of this election (assuming it is actually held), if Trump declares himself the “winner” and refuses to leave, in the absence of truly massive mobilization demanding that the Trump/Pence regime must be removed, the Democrats will end up capitulating to Trump. The mass mobilization that is needed cannot be built “overnight,” in the aftermath of the election—and it cannot be built by confining things within the framework and limits insisted upon by the Democrats.

The truth—the truth about this country, and the truth about what is represented and is being implemented and enforced by the Trump/Pence regime—must be brought alive as a crucial, and immediately urgent, focus of the fight against injustice and oppression and against the fascism of this regime. This must be done without waiting for the election, but by taking action right now, and in an ongoing way, with masses of people—first in the thousands, growing into millions—in sustained mobilization around the unifying demand that this regime must go.

Waiting for November, and Relying on the Election, Will Likely Lead to Disaster:

We Need to Take to the Streets, and Stay in the Streets, Demanding Trump/Pence Out Now!

 


1. Reflections on Pacific School of Religion's Response to the Religious Right, by Dr. Hubert Locke. This is available at revcom.us.

In addition to my own writings and speeches on this question of fascism, which are available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us,* there have been a number of important studies of particularly the Christian fascist phenomenon—including in recent books by Katherine Stewart* and Kristin Kobes Du Mez*—which make clear that these fascists are firmly committed to their extremely oppressive, reactionary, and literally lunatic views and aims, and they will not be moved by attempts to appeal to their supposed “legitimate grievances.”

* For example, my recent article Patriarchy and Patriotism—Aggressive Male Supremacy and American Supremacy—The Danger and the Immediate Challenge draws from important insights in Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation; and my 2017 speech The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible cites important analysis in Katherine Stewart’s book The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.  [back]

2. From 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.  [back]

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"Part 3: TRUMP’S FASCISM—
MORE BLATANT AND DANGEROUS EVERY DAY:
HOW A DETERMINED FIGHT AND MASSIVE MOBILIZATION
COULD DEFEAT THIS

Short Version—The Basic Picture and Essential Vision"

 

 

 

 

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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:

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/664/rnl-show-episode-25-announcement-en.html" >Episode 25 of The RNL—Revolution Nothing Less—Show:

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/664/a-path-was-blazed-on-september-5th-en.html

A Path Was Blazed on September 5th:
Will You Walk on That, or Will You Turn Away?

by Andy Zee

| revcom.us

 

The following is a transcript of the commentary by Andy Zee on Episode 25 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show.

With all that you’ve seen and heard on today’s RNL Show, and on previous episodes, it comes to this:

A path was blazed on September 5th. Will you walk on that; or will you turn away? We are laced up and ready.

Those who took the streets September 5th were the first rush of a fresh stream pouring down from the mountain of masses of peoples’ outrage and their determination to stop all that is the Trump/Pence regime... This can and must become a torrent over the next 60 days.

Lines are drawn... Trump, Pence, their regime, their fascist base are moving. Did you know that right now, every week there are MAGA boat rallies, car caravans, militias stalking communities; vigilantes and police and paramilitary suppressing protest and voters... while they plot to mobilize all this to intimidate at polling places while subverting counting of absentee ballots?

What was begun with each and every person who took the streets across the country on September 5th is as precious as the first drops of water to parched earth. Now, each and all can and must be marshaled and organized so that October is our month—a month that begins sustained nonviolent protests, building in numbers and determination so that by November there are not just the MAGA Trump forces in the field, but instead there is an unstoppable flood of people in the streets committed, determined, overcoming, and putting aside their differences to unite to say with many voices: TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW! To be fired at their core that not in our name will we allow another day of rule by this fascist regime, to be inspired and determined to demonstrate in word and in deed: In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

Do not underestimate what we have begun. For in word and deed September 5th posed the questions that each and all of us must answer and continue to answer in word and deed. Questions that must be before people everywhere:

What are you going to do for the next 60 days?... and beyond... Who are you going to be?

Will you say, I didn’t join those who took to the streets in nonviolent protest to demand TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW! because I thought Biden would win and Trump was all bluster?

Will you say, I didn’t join the protests in the streets because Trump is just a reactionary psychopath and fascism couldn’t really happen here?

Will you say that I didn’t join the protests in the streets because I don’t want to be associated with anarchists or revolutionary communists, or Marxists—because I want change but without cost, I want the rain but without thunder and lightning?

Will you say, as some people have told us, that life in the hood and the barrio is always hard and we are always dogged by the system and its police, so we got to deal with things where we’re at, Trump won’t mean anything different for us? Did you know that in Germany and Eastern Europe before the Nazis came to power, Jewish people were oppressed and confined to ghettos, but when Hitler came to full power it was only eight years before they were rounded up and sent to concentration camps?

Will you say, as some people have told us, that they didn’t join the protests in the streets because they know that the Biden Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans and that I am working for real change, ignoring the reality of what was staring me in the face, that the Trump/Pence regime and the fascist movement it leads could seriously wipe out for a long time the possibility of the kind of change I thought would come? Here too, the example of Germany is relevant—where for a time the radical revolutionary forces failed to unite, some having the slogan: “After Hitler, Us,” which tragically became: After Hitler, concentration camps.

Dismiss this as hyperbole. Argue that it hasn’t happened yet so it won’t... Tell yourself reassuring tidbits of history about all the differences between America 2020 and Germany of 1933... but be warned here that if you do this, and fail to heed the call to join together in the streets now to demand Trump/Pence Out Now, if you fail to look squarely in the face of reality without illusion or delusion, if you—if we—fail to find the ways to unite in our great diversity in 60 Days of Struggle this fall... you will then bitterly learn how it actually did happen in Germany in 1933.

And here’s a more underlying question:

What country, what world, will you, will we, will humanity wake up to, in February 2021?

If it is a fascist world... which is what is coming if we don’t rise up in nonviolent, mass sustained protest to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power—then: all your reasons, all your rationalizations and excuses, will evaporate like a drop of water in the hot sun. The hot sun will be ruled by those who are changing the rules—those who rule only by force and terror... those who are committed and determined white supremacists enforcing a racist genocide, those who are Christian fascists insisting that women and LGBTQ people go back... those who terrorize and put immigrants in concentration camps.

September 5th showed that such a course is not necessary. There is a way forward.

To each and every person who came out on September 5th and to all who are watching or hearing about this on this show or elsewhere, know this: You and all of the 1,700 who came out did so in recognition of the danger we face and in defiance of the prevalent thinking that all we can do is vote and wait to see if Trump loses, steals, or defies the election—let alone, that he could actually win the election, with this a possibility made stronger if we are not mobilized while the Trump fascist forces rampage around the country.

We know that being the first out—and in the face of all the reasons given to not do so—is not easy, but you stepped out of your comfort zones because you recognized it mattered and now others can and need to follow in your path. So now each of us needs to reach out and bring others forward. Go to the websites RefuseFascism.org and to revcom.us to get the orientation, the argument, and the materials to bring others forward right now.

Go to those sites which amplify what you saw in the opening video today of people of different backgrounds coming together who think that science and reality matter, that justice matters, and that all of those who came out from different struggles—saving the environment from extinction, saving Black and Brown lives, immigrant, women’s, LGBTQ rights, people fighting for various reforms, and the revcoms working to prepare today for the time when we could make an actual revolution—all of these concerns and causes that affect humanity joining together in recognition that the continuation of the Trump/Pence regime, that the consolidation of fascism, will bring disaster not just to these causes but to the entirety of humanity.

Everyone is needed. Now. Not just when the shit hits the fan. First of all, it has. If the blatant murder of people protesting for Black Lives by MAGA fascist vigilantes does not wake and shake you to the real and present danger, take your pulse.

The people really do have the power. I will repeat that it is on each and all of us to do all we can to arouse, inspire, and organize that into a mighty torrent starting now—60 Days of Struggle—so that going into the election our side has the initiative; so that whatever the Trump/Pence regime does there is a powerful movement in the streets that has forged the ways to work in concert with each other and that will be prepared to mobilize with even greater determination should Trump refuse to leave office.

On September 5th we carved open a path to stop the great calamity that the continuation and consolidation of the Trump/Pence regime would mean. That path needs to and can grow to millions. That is possible because there are millions of people who feel that the horror of this regime must be over.

I close this commentary with the following from Bob Avakian in a statement he made on June 1, soon after the murder of George Floyd:

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.

That was Bob Avakian in the early days of the uprising sparked by the brutal murder by the police of George Floyd.

The struggle over the next period is a crucial part of making this real. Ultimately, to realize this world requires an actual revolution. We, who work for that revolution, are all in with fighting today with all we’ve got, to Drive Out the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

We join with all of you and what must become millions more in making real our conviction that:

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/bob-avakian-donald-trump-genocidal-racist-part-8-en.html

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST*
Part 8

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 8

Donald Trump loves and violently defends the slave-owning Confederacy as part of “our great American heritage.”

He has condemned, and issued executive orders to severely punish, people pulling down statues honoring soldiers and leaders of the Confederacy who fought to preserve and extend slavery. These statues were put up to celebrate slavery, and as monuments to white supremacy, during the days of “Jim Crow” when Black people as a whole were openly segregated and discriminated against, and constantly subjected to lynching and all-around terror, for generations even after slavery was ended.

What else can it be, but genocidal racism, when Trump insists on severely punishing people who want to bring down these monuments to slavery and racist terror?!

(If you still think this is an exaggeration—going too far to say this about Trump—then you still don’t know who Donald Trump really is. Look for Part 9: further evidence of Donald Trump as a genocidal racist.)

 


Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews. Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.

Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.  [back]

Download pamphlet of complete series (PDF printer spread)

Read the Series "Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST"

Part 1 | PDF
Part 2 | PDF
Part 3 | PDF
Part 4 | PDF
Part 5 | PDF
Part 6 | PDF
Part 7 | PDF
Part 8
Part 9 | PDF
Part 10 | PDF

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/664/bob-avakian-donald-trump-genocidal-racist-part-7-en.html

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST*
Part 7

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 7

Trump did not simply declare that white supremacist thugs in Charlottesville, Virginia were “very fine people”—he has repeatedly supported and spread the racist rantings of white supremacists (through tweets and in other ways). To take just one example: not long ago, he re-tweeted a video of a supporter of his shouting “White Power!”

“White Power” means, and has always meant, white supremacist murder and terror against Black people in particular. It should be obvious to everyone what Trump means, and what he intends, when he broadcasts his support for “White Power.” He means, and he intends to use, the full power of the government to bring about murderous terror against Black people, and all those he regards as less than human and a drain and a stain on the fascist—white, English-speaking, Christian—America that he proclaims must be “great again” and “dominate” all others.

(If you still think this is an exaggeration—going too far to say this about Trump—then you still don’t know who Donald Trump really is. Look for Part 8: further evidence of Donald Trump as a genocidal racist.)

 


Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews. Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.

Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.  [back]

Download pamphlet of complete series (PDF printer spread)

Read the Series "Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST"

Part 1 | PDF
Part 2 | PDF
Part 3 | PDF
Part 4 | PDF
Part 5 | PDF
Part 6 | PDF
Part 7
Part 8 | PDF
Part 9 | PDF
Part 10 | PDF

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/664/bob-avakian-donald-trump-genocidal-racist-part-6-en.html

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST*
Part 6

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 6

In his typical crudely racist way, Trump has referred to Haiti and countries in Africa as well as Latin America as “shit-hole” countries—while insisting that we need more immigrants from places like Norway (an overwhelmingly white-European country). With the same crude racism (and xenophobia—hatred of foreigners) he declared that four “progressive” Congresswomen should “go back” to the “totally-broken crime-infested places from which they came,” insisting they could not leave this country soon enough—even though 3 of the 4 were born in the U.S. and the fourth came here as a very young child. If Trump will say this about Congresswomen, think about what he wants to do (and what he has been doing) with the masses of ordinary people he sees as coming from “shit-hole countries”—he would like nothing less than to purge this country of huge numbers of non-white immigrants, and to impose a reign of terror on many who remain.

(If you still think this is an exaggeration—going too far to say this about Trump—then you still don’t know who Donald Trump really is. Look for Part 7: further evidence of Donald Trump as a genocidal racist.)

 


Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews. Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.

Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.  [back]

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/664/bob-avakian-donald-trump-genocidal-racist-part-5-en.html

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST*
Part 5

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 5

In 2017, when NAZIs and other white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, yelling racist and anti-Jewish slogans, and then an anti-racist protester was murdered by one of the white supremacists, Trump called these racist thugs “very fine people.”

This is only one of the many times Trump has encouraged and supported racist violence by white supremacist thugs. And this shows what he wants to have happen in society as a whole.

If this is not genocidal racism, what is?

(If you think this is an exaggeration—going too far to say this about Trump—then you still don’t know who Donald Trump really is. Look for Part 6: further evidence of Donald Trump as a genocidal racist.)

 


Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews. Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.

Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.  [back]

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/bob-avakian-donald-trump-genocidal-racist-part-4-en.html

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST*
Part 4

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 4

While running for president in 2016 Trump declared that “Muslims hate us” (“us” meaning the fascist America that Trump is moving rapidly and forcefully to pound into place). He called for “registering” all Muslims already in this country, and for banning any further immigration here by Muslims. Since becoming president, Trump has instituted a “travel ban” aimed at countries where Islam is the main religion (this “travel ban” was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court). His fascist followers declare that Islam is “evil” and that all Muslims are “terrorists,” and Trump re-tweets hateful statements from fanatical anti-Muslim fascists.

Once again, this is the kind of thing Hitler did in demonizing and criminalizing those who did not fit his image of a “pure Germanic race.” Besides the 6 million Jews murdered by Hitler, many of these other “undesirables” were also put into concentration camps and killed by Hitler’s NAZI regime.

(If you still don’t think Trump would do something as extreme as killing off large parts of those he has demonized and criminalized, you still don’t know who Donald Trump really is. Look for Part 5: further evidence of Donald Trump as a genocidal racist.)

 


Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews. Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.

Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.  [back]

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Part 5 | PDF
Part 6 | PDF
Part 7 | PDF
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Part 10 | PDF

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/bob-avakian-donald-trump-genocidal-racist-part-3-en.html

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST*
Part 3

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 3

Early in his last campaign for president, Trump declared that he was going to “build a wall” to keep out Mexicans, calling the people who come to the U.S. from Mexico “drug dealers... rapists... criminals.” He said that a judge in a legal case Trump was involved in could not be “fair” to Trump because the judge was of Mexican heritage—a textbook case of racism (as even a powerful Trump supporter had to admit).

Since becoming president, along with unleashing vicious raids to deport immigrants, tearing apart families, Trump has put tens of thousands of immigrants—mostly from Mexico and nearby countries in Central America—in concentration camps on the border, while separating even very young migrant children from their parents.

Many people have pointed out that all this is the kind of thing Hitler did to “demonize” and “criminalize” Jews as he put them in concentration camps, and then murdered 6 million of them.

(If you don’t think Trump would do something as extreme as killing off large parts of those he has demonized and criminalized, you still don’t know who Donald Trump really is. Look for Part 4: further evidence of Donald Trump as a genocidal racist.)

 


* Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews. Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.

Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.  [back]

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/bob-avakian-donald-trump-genocidal-racist-part-2-en.html

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST*
Part 2

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 2

Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.

Don’t believe it? Think that’s an exaggeration, that it’s going too far to say that about Trump? It’s not. Trump has spouted and shouted vicious racism for years, and decades.

Thirty years ago, the Central Park 5, a group of Black and Latino teenagers, were charged with raping and beating a white woman, almost to death, in Central Park in New York City. Donald Trump took out newspaper ads calling for these youth to be put to death. The Central Park 5 were railroaded to jail for years, until finally it was proven, beyond a doubt, that they were innocent. Did Trump admit he was wrong and apologize for calling for innocent Black and Brown teenagers to be executed? NO—during his campaign for president in 2016 he still insisted that these youth were still guilty, despite the definite proof that they were not.

In the same campaign, Trump insisted that “Stop and Frisk”—which, in New York City and some other places, had terrorized huge numbers of Black and Brown youth who were innocent of committing any actual crime—should be put into effect, not just in one or a few cities, but all over the country.

If all this is what Trump wants to do with Black and Brown youth, without even caring whether they are innocent, what do you think he wants to do with all those he finds “guilty” of the “crime” of not being white Americans?

(If you think this is an exaggeration—going too far to say this about Trump—then you still don’t know who Donald Trump really is. Look for Part 3: further evidence of Donald Trump as a genocidal racist.)

 


Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews. Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.  [back]

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/bob-avakian-donald-trump-genocidal-racist-part-1-en.html

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST
Part 1

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 1

Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews.  Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.

Donald Trump hates Black people and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.

Trump has spouted and shouted vicious racism for years, and decades.

Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, who knows him well, said this about him:

“I can only imagine the envy with which Donald watched” the cop killing George Floyd. “I can only imagine that Donald wishes it had been his knee on Floyd’s neck.” (emphasis added)

Think about that.  

What do you think Trump will do if he can get his “knee” even more firmly on the necks of Black, Brown, and Native peoples?

Yes, even after slavery was ended, Black people have been continually subjected to horrific oppression and terror, right down to today—but the fully unleashed rule of genocidal racism, which is what Trump is aiming for, would be a horror on a whole other level. The slow genocide of Black people which has already been going on—through things like mass incarceration and continuing murder by police—can quickly become a much faster and more complete genocide if Trump and his regime succeed in remaining in power and carry forward more fully their fascist program.

And, as I have said in my August 1 Statement,* the hour is getting late, but it is not yet too late, to defeat the fascism concentrated in the fascist regime of Trump (and Pence) and to wrench something positive out of this increasingly terrible situation. But that requires fully facing up to what this regime of genocidal racist fascism represents and what it is aiming to do, and using all appropriate means to remove this regime from power—above all the mobilization of masses of people, to get in the streets, starting now, in the thousands, and stay in the streets, becoming millions, powerfully putting forward the unifying demand that this fascist regime must be OUT NOW!

And, as I emphasized in that August 1 Statement, in the most fundamental terms, it requires working to create more favorable conditions for, and to build up the organized forces for, the revolution that is needed to finally put an end to this system, which has from the beginning rested on genocidal racism and other horrific forms of oppression—and which now, with this fascist regime, is moving to take this to even more monstrous levels, posing a very real and grave threat to the very existence not only of Black people but the masses of oppressed humanity and ultimately humanity as a whole.  

This is not hype or exaggeration in any way—it is the cold hard fact we are faced with—and it demands that, in the name of and for the future of humanity, we act on the basis of fully confronting this reality and moving, in our millions and millions, to change this reality, before it really is too late.

(If you think this is an exaggeration, and the danger is not as great as what is said here, then you don’t know who Donald Trump really is. In part 2 and the rest of this series of articles, further evidence will be brought out to show that Donald Trump is indeed a genocidal racist whose fascist regime is a threat to the very existence not only of Black people, but to the masses of oppressed humanity, and to humanity itself—and, once again, what we are urgently called on to do in the face of this.)

 


*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.  [back]

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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          

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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:

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THE NEW COMMUNISM

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/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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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/664/september-5-solid-beginning-the-major-challenges-ahead-en.html

September 5—A Solid Beginning and the Major Challenges Ahead

| revcom.us

 


Chicago

Demanding the fascist Trump/Pence regime be ousted from power, around 1,700 people manifested nationwide on Saturday, September 5, in mass non-violent protest in 20 cities, from New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles to Philadelphia, Houston, Boston, and even Orlando where people courageously defied the fascist thugs. Go here to see clips and photos from the various protests, and the media coverage, both national and local.

This represented a solid and real beginning for the 60 days of struggle called by Refuse Fascism:

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.

The voices joining in unison were diverse and they were urgent. For example, one was Pastor Cruz, from Trinity Lutheran Church, Sunset Park, in New York City, an immigrant area deeply affected by the ICE raids escalated by the fascist regime.

My dear sisters and brothers, we are in as you all know a deep, deep, criminal and evil enterprise in the White House, which requires more than simple reform.... It’s an urgent, urgent matter. Let’s work without ceasing until this demonic administration is out. “Power to the People.”

Across the country, there was a real sense of bringing strands of struggles together—against police murder and the oppression of Black people, against the oppression of immigrants, and the oppression of women and LGBTQ people—and a sense that Trump is a nightmare for humanity.


NYC: Calling out Trump's backing for the fascist Bolsonaro regime in Brazil, joining to demand Bolsonaro and Trump/Pence Out Now!

The group Defend Democracy in Brazil, who brought their signs to join the NYC rally, spoke to the planet burning from climate change, and how four more years of Trump can't be tolerated because of what that would mean for the planet. An anti-war and gay rights activist brought out some important lessons from both struggles and the power of the masses of people in the streets, saying, “We stopped the war, the Vietnam War. We, the anti-war movement stopped that war with the solidarity with the Vietnamese people. We did that by being in the street. The president resigned, that was Johnson.” A speaker from Black Trans Liberation made a rousing speech about how Black Trans lives are being ignored and how Black people will not be able to “run away to Canada” come November if this regime holds onto power.

The Revolution Club was part of the protests in NYC, Chicago, and Los Angeles, bringing forth the reality of Trump and this fascist regime as a product of this system of capitalism-imperialism, and of the need for revolution, and from this standpoint, what Bob Avakian says 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: “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.

A middle-aged white woman came “to be with like-minded people, and stand with anti-fascist forces.” She said Trump’s unleashing of fascist thugs “scares her shitless,” but she won’t let it stop her from protesting. A white guy in his 20s had a “Trump-ism is Fascism” sign. He feels huge protests like Europe are needed here, and said especially as a white person he feels a responsibility to be part of efforts to drive out Trump and Pence because of the white supremacy they are whipping up. A Black man from a Chicago suburb said he was furious about Trump calling dead soldiers “losers,” and added, “I hope what Trump said about the troops shows you he doesn’t care about any of us.” He was wearing a T-shirt that upheld the importance of science.

People came from many different perspectives, stemming from their hatred of Trump, the white supremacy and the fascist thugs, or other driving policies of the fascist regime and the overall “danger to democracy.” People got a deeper sense of the existential danger represented by the regime. A deeper sense of what is needed—right now—in mass political resistance especially in the wake of Trump’s threats to delay and de-legitimize the elections or stay in power despite a loss.

Speaking for Refuse Fascism nationally, Sunsara Taylor, a member of the National Revolution Tour currently in Los Angeles, talked about the qualitative change in the form of rule represented by fascism, and what it means for the masses of people. She talked about Trump posing with “a sheriff who openly advocated throwing a whole generation of Black people into warehouses, preventing them from having children, and holding them until they all died off and then turning the warehouses into shopping malls. Trump posed with this Nazi AFTER these comments were made public.” She went on to say, “That is genocide, pure and simple, and as Bob Avakian has said in a new series which everyone here should read at revcom.us, Donald Trump Is a Genocidal Racist.

Going into September 5, revcom.us has featured many of the endorsements and messages of support such as from actor Jodie Sweetin, from musicians Arturo O’Farrill and Lalah Hathaway, from Cornel West, from the faith community like Bishop Greer, Rev. Brashear, Rev. Woolf, and Torah Trumps Hate... All of these are extremely positive “shoots” and need to be marshaled for what is needed: reaching millions and millions more, mobilizing them for the 60 days of struggle, and the mass sustained non-violent protests leading into the elections.

The message is clear, righteous and resounding with prominent voices of support that can help amplify and spread it; and there are beginning cores from sections of society that have come forth and been organized through September 5th. A very powerful moment in many places was “taking the pledge.”

Carl Dix, speaking for Refuse Fascism, said, “This is not a one-day show. We didn’t call you out to register that you don’t like Donald Trump and then to go back home and wait to see what happened. We called you out here to be the beginning core of the force that is going to reach out and enlist others, that’s going to mobilize others, that’s going to organize others, to take up this 60 days of defiant resistance.”

The challenge begins! To realize the full vision of what Refuse Fascism has called for... go to RefuseFascism.org.


Chicago


Chicago


Orlando, Florida: Rallying at City Hall despite the presence of a Trumpite "counter-protest"


Los Angeles


New York


New York


San Francisco


San Francisco

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/664/yes-trump-intends-to-steal-election-we-can-not-wait-until-november-en.html

YES, Trump DOES Intend to Undermine, Steal or Nullify the Election;
NO, We Can NOT Wait Until November 4 to Take to the Streets

| revcom.us

 

Trump’s followers are in the streets NOW, attacking and even killing protesters, with his support and encouragement. Trump’s “poll watchers” and lawyers are moving now to prevent Black, Latino, and Native people from voting, and to attack and undermine mail-in voting. Trump has threatened that the only way they lose is “if the election is rigged,” i.e., threatening to refuse to accept the results if he is not the winner.  

YES, Trump DOES Intend to Undermine, Steal or Nullify the Election

If WE don’t stand up NOW, if we don’t bring forward many more thousands now, and build up to millions in nonviolent but determined protest against all kinds of injustice AND against Trump/Pence FASCISM and its repressive moves, then it may well be too late! Especially in November, if and when the fascists insist the election is “theirs,” would we not be on far stronger ground to prevent, contest or reverse it than if we try to start from scratch? 

NO, We Can NOT Wait Until November 4! Take to the Streets to Drive Out This Fascist Regime Through Sustained Nonviolent Mass Protest


Read more

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/trump-lies-on-covid-crime-against-humanity-pt-1-en.html

Trump's Crime against Humanity

Trump LIES on COVID ... Needless DEATHS Follow ... A FASCIST Advance – Part I

| revcom.us

 

COVID, LIES, AND A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

Imagine if someone knew that some arsonists were planning to burn down a crowded apartment building that he owned and managed—an apartment building that was not only crowded with people inside, but did not have adequate sprinklers and fire extinguishers.

Further imagine that this person decided to not only keep that information to himself, but to consciously give the tenants false information to cause them to stay in that building and take no precautions against fire, in the name of not “causing panic.”

Then imagine that in fact a great many residents of that house needlessly died.

In any just society, such a person would be and should be condemned and prosecuted for a crime against humanity.

Yet that is exactly what Donald Trump admitted that he did with his knowledge that COVID-19 was extremely virulent and certain to cause death and suffering on a huge scale. He not only did that, he allowed the entire society to walk into this crisis with absolutely inadequate preparation—most of which was his responsibility. More than that: Trump suppressed and attacked scientific knowledge and actively spouted and spread ignorance instead, from the authoritative podium of the White House.

This is more than—far worse than—incompetence. This is vicious, conscious criminal negligence.

Think about it. You hear the statistic of nearly 200,000 people dead. But think about the people behind the statistics. Think about the stories of the health care workers and professionals, heroically working double shifts, who died from inadequate protective gear... the transit workers and meatpackers and grocery clerks who died from contact with people when they had no foreknowledge and no protection and when their choice was to risk their lives or starve... think about the older people, left to die in nursing homes, alone and afraid and suffering. How many of those were needless?

This came out in the new book Rage, by Bob Woodward. The accompanying article digs into the facts that have come to light and analyzes what was driving this. One thing is very clear: This monstrous crime is yet another reason why this fascist regime must go.

*****

“He had faith in Donald Trump. He voted for him, listened to him, believed him and his mouthpieces when they said that coronavirus was under control and going to disappear, that it was okay to end social distancing ... My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life.”

Kristin Urquiza, whose father died of COVID-19 on June 30.

On September 9, journalist Bob Woodward released excerpts from taped interviews with Donald Trump from February 7 and March 19. Back then the COVID-19 epidemic was raging in China, with thousands infected—the Chinese government had locked down the major city of Wuhan to stop the spread. But in the U.S. there were only a dozen confirmed cases and no deaths. Most Americans were only dimly aware of the emerging threat.

In these interviews, Trump is acting the big shot, “letting Woodward in on” the knowledge that he had as head of the world’s most powerful government1:

So Trump understood back then that coronavirus was highly contagious, at least five times deadlier than the flu, and that both older and younger people were at risk.

Given that the virus was not yet out of control, the potential damage could have been dramatically reduced through systematic education, and by implementing public health policies, like “testing, tracing and isolation”2; mask-wearing; social distancing; and closing non-essential businesses. Such measures were very effective in many other countries.3 But that didn’t happen in the U.S. as a whole, even if it did happen in some states like New York later.

Instead, Trump turned around and publicly lied, spreading disinformation and disarming people in the face of grave danger. This is what Trump said publicly:

Publicly spreading disinformation, Trump also did not mobilize the state apparatus of the federal government to respond with urgency early on, and with the best available science on what measures to take to restrict the spread of the epidemic nationally. The lies had policy consequences in the early days of the pandemic, when it potentially could have been more restricted in scope with serious containment measures. The capitalist system and its economy has posed significant barriers to dealing with this pandemic globally including in economic distress to the masses of people from the very measures needed to contain the spread of the pandemic, as we have covered previously in revcom.us. But Trump-fascism has “amplified” all this, as Bob Avakian emphasized in “The Deadly Illusion of ‘Normalcy’ and the Revolutionary Way Forward”—see accompanying box.

Trump’s gross and criminal negligence has led now to the U.S. being the world leader in deaths from COVID. It does not mean that even if Trump did everything right, based on science and evidence, people would not have died. But what IS clear is that there were NEEDLESS deaths, from gross criminal negligence of the highest office of the land: from people not being adequately informed and taking unnecessary risks, to the government and its agencies not being adequately mobilized and prepared, and measures not being taken.

Trump lied. People died. As an act, that by its scale or nature shocks the conscience, this constitutes a crime against humanity.
Go to Part II.

 


1. Woodward writes that on January 29 Trump was briefed on COVID by his National Security Advisor, and told that it was “the biggest national security threat” he would face.  [back]

2. An epidemic can be aborted in the early stages through widespread testing, followed by tracing and isolating the contacts of anyone who tests positive. Hong Kong, for instance, has had only 99 deaths as of September 11.  [back]

3. The New York Times notes that if the U.S. “had the same coronavirus fatality rate as Canada, more than 100,000 Americans could still be alive today.” And while the virus hit South Korea and the U.S. at the same time, by September 10, South Korea had 350 COVID deaths—the U.S. had 193,000, almost 600 times as many!  [back]

See "Trump LIES on COVID ... Needless DEATHS Follow ... A FASCIST Advance — Part II"

Read more

From “The Deadly Illusion of ‘Normalcy’ and the Revolutionary Way Forward” by Bob Avakian:

In very immediate terms, the outlook and methods as well as the priorities of the fascists, as concentrated in the Trump/Pence regime—with the appointment of the anti-scientific Pence to head government efforts around COVID-19; Trump’s initial denial of the scope and danger posed by this virus and his continuing lies about this; his gross American chauvinism, pitting this country against the rest of the world; his repeated tendency to recklessly deny medical science and ignore the recommendations of medical experts where it runs counter to his own narrowly conceived and dangerously shortsighted interests and objectives; and more—all this amplifies and fortifies the barriers that the “normal functioning” of the capitalist-imperialist system places in the way of a systematic and coordinated approach to combating the coronavirus.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/trump-lies-on-covid-crime-against-humanity-pt-2-en.html

Trump LIES on COVID ... Needless DEATHS Follow ... A FASCIST Advance – Part II

| revcom.us

 

COVID, LIES, AND A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

Imagine if someone knew that some arsonists were planning to burn down a crowded apartment building that he owned and managed—an apartment building that was not only crowded with people inside, but did not have adequate sprinklers and fire extinguishers.

Further imagine that this person decided to not only keep that information to himself, but to consciously give the tenants false information to cause them to stay in that building and take no precautions against fire, in the name of not “causing panic.”

Then imagine that in fact a great many residents of that house needlessly died.

In any just society, such a person would be and should be condemned and prosecuted for a crime against humanity.

Yet that is exactly what Donald Trump admitted that he did with his knowledge that COVID-19 was extremely virulent and certain to cause death and suffering on a huge scale. He not only did that, he allowed the entire society to walk into this crisis with absolutely inadequate preparation—most of which was his responsibility. More than that: Trump suppressed and attacked scientific knowledge and actively spouted and spread ignorance instead, from the authoritative podium of the White House.

This is more than—far worse than—incompetence. This is vicious, conscious criminal negligence.

Think about it. You hear the statistic of nearly 200,000 people dead. But think about the people behind the statistics. Think about the stories of the health care workers and professionals, heroically working double shifts, who died from inadequate protective gear... the transit workers and meatpackers and grocery clerks who died from contact with people when they had no foreknowledge and no protection and when their choice was to risk their lives or starve... think about the older people, left to die in nursing homes, alone and afraid and suffering. How many of those were needless?

This came out in the new book Rage, by Bob Woodward. The accompanying article digs into the facts that have come to light and analyzes what was driving this. One thing is very clear: This monstrous crime is yet another reason why this fascist regime must go.

*****

 

Editors’ Note: In Part I, we covered the actual content of Trump’s lies in relation to COVID-19. Here we go further on his rationale and their impact.

Trump’s Rationale—Crime Upon Crime

Trump told Woodward in March, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.” This week he doubled down, saying, “I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country and I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic.”

Trump doesn’t want “people to panic”? His whole political “brand” is built on spreading fear! But it has to be specific fears—fear of Black people “invading” the suburbs, of Mexican and other immigrants “raping and killing,” of Muslim “terrorists,” of righteous protesters against white supremacy and institutionalized racism “looting and rioting.” That fear fuels a fascist movement that is forging and transforming millions of ignorant and backward people into unthinking foot soldiers—“warriors,” as Trump sometimes says—for “Making America Great” by restructuring it on an openly white male Christian supremacist basis.

Inciting fear is Trump’s fascist drug-of-choice.

Trump and his regime seem to have assessed early on that the major social and economic disruptions needed to combat the pandemic—like the lockdowns in China and Italy—would get in the way of their overall fascist program, particularly by causing major economic problems. It would ideologically undercut the aura of being “a winner.”1

Trump’s approach to truth is deeply Machiavellian: truth is what is politically “useful.”

In mid-March, the regime was finally forced by both public pressure and the pandemic itself to back “rolling shutdowns” across the U.S. and speak solemnly about being a “wartime president” fighting “the China virus.” But once cases began to go down—but with the virus still rampant—they started demanding the economy “open up.” When some Democratic- (and a few Republican-) led states didn’t comply, Trump infamously tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” unleashing fascist mobs spearheaded by armed militias to bring those states to heel.

Trump’s whipping up of anti-science lunacy among his tens of millions of followers has been particularly destructive. In a country with roughly 40,000 new infections daily, a huge swathe of the population has been “inoculated” against science, and takes it as a point of pride to flaunt minimal health practices, instead holding “super-spreader” events2, and not only refusing to wear masks themselves, but sometimes attacking store employees who ask them to!

Trump also turned mask-wearing into a culture-war issue. Trump refused to wear a mask in public, even as health experts were screaming that widespread use of masks was the most effective way to contain the virus. Trump went to a factory making medical swabs and wouldn’t wear one. Pence visited patients at the Mayo Clinic and was the only person there violating their rule that masks be worn. Trump insisted reporters at his press briefings take theirs off.

Partly this was about maintaining an aura of “normalcy” that went along with “reopening America”—masks are a constant reminder that we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic. But Trump specifically mocked mask wearers—including Biden—as “weak.” Trump’s hostility to masks is part-and-parcel of the fascist (and macho) conception of “The Leader” (“Der Fuehrer”) as strongman, fearless, invulnerable.3

All this has constituted a deeply anti-scientific advance of whipping up and mobilizing his fascist base. In places like the Midwest and Northwest, it was also part of mobilizing armed white supremacist thugs, not only against Democratic politicians and officials, but later deployed against protests across the country that began in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd, the Beautiful Rising.

Followers of Trump—from high officials like Texas Lt. Governor Patrick, a Christian fascist and fanatical Trump supporter to his minions—have articulated social-Darwinist theories of culling the herd, letting the weak die. Patrick suggested that if many older people had to die to get the economy going, thus “saving this country,” well, so be it: “There are more important things than living.” This also coincided with growing evidence that the pandemic was disproportionately hitting Black, Latino, and Native American people.

Economy trumps health in fascist America, to the point that when dozens of meatpacking plants became COVID “hotspots,” with tens of thousands of infections and at least 100 deaths among mainly low-wage immigrant workers, Trump declared meatpacking an “essential industry”—meaning workers could not stay home from work without losing their unemployment benefits—and refusing to impose mandatory COVID safety regulations on the industry. The same with factories in Mexico supplying the U.S., coerced by threats into staying open to serve the U.S. economy.

We now have a situation where 193,000 are confirmed dead, and projections that the toll may rise to 400,000 by year’s end. A thousand deaths a day is the “new normal.”

Trump’s lies are acts that by their scope or nature shock the conscience. They are crimes against humanity.

 


1. The interplay between the pandemic and consolidating fascist rule, maintaining the economy, and advancing U.S. imperialist power worldwide, is dealt with here and here.  [back]

2. Trump held five huge indoor rallies in the month after the first Woodward interview, and other events that alarmed public health officials continue to this day—Trump’s Tulsa rally in June, the Sturgis motorcycle rally in August, Trump’s airport rallies in recent weeks. It’s not possible to make a firm connection between any one such event and the pandemic, but taken as a whole they are part of the fascist orientation that is actively spreading the coronavirus—which they’ve been very good at!  [back]

3. Amanda Marcotte of Salon.com put it this way: “To wear a mask, in other words, indicates a belief that your personal body can become infected. A fascist-minded person like Trump cannot admit such a thing, either because he genuinely believes he is too strong to be affected by the virus or because he fears looking weak in public. Just as important, wearing a mask indicates care and concern for others, especially those who are high-risk. But the fascist-minded person doesn't want to protect those viewed as ‘weak’—in fact, those people are expected to die so as not to be a burden on others.”  [back]

See "Trump LIES on COVID ... Needless DEATHS Follow ... A FASCIST Advance — Part I"

Read more


Armed militia occupying the Michigan State Capitol demanding an end to "stay at home" orders intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/march-against-death-lies-fascism-and-for-humanity-en.html

A call from RefuseFascism.org:

September 21st
In Cities and Towns Across the Country
MARCH AGAINST DEATH, LIES, and FASCISM
AND FOR HUMANITY!
TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

| revcom.us

 

FIND/HOST A PROTEST

 

Trump deliberately deceived the world about the danger of the virus at the cost of tens of thousands of lives. Bob Woodward got it on tape! Now, Trump continues to lie, assail science, traffic in conspiracy theories, hold super-spreading rallies, and sabotage attempts to contain the pandemic. Many of those lost – disproportionately Latinx, Black and Native American – Trump would have gladly killed off anyway.

This is Trump’s genocidal, fascist worldview. Will it be yours?

In word and deed, each of us must show where we stand.

On September 21, mark the grim milestone of 200,000 COVID-19 deaths with the resounding demand for an end to the death, lies, and fascist escalation: TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

The science-hating response to COVID-19 is but one leading edge of an entire program of hatred, bigotry, and cruelty directed at the masses of people. The different strands of this fascist program – the white supremacy, the misogyny, the xenophobia, wrapped in the flag and the Bible taken literally – are consolidating into a different form of rule in this country, relying on violence, terror, and brutality.

Waiting for or relying on the upcoming election alone – an election Trump is already sabotaging and refusing to be bound by – to remove this regime is not just irresponsible. It is complicity.

We must rise now, as millions did earlier this year for Black lives, uniting and preparing to struggle with all we’ve got to oust this fascist regime and bring its program to a halt. Our actions must lead into an October of people from many different backgrounds and viewpoints coming together week after week, day after day, in growing continuing nonviolent protests that do not stop until this demand is met: TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

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

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.

A Second Term Would Be Fascist "Shock and Awe"
Join 60 Days of Struggle Demanding: TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW! — Sunsara Taylor

Read the transcript

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/west-coast-forest-fires-fueled-by-climate-change-en.html

West Coast Forest Fires
Escalating Infernos Fueled by Climate Change

| revcom.us

 

From a reader:

As I write this, more than 100 fires, unprecedented in size and ferocity, are burning across 12 Western states. In Oregon, a 36-mile-wide wall of flames is advancing into the towns around Portland. Tens of thousands have been forced to evacuate.

On Wednesday, September 9, in large parts of the region there was no daylight and the sky glowed orange because of the smoke. The National Weather Service warned that the smoky conditions were “beyond the scope of our models.” Toxic smoke spread hundreds of miles beyond areas directly burning. At least 17 people have died, and many more are missing. Whole towns have been reduced to rubble. All this is taking place as the fire season, which usually runs through October or November, is just beginning.

Climate Change Driving Fires to Unprecedented Fury

Wildfires are a part of nature. But the size and intensity of the fires in this and recent years, the speed with which they spread, and the areas where they are occurring are being driven largely by climate change.

The capitalist-imperialist system, driven by ruthless competition among competing capitalists in a relentless drive for profit and domination, has long spewed—and continues to spew—greenhouse gases into the air. These gases, created largely by the burning of oil and other fossil fuels, trap heat in the atmosphere and have already changed Earth’s climate—and this threatens humans and whole webs of life on this planet.

Among other effects globally, climate change has created a situation on the U.S. West Coast where the fire season lasts months longer, if not all year, where extreme heat waves are five times as likely as they were a few decades before, and where longer, hotter summers dry up the forests, making tinder waiting to explode into infernos.

Other factors contributing to the increasing fires—such as the deaths of millions of trees, the building of homes on the edge of wilderness, and unscientific methods of forest management—are themselves the result of how this capitalist-imperialist society is dealing with climate change and other aspects of how it interacts with nature in an environmentally unsustainable way.

Firefighters say that they are seeing a whole different breed of fires, and that this poses big challenges in fighting them. Doug Grafe, chief of fire protection at the Oregon Department of Forestry, told the news media that he never saw fires move so quickly, “carrying tens of miles in one period of an afternoon and not slowing down in the evening....”

The five largest fires ever recorded in California have taken place in the last three years, three in the last two months. The total area burned in the state this year is already nine times what burned in all of 2019. Fires are burning in parts of Oregon, the north and the west, that are usually much wetter and resistant to fires.

Whole Towns Reduced to Ashes

At least seven small towns have been wiped out in California, Oregon, and Washington, destroying thousands of homes. More populous areas such as Medford, Ashland, and the Portland suburbs in Oregon and Oroville in California are threatened.

In the Washington town of Malden, the fires approached so quickly that deputies ran through the streets screaming for residents to flee their homes. Most of Malden’s homes were incinerated along with its city hall, post office, and library.

In the town of Phoenix, Oregon, where an estimated 600 homes were destroyed, many residents spent the night in their cars in a Home Depot parking lot. They returned in the morning to scavenge what they could. One resident who defied evacuation orders described to a reporter how he saw 30-foot-high flames shooting from the trees and the tires on his car melting.

Poisoned Air and Water

In many parts of the West Coast, the level of ash and other particles in the air was classified as “very dangerous” or “hazardous.” The air quality is likely to increase people’s vulnerability to COVID-19 and increase its spread.

In California’s Salinas Valley, as several fires burn nearby, farmworkers are in the fields all day picking crops in the unhealthy air. “It hurt our sinuses,” a worker told NPR. “The smoke was so thick.”

Fires cause hazardous chemicals like benzene to leach into the water, especially when homes and infrastructure containing plastics and man-made products burn. These chemicals can pollute the water supply for many years.

Cascading Disasters

People in California and other Western states are feeling overwhelmed by disaster after disaster: unprecedented fires, unbreathable air, record heat waves, the pandemic, millions unemployed while benefits are cut, seeing our Black and Brown brothers and sisters murdered by police over and over on TV and social media, and watching anti-racist protesters attacked by fascist thugs with the approval of Trump. Hanging over it all: the threat of Trump’s winning or stealing the election and consolidating a fascist regime in this country, with all that means for the people here and around the world.

For a long time, climate scientists have predicted that the intensification of global warming would bring about a cascade of changes, each one building on the others like a wall of dominoes, multiplying the effect. This is what we are seeing right now. It is the product of a system that has, for years on end, ravaged the planet environmentally—and all of that has accelerated with the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

No Going Back to Normal

There is no “going back to normal.” Some aspects of climate change are racing ahead of what even many scientists who had been sounding the alarm were warning about. “People are always asking, ‘Is this the new normal?’” a climate scientist, told the New York Times. “I always say no. It’s going to get worse.”

There is only one way to fundamentally put a stop to this—to overthrow the system of capitalism through an actual revolution when the conditions have ripened, and replace it with a socialist system that is moving toward a world free of all relations of exploitation and oppression—communism. There is a concrete and visionary plan for this, concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian.

Before Trump, leaders of the capitalist-imperialist system in the U.S. took small, ineffective actions to supposedly slow climate change. Meanwhile, they continued, driven by the logic of the system, to pump more fossil fuel emissions into the atmosphere year after year and to ravage the environment overall.

Trump and his regime have taken this destruction of the planet to a new, even more horrific level. He denies that climate change even exists, rejecting a mountain of scientific evidence. He is auctioning off public lands at a frenzied pace so that oil companies can suck more fossil fuels from the Earth. His cabinet is full of Christian fascists who think it is humanity’s duty to “dominate nature.” In the name of “making America great,” he has pulled out of the largely symbolic Paris Climate Agreement and is rallying other heads of state like Bolsonaro in Brazil to increase the consumption of fossil fuels. Last month, he threatened to withhold aid for fighting the forest fires, claiming California was responsible for the fires because it didn’t sweep the forests floors—an idiotic lie combined with a fascist threat against a “blue” state.

We cannot accept Trump doing all this even one more day—and taking it to an even higher level if he is able to win or steal the election. Everyone who sees this disastrous trajectory and what this means for the planet must fight to force Trump out like the world is at stake, which it is.

The Destruction of the Planet by Capitalism-Imperialism, by Bob Avakian, an excerpt

Fascist Trump Supporters Spread Lies and Foment Violence

For months, Trump has lied about mobs of Black Lives Matters protesters burning down cities. In fact, over 90% of the demonstrations have been peaceful, and the vast majority of violence has been initiated by police or fascist goons. Now, as big areas of the West Coast are literally on fire, Trump’s supporters are following his lead and spreading completely unfounded rumors that “antifa arsonists” are starting the fires in Oregon.

There is no evidence for these rumors. They have been denied by many local and federal officials who have repeatedly said that the rumors make it more difficult to evacuate people out of danger. Think of firefighters coming across fools who are insisting on standing on their porch with a shotgun while the fire bears down on them, insisting they are “protecting” their property.

Those spreading the rumors include high officials in the Republican Party at state and national levels. Jo Rae Perkins, the Republican candidate for Senate in Oregon, shared a tweet from a QAnon feed claiming that the Democratic Party had been setting the fires for political gain. Her primary opponent wrote a series of tweets pushing the false claim that six anti-fascists had been arrested for arson. A representative of Trump’s Turning Point USA political action committee did a series of tweets saying that antifa were behind the fires, giving the lie a national platform.

On September 10, two independent journalists were confronted by armed men in the town of Mololla and ordered to leave.

Think about this: in the midst of devastating fires, fascist leaders in the Republican Party are whipping up their supporters to go after utterly imaginary “antifa” with weapons on the basis of complete lies. This might seem insane, but there is a method to the madness. The fascists are training their people to attack like mad dogs anyone their leaders declare to be threats to their vision of a white supremacist, male supremacist, and world-dominating America.

Fires Caused by Climate Change: A Global Catastrophe

Massive fires driven by climate change are a global phenomenon.

In Australia at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, fires burned 46 million acres (ten times what has burned so far in California in the current fires), destroyed over 5,900 buildings and killed at least 34 people. Nearly three billion animals were killed, and some endangered species were believed to be driven to extinction.

In the Arctic Circle, for the second year in a row, a record number of fires are taking place. The number of Arctic fires has been increasing exponentially in recent years: 600 individual fires were recorded in late July 2020. The average between 2003 and 2018 was about 100.

The Arctic is affected by global warming at an even greater rate than the rest of the Earth. For every 1 degree Fahrenheit of warming elsewhere on the planet, the temperature in the Arctic increases by 2.5 degrees. Record temperatures of 86 degrees were reported this summer in parts of Siberia (where most of the Arctic fires are happening).

Rising temperatures dry out the land. Summer fire seasons are longer and hotter. This dries the forests, creating more combustible material and adding to the size and intensity of the fires.

In the Arctic much of what is burning are peatlands. Peat is carbon-rich soil that accumulates as waterlogged plants slowly decay, sometimes over thousands of years. When peat dries out due to high temperatures, it can burn very hot and very fast, and it releases huge amounts of planet-warming carbon, ten times as much as a burning forest.

The fires are not just caused by climate change—they accelerate the warming process. Arctic fires have emitted more than 244 million tons of carbon dioxide this year—nearly as much as 53 million cars emit in a year. This is 35 percent more than last year’s record fires. Fires in the Arctic are especially dangerous for the climate—when black soot settles on the Arctic ice, it accelerates the melting since dark colors (as opposed to white ice) absorb light, which generates heat.

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/la-sheriffs-murder-black-man-people-fight-back-in-face-of-repression-en.html

LA Sheriffs Murder Young Black Man in Cold Blood…
People Fight Back—In the Face of Brutal Repression

| revcom.us

 

Dijon Kizzee was a 29-year-old Black man who was born and raised in Los Angeles. On August 31, of this year, Dijon was murdered in cold blood by members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Dijon Kizzee was a human being whose life mattered, and still matters. He leaves behind family members and friends who loved him.

Over the following two weeks, there has been intense struggle demanding justice for Dijon Kizzee, and there has been brutal and escalating repression by the LA Sheriff’s Department. All this is happening at the same time as the fascist Trump has ramped up calls for “Law and Order,” condemning protesters as “rioters” and “arsonists” and repeatedly calling for “retribution” against them, all while defending a racist thug who murdered two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Revolution Club has been in the thick of this, along with a whole range of people and groups.

Stay tuned to this site early this week for a much fuller account of this important struggle. And in the meantime, listen to National Revolution Tour members Noche Diaz and Dizzy Parker on the Michael Slate radio show last Friday.

Dijon Kizzee

Dijon Kizzee

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/662/vision-statement-from-refuse-fascism-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

To All Who See the Urgent Need to Stop the Great Danger of the Trump/Pence Regime:

A Vision Statement from RefuseFascism.org:

60 Days of Struggle

| revcom.us

 

On September 5th we made 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.

Driving out this regime is in the interest of humanity. On September 5th under the unifying demand of Trump/Pence Out Now, we saw a diversity of people who don’t want to live in a fascist America. 

We must build on the strength of the September 5th protests and bring forward more broadly all different kinds of people, different communities and organizations bringing their banners, their causes, their demands all joining together with others to raise this unifying demand, Trump/Pence Out Now! with the determination to remove this obstacle that every struggle for justice faces. 

Imagine mass protests of different gathering points and people coming in groups—people who were enthusiastic in a certain neighborhood taking it upon themselves to organize a feeder march or a neighborhood contingent. Sign and banner making block parties in different neighborhoods creating a buzz about driving out the Trump/Pence regime through sustained non-violent protest. Everyone who has responded positively to this call and demand should be unleashed to make this their mission through the next two months leading to the November election. Everyone has a role to play, and everyone should aim to play the biggest role they can.

The Pledge to Resist should become a major statement in society, spread by growing numbers of people with platforms of disproportionate influence—artists and celebrities from Hollywood to HipHop and Sports, social media “influencers,” religious leaders, community, social, legal and environmental justice advocates, scientists and doctors... using their voices to amplify and popularize the demand Trump/Pence Out Now, spread the Pledge to Resist, and take up this mission as their own. 

Every show of unity must be amplified. This is a moment when every cause and movement for justice acts on the understanding of the reality that we are at a “Both”/“And” Moment—for crucial struggles for immigrant, women’s, or Black, brown, native people’s rights AND for driving out the regime without which those rights will be demolished on a whole other level than people have seen before. This is not a time for “either/or,” my struggle not yours. Fascism has meaning. That is what we face. The regime has told you this. They have shown us this. From now till the regime is gone, every attack on every section of the people must build up the power and strength of masses of people of all nationalities in the streets in non-violent protest.

The fascist thugs unleashed by the Trump/Pence regime are stepping out. Backed by the regime, paramilitary and police, they are creating the conditions for a Trump/Pence “second” term. We can wait no longer for the side of justice to mobilize and act, or just cheer those on the front lines in Portland and other places. 

SEPTEMBER 5 MARKED A BEGINNING

The protests held in 24 cities on September 5 must orient, organize and mobilize hundreds and thousands of people prepared to build this non-violent movement in many different ways through the next 60 days—aiming for the time as soon as possible where everyday people will be standing against the regime actively in the streets. September should see people all over organizing vigils, town halls, salons, plastering their city with signs and posters saying Trump/Pence Out Now, outdoor concerts, videos, writing, artwork and taking mass actions in the streets—giving a sense that we are uniting, we are organizing, we are determined, we are preparing to struggle with all we’ve got. 

For Refuse Fascism’s (RF’s) point of view we are looking to inspire and unleash a dynamic where this movement goes far beyond the reach of RF—and in which the stand of RF: In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America! takes root and Refuse Fascism itself grows into a force that reaches and plays a crucial role in leading masses to demand Trump Pence Out Now.

By October there needs to be a situation in this country where protests happen day after day. Protests that make visceral the demand that Trump and Pence Must Go. 

RF does not see that all, or even most of these would be called by RF—but that unity is built on the basis of the growing determination of people to stay in the streets and refuse to accept this illegitimate regime. No one can say that this can’t lead to a situation where Trump is driven out before the elections—but short of that, sustained protests in October can and must lead to a situation where on Election Day people don’t just vote against Trump in big numbers but there are mobilized people/forces prepared to oppose—with massive, sustained non-violent protest—the fascist forces we know the Trump regime is planning to unleash.

We must defend the right to vote and protest all attempts to sabotage the elections and suppress voter turnout. And, if Trump attempts to postpone or delay the election, then masses of people must pour into the streets in even greater numbers and not let this go down. Or, if Trump challenges the results of the election up to and including refusing to leave office... the struggle, unity and determination we have forged in the streets during the 60 days up to the elections will need to be mustered on a whole other level of massive non-violent sustained protest in the streets all across the country. 

We should not foreclose the possibility that Trump will “win,” by hook or crook, whether by voter suppression, intimidation, manipulation, or by the “normal” workings of October “surprises” and the electoral college. We must never forget that a fascist regime is always illegitimate however it comes to power and must be met by mass protest to demand its removal.

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, armed with nuclear weapons which it brandishes, that people here could not put aside their differences to stop a great horror? Or, will this time history tell that people rose, as many acting together, and stopped a great horror?

Why we launched 60 days of nonviolent struggle on September 5

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.

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/statements-supporting-and-endorsements-for-september-5-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

Statements Supporting and Endorsements for September 5 and 60 Days Demanding Trump/Pence OUT NOW

| revcom.us

 

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.

Cornel West

Musician and teacher Arturo O'Farrill

Jim Lafferty, Executive Director Emeritus, National Lawyers Guild, L.A. Chapter

Sisters and brothers, and organizers of the kick-off to this critically needed 60-days of actions; actions to rid our nation of the neo-Fascist Trump/Pence regime! It is no exaggeration to say that we are witnessing the opening stages of a new civil war in America. It is a civil war that will determine whether we regain our right to call ourselves a free people living in a democratic nation, or whether an even deeper Fascism will bring about even more poverty, racism, Xenophobia and misogyny in this tyrannical capitalist nation. And make no mistake about it: We cannot place all of our hopes in the November election; if we do we are lost. We must, instead, let today be the start of a massive anti-Fascist movement in the streets; a movement that stays in the streets, fighting every day for what is right; and that keeps on fighting no matter what happens on November 3rd, if we are to ever win this life and death struggle for a racially, economically and socially just America!

Bishop Gregg L Greer: Trump Pence Must Go!

Grammy-Award winning singer Lalah Hathaway

Michael Coard, lawyer and activist

Samuel Cruz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religion and Society, Union Theological Seminary City of New York

Veterans for Peace (VFP)

Rev Michael Woolf: Get in the streets Sept 5

"If we want to imagine a world where Donald Trump is not president then we need to show this political power now."

Drummer and ACLU Attorney Dr. Knucklehead with Project KnuckleHead

Actor Jodie Sweetin for September 5th Protests

Historian and writer Paul Street calls on all groups fighting on injustice and democracy issues to join in September 5

Why historian and writer Paul Street is building for Saturday September 5 protests and why you should too! What's your…

Posted by Refuse Fascism on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Alyson Jacks, Associate Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco

Greetings.

My name is Rev. Alyson Jacks, Associate Minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco. I am sorry not to be with you today but stand with you in the fight against the rise of facism that threatens our democracy.

As Unitarian Universalists we commit ourselves to promote and act upon the universal values of love, justice, equity and compassion. These values are not the values held by the current corrupt occupant of the White House or those who allied with him. Today, we commit ourselves to put those core values into action and call for an end to the tyranny of Trump. May our actions be rooted in radical power of love as we dedicate ourselves to dismantling white supremacy, dismantling facism, dismantling injustice. May our work take us closer to the Beloved Community of which we dream.

Victoria Cook, Torah Trumps Hate

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Please join @torahtrumpshate tomorrow, September 5th, after Shabbat, when we join other organizations across the country to REFUSE FASCISM! Many people will be gathering throughout the day to fight in one voice to demand that we save our democracy! We look forward to adding our voices to the community as we make Havdalah together. This Shabbat comes during the spiritually intense weeks leading to the Days of Awe, when we take a calculation of our souls and recommit ourselves to leading ethical and moral lives. It is no coincidence that the portion of the Torah we read tomorrow, Ki Tavo, warns us of the dire consequences that befall a nation that ignores the rule of law. Let us heed the Torah's warnings and save our democracy! #Sept5Protests #TrumpPenceOutNow

A post shared by Victoria Cook (@cookieshane) on

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Brashear, Pastor Emeritus West Park Church and professor Newark School of Theology

To brothers and sisters in the struggle and companions in the fight to stop fascism now:

September 5th marks an important step in the struggle as we come out with all who desire a more just, inclusive and sustainable world as we together proclaim our commitment to refuse fascism and demand Trump and Pence out now. The next 60 days are critical not only for the United States but all humanity. Never before in our country have we witnessed such naked and unashamed disregard for justice, the rule of law, science, humanity and simple decency as we have with the Trump-Pence regime. Its implications are global. If this regime remains in power, the potential damage to humanity and our shared earth may well be irreversible.

This is not business as usual, it is a defining moment, a moment of truth. We can no longer puzzle over how late Weimar allowed a murderous regime to take unchecked control of a country. Through refusal to promise to honor election results, doing everything possible to further voter suppression, ending term limits (“12 more years”) and unleashing not only military forces but also armed militias to impose its will, we are witnessing the consolidation of fascism every day. They must be stopped now. Refuse fascism now. Trump-Pence out now.

Other Endorsers

(selected, and in progress)

Age of Change, Houston
Alyson Jacks, Associate Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco
Andree Penix-Smith, mother of Justin Horton Smith, Tulsa OK Sheriffs Murder Victim
Arturo O'Farrill, Grammy-Award winning musician
Brandywine Peace Community
B.R.E.A.T.H.E.
Boston May Day Coalition
Civic Action Support Coalition
Degenerate Artists Against Fascism
Delco Resists
Elly Levy, immigration attorney
Ernestine Henning, Supervisor (ret.) AME Church
Extinction Rebellion NYC
Bishop Gregg L. Greer, Founder, Freedom First International
Humanity United Against Tyranny, Lansing MI
Iranians for Social Justice in America
Isabel Cardenas, American-Salvadoran citizen, activist since 1960
James Lafferty, Executive Director Emeritus, National Lawyers Guild, LA Chapter
Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson, killed by NYPD
Justice for Eurie Stamps Committee
Lalah Hathaway, Grammy Award winning singer
Lala Michelle, sister of Jesus Gillard, murdered by police

Lansdale Equality Coalition
Lindo Jones, Poet
Medicare for All Hawai`i
Michael Coard, attorney, activist and radio host
Rev. Michael Woolf, Senior Minister, Lake Street Church of Evanston
Michelle Myers, Poet
Moms United for Black Lives Michigan
Montco Activists United
Montgomery County Workers Coalition
No More Foundation
Occupy Evanston (IL) Documentary Film Group
Our Revolution Hawai`i"
Paul Street, author, journalist
Peace, Justice, Sustainability NOW
Rich Porcida, contributing writer, LA Progressive
Rise Up Lansing
Save TPS Houston
Sharonne Salaam, Justice 4 the Wrongly Incarcerated, Mother of One of the Exonerated Five.
Torah Trumps Hate
United Native Americans
Veterans for Peace
Veterans for Peace, NYC Chapter
Vigil for Democracy
War Resisters League, NYC Chapter

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/a-reflection-occasioned-by-the-death-of-anarchist-anthropologist-david-graeber-en.html

A Reflection Occasioned by the Death of Anarchist Anthropologist David Graeber

Struggles, Principles, Unity, and the Challenges Ahead

| revcom.us

 

David Graeber was an outspoken critic of the howling inequalities of U.S. society and the world. He was instrumental in coining the watchword of the Occupy movement, “We are the 99%.” From an anarchist perspective, he sought to put scholarship in the service of justice and change, especially with a study of “Debt,” historically as both an instrument and manifestation of exploitation and oppression.

David Graeber died in early September. We mourn his passing.

David Graeber did his early research on magic, slavery, and politics. He explored and condemned how the toxic union of capitalism and advanced technology robbed human beings of meaningful work and moral and spiritual purpose. Inspired and moved into political life by the anti-globalization struggles of the late 1990s, Graeber threw himself into the maelstrom of important political struggles, most significantly Occupy Wall Street, for which he was a major—and leading*—theorist. Refused tenure by Yale University, a decision that sparked outrage and protest among progressive people, he eventually found an academic home in Europe.

Occupy Wall Street took place in 2011. It involved thousands of people in scores of cities in sustained, militant protest against inequality. Occupy broke open a stultifying political atmosphere and inspired people all over before being crushed by coordinated repression by the ruling class after several months of protest encampments.

As Bob Avakian commented in the early days of Occupy, in his statement, A REFLECTION ON THE "OCCUPY" MOVEMENT: AN INSPIRING BEGINNING...AND THE NEED TO GO FURTHER:

The main—and, up to this point at least, the overwhelming—aspect of these "Occupy" protests has been their very positive thrust: in mobilizing people to stand up against injustice and inequality and the domination of economic, social and political life, and international relations, by a super-rich elite class whose interests are in opposition to those of the great majority of people; and in contributing in significant ways to an atmosphere in which people are raising and wrangling with big questions about the state of society and the world and whether and how something much better can be brought into being.

At the same time, as Bob Avakian analyzed in his statement, while Occupy inspired millions to stand up against the ruling class and raise their heads and question, it was ultimately constrained by and further cemented frameworks, theoretical structures of analysis, and approach that:

[do] not and cannot measure up to the reality of what is actually required to fundamentally uproot and transform a society, and indeed a world, marked by and grounded in profound inequalities and relations of oppression and exploitation, within every country and in the domination by a handful of powerful, imperial powers over the great majority of countries in the world and the great mass of humanity.

As one example, Graeber himself, in Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, took issue with the idea of a “revolution,” as the actual overthrow of the system of capitalism-imperialism, instead calling forth the continual accumulation of resistance and counter-community within the current system, such as the development of autonomous zones. In 2012, even while learning from some of his insights and research, we wrote a short and sharp polemic on the problems with Graeber’s perspective and reading of history (“Four Questions for David Graeber”). To get to a radically different and far better world requires the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist-imperialist state power. It requires the creation of a new state power and liberatory, planned socialist economy that enable oppressed humanity to go to work on uprooting exploitation, oppression, and inequality and protecting the planet—as part of a world process of the emancipation of all of humanity. This is necessary, this is desirable, and this is viable.1

But these were differences between people on the same side of the barricades, so to speak. One thing that marked David Graeber was his openness to other points of view, to disagreement and debate, and our engagements and struggle were principled, grounded in standing with the exploited, and in unity against the oppressive powers that be.

Humanity confronts an existential moment, with howling inequalities intensifying with the global pandemic, a rapidly warming planet, and fascism in ascendance globally, including here in the U.S. If ever there was a time for radical intellectuals and youth, for those like or inspired by David Graeber, to sound the alarm, to bring light and conviction and help galvanize and unite millions, including right NOW in the struggle to oust this fascist regime... it is NOW. And as we join and fight together, let’s have robust and principled debate. This is about the future of humanity and the planet.

In memoriam, David Graeber!

 

 

* Leadership is a highly contested notion in anarchist circles. But as has been recognized by a number of anarchists themselves in writing about David Graeber, including, for example in the New York Review of Books compilation, he was one of the main intellectual architects of the vision, program, and framework of Occupy, and of other anarchist struggles. This is objectively leadership—through line—through putting forth and winning others to an analysis of reality, of what is the problem and what is the solution, of what is to be done.  [back]

Despite this, and in fact, Graeber was an advocate of and provided a lot of backing for the idea of “horizontal” movements (as opposed to “hierarchical”), as a means of social change and model of a different society. This is addressed in Bob Avakian’s statement A REFLECTION ON THE "OCCUPY" MOVEMENT: AN INSPIRING BEGINNING...AND THE NEED TO GO FURTHER 


1. For more, see Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, and the talk WHY WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND HOW WE CAN REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION (Part 1 videoPart 2 videoText) by Bob Avakian. [back]

David Graeber

David Graeber (Photo: AP)

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/announcing-a-facebook-live-event-for-the-revolution-tour-en.html

Announcing a Livestream for the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour—Sunday, September 20

| revcom.us

 

On September 20 come to revcom.us for the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour National Livestream which is aiming to raise urgently needed funds to sustain and support the Tour and all its critical work. $15,000 is urgently needed by September 30—as part of kicking off a major fall fund drive to enable the Tour to take on the momentous challenges we are faced with. Get started spreading the word and raising funds for this now.

Bob Avakian has issued an 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. This Statement needs to be spread very broadly—to millions—to impact the whole political terrain in this country at this crucial moment. Funds are needed to enable scaling up the promotion and debate. As Trump marshals his forces to hold onto power and further consolidate fascist rule, as fascist gangs around the country unleash brutality and intimidation against the beautiful rising of struggle against injustice which has filled the streets of this country, the Tour is playing a key role in the urgent fight to mobilize millions into the streets to drive this regime from power—as a crucial part and urgent requirement of the overall work of building for Revolution—Nothing Less!

All summer long Tour members in LA, together with revcoms across the country, have been out in the midst of the beautiful rising against police murder of Black and other oppressed people. They have been reaching out among all strata to carry forward the aims of the Tour—putting BA and the new communism out boldly and broadly, fighting for the understanding that this system cannot be reformed that it must be overthrown, and working to build up a national movement for an actual revolution. Teams have been dispatched to the frontlines in Minneapolis and Portland, bringing revolution right into the midst of the thousands who are waking to political life and burning with a desire to see the end to the oppression concentrated in the murder of George Floyd. And now with the showdown over the elections approaching, volunteers on the Tour are working with Refuse Fascism to build for the protests beginning on September 5 with the demand of TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less! Show on YouTube, currently produced by the Tour in LA, is an exciting new way that the revolution and the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian are being projected and brought alive in living color every week. The RNL Show urgently needs funds for equipment, for sending crews out to cover key events in society, and to expand its reach and its audience through advertising and other means of projecting out into society to reach a much broader audience.

Spread the word of this Livestream! Tune in on September 20 and hear living accounts from Tour members about all they are doing and all they are learning as they take their message out into the world. At this critical time, when the fate and the future of humanity hangs in the balance, what could be more important than donating generously to support the work of the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour?

 

We are at a turning point in history, the future lives of millions hang in the balance, and what people do or don’t do, and what they do and don't support, will really matter.   

The National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution has been part of key fronts of struggle—politically and ideologically—bringing the revolutionary leadership of Bob Avakian and organizing forces.  This is essential—and needs to spread—if masses of people are going to be able to rise to the challenges before us.   

On Sunday September 20, 5pm EDT/2 pm PDT, TUNE IN: facebook.com/therevcoms or youtube.com

We will be giving you a taste of what the National Revolution Tour and the revcoms have been doing, the challenges we have been confronting, what we are projecting for the next immediate period, and how you can be part of all this – including through contributing the essential funds that make all this possible.

Participants on this Tour are people who have dedicated our lives to bringing into being a better world, fighting day and night to accomplish the mission of this Tour.  We are working to bring  forward many more who want to be part of meeting these historic challenges.  All those who want to see this Tour succeed are also part of the work of the Tour.   

At this moment there is a tremendous need to not only continue but to scale up our reach and capacity with many thousands of dollars that need to be raised right now.

Here are just a couple of examples of what the Tour has been doing, and what will be brought to life – and can be financially supported – on the livestream:

Video of Maya agitation in Portland

Noche Diaz in South Central, September 12

 

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

 

Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/trump-and-pence-push-ahead-with-fascist-juggernaut-en.html

Trump and Pence Continue to Push Ahead With the Fascist Juggernaut

Sadistic Cruelty vs. Thousands of Immigrant Children... To Deny Voting Rights to Hundreds of Thousands in Florida... Threatening Election Night Protesters... Attacks on Schools Teaching About Slavery

| revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime is moving rapidly, aggressively, and in many dimensions to develop and implement fascism. Below are some recent measures taken by the regime and other fascist forces, or that came to light in the past couple of weeks. (This does not include the regime’s criminal actions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, which are gone into in Trump's Crime against Humanity: Trump LIES on COVID ... Needless DEATHS Follow ... A FASCIST Advance – Part I and Part 2.

Inflicting Sadistic Cruelty on Thousands of Immigrant Children

On March 20, Trump issued an “emergency order” to close the U.S.-Mexico border to “non-essential travel”—which includes refugees and other immigrants.1 Since then, at least 8,800 immigrant children who arrived unaccompanied by an adult have been thrown out of the country without court hearings. At least 7,600 family members, and a total of about 159,000 people, have also been expelled.2,3 This information wasn’t known to the public until just recently, when it came out in a court declaration on September 11 by U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz.4


Guatemalans boarding bus — being returned to their country — report 100 cases of active COVID-19. (AP photo)

Trump’s order effectively shredded the rights of people seeking asylum, without any possibility of redress. The day it came out, Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, snarled, “Tonight, at midnight, we will execute the ... order by immediately returning individuals arriving without documentation ... without delay.”5 Trump claimed his order would help stem the spread of the coronavirus. In reality, the massive deportations have contributed to the spread of the virus in Mexico, Central America, and other countries. A report from the Marshall Project indicated that between the end of March and mid-July, 11 countries had confirmed that people deported from the U.S. had “returned home with Covid-19.”6

Since at least August, the fascist regime has used hired Gestapo7 (otherwise known as “private security agencies”) to oversee detained children outside the formal detention system. Hundreds of unaccompanied children arrested at the border—some as young as one year old8have been quickly shipped off to hotels, where they are briefly confined and then sent on deportation flights. This enables the regime and its enforcers to avoid sending the children to shelters operated by the Department of Health and Human Services, where they are supposed to receive some education, legal services, and an opportunity to be placed with relatives living in the U.S. This week’s hearing was held because the regime has defied a court order that it stop sending unsupervised children to hotels.

A Life-Crushing System

In Central America, as in many other parts of the world, entire agricultural landscapes have been ravaged by the importation of American produce imposed by unequal trade agreements, the ruination of farmland caused by rising temperatures, depleted water supplies, and crop diseases, all worsened by intensifying climate change caused by the working of the capitalist-imperialist system. Then the U.S.—sitting at the top of this system—persecutes people for trying to escape the living hell it has created.

Most of these immigrants are fleeing infernos of violence and crushing poverty. They are among the survivors of a treacherous journey of over 2,000 miles, across mountains, over deserts, riding on top of trains... risking everything to flee the rape, persecution, hunger, and threat of death that hounded them in their homelands.

Then all of them—children included—are greeted by a militarized border bristling with razor-wire fences, high-tech weaponry, and heavily armed goon squads of Border Patrol, as well as local police forces and vigilantes. And now many of the children who survived and managed to reach the U.S. are taken away, locked up in a hotel room with no ability to communicate with anyone outside of it, and soon put on a plane that takes them away. What happens to them then? As the Texas Tribune reported,9 “Some are sent to overcrowded government shelters in Central American countries like Guatemala; others are totally out of reach of legal service providers, who have not been able to find them.”

Indefinite Extension... or End to This Fascist Regime?

In May, the fascist regime announced an “indefinite extension” of Trump’s emergency order.10 Can you tolerate this “indefinite extension” of the sadistic abuse of immigrant children? This regime’s heartless attacks on children and others seeking asylum, and their announcement that they intend to extend it into the foreseeable future, cannot be allowed to stand.

 


1. Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing, March 20, 2020.  [back]

2. 8,800 migrant kids were kicked out of the US under coronavirus border restrictions, CNN, September 11, 2020.  [back]

3. Nearly 9,000 migrant children have been expelled under pandemic border policy, court documents say CBS News, September 11, 2020.  [back]

4. 8,800 unaccompanied children deported under Trump administration’s Covid rules, The Independent, September 12, 2020.  [back]

5. Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing, March 20, 2020.  [back]

6. How ICE Exported the Coronavirus, The Marshall Project, July 10, 2020.  [back]

7. A Private Security Company Is Detaining Migrant Children at Hotels, New York Times, August 16, 2020.  [back]

8. Ibid.  [back]

9. ICE is making sure kids don’t have COVID-19, then expelling them to “prevent the spread” of COVID-19; Texas Tribune, August 10, 2020.  [back]

10. Trump administration indefinitely extends US border restrictions, citing coronavirus, ABC News, May 19, 2020.  [back]

Back to top

 

Florida Moves to Deny Voting Rights to Hundreds of Thousands of People Convicted of Felonies

In 2018, the Florida state constitution was amended to restore voting rights for people convicted of felonies.11 The Republican-controlled state legislature and the pro-Trump governor, Ron DeSantis, then adopted a new restriction—requiring that people convicted of felonies pay all the fines and court fees they owed before their right to vote was restored, regardless of their ability to pay. In May 2020, a federal judge ruled that the requirement that ex-felons pay the fines they owed—which could be unaffordable for many—in order to vote amounted to a “pay to vote,” which is an unconstitutional poll tax. But now, on Friday, September 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta overturned this May decision.

This is a major move to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of people—especially people who are non-white, poor, and may very likely vote against Trump. According to an expert from the ACLU, more than 774,000 people convicted of felonies in Florida owe court fines, fees, and other such financial debt. These fees and fines vary widely but range from hundreds to thousands of dollars—which people leaving prisons and out of a job could find impossible to pay. And in Florida, court fees that are unpaid after 90 days are referred to private debt collectors, who can demand up to a 40 percent surcharge. And if the people who were convicted of felonies are unable to “pay up,” they will be deprived of their right to vote. The appeals court said states aren’t required to provide a process for people convicted of felonies to even know whether they are eligible to vote. And Florida has no centralized way to let them know how much they owe in fines and fees.

Five of the six judges behind the appellate court decision on voting by ex-felons in Florida were appointed by Trump. Two of them were former Florida Supreme Court justices put on the appeals court by Governor DeSantis.


A released ex-felon consults with ACLU in order to fill out papers to register to vote. (AP photo)

This move in Florida is right in line with other efforts around the country by the fascist Trump/Pence regime to disenfranchise those who probably won’t vote for Trump and lay the ground to declare the elections “illegitimate” if Trump doesn’t win.

This same week, a federal appeals court ruled that Texas could continue to restrict mail-in voting for people under 65. And the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled to pause absentee ballots until it decides if the Green Party presidential candidate should be on the ballot.

Only two states (Maine and Vermont) allow people convicted of felonies to vote even while they are serving their terms; 18 other states strip voting rights from people convicted of felonies while they’re in prison but restore them once they get out.12

 


11. Except those convicted of murder and sexual offenses.  [back]

12. Where People Convicted of Felonies Can Vote in the U.S.ThoughtCo.com, September 12, 2020.  [back]

Back to top

 

Trump on Election Night Protests: “We’ll put them down very quickly”

On September 10, Trump was asked by Jeanine Pirro of fascist Fox “News” what his response would be on election night if he won and those against him “threaten riots.” Trump’s response: “We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that.... We have the right to do that, we have the power to do that if we want. Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send them in and we do it, very easy. I mean, it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to we’d do that and put it down within minutes. Minneapolis, they were having problems. We sent in the National Guard within a half an hour. That was the end of the problem. It all went away.”

Let’s be clear here: Trump is threatening a violent repressive crackdown by the armed forces of the government on protests against him. This goes along with the very real prospect of violence by “unofficial” fascist ground forces—acting on Trump’s behalf and whipped up by him, carried out by armed Nazi-type militias, “Proud Boys,” “Bikers for Trump,” QAnon conspiracy theorists, and other fascist thugs, should he lose the election (if an election actually takes place).


National Guard soldiers line the street as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Wednesday, June 3, 2020, near the White House in Washington. (AP photo)

Last June 1, under order from Attorney General William Barr, federal forces unleashed brutality against peaceful protesters at Lafayette Park across from the White House so that Trump could walk to a nearby church and pose for a photo-op with a Bible for his Christian fascist followers. And in Portland, federal pigs sent in by the Trump/Pence regime carried out a vicious crackdown on protesters, including kidnapping people off the streets in unmarked vans. These are just small previews of what the fascist in the White House is threatening to do across the country on election night.

Another glimpse at what the fascists may be thinking of and even planning for came from the mouth of longtime Republican operative and Trump stooge, Roger Stone. (In July, Trump commuted the 40-month prison sentence of Stone, who had been convicted of lying to Congress.) In a call with Alex Jones—pro-Trump conspiracy theorist—on his online Infowars show, Stone said Trump should consider declaring “martial law” or invoke the Insurrection Act if he should lose the November election. Stone hurled uncorroborated accusations of “voter fraud” in Florida and Nevada, and said that in Nevada, where the Democrats are reportedly gaining, votes should not even be counted because “they are already flooded with illegals.” And he threatened journalists, in particular citing the website Daily Beast: “If the Daily Beast is involved in provably seditious and illegal activities, their entire staff can be taken into custody and their office can be shut down. They want to play war, this is war.”

Back to top

 

Threats vs. Schools That Teach the “1619 Project” on U.S. Slavery

In a September 6 tweet, Trump threatened schools that use the New York Times’ “1619 Project” in their curriculum. The 1619 series, which the Times began last year, sheds light on important facts about this country and its roots in slavery. In the tweet, citing another tweet by someone else that claimed California had “implemented the 1619 project into public schools,” Trump declared: “Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!”

This is not the first time fascists have issued threats against the use of the 1619 Project in schools. Tom Cotton, a Republican senator from Arkansas and enthusiastic Trump supporter, has introduced legislation he named “Saving American History Act” that “would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts” and also make them “ineligible for federal professional-development grants.”

As CNN reported, it is unclear how many schools have actually adopted the 1619 Project into their lessons. But the message from fascist-in-chief Trump is not so much about any particular teaching material. Trump’s threat is part of the whole campaign by the regime, spearheaded by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, to attack public, secular education—with the ultimate goal of replacing public schools with schools that indoctrinate students in a belief that America has been, and should always be, a white, fundamentalist Christian country.


Back to top

An Impending Disaster and an Urgent Challenge

The above are just some of the damage done by the fascist Trump/Pence regime in the recent period! The consequences to humanity and the planet if this regime remains in power through whatever means worsen daily, and will be disastrous if this fascist juggernaut isn’t stopped.

As Bob Avakian wrote 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.

 

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

 

Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/voices-of-conscience-and-resistance-en.html

Voices of Conscience and Resistance

| revcom.us

 

Voices of Conscience and Resistance is a special feature at Revcom.us at a time when people all over are being challenged to understand and act on the crossroads we face: the accelerating moves to lock down fascism in America, concentrated around the elections with the Trump/Pence regime. We aim to aggregate a broad range of voices that are making important public statements shedding light on this juncture. Our aim in this is to better identify and understand the character of the threat, and even more importantly to marshal this understanding to further the struggle to defeat it. 

Phil Kadner, "How fascism takes root"

From the article:

People imagine that fascism takes hold of a nation the day a jackbooted soldier kicks in a civilian's door.

In actuality, it begins when a national leader says that your nation and its people are inherently superior to all others. It begins when a country rejects the idea that all people are created equal.

Read the whole article here.

HBO series The Plot Against America, based on the 2004 novel by Philip Roth, reviewed in the New York Times: "When Democracy Dies in Daylight"

Ad by Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), “Trump Is the Biggest Threat to American Jews Today

Bill McKibben, “The Next Election Is About the Next 10,000 Years”

From the article:

...this time around our last chance at limiting the temperature rise to anything like 1.5 degrees would slip through our fingers...

...as a team of scientists reported in November, we're about to cross a whole series of tipping points, ranging from destabilizing Antarctic ice sheets to slowing down vast ocean currents. These are not reversible; no one has a plan for refreezing the poles.

Read the whole article here.

Jesse Jackson speaking at a NAACP press conference in Kenosha, Wisconsin, August 27, 2020. Jackson’s part starts at 11:38 in the video and ends at 23:30.

Robert Reich, author, professor, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor—Twitter posts on Trump, fascism, and the need to fight: here, here, here, here, and here.

 

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

 

Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/664/60-defiant-days-from-revolution-books-en.html

| revcom.us

 

437 Malcolm X Blvd @132nd St.

Call and Invitation...

60 Defiant Days from Revolution Books:
Talks, Dialogue, Performance.

In the Name of Humanity,
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!


We are living in one of the most dangerous times in modern human history.

The Trump/Pence regime marshals forces to hold on to power and consolidate fascist rule. It deploys paramilitary troops and unleashes armed white vigilantes to quash the beautiful uprising against racial injustice that has swept the country since the police murder of George Floyd. The regime threatens to cut off federal funds to California schools teaching the 1619 Project, aiming to muzzle historical truth about the role of slavery in this country...and punish critical thinking. It cages immigrant children on the U.S.-Mexico border, and wages war on science. 

60 Defiant Days From Revolution Books is an emergency response—as a fateful election approaches—to this juggernaut towards full-out fascism. At a time when millions are concerned and outraged. It is inspired by the historic statement from the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian, who writes:

"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."

(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
)

60 Defiant Days of passionate, informed, and politically urgent discussion and debate...inspiring and challenging cultural events...panels featuring a diverse range of scholars, social justice activists, writers...open-air discussions...spoken-word and musical performance. To deepen understanding of what we are confronting and to heighten people's determination to act.

60 Defiant Days welcomes the call from Refuse Fascism for people to take to the streets these next 60 days in mass, sustained, non-violent and determined protest to drive this regime from power.

60 Defiant Days includes a major campaign to raise $15K to support this beacon for a whole new world as we recover from the lockdown and step up to this urgent moment.


Events now scheduled (others to be announced soon):

 Sundays: September 13 & 20, 4:00pm.

Open-Air Discussion of Bob Avakian's series Donald Trump—Genocidal Racist.

On sidewalk in front of Revolution Books, Harlem, 437 Malcolm X Blvd.


 Wed, Sep 16, 7pm EDT/4pm PDT Virtual program, Facebook

Kimiko Guthrie author Block SeventeenKiku Hughesauthor Displacement, discuss their new novels reflecting on the experience of Japanese and Japanese Americans in U.S. concentration camps during WWII.


Wed, Sep 30, 7pm EDT/4pm PDT

Virtual program, co-hosted by the Brooklyn Book Festival. Facebook

How Fascism Works, And How To Stop It! A Dialogue between:
RB Spokesperson Andy Zee
Yale philosopher Jason Stanley

Register at Eventbrite.

From Revolution Books ...

Revolution Books is a place that values critical thinking, the poetic spirit, and the search for the truth. Where you find the revolution to change everything and the work of its leader, Bob Avakianthe architect of a whole new framework for human emancipation, the new communism.

For more information and to be part of organizing and promoting 60 Defiant Days from Revolution Books

NYC store: 212-691-3345, revbooksnyc@yahoo.com,

Berkeley store: 510-848-1196, www.revolutionbooks.org/contact

OR:

Venmo: @revbooksnyc
Cash App: $revbooksnyc
PayPal: PayPal.me/RevBooksNYC

Humanity Needs Revolution
Revolution Needs Revolution Books
Revolution Books Needs You

 

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

 

Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/shout-out-to-naomi-osaka-en.html

Shout-Out to Naomi Osaka:
Serves a Potent Message to the World... and then wins the U.S. Open

| revcom.us

 

Naomi Osaka is one of the top women tennis players in the world. She has a 120-mph serve, an intimidating forehand, and formidable baseline play. At the U.S. Open this year, Osaka delivered a message—to the world. In each of her seven matches, the 22-year-old Osaka wore the name of a Black person killed by the police or racist vigilantes: Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice.*

Then on Saturday, September 12, Osaka won the final of the U.S. Open, becoming a three-time Grand Slam champion. Osaka, born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, grew up in the U.S., relinquished her U.S. citizenship, and represents Japan in tournaments. In an interview right after her tournament win, a reporter asked Osaka, “You said from the beginning, you had seven matches, seven masks, seven names. What was the message you wanted to send, Naomi?” She turned the question around, saying, “What was the message that you got was more the question. I feel like the point is to make people start talking.”

After a pig killed George Floyd in May, Osaka posted news and footage of the murder, saying, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal” and tweeted, “Just because it doesn’t happen to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.” In August, after a Kenosha pig shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down, Osaka boycotted a match in another tournament. She arrived at the match wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and tweeted: “Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of police is honestly making me sick to my stomach. I’m extremely tired of having this same conversation over and over again. When will it ever be enough?” (After this, the Women’s Tennis Association agreed to postpone the match.)

In another tweet, Osaka said: “I remember Trayvon’s death clearly. I remember being a kid and just feeling scared.... I actually didn’t wear hoodies for years cause I wanted to decrease the odds of ‘looking suspicious’. I know his death wasn’t the first, but for me it was the one that opened my eyes to what was going on. I remember watching the events unfold on tv and wondering what was taking so long, why was justice not being served. To see the same things happening over and over still is sad. Things have to change.”


* Breonna Taylor, a Black woman murdered by police in March 2020 while sleeping in her home; Elijah McClain died after being placed in a chokehold by police in August 2019; Ahmaud Arbery, killed while jogging in February 2020; 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, fatally shot in 2012 by a wanna-be-cop; George Floyd, murdered by a cop who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, May 2020; Philando Castile, fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in 2016; and 12-year-old Tamir Rice shot and killed by a cop in 2014. [back]

Naomi Osaka

 

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

 

Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/cheers-to-jaylen-brown-en.html

“I want to go protest”
Cheers to Jaylen Brown, NBA’s Powerful Voice for Social Change

| revcom.us

 

From a reader:

After the Boston Celtics secured their place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals, one of their star players, Jaylen Brown, appeared on NBATV Live wearing a white T-shirt with three black fists surrounding a partial confederate flag/swastika with words underneath of “Destroy Racism.” He wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey. About that he said, “The definition of liberation is free yourself from oppression, slavery, or marginalization. I wanted to represent that. This is the season to break free of some of those cycles.”

When the NBA players began discussing boycotting the playoffs after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, Brown, who is also the Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association, tweeted out, “I want to go protest,” rather than just boycott.

After the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Brown got in his car and drove 15 hours to lead a protest in Atlanta, near his home town of Marietta. He tweeted, “Being a celebrity, being an NBA player don’t exclude me from no conversations at all.... We’re raising awareness for some of the injustices that we’ve been seeing. It’s not ok... First and foremost, I’m a Black man and I’m a member of this community, and I grew up on this soil.”

His coach, Brad Stevens, has said that Jaylen will do more off the court than on the court during his lifetime.

Brown has become the go-to guy for other players who want to have conversations about social issues. About that, Brown, who played his college ball at UC Berkeley, says, “So what I’ve learned from being here is that a lot of guys care, a lot of guys pull me to the side and ask questions, a lot of guys want to have discussions of topics and things like that to learn more. They don’t necessarily know how to say things because of the backlash the media may give, or they’re scared to say the wrong thing. But I want them to know, to continue to have that courage. We have it together. It’s harder to single out one of us and make us look like we don’t know what we’re talking about.”

Jaylen Brown has become the most powerful voice and a leader in the NBA for the liberation of Black people and for social change.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/trump-isnt-catering-to-white-supremacists-hes-leading-them-en.html

Letter from a Reader:

Trump Isn’t “Catering” to White Supremacists... He’s Leading Them

| revcom.us

 

A legitimately frightening feature of recent months is the increasingly frequent and belligerent actions of armed white supremacists and other fascists—storming state capitolsterrorizing a multiracial family on a camping trip, running down protesters with their cars or shooting them1 (often with the assistance or protection from cops and other law enforcement agents).

Trump defends and praises all this. When Nazis in Charlottesville attacked anti-racist protesters—killing one—in 2017, Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides.” When a fascist truck convoy invaded Portland this August, firing paint guns and pepper spray at Black Lives Matter demonstrators, Trump tweeted “GREAT PATRIOTS!” After a Trump-supporting gunman in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killed two protesters and seriously injured one—white people who were protesting racism and police murder against Black people—Trump lied that the shooter was being “very violently attacked” and acted in “self-defense.”

Yet too often we see headlines like this one from CNN: “Trump refuses to denounce violent actions by right-wing agitators.” Or statements like this from Joe Biden, saying that Trump “declined to rebuke violence.... He is too weak, too scared of the hatred he has stirred to put an end to it.” (All emphases added.) As if Trump is just a bystander who doesn’t know how or lacks the courage to stop the white-supremacist thugs. We are told that Trump is “catering to his base” and “fears offending potential voters.”

This is OBSCENE! First of all, Trump doesn’t criticize white supremacists because he IS one of them—a genocidal racist, with an almost 50-year track record to prove it.

But more fundamentally, Trump doesn’t criticize them because he is LEADING them—they are a key component of his drive for a fully fascist society.2

When Trump wanted to “Open Up” the country in spite of the deadly COVID epidemic, he tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN”—soon protests spearheaded by heavily armed men were organized at state capitols around the country, stampeding most states to abandon public health measures like mask mandates and business closings. This led to tens of thousands of unnecessary COVID deaths.

When millions across the country protested the police murder of George Floyd, Trump whipped up hysteria about “violence in the streets,” “burning cities” and “antifa invasions.” Before long, fascist militia were showing up en masse to threaten, attack and sometimes kill protesters, in cities and rural areas.

And with the election approaching, Trump is calling on “his people” to prevent “voter fraud”—a fascist euphemism for intimidating Black, Latino and Native American people from voting. Trump wants his armed Brownshirts in the streets to suppress the vote, and if that doesn’t “win” him the election, these thugs will be “pre-positioned” (together with cops and federal law enforcement) to forcibly keep Trump in power anyway.

As things intensify in the coming period, we should expect that Trump will increasingly need to rely on these fascist militia. It is imperative that this be countered with determined, nonviolent mass protest, growing from week to week, refusing to leave the streets until this fascist regime is driven from power.

 


1. There have been “500 instances of right-wing extremists gathering in response to Black Lives Matter protests since the police killing of George Floyd in late May, leading to 64 cases of simple assault, 38 vehicle assaults, and nine cases of shots fired at demonstrators resulting in three deaths.”  [back]

2. Heidi Beirich, an expert in “anti-government” hate groups, said that “Trump has changed that calculation—the militias, the larger anti-government world, is essentially a pro-Trump political formation.” [Emphasis added.]  [back]


Armed militia occupying the Michigan State Capitol demanding an end to "stay at home" orders intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/658/bob-avakian-patriarchy-and-patriotism-the-danger-and-the-immediate-challenge-en.html

PATRIARCHY AND PATRIOTISM—
AGGRESSIVE MALE SUPREMACY AND AMERICAN SUPREMACY—
THE DANGER AND THE IMMEDIATE CHALLENGE

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

As I have emphasized before:

Where you have religious fundamentalism, you are going to have not only the forceful assertion of patriarchy and misogyny (hatred of women) but also aggressive patriotism—and notice that these two words have the same root, referring to allegiance to (and subordination to the authority of) the father(land). And, as we have seen, you are going to have white supremacy and racism.1

Let’s look more deeply at this connection between patriarchal male supremacy and patriotism— as well as white supremacy—and in particular how this is expressed in extreme and virulent ways with the Christian fundamentalist fascists in this country.

Christian Fascist Fanaticism for Trump

Kristin Kobes Du Mez grew up in a town in Iowa which was filled with religious fundamentalists (which she refers to as “evangelicals,” and more specifically “white evangelicals”) who voted overwhelming for Donald Trump in 2016. In her book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, she makes these important observations:

evangelical support for Trump was no aberration, nor was it merely a pragmatic choice. It was, rather, the culmination of evangelicals’ embrace of militant masculinity, an ideology that enshrines patriarchal authority and condones the callous display of power, at home and abroad....

More than any other religious demographic in America, white evangelical Protestants support preemptive war, condone the use of torture, and favor the death penalty.... White evangelicals are significantly more authoritarian than other religious groups...2

In Du Mez’s analysis, what comes through is not just the link (what I have emphasized is the “direct connection”) between aggressive white supremacy, male supremacy and gender oppression, rabid patriotism, xenophobic hatred of immigrants, and an overall support for violent repression at home as well as aggressive war abroad, but also specifically the role of “muscular” patriarchy—a “militant masculinity”—as the center and “pivot” in all this.

Du Mez also emphasizes that all this is rooted in beliefs that are not so much theologically but socially and culturally driven: a fundamentalist rendering of the Christian religion which is really based in and serves definite, oppressive and repressive, relations, and the corresponding ideological and political views and aims. I have pointed out before that a defining feature of Christianity itself, as well as the other two main “monotheistic” (one-god) religions, Judaism and Islam, is the fact that they are patriarchal religions and promote patriarchal, male supremacist social relations.3 But the Christian fundamentalists give particular, focused attention to, and insistence upon, the parts of Christian tradition and scripture (in the Old Testament of the Bible especially, but also in the New Testament) that most blatantly and aggressively promote the submission and subordination of wives to their husbands, and in general the domination of women by men. And, again, as expressed in the good old USA in particular, this involves an insistence on the domination of (in Du Mez’s words) militant white masculinity.”

A Special “Covenant” Relation with God 

In the book Away With All Gods! I pointed to this important analysis by Kevin Phillips:

Phillips reviews how, in the aftermath of the Civil War, although the South was defeated and the slave system was abolished, after the reversal of Reconstruction [in the 1870s] the South “rose again” in terms of political power and influence within the country as a whole. In connection with all this, Phillips points out, a religious mythology arose, and took root widely among white people in the South, that the (white) South had a special covenant with God and was the object of a special design by God to restore it to its proper place, righting the terrible wrong that had been done through the Civil War.4

But, for these “unrepentant” and “unreconstructed” southern white supremacists, and those who adhere to the same poisonous outlook, this notion of a “special covenant with god” is not limited to the South but is applied by them to the U.S. as a whole—and this is seen as both an extension of, and the highest expression of, “the superiority of western civilization” and a special mandate to extend its domination not only over the continent of North America but over the world as a whole and all the peoples of the world, particularly those from what Donald Trump has called “shit-hole” countries, in Africa and other parts of the Third World.

Listen to the words of Trump (in his speech at Mount Rushmore on July 3) on the superiority of white European “western civilization,” and the role of the American Revolution (“Seventeen seventy-six”) as the extension and highest expression of this:

Seventeen seventy-six represented the culmination of thousands of years of western civilization and the triumph not only of spirit, but of wisdom, philosophy, and reason.

And in a tweet sent out by the White House on July 7, this message is proclaimed:  

Americans are the people who pursued our Manifest Destiny across the ocean, into the uncharted wilderness, over the tallest mountains, and then into the skies and even into the stars.

In order to endorse this racist, European-supremacist version of reality, all that is necessary is to ignore the history of ancient, and more recent, civilizations in (among other places) China, India, the (“pre-Columbus”) Americas, Egypt and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the Islamic empires, and all their great achievements in agriculture, architecture, language and literature, astronomy, mathematics, and many other fields. While in fact benefitting from the historical experience and achievements of people from all parts of the world, over thousands of years, and the vicious exploitation of people in all parts of the world today, this grotesque American (and white-European) supremacy seizes on the top-dog position it has achieved through genocide and slavery, robbery, plunder and war, to proclaim its “superiority,” and its supposedly “god-given” right to rule, over all other peoples, within this country and in every part of the earth.

Christian Fascism and Rabid Anti-Communism

As Du Mez explains, confronted with the powerful movements of the 1960s against the Vietnam war and racial, sexual and gender oppression, “evangelicals”—and in particular “white evangelicals”:

clung fiercely to the belief that America was a Christian nation, that the military was a force for good, and that the strength of the nation depended on a properly ordered, patriarchal home. The evangelical political resurgence of the 1970s coalesced around a potent mix of “family values” politics, but family values were always intertwined with ideas about sex, power, race, and nation. Feminism posed a threat to traditional womanhood, and also to national security by removing from men their duty to provide and protect and opening the door to women in military combat. In similar fashion, Vietnam was not just a national security issue, but also a crisis of masculinity.5

The fact that, with all its military might and despite the horrendous death and destruction it rained down on Vietnam and its people, the U.S. failed in its attempt to subjugate Vietnam—and was forced to withdraw from Vietnam in defeat—this sent the Christian fundamentalist fascists into a frenzy. And, as the people leading the Vietnamese liberation struggle were identified as communists, this merged with and reinforced the Christian fascists’ fanatical hatred of “godless communism.” Here we see another “toxic combination” of mindless anti-communism and a sense of frustrated “muscular masculine militarism.”

Of course, the use of religion to promote enforced patriotism has not been limited to right-wing and outright fascist representatives of American capitalist imperialism. It was during the 1950s, under the “mainstream” president (the “moderate” Republican) Eisenhower that the words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance, as a direct part of the crusade against the threat posed by “godless communism” to American domination in the world, with all the horrors that had already been involved in achieving and maintaining that dominance. This included the actual use of two atomic bombs by the U.S. at the end of World War 2—ordered by the Democratic President Truman—which immediately incinerated hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and subjected many more to excruciating suffering), ushering in the “nuclear age” which for generations now has continued as an ever-present existential threat hanging over human beings everywhere.

But today, the fascists now ruling in the U.S.—with the Christian fascists the driving force in this—are prepared to carry all these horrors to even greater and more monstrous extremes. Listen to Trump’s belligerent, bellicose hymns of praise to America’s power to destroy, in the following words from his statement on July 4th (the day after his celebration, at Mount Rushmore, of American “manifest destiny” and the genocide this has already involved):

No enemy on Earth stands a chance—$2.5 trillion, we’ve invested—all made in the USA. We’ve never had anything near the power and the equipment that we have right now. We did that over the last three years.... Everywhere these aircraft have flown, they’ve rained down American thunder, delivered American justice, and they have fiercely defended every square inch of American sovereignty.... In their steel frames, broad wings, and roaring engines, we see the story of America’s daring defiance, its soaring spirit, and undying resolve.”

In this, we need to recognize not just the more obvious, and odious, macho posturing of Trump but, on a deeper level, the close link and interconnection between unfettered male domination of the most brutal kind and the urge to war to defend “god’s chosen nation” (which in reality is the empire of U.S. capitalist imperialism). In this connection, the following from the book Jesus and John Wayne is very relevant (keeping in mind again that the author uses the term “evangelicals” or “white evangelicals” to refer to what must be scientifically identified as Christian fundamentalist fascists):

For evangelicals, domestic and foreign policy are two sides of the same coin. Christian nationalism—the belief that America is God’s chosen nation and must be defended as such—serves as a powerful predictor of intolerance toward immigrants, racial minorities, and non-Christians. It is linked to opposition to gay rights and gun control, to support for harsher punishments for criminals, to justifications for the use of excessive force against black Americans in law enforcement situations, and to traditionalist gender ideology. White evangelicals have pieced together this patchwork of issues, and a nostalgic commitment to rugged, aggressive, militant white masculinity serves as the thread binding them together into a coherent whole. A father’s rule in the home is inextricably linked to heroic leadership on the national stage, and the fate of the nation hinges on both.6

The fact is that the fate of humanity could very well hinge on a thorough repudiation of and a decisive defeat of this toxic combination of aggressive patriarchy and the patriotism of a white Christian America. This is concentrated in very immediate terms in the need for masses of people to act now on the urgent need to remove the fascist Trump-Pence from power, with the most powerful expression of this a massive, non-violent but sustained mobilization of people in the streets united around the unifying demand that this regime must be OUT NOW! 

And, in the most fundamental terms, all this ultimately depends on the overthrow and uprooting of the system, of capitalism-imperialism, that is the soil out of which this grotesque fascism has grown.

 


1. Fascists Today And The Confederacy: A Direct Line, A Direct Connection Between All The Oppression. This article by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us.  [back]

2. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, Liveright Publishing. The passages quoted here are from the “Introduction.”  [back]

3. See Morality Without Religion, Emancipation That Is Real. This article by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us.  [back]

4. Bob Avakian, Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, Insight Press, 2008, pp, 141-42. The statements by Kevin Phillips cited here are from Kevin Phillips, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, Viking Press, 2006.

There is a definite irony in the fact that Phillips was one of the main people responsible for formulating the Republican Party’s “southern strategy,” which was based on the appeal to the racism of white southerners who are characterized by the very kind of views and sentiments that Phillips describes, critically, here. It seems that Phillips later came to regret at least much of where this “southern strategy” has led, and this book of his contains important exposure and analysis of this.  [back]

5. Jesus and John Wayne, the “Introduction.”  [back]

6. Jesus and John Wayne, the “Introduction.”  [back]

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See:

PATRIARCHY AND MALE SUPREMACY,
OR REVOLUTION AND ENDING ALL OPPRESSION?

by Bob Avakian

Read more

See also:

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/658/bob-avakian-patriarchy-and-male-supremacy-or-revolution-and-ending-all-oppression-en.html

PATRIARCHY AND MALE SUPREMACY,
OR REVOLUTION AND ENDING ALL OPPRESSION?

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

As I have emphasized (and it is important to keep emphasizing):

There is a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today, and a direct connection between their white supremacy, their open disgust and hatred for LGBT people as well as women, their willful rejection of science and the scientific method, their raw “America First” jingoism and trumpeting of “the superiority of Western civilization” and their bellicose wielding of military power, including their expressed willingness and blatant threats to use nuclear weapons, to destroy countries.1

Kristin Kobes Du Mez has extensively studied the phenomenon of Christian fundamentalism, which is the driving force of this fascism. Referring to this as “evangelicalism” (or, more specifically, “white evangelicalism”) she speaks to the same kind of “direct connection” between many of these forms of oppression, and she makes this important point:

a nostalgic commitment to rugged, aggressive, militant white masculinity serves as the thread binding them together into a coherent whole. A father’s rule in the home is inextricably linked to heroic leadership on the national stage, and the fate of the nation hinges on both.2

There are some—like Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, and others—who insist that they are foremost opponents of white supremacy, while at the same time they have a great deal in common with the Christian fascists, including the promotion of all kinds of ridiculous and outrageous mythology and conspiracy theories, in opposition to science and the scientific method, and the insistence on many of the same oppressive relations that the fascists are determined to enforce.

To speak to one crucial dimension of this: There is no way to end white supremacy while clinging to, and insisting upon, male supremacy. Seeking to counter “militant white masculinity” with a Black version of the same “militant masculinity”—another variation of patriarchal male supremacy—this cannot lead to ending any form of oppression.

Just as there is a “direct connection” between all the oppressive and repressive relations and ways of thinking that bind together the program of the Christian fascists, there is no way to break any link in this chain without breaking them all.

And, going deeper, the whole chain of oppression and monstrous crimes against humanity—white supremacy, male supremacy, discrimination and brutality against LGBT people, American supremacist domination and wars for empire, xenophobic hatred of immigrants, plunder of the environment—all this is fundamentally rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism.

Seeking to “get in on” (to “get your fair share of”) the spoils that come from American capitalist-imperialist plunder of the earth and exploitation of masses of people on every part of the earth—or seeking some “bargain” with the rulers of this system, in order to set yourself up as new overlords and exploiters of masses of people—this is not a road to emancipation, but something that contributes to perpetuating oppression.

Only through the revolution aiming to overthrow this system—to defeat and dismantle this system of capitalism-imperialism and all its institutions of oppression and violent repression, replacing them with institutions that can serve the cause of emancipating all of humanity and enabling human beings to become fit caretakers of the earth—only in this way can each and every form of oppression, plunder and exploitation be finally ended.

 


1. 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. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, Liveright Publishing. This statement is from the “Introduction.” Emphasis has been added here.  [back]

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

Get Into BA »

See also:

PATRIARCHY AND PATRIOTISM—
AGGRESSIVE MALE SUPREMACY AND AMERICAN SUPREMACY—
THE DANGER AND THE IMMEDIATE CHALLENGE

by Bob Avakian

Read more

 

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

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/651/bob-avakian-radical-change-is-coming-en.html

RADICAL CHANGE IS COMING:
WILL IT BE EMANCIPATING, OR ENSLAVING—
REVOLUTIONARY, OR REACTIONARY?

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

For those who cannot help but hunger for a “return” to some kind of “normalcy” as an answer to the madness of Trump, Pence and the rest—forget it, it is not going to happen!

And nobody should want a return to the “normalcy” of this system. 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 outpouring of protest in response to the cruel, sickening murder of George Floyd—yet another link in the seemingly endless chain of murders of Black people and other oppressed people by police, acting with a smug sense of impunity, without fear of punishment—this powerful outpouring of outrage, bringing together not only Black people but others, of all races and genders and from all parts of the world, has begun to change the whole political landscape and culture, seizing the initiative in a very positive way from the ruling Trump/Pence regime and its fascist “base,” and challenging the whole paralyzing notion that the brutal reality of this system and its “norms” is the only possible reality and everyone just has to find their place within this and “do for self” as best as possible.

Faced with this rapidly changing situation, Trump has reacted with predictable threats, bullying and intensified repression, while others—who represent the same system but feel it is important at times like this to harness, “pacify” and “domesticate” the outrage—speak once again in terms of meaningless “reforms” and advocate a supposedly “softer” but still vicious version of the “law and order” which oppresses masses of people and represses any who dare to stand up against this oppression. Recognizing that it is likely to further inflame things to simply call for a return to the way things were before this outpouring of righteous rebellion broke through the suffocating routine of life under this system, there are voices representing a section of the ruling class, such as CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who are now speaking of the need for “a new normal” that will supposedly be more “just.”

But there is no “normal” of this system that does not involve systematic injustice, continuing outrage and horror, for people here and all over the world.

And the fascist Trump/Pence regime, which now controls key levers of power, and has called forth and cohered a mass base of fanatical followers, will accept no “new normal,” except one that carries the monstrous oppression of this system to even more barbaric extremes. If anyone is looking to the scheduled election in November as the way to solve things—painlessly and without turmoil and upheaval—first of all, it is not even certain that this election will actually be held. There is a definite possibility that Trump will find a way to “postpone” it, seizing on the continuing coronavirus crisis and/or some other pretext. (Yes, using COVID-19 as an excuse for canceling the election would be hypocritical, given the reckless way the Trump/Pence regime has approached this from the beginning—but who should be surprised by hypocrisy on their part?!)

Even if the election is held, there is a real chance that Trump could “legitimately” win, given the character of the “opposition,” from Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.

And anyway, Trump is already preparing the ground to say the election was “rigged” if he is not declared the winner. Remember how, before the last election, he refused to say he would abide by the results if he lost? Now, he is proclaiming that in Michigan, and some other states, preparations for people to vote by mail is massive “fraud”—when, in fact, this is not only legal but highly sensible in the conditions of the coronavirus. At the same time, Trump and the Republican Party are making other moves to suppress votes, especially of people very likely to vote against them. And all this will almost certainly go on, in an even bigger way, as the time for the election approaches.

Further, if the election is held and Trump is not declared the winner but refuses to accept the results and insists he is still president, what about all those fascist followers of Trump, some of whom are already parading around with weapons and threatening people, including elected officials—what do you think they will do if Trump calls “fraud!” and calls on them to rally to his support? Remember how, during the 2016 campaign, Trump threatened his opponent, Hillary Clinton, talking about what “those Second Amendment people” might do to her? Remember how Trump has openly talked about how he has lots of supporters, among the police and the military, and among bikers and other “tough” people? And then, just recently, Trump has threatened to use the military to violently suppress protests against police brutality and murder.

Even if the election takes place and Trump loses, and he is prevailed upon to accept the results, and his MAGA-hatted madmen and women do not “rise up in arms” in the short run, do you really think they are just going to “go away,” or slink off passively, waiting for the next election?

Whatever takes place in relation to the election scheduled for November, nothing good will happen, and really terrible things are bound to happen, if those who cannot stand what is going on now with this regime—and the very real threat of far worse—do not find the ways, even in the conditions of COVID-19, to powerfully manifest that they are determined to drive this regime from power, without waiting for, and regardless of what goes on around, the scheduled November election.1

Digging down even deeper, the basic fact has to be faced that—even while Trump might very well use extra-legal (that is, illegal) means to remain in power—this fascist regime actually came to power in the first place not through a military take-over or some other violation of the principles and functioning of this “great democracy,” but through the “normal workings” of this system. And those “normal workings” will continue to wreak havoc in the world and on the masses of people in the world, through destruction of the environment, wars, massive displacement and desperate migration of people, on top of the ongoing savage inequalities, crushing exploitation and murderous oppression “written into the DNA” of this system and carried out by its brutal enforcers.

Because of all this:

in fundamental terms, this notion of a “return to normalcy” is an illusion that will be exploded by the nature and workings of the system of capitalism-imperialism to which the masses of humanity are subjected.2

For some time now, in speaking to the conditions of women, I have been calling attention to the fact that, with the changes in the U.S. and the world economy:

The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today’s extreme circumstances—this is a powderkeg in the U.S. today.

And:

It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms and through extremely violent means. The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement.3

This is true not only with regard to women, as important as that is, but for all those who are oppressed, degraded and brutalized under this system. It is true not just for the U.S., but throughout this highly interconnected but terribly unequal world, dominated as it is by this system of capitalism-imperialism.

In the beautiful outpouring of determined resistance to institutionalized racism and police terror, marked by a growing sense that this is somehow bound up with the very nature of this system and the many other injustices it continually perpetrates, we can see the potential for the revolution that can shatter those chains of oppression and open the way to a radically different and far better world, on an entirely new foundation. What remains to be done is to develop that potential into reality, bringing forward greater and greater numbers of people—through this present upsurge sparked by the murder of George Floyd, and through many diverse spheres of life and many different streams of struggle—who are fired with a determination to put an end to all oppression and are gaining the scientific understanding that this system of capitalism-imperialism is the source of all these inter-connected horrors, and are driven by the need and inspired by the possibility of bringing this system down and bringing that far better world into being.

 


1. Many of the points spoken to in this article regarding the dangers posed by the Trump/Pence fascist regime, and the possibility of this regime remaining in power regardless of what happens with the election scheduled for November, are spoken to and elaborated on very compellingly in The Worst-Case Scenario is Continuing to Accept a Fascist America by Coco Das, which is available at revcom.us, reposted from RefuseFascism.org. [back]

2. The Deadly Illusion Of “Normalcy” And The Revolutionary Way Forward. This article by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us. [back]

3. This quote and the one above it are from a statement by Bob Avakian that was first published in 1985 and has been cited in a number of works since then, including Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution, Part III: “The New Synthesis and the Woman Question: The Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—Further Leaps and Radical Ruptures,” which is also available at revcom.us. Emphasis has been added here to the second quote. [back]

See also:

THE DEADLY ILLUSION OF "NORMALCY" AND THE REVOLUTIONARY WAY FORWARD
by Bob Avakian

Read more

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

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/652/bob-avakian-on-civil-war-and-revolution-en.html

Bob Avakian on
CIVIL WAR AND REVOLUTION

| revcom.us

 

I began the article “Radical Change Is Coming with this blunt statement:

For those who cannot help but hunger for a “return” to some kind of “normalcy” as an answer to the madness of Trump, Pence and the rest—forget it, it is not going to happen!1

I went on to speak to ways in which the fascist forces aligned with Trump (and Pence) are preparing to react, quite possibly with violence, if the election does not go Trump’s way (or if Trump cancels the election and there is an outpouring of resistance to this). In fact, for more than 20 years now, I have been analyzing the fascist nature of the kind of forces that have rallied around Trump and how they have been increasingly talking about, and preparing for, a civil war.

This is obviously a very serious question. But something even more serious is reflected in a statement I read somewhere recently—that if only one side (the fascist side) is waging a civil war, then it is not really a civil war but murder, and genocide. This is another way of saying what was crudely expressed by the fascist Congressman from Iowa, Steve King, who declared:

Folks keep talking about another civil war. One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.2

Recently, powerful figures within the Republican Party have turned against King, feeling that his expression of this and other fascist positions is a little too crude, and King has been defeated in his bid for re-election in a Republican primary election. But, expressed more or less crudely, King’s fascist views and stands are shared by the core of the Republican Party and its “base.” And, as I have pointed out previously, there is a “demented insight” in the comment by King quoted here. While the people King is ridiculing are righteously supporting the rights of trans people, gays, women, and others, at the same time far too many are

attempting to resolve the conflict with what is represented by the Trump/Pence regime and its fascist “base,” with its “8 trillion bullets,” through relying on (or seeking a return to) what have been the “norms” of the bourgeois order in this country (and, on the part of some, this involves a call for “restoring civility”) while the fascists are determined to trample on and tear up these “norms” and are perfectly happy to have those who oppose them adopt the stance of “civility” (accommodation) toward their unrelenting fascist offensive.... And so, while things could be heading toward a civil war, and it could come down to that even in the not-too-distant future, the present lineup is very unfavorable for anybody who represents anything decent in the world.3

And here is another big part of the picture:

while a lot of what King describes applies in a certain demented way, particularly to progressive or so-called “woke” middle class people, there is another kind of problem with regard to more basic oppressed people, and in particular the youth—a big problem that their guns are now aimed at each other. And without going more fully into this right now, this is something that needs to be radically transformed in building a movement for an actual revolution.4

This whole situation needs to be radically transformed—and with a very definite urgency! We have once again seen the potential for this in the recent determined actions of masses of people whose outrage at the ongoing police murders of Black men and women erupted in response to the cold-blooded execution of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (And a strategically favorable element in this outpouring of outrage is that, at the same time as it has involved significant numbers of Black people, it has also involved large numbers of people of other “races,” including a great many white people, especially youth.) As I said in Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, upsurges like this exert a very powerful positive force and influence, and show the potential for revolution, and it is crucial that the righteous resistance and rebellion of masses of people “be transformed...into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization.”5

Looking at this from the strategic standpoint of working for the revolution that is needed to deal with the root causes of all this, it is also important to act on this understanding:

To a significant degree now, the conflict between the sections of society upholding this fascism and those opposing it, from various different perspectives, is shaping the terrain on which the struggle for revolution must be carried out; this conflict is likely to intensify, and could erupt further in violent confrontation, and in any case it would be a significant factor in the context of an all‑out struggle between revolution and counter‑revolution.6

It is not time, right now, for the all-out fight between revolution and counter-revolution: the conditions for this—most of all, a revolutionary people in the millions in a situation of deep crisis for the whole system—have not yet been brought into being. But there is a pressing need to work to accelerate and “hasten” the development of things toward a revolutionary situation. A big part of working to bring that revolutionary situation into being, at the earliest possible time, is waging a determined battle against the injustices and outrages continually perpetrated by this system.7 And

this political battle also needs to be waged in bold and determined opposition to the “base” that is being mobilized by the fascist section of the ruling class—this is important in its own right now, and is important preparation for and will have an important bearing on the “civil war between two sections of the people,” once conditions have fully ripened and the all-out struggle is underway.8

For, when it comes down to it:

The all-out struggle will not just mean going up against the institutional forces of the old ruling class but will also involve “a civil war between two sections of the people,” requiring the revolution to both defeat and disintegrate but also, as far as possible, win over parts of the armed forces among the population that started out on the other side.9

With regard to winning over parts of the armed forces among the population that started out on the other side: First, and fundamentally, the advance of the revolution in the actual fight would have a very powerful positive impact and effect on the thinking of people broadly. Along with that, there would be the powerful moral clarity and authority of the revolutionary forces fighting with right on their side and in ways consistent with the emancipatory goals of the revolution. And then there are specific measures—such as the cancellation of all debt that people have owed to banks and other financial institutions in the old society—that the revolutionary forces would make known as their official policy. Such policies would be in line with and flow from the basic goals of the revolution and the radically new society the revolution is aiming to bring into being; and making such policies known, and actually implementing them wherever and as soon as the basis exists to do that, could play an important part in winning sections of society which started out on the counter-revolutionary side to actual involvement in, or support for—or at least a “friendly neutrality” toward—the revolution. Still, it will be the case that certain die-hard reactionary elements of the population, including many among hardcore fascist forces, will remain stubbornly committed to the counter-revolution; and the revolutionary forces would need to take this into account as part of their overall strategic approach and operational principles, in waging the all-out fight, once the conditions for that had been brought into being.

A one-sided civil war—waged only by the forces of fascism against everyone and everything they hate and are determined to wipe out or beat into submission—would be a disaster. Ignoring the reality that these fascists are definitely prepared to carry out such a civil war, if they see it as necessary to achieve their objectives, will only make such a disaster more likely. And nothing good will come from relying on those, like the leaders of the Democratic Party, who refuse to call out this fascism for what it is and oppose it on that basis, because doing so would call into question the “legitimacy” of their whole system, which has given rise to this fascism.

What is urgently needed is a massive struggle against the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime and determined opposition to the “base” it is mobilizing in its support. This struggle needs to be waged in a serious way, in accordance with the actual stakes involved—not seeking or initiating violence but also not cowed into submission by the actions of the fascists.

And what is needed, in working toward the fundamental solution to all this, is to wage this anti-fascist struggle as part of accelerating—“hastening”—the development of things toward the point where it will be possible to carry out the revolution, the all-out fight, to finally put an end to this whole system of capitalism-imperialism, with all of the horrors it has already brought about for the masses of humanity—and the even worse horrors it will unleash if it is allowed to continue—when all this is completely unnecessary and there is the basis and possibility for a radically different and far better world.

 


1. Radical Change Is Coming: Will It Be Emancipating, Or Enslaving—Revolutionary, Or Reactionary? This article by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us. [back]

2. This statement by Steve King is cited in Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism, by Bob Avakian, author of The New Communism, which is also available at revcom.us. [back]

3. Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis. [back]

4. Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis. [back]

5. 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]

6. From Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution (Part II, “How We Can Really Make Revolution”).The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian are available at revcom.us. [back]

7. As pointed out in a footnote to the article by Bob Avakian “Boomers”—“X,Y,Z”: The Problem Is Not “Generations,” It’s The System (also available at revcom.us):

In a number of works—including Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution; Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary; HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism; and Bob Avakian Responds To Mark Rudd On The Lessons Of The 1960s And The Need For An Actual Revolution (all of which are available at revcom.us)—Bob Avakian speaks further to “why there was no revolution” at the height of the 1960s upsurges and “major changes, largely of a negative kind, that have taken place over the decades since.” Among these observations are the following (from Bob Avakian Responds To Mark Rudd):

An actual revolution requires two essential factors: a revolutionary situation, and a revolutionary people in their millions. And these two factors are closely interconnected.

A revolutionary situation involves not just a crisis in society in some general sense but a situation where the system and its ruling powers are in a profound and acute crisis and millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government. Key components and signs of a revolutionary crisis are that the violence used to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate—and that the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp, and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution.*

[* Bob Avakian has also characterized a revolutionary situation this way:

What is a Revolutionary Situation? A deep crisis and sharpening conflicts in society and in the government and ruling circles, where they cannot find a way to resolve these conflicts—in society and among their own ranks—which do not make things worse for them and call forth more resistance and further undermine people's belief in their "right to rule" and in the "legitimacy" of their use of force to maintain their rule; programs of "reforming" the system are shown to be bankrupt, totally unable to deal with what more and more people recognize as profound dysfunction and intolerable injustice of the whole setup; those, in society as well as among the ruling class, who are trying to enforce the existing system are on the political defensive, even if lashing out; millions of people are actively seeking radical change, determined to fight for it, willing to put everything on the line to win it, and searching for a force to lead them in doing so; and a solid core of thousands is united around a leadership, an organized vanguard force with the vision and method, strategy and plan—and deepening ties among masses of people—to actually lead the fight to defeat and dismantle the violent repressive force of the existing system and its power structure, and to bring into being a new revolutionary system that can provide the means for people to radically transform society toward the goal of abolishing oppression and exploitation.] [back]

8. Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. [back]

9. Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. [back]

 

 

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

 

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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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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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

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CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

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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.

I have been working on a research paper to answer the following question. 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 changing social and class composition of the U.S. as a defining expression of imperialist parasitism? The answer is yes.

This research paper will be posted in the next few weeks. 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 ever-more 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.

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.

*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 “Wal-Mart 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

 

Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

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

Download leaflet (PDF)

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/september-5-national-protests-news-en.html

Refuse Fascism September 5 Nationwide Protests

From the front-lines of the struggle against a fascist America—September 5th ... A Start to the 60 Days of Struggle to Drive Out this Regime

| revcom.us

 

September 5, 2020: 60 Days of Struggle have begun to get Trump/Pence regime OUTNOW!

A Second Term Would Be Fascist "Shock and Awe"
Join 60 Days of Struggle Demanding: TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW! – Sunsara Taylor

Read the transcript


New York City:


Los Angeles


Chicago

Lamar Whitfield, No More Foundation: We all need to unite to get Trump and Pence out of our White House because we are at a NO MORE moment!

Historian Paul Street: Trump's law and order is a fascist law and order, we can't wait til January for him to be out

Sept 5, 2020, Chicago, Nico from the Revolution Club: We don't have to live in a world like this

The Bible Must Not Be a Prop for Evil!
Rev. Michael Woolf calls religious leaders to speak against Trump.


Boston


Houston


Kansas City, Kansas


Philadelphia


San Francisco


Seattle


Washington, DC


Press coverage:

New York Times

(The NY Times ran a version of a Reuters news agency story syndicated worldwide, the quote from Coco Das is in the Reuters story but was left out by the Times)

Pix11 NYC

Chicago

Orlando

MSNBC

Also visit: RefuseFascism.org

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/663/september-5-2020-sunsara-taylor-remarks-en.html

A Second Term Would Be Fascist "Shock and Awe"
Join 60 Days of Struggle Demanding: TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW! — Sunsara Taylor

| revcom.us

 

For three and a half years, a demented bully has lied, jeered, broken the law, torn families apart, built concentration camps and packed them full, threatened to lock up his opponents, pardoned and lionized outright war criminals, brandished nuclear weapons, declared himself above the law, demeaned women, denied science, fueled the mass deaths of COVID, threatened the media, and cheered for white supremacists and vigilante murderers.

More times than we can count, he has shocked the conscience of the world.

More times than we can count, experts have cried, “He can’t do that!” But he does it anyhow.

If he is allowed a second term, all this will be unspeakably worse.

Listen to Miles Taylor, former chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security who served under Trump. I quote:

There are people serving very close to the President that have told me verbatim we should expect, quote, “shock and awe” if the President wins a second term. You will see a flurry of executive orders.

Taylor was speaking of Trump’s foreign policy, but we can expect the same across the board.

Listen to what Trump wanted to do to immigrants on the border, what Taylor heard him say, but what Trump was prevented from doing by people who he has now kicked out and publicly attacked. Taylor says:

Trump would be dreaming up “sickening” medieval plots “to pierce the flesh” of migrants, rip all the families apart, “maim,” and gas them. “This was a man with no humanity whatsoever,”... “He says, we got to do this, this, this, and this, all of which are probably impossible, illegal unethical,”... “And he looks over me and he goes, ‘you fucking taking notes?’”

These are the rantings of a genocidal racist who will be unleashed if by hook or by crook he gets another term.

Legal experts have looked at the nearly 300 federal judges Trump has packed onto the courts and warned that we are hurtling towards theocracy. Mike Pence’s Bible enforced by the state. Forcing women to bear children against their will.

Do you know that in Mike Pence’s Indiana, a woman was sentenced to 30 years in prison for allegedly inducing her own abortion or maybe just miscarrying? Do you know that the fascist lunatic Trump put in charge of teenage girls in his immigrant detention centers kept a calendar of their menstruation cycles and personally flew to their cells to “counsel” them if they ask for an abortion—even if they were raped? You think this won’t be done to all women? You think it’s acceptable now? It’s not funny when Trump “joked” that Pence wants to hang gay people. That is where things are headed. Don’t say that could never happen here. Did you listen to the lunatics they put up at their Nazi RNC? They want to punish women for abortion, deny them of birth control, and one of their speakers says women should give up their vote to their husbands. They put this center stage—they are TELLING you where they are going.

All this as Trump shreds environmental protections, accelerating climate change that is already fueling floods in Bangladesh, droughts in Africa, and driving millions from their homes. We are gathered here in 106 degree heat, wildfires raging across the state, and Trump has repeatedly threatened to withhold aid because Californians overwhelmingly oppose him.

This regime is threatening the future of human civilization itself!

Fascism is not just the worst of Republican policies. It is a qualitative change in the form of rule, the obliteration of all the norms, the evisceration of the democratic rights we have been told that we have, like the ability for people to oppose them—in the streets in our protests, or even within the halls of power. Fascism is a form of rule that relies on open terror and violence—from the state and from the mob—against all they deem “enemies,” “undesirables,” or “dangers to society.”

And this is not standing still. We are gathered at a moment when Trump has unleashed and defended the killer of two heroic protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Anthony Huber and Jojo Rosenbaum were heroes who stood up for Black lives. We are gathered as MAGA fascists ride through Portland spraying paint guns and other weapons at protesters like the American Taliban they are. We are gathered as Bill Barr, the most powerful law enforcement agent in the country, is restructuring the state to brand protesters as terrorist and imprison them for life. When Trump just posed with a sheriff who openly advocated throwing a whole generation of Black people into warehouses, preventing them from having children, and holding them till they all died off and then turning the warehouses into shopping malls. Trump posed with this Nazi AFTER these comments were made public.

That is genocide, pure and simple, and as Bob Avakian has said in a new series which everyone here should read at revcom.us, Donald Trump Is a Genocidal Racist.

The fascists are fighting to lock all this in thru a second term whether it takes stealing, sabotaging, or canceling the election. Every day new projections come out from well-informed, ruling class figures about the danger of Trump declaring himself the winner even it means spewing an avalanche of lies, breaking the law, and unleashing violence and bloodshed.

Many are now saying, “Well, if he does that, then we’ll take to the streets, like they’ve done in Hong Kong and Belarus.” That’s a step—but we cannot passively wait for things to get worse.

That would be like the LA Lakers sitting down their best players for the first three quarters and saying, “If the other team runs up the score, then we’ll put in LeBron James and the rest.” If they did that, the other team WOULD run up the score and the Lakers would be so far behind they wouldn’t have a chance.

Well, these fascists are running up the score on us right now and we have to get out there on the court and take the initiative away from them.

This is why RefuseFascism.org is launching, starting today, 60 days of struggle.

All September, we must spread this message—Trump/Pence Out Now!—and the plan to drive out this regime through mass, sustained, nonviolent protest. We—all of us here, those of you who’ve been active and those of you who just now are stepping into things—need to be working together, beginning right after this demonstration, on how to build up our numbers, how to spread to every corner of society, how to strengthen our cohesion and ability to resist.

By October, people need to be in the streets every day demanding TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!, growing in our numbers and refusing to be intimidated or provoked by the fascists and all they throw at us. Uniting all who can be united—from Never-Trumpers to mainstream Democrats to revolutionary communists and followers of Bob Avakian like myself, and many more, from health workers to celebrities to youth and those among the hardest hit. All raising the single, unifying demand: Trump/Pence Out Now!

In fighting for this, it is not us—just those of us out here now and the others around the country today—up against them, the fascists with all their strength and terror. It is us carrying the hopes and aspirations and interests of literally billions of people around the world. It is us fighting to arouse and call forward the millions in this country who don’t want to become accomplices to genocide and fascism. It is us pushing on the cracks and deep divisions that exist all throughout all the institutions of this society—the military, the courts, the halls of power, the structures of finance and international relations—to compel those who are not part of this fascism to act to remove this regime from power.

This is possible. If we declare right here, right now, together with each other that we will not find our place in a fascist America. That we will move heaven and earth to prevent it. That we will lead others to overcome fear and get out of their comfort zones as we do the very same ourselves together. That we will do this not for ourselves, but for all of humanity.

There is beauty, there is power, there is meaning in standing up together. Not only stopping this great catastrophe for humanity but in forging ourselves into a different kind of people, one that looks out for each other, one that puts humanity first, one that wins a better future for everyone on this planet. This is what history demands of us. This is the gift we can give to the people of the world if we dare. It is up to each of us, and all of us together.

Put your fists up and say it with me:

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

Trump/Pence Out Now!

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
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Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/bob-avakian-donald-trump-genocidal-racist-part-9-en.html

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST*
Part 9

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 9

When a white supremacist Trump supporter killed 2 people (and seriously wounded another) who were taking part in protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Trump condemned those protesting but never said a word against this murder. Not only that, but prominent supporters of Trump—Tucker Carlson of the fascist Fox “news,” Ann Coulter, and others—justified and even glorified this murder of protesters.

Did Trump denounce (or even “distance himself” from) any of this justification and glorification of this white supremacist murder? No. After saying, in one of his rants during the Republican “convention,” that “Second Amendment people” could “take care of Portland in a day,” Trump supported armed “Second Amendment” white supremacists mobilizing to attack protesters in Portland, Oregon, and he called on these “very fine people” to “take Portland.” (Someone, apparently a Trump supporter, was killed in the course of this white supremacist attack on the protests in Portland.)

Trump is encouraging what he hopes will be a one-sided civil war, in which the armed forces of white supremacy (and other horrific oppression) will wipe out anyone protesting violence by police and terrorize everyone who opposes, or simply does not fit into, Trump’s program for a fascist America.

(If you still think this is an exaggeration—going too far to say this about Trump—then you still don’t know who Donald Trump really is. Look for Part 10: the very real danger of Donald Trump as a genocidal racist.)

 


Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews. Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.

Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.  [back]

Download pamphlet of complete series (PDF printer spread)

Read the Series "Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST"

Part 1 | PDF
Part 2 | PDF
Part 3 | PDF
Part 4 | PDF
Part 5 | PDF
Part 6 | PDF
Part 7 | PDF
Part 8 | PDF
Part 9
Part 10 | PDF

 

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Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/two-big-lessons-of-the-police-murder-of-dijon-kizzee-en.html

The Two Big Lessons of the Police Murder of Dijon Kizzee and the Continuing Resistance Against It

by Noche Diaz, National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

Dijon Kizzee was a 29-year-old Black man who was born and raised in Los Angeles. On August 31, 2020 Dijon was murdered in cold blood by members of the LA Sheriff’s Department (LASD). Dijon was chased down and shot in the back 15 times while yelling “They’re going to kill me” and while onlookers called out to the sheriffs not to shoot. Dijon Kizzee was a human being whose life mattered. He leaves behind family members and friends who loved him.

Immediately after the murder, people gathered to demand answers, and word of this gathering began quickly spreading around social media. Within hours, in the range of 100 people who had been part of various protests in the beautiful uprising of the last months since the murder of George Floyd came into the neighborhood in waves to stand with people from the area who had gathered at the site of Dijon’s murder.

In the weeks that followed, two lessons have come into focus:

First is how much worse is the murderous ways of “law enforcement” and the violent repression against anyone fighting for justice or fundamental change under the rule and direction of the fascist Trump/Pence regime, and how much worse it will become if they are able to stay in power. In the weeks following Dijon’s murder by LASD, the struggle to demand justice has been met with dozens of arrests... declaring protests “unlawful gatherings”... protesters, including children, tear-gassed and hospitalized... lawyers being assaulted by sheriffs while holding a press conference to expose the sheriffs’ assault on protesters... and a string of four journalists being attacked and arrested.

This is happening as part of the fascist Trump’s “answer” to months of the beautiful struggle demanding an end to racism and murder by police. Trump ramps up calls for “law and order”... condemns protesters as “rioters” and “arsonists”... repeatedly calls for “retribution” against protests, while whipping up racist fear of “violent mobs” burning down cities and coming for (white) suburbs and housewives. He calls for “Second Amendment” people to help put down protests and then defends a racist thug who did just that, murdering two protesters in Kenosha. This is escalating now, and if he “wins”/steals or disregards the election, without massive and sustained protests demanding Trump/Pence Out NOW, this will take far more devastating leaps.

The second lesson is the example set by people uniting to come back even stronger in the face of repression, and joining together the demands in the struggle against police murder with the demand Trump/Pence #OutNow. People from various parts of the city came to stand with people in a neighborhood under constant siege, and people in the neighborhood have begun to get a sense that they won’t just be alone if they stand up to this. Through struggle to overcome divisions, last Saturday represented an important coming back stronger in the face of repeated and relentless repression.

In the course of things, the Revolution Club in Los Angeles has played an important role in fighting for people to come back stronger in the face of repression, and has been able to involve people, including youth, in representing and working for revolution. Bob Avakian’s series Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST and the calls from Refuse Fascism to mobilize to drive out this regime have also been getting out in the area, to lift people’s sights to confront what we are up against and what must been done to prevent to the further tightening of the grip of fascism as part of building the revolution to get to a whole better world.

All this has been hard-fought, and already the LASD is escalating attempts to attack and delegitimize protest or even speaking out against police murder. After a recent incident (that very little is actually known about) where two deputies were shot, the LASD chief seized on this to further attack protesters and “outside agitators” by implying that the struggle against murder by police contributed to this shooting, all with the loud backing of Trump calling again for “law and order.” This chief defended the violent arrest of a local public radio reporter at KPCC, Josie Huang. He also lashed out at Lebron James, demanding he match the $200,000 in reward money for information on the suspect, targeting Lebron to intimidate those in the NBA who speak out against the murder of Black people by police.

 

This is far from over. The Revolution Club in LA, along with the National Revolution Tour, will be calling people into the streets again this weekend. Stay tuned.

To learn from all this, we are sharing more extensive coverage of how these last weeks of struggle in South Central, and repression by the LASD, unfolded. 

See also:

Joe Veale of the Revolution Club, LA:

Trump, LA Sheriffs Use Shootings of Deputies To Justify Fascist Offensive

Read more

and

Pigs In South Central LA Murder Dijon Kizzie with 15 Shots to His Back Two Weeks of Repression and Resistance

by Members of the Revolution Club, LA, and the National Revolution Tour

Read more

Listen to National Revolution Tour members Noche Diaz and Dizzy Parker on the Michael Slate radio show last Friday, September 11.


The aunt of Dijon Kizzee speaking at a gathering for Dijon.

Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST

by Bob Avakian

Read the series

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/pigs-in-la-murder-dijon-kizzie-two-weeks-of-resistance-and-repression-en.html

Pigs In South Central LA Murder Dijon Kizzee with 15 Shots to His Back
Two Weeks of Repression and Resistance

by Members of the Revolution Club, LA, and the National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

Who Was Dijon Kizzee?

Dijon Kizzee was a 29-year-old Black man who was born and raised in Los Angeles. On August 31, 2020 Dijon was murdered in cold blood by members of LA Sheriff's Department (LASD).

Sheriffs allege they suspected him of violating vehicle codes while riding on his bike. He ran away on foot yelling, “they’re going to kill me.” With people watching, and shouting for these pigs not to shoot Dijon, they fired 15 shots into his back (shots that continued after he had fallen still) as he tried to get away from these murderers who have a reputation for being killers of Black men.  

Dijon Kizzee was a human being whose life mattered, and still matters. He leaves behind family members and friends who loved him. His Aunt Fletcher Fair described him as “a good young man” that took care of his sick mother until her passing. He leaves behind his dedicated and grieving partner, who shares some of their moments together on her social media. Between videos of them teasing each other or going out together, the stacks of handwritten letters they exchanged, and the screenshots of texts showing their patience and love for each other... it is impossible to not feel the humanity of Dijon, and the richness and love he added to the lives of those who knew him, and the pain of the loss. 

Dijon Kizzee, courtesy of the Kizzee family


A gathering for Dijon.

All of this happened against the backdrop of the righteous uprising since the police murder of George Floyd this spring, when thousands took to the streets, in a sustained way, demanding an end to police murder of Black people. And right in the aftermath of Dijon’s murder, and the days that followed, there were vigils, speak outs, and a few small protests that developed as news of his death circulated online. People mobilized, taking to the streets to demand justice. Members of the Revolution Club were standing with people in the community and from around LA, bringing out the need to get organized for a real revolution to end this madness AND the need to unite to stop the impending threat of the fully unleashed genocidal racism of Trump/Pence fascism.  

The Clampdown: Continued and Escalating Fascist Repression 

On September 5, Black Lives Matter LA called for a family-oriented protest demanding justice for Dijon, along with demands for various police reforms. This call brought out a couple hundred people, including family of Dijon and other families who had been affected by police violence. The Revolution Club, running with some people from the area where Dijon was murdered who have stepped into the revolution, joined in with this march right after marching in Refuse Fascism’s national day of protest to initiate 60 days of struggle demanding “Trump Pence Out Now,” two intimately connected struggles and demands being taken up as part of building for revolution. 

During this family-oriented event, where children in roller skates played, LASD posted up in riot gear, with temporary barriers already in place and shot tear gas into the peaceful crowd, unprovoked. Declaring unlawful assembly, sheriffs moved in, all the while barraging the crowd of demonstrators with chemical irritants, rubber bullets, flash bangs and physical brutality. 

The following night, the mother of a young girl who was hit by the tear gas that evening called for an emergency protest in response to this wrongful violation of people's rights to peacefully demonstrate. Roughly 50 people came out, and minutes after assembling to rally at the Sheriff’s station, the LASD declared the gathering unlawful. 

Sheriffs again closed in while unleashing an arsenal of painful “dispersal munitions”: rubber bullets, tear gas and physical assaults. In a taunting display of cruelty, and echoing the murder of George Floyd, this assault from the sheriffs included them driving their knees into the necks of several of the dozen or more people who they would arrest as they were pinned down on the ground. And many of those arrested were taken AFTER the sheriffs dispersed and pursued people throughout the neighborhood, continuing to fire their “dispersal munitions” at fleeing protesters. Several were seriously injured, including one revcom who was brutalized so badly he needed to be hospitalized for injuries. 

Around the Country, Trump Shouts About “Law and Order” – the “Order” of Fascism

In response to the struggle that has been unfolding around the country and in South Central LA against murder by police, the fascist Trump has been ramping up his talk of “Law and Order” (which took a leap in his pig-filled, nazi-spewing Republican Convention) and more loudly condemning protesters as “rioters,” “arsonists,” “violent mobs.” He has repeatedly called for “retribution” against those protesting police murder and those who take down racist statues. He recently praised an extrajudicial killing by U.S. Marshals in Portland, saying, “And I will tell you something—that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution when you have crime like this,”1 and Trump promises to more fully use federal agents as a personal army to put down protests, tweeting: “They are not ‘peaceful protesters,’ as Sleepy Joe and the Democrats call them, they are THUGS—And it is all taking place in Democrat run cities. Call me and request Federal HELP. We will solve your problems in a matter of minutes—And thanks to the U.S. Marshalls in Portland!”2 

Just one day after Dijon Kizzee was murdered in LA, the genocidal racist Donald Trump was visiting Kenosha. In this city, where the police had just shot Jacob Blake in the back in front of his children... where the Kenosha County Sheriff was on camera at a press conference in 2018 literally calling Black people garbage people who need to be put in warehouses and prevented from reproducing... the city where a white supremacist militia thug murdered 2 people protesting the shooting Jacob Blake two days after Trump had called for “Second Amendment people” to be part of putting down protests... there, in that city at that time, Trump praised the police and police chief, defended the racist militia thug’s murder of protesters, and said nothing about the shooting of Jacob Blake by the police. 

Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, protesters killed by Trump-supporting militia gunman in Kenosha. Trump defended the killer, falsely claiming he was acting in "self-defense" and attacking the protesters as "violent." Credit: @TKarmen7

Think what it will mean if this fascist regime is able to stay in power, tighten its grip, and more fully unleash the “Law and Order” of Trump fascism. Think about that as police unions all over the country announce their endorsements of Trump and pledge themselves to his program. Keep this in mind as you read on about the scenes of clampdown on basic rights that have been unfolding in LA.  

Think of this as you read how the murder of Dijon Kizzee, and the repression that followed, is being carried out by an LA Sheriff’s Department that faces mounting exposure of being filled with organized white supremacist gangs whose intent and purpose is targeted terror and murder of Black people and Latinos. A whistle blower recently revealed that the sheriff who murdered 18-year-old Andrés Guardado in June was “chasing ink,” seeking to earn membership into one of these racist gangs, the “Executioners.”3 Note well: these white supremacist gangs exist within an institution which is already notorious for racist terror against Black and Brown people. That, apparently, is not enough for these genocidal racists. 

Back in South Central LA, More Repression 

In response to the Sheriffs’ attacks and arrests in South Central, the Revolution Club called for a press conference to denounce the fascist repression and call for people to come back even stronger and more united, continue to demand justice for Dijon, and highlighted the connection between this repression by LASD and the genocidal racist Trump’s calls for retribution and violence to “put down,” “dominate” and “quell” protests for Black lives. 

Keyanna Celina, an organizer for Coalition for Community Control Over the Police and her daughter, Massiah, the 7-year-old girl who was tear gassed Saturday night, spoke at this press conference. As the young girl held strong and recounted her experience being tear gassed while demanding justice for Dijon, she was interrupted by Black Trump supporters including Joe Collins and his campaign manager, with straight lies about representing the wishes of the family of Dijon Kizzee, and repeating the line of attack of the sheriffs by decrying “outside agitators.” Before long LASD moved in to push people off the street, reinforce barricades, and eventually occupy the entire block, disallowing any gathering. 

The whole week afterwards any gathering of protesters has been declared an unlawful assembly. Sheriffs move in with brutal violence, without name tags or badge numbers, to inflict pain and repression onto protesters. Harassment and arrests are made AFTER people disperse, while walking home and even while cleaning up debris in the neighborhood left behind from LASD ‘s “less than lethal” stringer bombs and rubber bullets. 

Video footage on twitter by a neighborhood resident shows sheriffs going door to door demanding information on, or surrender of any housed protesters. Protesters are pulled over and searched while leaving protests. As part of this repression, four members of the press have been the target of violence and arrest. 

A National Lawyers Guild press conference exposing excessive force used by LASD on protesters and demanding an end to the violations of the right to assemble was interrupted by LASD, with video showing legal observer and law student David Cunningham being assaulted by a visibly agitated sheriff who was unable to conceal (or felt he no longer had to conceal) his disdain and desire to physically harm anyone on the side of justice. 

More Resistance and Revolution... 

In the face of night after night of an onslaught of fascist repression, several groupings of people and organizations, including the Revolution Club and Coalition for Community Control of the Police, called for people to come out even stronger the next Saturday.  

This protest celebrated Dijon’s life, demanded murder charges for the pigs involved in his execution and forged unity among broad forces, organizations and communities. People gathered at Dijon’s vigil to make signs, have coffee and prepare to march to the LASD station with the demand for justice for Dijon and his family. 

Diverse forces brought together a crowd of around 300. This included family and friends of Dijon and the mother of Anthony Weber (16-year-old Black youth also murdered by LASD in the same area in 2018). There were youth, people in their 20s and 30s, many who were part of various organizations, people from neighborhoods of South Central, and masses from across Los Angeles County. As Najee Ali, spokesperson for the attorney of Dijon Kizzee’s family, said in the days prior, “The family and the community is saying anyone who wants to come protest, we don’t care where you’re from, you’re welcome. You are not outsiders. Welcome to South Central LA to fight for justice.” 

Noche Diaz speaking in South Central on September 12.

The aunt of Dijon Kizzee speaking to the gathering in South Central on September 12.

As the march went toward the LASD station, residents of the neighborhood came to their windows, some raising their fists in solidarity, some coming out from their homes onto their porches, and into the streets, and some joining in. One photo taken during the march captured the multi-generational impact of police brutality, and what heart the resistance to it brings out of people: a Black woman around 30, with a young Black boy maybe 10 or 11 years old, along with an older gray haired woman all outside at the edge of their yard, all standing together. Two of them raising a first in support, and the young boy smiling while they watched the protesters flooding the streets declaring, “Black Lives Matter!” As the day came to a close at Dijon’s vigil, people wound down with freestyle rap, singing, and poetry that was accompanied by instruments brought out by people.  

Speakout in the streets of South Central, Part 1, September 12

Speakout in the streets of South Central, Part 2, September 12

The different organizations, family, and others spoke at the beginning of the rally and at the LASD station. Representative for the National Get Organized for an Actual Revolution Tour, Noche Diaz, brought fiery disdain for a system that would have some pass up as normal the wanton murder of Black people, and that the people this system encircles with murderous repression and all those who want to see this ended must encircle them, rising up and becoming the thousands standing together. And he called on people to be part of working for revolution to put an end to this system, replacing it with a system based in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America authored by Bob Avakian. 

Saturday demonstrated a different possibility for the future that can only be created when people stand together, combining power to seize the political initiative away from these fascist forces, utilizing our diversity to strengthen the side of the people, continuing the struggle for justice and fighting to win. 

 


1. Trump Calls for ‘Retribution,’ Not Justice, in Portland Shooting, Peter Wade, Rolling Stone, 9/13/20.   [back]

2. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1303371151792513024.   [back]

3. Los Angeles deputy says colleagues are part of violent gang called 'The Executioners', Fox11 Los Angeles, 08/04/2020.   [back]

 

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

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/trump-la-sheriffs-use-shootings-of-deputies-to-justify-fascist-offensive-en.html

Joe Veale of the Revolution Club, LA:

Trump, LA Sheriffs Use Shootings of Deputies To Justify Fascist Offensive

| revcom.us

 

I’m Joe Veale. I’m a revolutionary communist, a follower of Bob Avakian, and I want to talk to you about what’s been going down in South Central LA... what it’s part of... and what WE need to do about this.

Recently two sheriffs were shot in Compton – now the authorities are seizing on this to tell us that we need to chill out in our protest against the murder of Dijon Kizzee and against police brutality and murder in general.

Chief of the sheriffs – Villanueva – with the backing of Trump is saying that our protests are not only making it hard for them to do their jobs – but it is the cause – it makes people shoot the police. They are saying "all lives" – "blue lives" matter. And everyone must come together to protect the lives of "law enforcement."

Biden has said he is happy to see that they are all pulling together to support law enforcement.

But as we have seen over and over – in city after city – including here in LA – even when protesters do remain peaceful even when provoked by police and attacked by police and armed "civilian" racists – and Black supporters of Trump – there still is violence exactly because Trump and his supporters will continue to carry out, and to escalate, the violence no matter what the protesters do. This is what Bob Avakian lays out in his new piece, VOTING WILL NOT BE ENOUGH—WE NEED TO TAKE TO THE STREETS, AND STAY IN THE STREETS DEMANDING TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!, at Revcom.us, and a lot of what I’m going to be laying out is drawn from that piece – so read it.

They do this not simply because the job and role of the police and sheriffs is to shoot down people like Dijon Kizzee and terrorize Black people and other oppressed people generally—that is what they do all the time.

But with Trump this has qualitatively changed. And this is who Villanueva and a lot of other pig chiefs are taking their orders from. And if they do not, then Trump sends in his own NAZI police to do the job.

At least 20 protesters have been killed in this way, and Trump and his supporters have justified and glorified all this.

Does this anger you? Does it agitate you? Wanton murder by the police, by the sheriffs, by Trump’s supporters angers anyone who has a heart for humanity.

It should.

But they are trying to use this shooting of their fellow pigs to further their efforts to have an American Hitler change the rules. Change the way society is ruled.

As if those of us who are out to stop fascism are the problem instead of those who are out to rule society through open terror Trump/Hitler style.

In reality we need MORE protest. More defiance. Thousands and millions to stop all this, including stopping police brutality and murder.

We need MORE because they are going to continue killing our people. whether they are Black, Latino, Native, immigrant or anybody who does not go along with their America First, anti-women and anti-gay, and genocidal program.

Look at what Trump is doing. He is telling the police to "put down" people hard like wild animals.

He already told them do not be too nice when they arrest people. He brags that he also has “Second Amendment people,” which means white supremacist fascist thugs like the ones walking down the streets in Kenosha spraying bullets at nonviolent peaceful protesters.

The protests have overwhelmingly been nonviolent. But this has not stopped the sheriffs, the police, or the fascist thugs out of uniform from bringing down all kinds of violence against the people.

This is what we are confronting. According to them we should lie down and accept the brutality and murder they bring down on Black and Brown youth—and what they bring down on those who stand up to defend these youth. Fuck that!

We got millions of people who hate all this. Millions and millions who can potentially act with us. We got to go get them before it is too late. The time is getting late. Bring them into the streets with us.

The beautiful uprising against the murder of George Floyd showed their weakness. Now they are lashing back. The struggle against the LA Sheriffs’ murder of Dijon Kizzee has to be a new spark. It is what they fear.

As our revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has said: Trump is a genocidal racist.

Trump hates Black people. He wishes it was his knee on George Floyd's neck.

We do not want any unity with a mothafucka like that!

The Revolution Club is joining with Refuse Fascism to get thousands and ultimately millions in the streets across the country to drive Trump/Pence OUT NOW! before it is too late.

As we say in #6 of our Points of Attention for the Revolution:

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

We are serious and we are scientific.

We in the Revolution Club are organizing thousands today to be the backbone and driving force to lead millions—we are going to work today to accelerate the time—when we can lead millions to overthrow this system that has produced Trump and all the fascist shit that he is part of.

 

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

 

Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/rnl-show-episode-26-announcement-en.html

Episode 26 of
The RNL Show—Revolution, Nothing Less!

| revcom.us

 

Share this widely

"We Must Stop a Fascist America — A Call to Grow The RNL Show"

The Revolution, Nothing Less Show

Fires rage across the west, new tapes reveal that Trump knowingly LIED about COVID, and the Trump/Pence regime is doubling down on white supremacy to win—or otherwise hold power through—the upcoming election. As Bob Avakian put it in the title of an important new series at RevCom.us that will be the focus of Andy Zee's commentary this week, “Voting Will Not Be Enough—We Need to Take to the Streets, and Stay in the Streets Demanding Trump/Pence Out Now!” Flowing from this, we'll highlight RefuseFascism.org's September 21 nationwide mobilization: March Against Death, Lies and Fascism and FOR Humanity—Trump/Pence Out Now! Also: Parts 4 and 5 of Avakian's series, Donald Trump—GENOCIDA RACIST, read by Noche Diaz. And a special segment showcasing—and calling on you to donate to, spread and volunteer to strengthen—the incredible accomplishments of the first six months of The RNL – Revolution, Nothing Less – Show.

 

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Subscribe to the YouTube channel, leave a comment, and spread the word all over social media to help extend the reach of The RNL Show — Revolution, Nothing Less!

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/bob-avakian-for-the-liberation-of-black-people-en.html

BOB AVAKIAN FOR THE LIBERATION OF BLACK PEOPLE
AND THE EMANCIPATION OF ALL HUMANITY

| revcom.us

 

One of the things that comes through most powerfully in Bob Avakian’s memoir1 is that a profound hatred for the oppression of Black people has been a defining part of Bob Avakian’s life from the time, as a teenager, he learned about the lives of the Black people with whom he developed deep ties of friendship. Never feeling that, because he is white, “it is not his place” to be involved in the struggle against this oppression—but, on the contrary, determined to contribute whatever he could to this struggle—Bob Avakian (BA), from the time he worked closely with the Black Panther Party in its revolutionary days in the 1960s, has made the liberation of Black people a defining part of his life’s commitment and work. As he developed as a revolutionary communist, and emerged as the foremost revolutionary leader and thinker in the world, this commitment has become even deeper and has been strongly interwoven with a dedication to the emancipation of all humanity from every form of oppression and exploitation.

As BA has written about his life’s work:

Why was I doing the work I was doing? Once again, we’re back to for whom and for what. I wasn’t doing this work for myself. When I was young, in middle school and then even more so in high school, my life got changed in a very major way by coming into contact with people that I hadn’t really known that much before, in particular Black people. I started learning about their situation and how that relates to what goes on in this society as a whole. I was drawn to the culture—not just the music and the art overall, but the whole way of going through the world—of the Black people who became my friends, and the world they introduced me to. And I came to the point of recognizing: these are my people. Now, I knew they had a different life experience than I did. But these are my people—I don’t see a separation—it’s not like there are some other people “over there” who are going through all this and somehow that’s removed from me. These are my people. And then I began to recognize more deeply what people were being put through, the oppression they were constantly subjected to, the horrors of daily life as well as the bigger ways in which the system came down on them. And as I went further through life and began to approach the question of what needs to be done about this, and was introduced to taking up a scientific approach to this, I realized that my people were more than this. I realized that my people were Chicanos and other Latinos and other oppressed people in the U.S.; they were people in Vietnam and China; they were women...they were the oppressed and exploited of the world...and through some struggle, and having to cast off some wrong thinking, I have learned that they are LGBT people as well.

These are my people, the oppressed and exploited people of the world. They are suffering terribly, and something has to be done about this. So it is necessary to dig in and systematically take up the science that can show the way to put an end to all this, and bring something much better into being. You have to persevere and keep struggling to go forward in this way. And when you run into new problems or setbacks, you have to go more deeply into this, rather than putting it aside and giving up.

So this is why I’ve been doing the work that I’ve been doing.2

Bob Avakian grew up in Berkeley, California. Unable, because of a life-threatening illness, to be directly involved in struggles taking place against racial oppression for several years after graduating from high school in 1961, BA nevertheless closely followed and strongly supported the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, and at the same time was influenced by and supportive of the militant stand and role of Malcolm X. This was reflected in an article that BA wrote at the age of 19 in 1962 supporting the struggle of Black people. (This article was submitted to the liberal magazine Saturday Review. Although the article was not published, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, Norman Cousins, personally replied—indicating that, although the magazine had chosen not to publish this article, he recognized that the article spoke, in a strikingly compelling way, to very important questions.)

Having recovered from his illness, in 1964, BA became actively involved in the Free Speech Movement at the University of California in Berkeley, where he was a student. The central issue of this movement was the right of students to carry out activity on the campus in support of the civil rights movement. BA was among the 800 who were arrested during the occupation of the university administration building, which was the high point of the movement and led to winning its demands.

As the civil rights movement increasingly gave way to a more militant Black liberation movement in the second half of the 1960s, BA was strongly influenced by this. He left the university and dedicated his life to working for radical change. As a result of direct contact and discussions with Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, the founders of the Black Panther Party, and getting to know Eldridge Cleaver (who also became a leader of the BPP), BA worked closely with the Black Panther Party from its earliest days and at the height of its revolutionary role and influence.

In 1967, BA attended rallies, and spoke at one of the rallies, held by the BPP in North Richmond to protest the killing there of Denzil Dowell, part of the long and continuing chain of murders of Black people by police.

In 1968, when Huey Newton was facing murder charges as a result of a shoot-out with Oakland cops, BA spoke—along with a number of key figures in the Black liberation movement, including Stokely Carmichael, Rap Brown, James Forman, and leaders of the Black Panther Party— at a Free Huey rally held in the Oakland auditorium on the occasion of Huey Newton’s birthday.

BA worked tirelessly to build support, including among white people, for the demand to “Free Huey!” At a “Free Huey” rally at the courthouse in Oakland where Huey Newton’s trial was being held, BA was arrested for “desecrating” (burning) the American flag.

During this time, at the invitation of BPP leaders, BA wrote a number of articles for the Black Panther newspaper.

At a rally of thousands, led by the Black Panther Party, on May First, 1969, BA spoke of the need for revolution and called on white people in particular to more actively take part in movements for revolutionary change in the U.S., and to support such movements throughout the world.

By the beginning of the 1970s, millions of people in this country were in favor of some kind of revolutionary change, but they faced profound challenges. How could this revolution be made—or was it even possible to make a revolution here, up against such powerful forces of oppression and repression? Which were the key forces that had to be mobilized to have a real chance to carry out such a revolution? What kind of leadership was needed, and what methods and approaches should that leadership be based on? The difficulties in confronting and seeking the answers to these hard questions, combined with brutal and often murderous repression by the powers-that-be, led many revolutionary organizations, including the Black Panther Party, to split and end up departing from the road that could lead to real revolution.

By this time, partly because of the influence of the Black Panther Party, which had popularized the “Red Book” of quotations from the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, BA had become convinced not only that revolution was necessary, and was possible, but that it had to be led by a vanguard force that based itself on the scientific method and approach of communism, as it had been developed initially by Karl Marx, then further developed by V.I. Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution in the early part of the 20th century, and then in turn further developed by Mao, who led the Chinese revolution and the new, socialist society in China, until his death in 1976. BA led in the formation of the Revolutionary Union at the end of the 1960s, with the aim of working toward the establishment of the vanguard party of revolution, based on the science of communism. During the first part of the 1970s, BA was both the practical leader and the leading theoretician of the Revolutionary Union, writing much of the essays and polemics for its theoretical journal Red Papers. This included major articles, particularly in Red Papers 5 and 6, that involved groundbreaking scientific materialist analysis of the situation of Black people, historically and down to the present—how and why their particular conditions of oppression had changed, from the time of slavery to the present era, and how this objectively put Black people in a potentially powerful position to be a driving force not only for their own liberation but for the communist revolution whose fundamental aim is the abolition of all oppression and exploitation. These articles included powerful polemics, arguing against positions and programs that would not lead to, but would actually work against, this liberation and the revolutionary transformation of the world as a whole.

In 1975, with BA’s leadership, the Revolutionary Communist Party was founded, with the aim of being the vanguard force for the revolution that was, and continues to be, profoundly necessary. Over the decades since then, BA has fought to keep that Party on the revolutionary road and to bring forward new revolutionary forces to revitalize and strengthen the vanguard forces for the revolution that is now, all the more urgently, required. While continuing to provide practical guidance to the revolutionary forces, BA, through summing up the experience (positive and negative) of the communist movement, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, has brought forward a new synthesis of communism (also referred to as the new communism) which, most decisively, has established communism on an even more consistently scientific basis. As BA’s Official Biography explains, the new communism “is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed. It provides the basis—the science, the strategy, and the leadership—for an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.”3

A defining part of this new communism is the emphasis it gives to the struggle for the liberation of Black people, and the relation of this to the ending of all oppression. And this has continued to stand out in BA’s leadership role and work over the decades, up to the present.  At revcom.us there is a special section, Bob Avakian on The Oppression of Black People & the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression, which contains clips from films and selections from the writings of BA on this question. The following are just a few examples of important works and leadership by Bob Avakian, over the past few decades, that speak to this decisive question.

The book Reflections, Sketches & Provocations, written by Bob Avakian during the 1980s, contains a number of commentaries, speaking in a number of dimensions to the oppression of Black people and the struggle against this oppression, including support for rebellions following the murder of Black people by police. This book begins with the essay “Hill Street Bullshit, Richard Pryor Routines, and the Real Deal,” which powerfully exposes how terror against Black people, and other oppressed people, is “part of the job” of the police—and is “a reward” for carrying out the role of maintaining the “law and order” that keeps the oppressed in their desperate and miserable conditions. Going deeper, it speaks to how this is rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism, which has had this oppression built into it from the very beginning.

In the 1990s, BA raised the idea that there should be a day, every year, when people mobilized to protest police brutality, mass incarceration and repression by the government. This proposal was taken up and a broad coalition, including family members of people killed by police, was formed to initiate, in 1996, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. At its height, over the next decade, this National Day of Protest, held every October 22nd, rallied thousands of people in dozens of cities across the country. And activities by people who have been part of this coalition have continued since then.

During the past two decades, BA has given a number of filmed speeches, and written articles, essays and books, in which the liberation of Black people and its crucial relation to the communist revolution, aiming for the emancipation of all humanity, has been a major question.

BA’s 2003 speech Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, begins with a searing exposure and condemnation of lynching, and speaks to the horrific reality of slavery and the oppression of Black people down to today, including the continual murder of Black people by police.3

In 2006, BA gave a series of 7 Talks, in which once again the oppression of Black people, and the struggle for their liberation, is a major theme. One of these 7 Talks, Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, begins by speaking to the experience of Black people in this country; and the question of slavery and the overall oppression of Black people is, of course, a major part of this talk. It is in Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy that the following is clearly stated:

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.

(This is also the very first statement in BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution.)3

At the beginning of BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less!, in 2012, this point is stated emphatically:

Let’s start with just one great crime of this system: police murder—after murder—after murder—of Black people and Latinos, especially youth.3

This is part of the powerful exposure in this speech of the role that continuing murders by police play in enforcing this monstrous system of exploitation and oppression, the system of capitalism-imperialism.

At the beginning of his October 2017 speech The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible,  BA speaks powerfully to the horrors of slavery in this country—including the rape by slavemasters of huge numbers of enslaved women. This speech shows how the murderous oppression of Black people, continuing down to today, is one of the main roots of the fascism that has come to power in this country with the Trump/Pence regime; and, in this speech, BA repeatedly returns to the critical importance of the fight against this oppression.3

BA’s 2018 speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution begins this way:

In 2012 in Revolution—Nothing Less! I talked about the outrageous murder of Ramarley Graham earlier that same year—shot down in his own house in the Bronx by the New York City police. He was only 18 years old. Do I have to tell you what “race” he was?! His mother kept saying: “This has to STOP!” And his father repeated over and over: "WHY did they kill my son?! WHY did they kill my son?!" New York cops then loudly rallied around their fellow pig who murdered Ramarley in cold blood, viciously taunting Ramarley's family and loved ones, demonstrating yet one more time the ugly truth that, in the way this country has been built, and for the powers-that-be in this country, the humanity of Black people has never counted for anything—they have never been valued as human beings, but only as things to be exploited, oppressed, and repressed. Six years later, and with cold-blooded murders by police continuing in an unbroken chain, I will say again what I said then: How many more times does this have to happen? How many more times do the tears and the cries of anguish and anger have to pour forth from the wounded hearts of people?! How many more times, when another of these outrageous murders is perpetrated by the police, do we have to hear those words that pour gasoline on the already burning wounds: “justifiable homicide, justified use of force” by police?! How many more?!3

In that 2018 speech, BA not only powerfully exposes once again the horrific oppression that this system of capitalism-imperialism inflicts on Black people, and on other oppressed people in this country and throughout the world, and the grave danger this system poses to the very future of humanity; he also lays out in this speech (and in a more recent article A Real Revolution—A Real Chance To Win, Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution3) the strategic approach that could make it possible for this system to be finally overthrown through a revolution in which millions and millions of people are led to fight to put an end to this system and bring a radically different and much better system into being.

In the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA, a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for that radically different and much better system is set forth. And the principles and means for finally putting an end, at long last, to the oppression of Black people is a major part of that Constitution.3

This year (2020), BA has written as many as 30 articles in which this decisive question—the oppression, and the struggle for the liberation, of Black people—is a recurring subject.3

In the speeches and writings of BA overall, there is not only powerful, penetrating exposure and uncompromising condemnation of brutal and murderous oppression but, even more importantly, there is scientific analysis of how all this is rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism and of the need, the possibility, and the means for making revolution to overthrow this system and finally put an end to all the outrageous and unnecessary suffering that the masses of humanity are continually subjected to under this system.

***

It is a very precious thing for the oppressed of the earth when they have a leader whose life is dedicated to their emancipation, and who has the determination, and the scientific method, developed over decades, to point the way, and continue to carve out the path, to achieving that emancipation. BA is such a leader. As emphasized in the article Bob Avakian: A Radically Different Leader—A Whole New Framework For Human Emancipation:

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.3

One of the things that most distinguishes BA’s role as a revolutionary leader is his willingness—indeed, his insistence—on telling people the truth, even when they may not want to hear it. This comes through in the way BA exposes and refutes unscientific ways of thinking—all kinds of “conspiracy” theories and superstitious ideas—that lead people, including the most bitterly oppressed people, away from understanding the world as it actually is, and keep them from seeing not just the need, but the possibility, of radically changing the world, in a way that will lead to ending oppression. A big problem that BA has taken on, straight-up, is the role of religion as a mental chain on the masses of Black people, and other oppressed people, and the need to break this chain in order to most powerfully wage the struggle to finally be free of all oppression. BA has repeatedly emphasized that, in order to end oppression, “you have to want revolution badly enough to be scientific about it.”

Science means judging whether something is true, or not, by whether there is evidence that it actually corresponds to reality—and not believing something because it makes you feel good to believe it, or not refusing to believe something because it makes you uncomfortable. In the article Conspiracy Theories, Fascist “Certitude,” Liberal Paralysis, Or A Scientific Approach To Changing The World, BA has spoken directly to this problem:

many of the basic masses, who are bitterly oppressed under this system, also are suspicious of and even are inclined to reject science and scientifically-grounded analysis. But this also leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of unfounded “conspiracy theories” and other wrong and harmful ideas, including the notion that nothing people do will make a difference because “it’s all in god’s hands.”3

In the 2014 Dialogue with Cornel West (REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion), which took place during the upsurge of protest and rebellion in response to the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, while speaking to the importance of uniting people broadly in the struggle against oppression, including people who hold religious views, BA also emphasized that the revolution that is needed to finally put an end to oppression must be led with a scientific, not a religious, outlook and method.3

From the start of the article Bob Avakian On Emancipation From Mental Slavery And All Oppression, written this year (2020), BA does not hold back in speaking to these critical questions:

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?!....

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.3

****

From his early years, forging close personal ties with Black people and increasingly learning about their lived experience, to his development as this rare leader who has brought forth the most advanced scientific revolutionary theory with the new communism—a defining part of the life and work of Bob Avakian has been the liberation of Black people from centuries of oppression, and the understanding of how this relates to, and is a crucial driving force in, the communist revolution to finally abolish every form of oppression and exploitation, everywhere.

BA himself has expressed this in the following poetically powerful statement:

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.

 


1. From Ike to Mao and Beyond, My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary CommunistA Memoir by Bob AvakianInsight Press, 2005. [back]

2. 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, first printing, 2016, pp. 321-22. In addition to THE NEW COMMUNISM, in other recent works by BA—in particular Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summaryand Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism—the oppression and the struggle for the liberation of Black people, and its relation to the emancipation of humanity as a whole, is a prominent subject. These works are available at revcom.us.  [back]

3. All of these works are available at revcom.us. (Information about how to acquire the print and e-book editions of BAsics can be found at revcom.us. Audio of the 7 Talks is available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us; and Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy has been published in a print edition, the text of which can also be found in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.)

The film of the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, is also available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.

The article Conspiracy Theories, Fascist “Certitude,” Liberal Paralysis, Or A Scientific Approach To Changing The World (longer and shorter versions) is available at revcom.us as well.

The importance of Bob Avakian as a revolutionary leader, who has further developed communism as a consistently scientific method and approach, is a central theme in 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. Ardea Skybreak is a scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, who is also the author of the important book THE SCIENCE OF EVOLUTION AND THE MYTH OF CREATIONISM, Knowing What’s Real And Why It Matters. Each of these books by Ardea Skybreak is published by Insight Press, and the Interview with Ardea Skybreak (SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION) is also available at revcom.us

The following articles, written by Bob Avakian this year (2020), which speak to the oppression of Black people and the struggle to end this oppression, are available as well at revcom.us:

Donald Trump—Genocidal Racist (Parts 1-10) 

Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System

Police And Prisons: Reformist Illusions And The Revolutionary Solution

Anything But The Truth—Bob Avakian Exposes Lies, Distortions, Distractions and Evasions About the Murderous Oppression of Black People

Lynching, Murder By Police—Damn This Whole System! We Don’t Have To Live This Way!

Bob Avakian On Emancipation From Mental Slavery And All Oppression

Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James And The Whole Truth

Donald Trump Isn’t “Tough,” He’s A Bloated Bag Of Fascist Feces

Bloated Bag Of Fascist Feces Trump Isn’t “Tough”—Part 2: Who Really Has Heart?

Trump And Pigs: A Racist Love Affair

Fucker Carlson, Fascist “Fox News” And The Broadcast Of White Supremacy

Bob Avakian on Black Trump Supporters: What If Jews Had Supported Hitler?!

Bob Avakian On: A Beautiful Uprising: Right And Wrong, Methods And Principles

On Statues, Monuments, And Celebrating—Or Ending—Oppression

Fascists Today And The Confederacy: A Direct Line, A Direct Connection Between All The Oppression

Patriarchy And Male Supremacy, Or Revolution And Ending All Oppression

Sounding Like Southern Segregationists: It’s Not Just Trump—It’s Democrats Too

Bob Avakian Brings Out the Truth: Barack Obama Says Police Murdering Black People Should Not Be Normal—Unless He’s President

Bob Avakian On Ugly Words & Phrases

Bob Avakian On Tulsa Racist Mobs

A Real Revolution--A Real Chance To Win: Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution

Get to know BA

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Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST
Part 10—THE CONCLUSION

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Download PDF of Part 10

Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews.

Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.

This series has presented compelling evidence (just part of the mountain of evidence that could be cited), clearly showing that Donald Trump is a genocidal racist. From this, it should be obvious that it is very wrong, and potentially catastrophic, to underestimate the great danger that Trump poses to Black people, other oppressed people, and humanity as a whole.

Some people, and in particular some Black people, argue that, even after slavery was ended, things have always been terrible for Black people in this country, so Trump really does not represent anything different or worse. Here a lesson from history, not that long ago, sheds crucial light on things, showing how seriously wrong and extremely dangerous this kind of thinking is. For centuries and centuries, Jews in Europe were segregated and cruelly discriminated against, and were repeatedly subjected to pogroms (organized massacres). But when Hitler and the fascist NAZIs came to power in Germany in the 1930s, this led to the imprisonment in concentration camps of basically all the Jews in countries under NAZI control, and then to the mass murder of 6 million Jews (what the NAZIs called “the Final Solution” to the “Jewish problem”).

As I said at the beginning of these articles:

Yes, even after slavery was ended, Black people have been continually subjected to horrific oppression and terror, right down to today—but the fully unleashed rule of genocidal racism, which is what Trump is aiming for, would be a horror on a whole other level. The slow genocide of Black people which has already been going on—through things like mass incarceration and continuing murder by police—can quickly become a much faster and more complete genocide if Trump and his regime succeed in remaining in power and carry forward more fully their fascist program.

And once more, as I emphasized in my August 1 Statement,* the hour is getting late, but it is not yet too late, to defeat the fascism concentrated in the fascist regime of Trump (and Pence) and to wrench something positive out of this increasingly terrible situation. But that requires fully facing up to what this regime of genocidal racist fascism represents and what it is aiming to do, and using all appropriate means to remove this regime from power—above all the mobilization of masses of people, to get in the streets, starting now, in the thousands, and stay in the streets, becoming millions, powerfully putting forward the unifying demand that this fascist regime must be OUT NOW!

And, as I emphasized in that August 1 Statement, in the most fundamental terms, it requires working to create more favorable conditions for, and to build up the organized forces for, the revolution that is needed to finally put an end to this system, which has from the beginning rested on genocidal racism and other horrific forms of oppression—and which now, with this fascist regime, is moving to take this to even more monstrous levels, posing a very real and grave threat to the very existence not only of Black people but the masses of oppressed humanity and ultimately humanity as a whole.

This is not hype or exaggeration in any way—it is the cold hard fact we are faced with—and it demands that, in the name of and for the future of humanity, we act on the basis of fully confronting this reality and moving, in our millions and millions, to change this reality, before it really is too late.

 


* 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.  [back]

Download pamphlet of complete series (PDF printer spread)

Read the Series "Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST"

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Part 4 | PDF
Part 5 | PDF
Part 6 | PDF
Part 7 | PDF
Part 8 | PDF
Part 9 | PDF
Part 10

 

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

 

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Spread them Everywhere

Pamphlet and Posters of
“Donald Trump—GENOCIDAL RACIST”

| revcom.us

 

 

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

 

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The REAL Story of the Racist Gangs Inside the LA Sheriff’s Office

| revcom.us

 

Editors note: The L.A. Sheriff’s Department has been running wild the past few weeks. The following research goes into some of the extremely perverse ways that these pigs have organized themselves into racist gangs within the department.

Andrés Guardado, an 18-year-old Salvadoran youth, was shot six times in the back by a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) pig on June 18, 2020. The killer and his partner worked out of the Compton sheriff's station, which is controlled by a gang of 15 to 20 deputies called the “Executioners.” According to a “whistleblower” complaint, the pig who shot Guardado was a prospective member of the Executioners, and he and his partner were “chasing ink”—slang for trying to impress the Executioners to join their gang and earn a Regulators tattoo.

The Executioners are one of at least 10 “deputy gangs” operating inside the LASD, going back at least half a century – the Vikings, Reapers, Regulators, Little Devils, Cowboys, 2000 Boys and 3000 Boys, Jump Out Boys, and most recently the Banditos and the Executioners. A report by the Loyola Law School,1 about to be released, describes the 50-year history of “Deputy Gangs” in the LASD. The Report identifies at least 17 past and present gangs inside the LASD, but suspects there are more they couldn't find. They include the Banditos, the Grim Reapers, the Jump Out Boys, the 3000 Boys and 2000 Boys, the Rattlesnakes, and many more, including the most notorious – the Lynwood Vikings.

Those who wrote the Loyola Law School report could not find another police force in the country with so many police gangs, operating for so long. The Office of Inspector General over the LASD estimates that since 1990 the County has spent $50 million on settlements and judgments related use of force and misconduct by deputies known to have a clique tattoo.

Racist white supremacy, with the power to perpetrate and cover up violence against the Black and Latinx people in the neighborhoods they control, is the glue that holds these gangs tightly together. The earliest of those identified was the “Little Devils,” dating back to 1970 at the East L.A. sheriff's station. They were all white pigs working in predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhoods, carrying out racist violence against the people who lived there. At one point there were 47 tattooed members identified. At the same time the East L.A. station adopted the controversial “Fort Apache” seal as its logo2 – which was widely viewed as a celebration of the terrible violence the sheriffs had unleashed against Chicano anti-war protesters during the 1970 Chicano Moratorium.

Members of a gang have the same tattoo – shared “ink” – that symbolizes membership. In some cases its been reported that “ink” is only granted after a deputy commits an illegal act or violates department protocol to show their loyalty to the group. In other cases, deputies allegedly receive additional markings after committing police brutality, or being involved in a shooting.  

One of the ways these deputy gangs exert control over their stations is by threatening the life of any deputy who crosses/tries to question them – often called “race traitors.” A deputy who eventually became a whistleblower at the Lynwood station reported having one of the Vikings pull a gun on him, point it at his head, in plain sight of other pigs, and tell him, “I'm going to kill you.” Other plaintiffs said among the threats to their lives was to deny them needed backup help on dangerous calls.

The “3000 Boys” – Brutality Inside the County Jail

Some of these deputy gangs carry out their brutality inside the county jails – the “3000 Boys” carry out their brutality in the 3000 Block of the Men's Central Jail. Inmates have complained for years about “horrific” conditions in the 3000 Block. In one case, these pigs were part of an assault on a prisoner and cover up. The prisoner was pinned to the ground while other pigs beat, tased, and pepper-sprayed the prisoner, leaving him with chemical burns. And the LA Times was told by a top commander that jailers would “earn their ink” by breaking inmates' bones.

A review by The Appeal of nearly 3 dozen federal lawsuits found Plaintiffs in these lawsuits claim that LASD deputies regularly target people with mental illnesses and disabilities for violence, beat Los Angeles residents and prisoners alike, and punish those who file abuse complaints. According to The Appeal:

Plaintiffs alleged that guards used force such as “slamming the inmates’ heads into walls, punching them in the face with their fists, kicking them with their boots, and shooting them multiple times with their tasers.” Injuries from beatings included fractured eye sockets and blindness, broken legs, shattered jaws, collapsed lungs, and nerve damage.

In July 2009, more than six LASD officers, three of whom were members of the 3000 Boys, shouted racial slurs while beating Evans Tutt in Men’s Central Jail. Tutt sustained multiple injuries from the beating including a broken nose, a chipped tooth, and injuries to his ribs, head, face, knee, and leg.

The Lynwood Vikings

The Lynwood Vikings are one of the most notorious LASD gangs. Among the Viking tattoos wore on their ankles is the symbol "998," which stands for "officer-involved shooting," considered a mark of pride, indicating that the pig has shot someone. The Vikings threw gang signs—L for Lynwood—and occasionally spray-painted Vikings tags in the Lynwood area to mark their “turf.” The Lynwood station had a map of the district in the shape of Africa, and its walls posted racist cartoons depicting Black men.

A class-action lawsuit filed in 1990 by more than 100 residents of Lynwood, a predominantly Black and Latinx city south of Los Angeles, alleged that the Lynwood Vikings used excessive force, including “interrogation with stun guns, beating victims into unconsciousness, holding a gun in a victim’s mouth and pulling the trigger on an empty chamber, pushing a victim’s head through a squad car window,” conducted illegal searches and seizures, and racially discriminated against residents.

In 1991, a federal judge ruled in the residents’ favor, describing the Lynwood Vikings as “a neo-Nazi, white supremacist gang” that engaged in “terrorist-type tactics” with the knowledge and tacit support of departmental leadership. The department settled the case for $7.5 million, but not one of the deputies was fired. In fact, Paul Tanaka, a known member of the Vikings, was promoted to second-in-command of the LASD under Chief Lee Baca in 2011. Tanaka was indicted in 2015, charged and later convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a federal trial for orchestrating a scheme to block an FBI investigation of the Central Jail. When Tanaka was questioned about his membership in the Vikings, he told the jury "It was nothing more than a station mascot." Sheriff Lee Baca was later arrested, charged and convicted for his part in the same scheme.

In 2018 Alex Villanueva became the latest head of the Sheriff's Department, described in an interview by Los Angeles Magazine as “the Donald Trump of L.A. Law Enforcement.” In his short time in power he's deactivated misconduct investigations, reinstated deputies fired for misconduct, and has created a process for returning to duty as many as 400 more deputies and civilian employees fired for unreasonable use of force, lying to investigators, and domestic violence.

These ruthless gangs of pigs continue to thrive inside the LASD down to today because, more than anything else, those with power have protected them, and encourage them. They consider these deputy gangs, steeped in racist white supremacy, to be playing an essential role in maintaining the cohesion, morale, and control of the armed enforcers of this system.

Sources:

In L.A. County, Gangs Wear Badges,” Zak Cheney-Rice, the Intelligencer, New York Magazine, 9/4/2020.

FIFTY YEARS OF “DEPUTY GANGS” IN THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT: Identifying Root Causes and Effects to Advocate for Meaningful Reforms (Marked draft), A Report by the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy Loyola Law School—Los Angeles September 2020.

Meet Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the Donald Trump of L.A. Law Enforcement,” Jason McGahan, Los Angeles Magazine, July 19, 2019.

Deputies Say Racist Gang Wields|Power at Top of L.A. Sheriff’s Dept.,” Matt Reynolds, Courthouse News Service. 4/26/2013.

Paul Tanaka grilled about ties to the 'Lynwood Vikings' deputy gang,” Lisa Bartley, abc7, 4/4/2016.

A new lawsuit describes a violent gang in LA County. Its members are deputy sheriffs,” P.R. Lockhart, Vox, 10/11/2019

ARE THE “3000 BOYS” LA’S LARGEST GANG?” CZ Bartok, L.A.TACO, 5/12/2011

CLAIMS OF RACISM AND BRUTALITY DOG LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF ‘DEPUTY GANGS,’” George Joseph, Raven Rakia and Ethan Corey, THE APPEAL, 9/28/2018

 


1. “FIFTY YEARS OF ‘DEPUTY GANGS’ IN THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT: Identifying Root Causes and Effects to Advocate for Meaningful Reform”  [back]

2. This refers to the 1948 film with John Wayne, which depicted an isolated U.S. Cavalry post surrounded by Native Americans.  [back]

Members of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department have organized themselves into racist gangs within the department. Members of a gang have the same tattoo — shared "ink" — that symbolizes membership. Here are examples of three: Lynwood Vikings, Banditos, and Jump Out Boys.


 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/bob-avakian-voting-will-not-be-enough-pt2-en.html

 

TRUMP IS ALREADY STEALING THE ELECTION 
AND THREATENING EVEN MORE VIOLENCE
TO STAY IN POWER

PART 2 of

VOTING WILL NOT BE ENOUGH—
WE NEED TO TAKE TO THE STREETS,
AND STAY IN THE STREETS
DEMANDING TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

In the 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, I spoke to this important point:

At 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.

At the same time, however, I strongly emphasized that

Simply 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.

The Trump/Pence Regime Is Already Moving to Suppress Votes

The fact that Trump, and his supporters, continue to commit outrage after outrage, on a regular basis, can cause people—even those who hate everything Trump represents—to forget about outrages that were committed even just a little while ago. But, it is crucially important not to forget that Trump has already “floated” the idea of “delaying” the election on the basis of his completely false claims that things like mail-in voting will lead to massive fraud and that it could take weeks, months, or even years to know the actual result of the election (note: weeks, months, or even years—during which time Trump would insist on staying in power!). 

Trump and his supporters are making moves to suppress the votes of many Black people, and others, who are likely to vote heavily against Trump. Here is one glaring example: In the state of Florida (which Trump desperately needs to win), the Republican-controlled government is working to undermine changes in the Florida Constitution that have restored the right of convicted felons to vote. This could take away the right to vote from nearly 800,000 people, many of whom are Black and Latino.1 

Trump’s operatives are already in the process of organizing fascist thugs to go to polling places, especially in key “battleground” states, to “watch out for fraud.” In fascist Trumpworld, lying is a way of life and the standard operating procedure. When they say “law and order,” they mean police killing Black and Brown people. To them, the truth is “fake news,” and they claim “science doesn’t know” things that only Trump knows. So, when they talk about “election fraud,” what they mean is people voting against Trump. And what these fascist goons being organized by the Trump camp intend to do is precisely to prevent people from voting against Trump—with the threat, and the use, of force and violence.

Michael Cohen—who, for more than 10 years, was Trump’s personal attorney and “fixer”—has sounded the alarm, more than once, that Trump will do anything to stay in powereven start a war to create a national emergency.2 Trump, who is both a pathological liar and a liar with a purpose, has deliberately and repeatedly downplayed the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic, even while knowing what a serious danger it actually poses. He has already forced government bodies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to bend its findings and recommendations about the COVID-19 pandemic to serve Trump’s political ambitions and goals. And it seems increasingly likely that, shortly before the election, in the attempt to offset the exposure of his terrible recklessness with regard to COVD-19, and to perversely declare himself the “savior” of the people from this pandemic, Trump will use his presidential power to pressure approval for the use of a vaccine, even before it has really been scientifically determined whether such a vaccine is not only effective but safe

Trump Has Violently Suppressed Opposition, and Has Threatened Even Greater Violence 

Another thing that must not be forgotten is that Trump has not only justified and supported but openly encouraged violence by armed white supremacist storm troopers (what he calls “Second Amendment people”). He has supported police violently attacking protesters and utilized armed forces of the government to attack and suppress protests, in Washington, D.C., in Portland and other cities. There is already plenty of evidence—and more evidence comes out all the time—that (assuming the election is actually held) regardless of the actual outcome of the election, Trump will declare himself the winner and use whatever means he can, including violence, to stay in power. As pointed out in a recent article posted on revcom.us:

On September 10, Trump was asked by Jeanine Pirro of fascist Fox “News” what his response would be on election night if he won and those against him “threaten riots.” Trump’s response: “We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that.... We have the right to do that, we have the power to do that if we want. Look, it’s called insurrection.”3

Here, it is necessary to “translate” what is being said in this episode of the ongoing fascist lie-athon of Trump and his media accomplices (such as Fox “news”). Trump “winning” the election means Trump declaring himself the winner. (Remember that Trump has already strongly implied that he will not accept the results of the election if Biden wins; and Trump has insisted that the only way he could lose the election is if it is “rigged.”) “Riots,” in fascist-speak, means protests against police brutality and other injustices, even when (as has been the case) these protests are overwhelmingly peaceful; and “insurrection” here means mobilization against the Trump/Pence regime, even if that mobilization is non-violent. 

The same revcom.us article calls attention to this:

Another glimpse at what the fascists may be thinking of and even planning for came from the mouth of longtime Republican operative and Trump stooge, Roger Stone. (In July, Trump commuted the 40-month prison sentence of Stone, who had been convicted of lying to Congress.) In a call with Alex Jones—pro-Trump conspiracy theorist—on his online Infowars show, Stone said Trump should consider declaring “martial law” or invoke the Insurrection Act if he should lose the November election.3

And Stone called on “Attorney General” William Barr (head of Trump’s Injustice Department, chief enforcer of unlawful repression, and a “commander” of the regime’s storm troopers) to prepare now a force ready to act on this “martial law” declaration if Trump loses. 

Note that Stone openly calls for Trump to use violence to remain in office if Trump loses the election. 

And other fanatical backers of this regime, in and out of government, have called on its supporters to arm themselves in preparation for the election. 

It would be a very grave mistake to fail to take seriously what is being openly proclaimed by Trump and his fascist supporters.

But as truly dangerous as these fascist threats and acts of violence, and preparations to carry out even more violence, are—being cowed by and capitulating to this would lead to a far greater horror

The Trumpite attempts to suppress votes must be actively, vigorously opposed; and people must mobilize, now and in an ongoing way, demanding that the whole Trump/Pence regime must go. 

We Can’t Rely on the Democrats, We Can’t Wait Until November

In Part 1 in this series, I examined the reasons why the Democrats will not call out the Trump/Pence regime, and its supporters, for what they are: fascist. I pointed out:

Time and again, the Democrats have sought to deal with this by trying to utilize the very “norms” and institutions that this fascist regime is defying and tearing up, or bending to its fascist aims—the courts, congressional hearings and proceedings, and so on. Time and again, the Democrats have failed. Yet they stubbornly refuse to seek any means of opposing this regime other than by resorting to these “norms” and procedures. This is what they are doing, and will be strongly inclined to continue doing, even in the face of Trump’s increasing and intensifying moves to suppress votes in the upcoming election and his clearly indicated determination to have himself declared the winner in the election, or to remain in power regardless of the outcome of the election.4

Biden and the Democrats act as if—and repeatedly insist that—the reason there is so much bitter conflict, violence, and “chaos” in society is because “Trump is dividing us, not uniting us.” But the truth is that, while Trump has become a “rallying point” and “spearpoint” of the fascist forces in this country, within the structures of power and more broadly among sectors of the population, there are deep-seated reasons and causes for why this fascism has become such a powerful force. Biden and the Democrats cannot “bring the country together,” as they falsely claim, because there can be no “reconciliation” with these fascists—whose “grievances” are based on fanatical resentment against any limitation on white supremacy, male supremacy, xenophobia (hatred of foreigners), rabid American chauvinism, and the unrestrained plundering of the environment, and are increasingly expressed in literally lunatic terms. There can be no “reconciliation” with this, other than on the terms of these fascists, with all the terrible implications and consequences of that! 

As I have also emphasized: “all this points to the very great likelihood that regardless of the actual outcome of this election (assuming it is actually held), if Trump declares himself the ‘winner’and refuses to leave, in the absence of truly massive mobilization demanding that the Trump/Pence regime must be removed, the Democrats will end up capitulating to Trump.4

This does not mean that voting for Biden would be irrelevant—would make no difference. Many people who hate Trump have at the same time expressed a definite lack of enthusiasm for Biden. But “enthusiasm for Biden”—or the lack of such enthusiasm—is really beside the point, and basing things on something like that involves gross ignorance, or a deliberate ignoring, of the crucial stakes involved. The reason to vote for Biden is to vote against Trump and his whole regime. And that should be reason enough, for any person who actually cares about social justice, who refuses to live in a fascist America and has any sense of the very real catastrophe it would mean, not just for people in this country but for all of humanity, if Trump gets a “re-election mandate.” For these reasons, as I pointed out in my August 1 Statement, if it comes down to it—if the Trump/Pence regime is still in power when it is time for voting—then voting for Biden, in order to vote against Trump, will be very important and necessary

As that Statement emphasizes, “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.”This would not “put an end” to the fascism that has arisen out of deep-seated contradictions and has gained strength, over decades. But, as the August 1 Statement further emphasizes: delivering a decisive defeat to this regime “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.” 

At the same time, for all the reasons spoken to in that Statement, and highlighted here—the moves by Trump that are already far along to steal the election, and his determination to use whatever means he can to remain in power, regardless of the actual outcome of that election, and at the same time the likelihood that the Democrats, left to their own devices, will end up capitulating to Trump—waiting for November and relying on voting will very likely lead to disaster.

People need to really and fully awaken to the reality of what is at stake, before it is too late. More than a few people have observed, sometimes with sad resignation, that the continuing avalanche of lies and truly monstrous criminal acts by Trump and his regime have worn them down, to the point where they are no longer shocked or feel compelled to act. But losing one’s ability to be outraged, and to act on that outrage, means losing one’s humanity—and, given the situation we are facing, it amounts to collaborating with the fascism of this regime and the catastrophe toward which it is relentlessly propelling humanity.

The crazed fanaticism of the fascists insisting that Trump must remain in power, no matter what, must be met, and overwhelmed, by the conscious passionate intensity of masses of people who hate everything that this fascist regime represents, who recognize the very real existential threat that this regime represents for humanity and are fired with righteous determination that this regime must go! 

And, to make this a reality, this righteous determination cannot just be channeled into voting against Trump. What is urgently required now is “stepping outside of the ‘norms’ of this system and mobilizing masses of people in determined, non-violent but sustained struggle in the streets to demand the ouster of this regime, as is being called for by RefuseFascism.org.”4 And:

The mass mobilization that is needed cannot be built “overnight,” in the aftermath of the election—and it cannot be built by confining things within the framework and limits insisted upon by the Democrats....

We Need To Take To The Streets, And Stay In The Streets, Demanding Trump/Pence Out Now!4

(The next, concluding article in this series will speak to the big question: How the nonviolent but sustained, and continually growing, mass mobilization, demanding Trump/Pence OUT NOW! that has been called for, and is being organized by, RefuseFascism.org, could lead to, or contribute in a major way to, a situation in which the Trump/Pence regime would be removed from power.) 

 


1. See the article “Florida Moves to Deny Voting Rights to Hundreds of Thousands of People Convicted of Felonies,” at revcom.us.  [back]

2. In his testimony before a congressional committee in 2019, Michael Cohen spoke to the danger that Trump would refuse to recognize the results of the election scheduled for November 2020, if Trump did not win this election. And, in his recently-published book Disloyal, The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump, Cohen once again sounds the alarm, even more urgently, with the warning that Trump will do anything, including starting a war, to stay in power. Cohen has acknowledged that, prior to this 2019 appearance before Congress, he had lied to Congress—something he sought to set right by giving truthful testimony in that 2019 hearing. Trump’s fascist falsehood machine has tried to seize on the fact that Cohen is an admitted liar, who has been convicted of the crime of lying to Congress, in the attempt to draw attention away from what Cohen has revealed about Trump and the great dangers he poses. The problem, for the Trumpites, is that the lies they are referring to, and other despicable acts Cohen carried out—this was done precisely on the instruction and for the benefit of the Liar-in-Chief, Trump himself

Cohen, who worked very closely with (or for) Trump, for more than ten years, including the first years of Trump’s presidency, and probably knows Trump as well as anyone can, confirms what is said by Trump’s niece, Mary Trump: Racism, misogyny (hatred and degradation of women), and all-around bigotry are at the very core of Trump’s being.  [back]

3. “Trump on Election Night Protests: ‘We’ll put them down very quickly.’” This is part of the continuing series The Fascist Assault on revcom.us.  [back]

4. The quotes and references here are from Voting Will Not Be Enough—We Need To Take To The Streets, And Stay In The Streets Demanding Trump/Pence Out Now, Part 1, “The Democrats Can’t Fight Trump The Way He Needs To Be Fought.” This article of mine is available at revcom.us.  [back]

Download PDF to
"Part 3: TRUMP’S FASCISM—
MORE BLATANT AND DANGEROUS EVERY DAY:
HOW A DETERMINED FIGHT AND MASSIVE MOBILIZATION
COULD DEFEAT THIS

Short Version—The Basic Picture and Essential Vision"

VOTING WILL NOT BE ENOUGH—
WE NEED TO TAKE TO THE STREETS,
AND STAY IN THE STREETS
DEMANDING TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

by Bob Avakian

Part 1:
THE DEMOCRATS CAN'T FIGHT TRUMP
THE WAY HE NEEDS TO BE FOUGHT

Part 2:
TRUMP IS ALREADY STEALING THE ELECTION  AND THREATENING EVEN MORE VIOLENCE TO STAY IN POWER

Part 3:
VOTING WILL NOT BE ENOUGH— WE NEED TO TAKE TO THE STREETS, AND STAY IN THE STREETS DEMANDING TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

(Long Version—The Larger Canvas and Fuller Picture)

(Short Version—The Basic Picture and Essential Vision)

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/barr-racist-analogy-of-covid-measures-to-slavery-en.html

Barr's Racist Analogy of COVID Measures to Slavery
Yet Another Reason to Drive Out This Fascist Regime NOW!

| revcom.us

 

On September 16, the highest law enforcement official in the U.S., William Barr, said of the coronavirus lockdowns that “other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”

Three things have to be said:

One, this is an utterly disgusting and thoroughly racist minimalization of the brutal exploitation, the torture, the rape, the lack of any freedom that was done to 12 generations of millions upon millions of African-American people and in itself should be cause for this racist to be immediately dismissed.

Two, this denies the actual real “intrusions” on civil liberties which, in addition to slavery, include the theft of land and genocide directed against the indigenous Native American Indians who lived on this continent when the European invaders came; the decades of segregation, lynching, the denial of the right to vote, legal frame-ups, and forced labor as convicts and other terrors too numerous to name directed against Black people that marked America for 100 years following the end of chattel slavery in 1865; the lynchings of Chinese, Chicanos, Mexicans, and Indigenous people that were also widespread in this whole period; the imprisonment of over 100,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II; the whole system of mass incarceration instituted in the 1970s, principally directed at Black and Latino people; the decades of deportations, imprisonment, frame-ups, assassinations, and firings and blacklisting of communists and other radicals; the entire program of COINTELPRO directed against everyone from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Black Panther Party and which resulted in outrages such as the assassination while he slept of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton; and many, many more that could be named.

Three, and in some ways, most directly ominous, think about the logic of what Barr is saying. Slavery required the Civil War to end it. Barr, in his speeches of late, has been saying that without Trump, America will be “irretrievably lost” and other kinds of apocalyptic predictions. The implicit analogy here is that the coming to power of those who might reintroduce such restrictions—that is, the Democrats—requires a similar remedy: civil war.

Again: from the highest law enforcement officer in the land. Could there be any clearer signal of the lateness of the hour?

We need now to be in the streets, in non-violent and sustained demonstrations, making clear to the world that there is a growing force of people who refuse to accept the fascism being forced into place now by Trump, Pence, Barr and the rest, compelling people to confront the real stakes of what is being put into place at a relentless pace, shaking up and winning over the vacillating, and putting the fascists on the moral and political defensive.

A call from RefuseFascism.org:

September 21st

In Cities and Towns Across the Country

MARCH AGAINST DEATH, LIES, and FASCISM
AND FOR HUMANITY!

TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

Read more

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/ruth-bader-ginsburg-supreme-court-justice-has-died-en.html

On the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

| revcom.us

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice, has died.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for the rights of women throughout her career, including on the Supreme Court. Millions saw her as holding the line against the Christian fascist assaults on the right to abortion on the Court.

Within a few hours of her death being announced, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced they—the Nazi-Republicans—intend to immediately appoint, through confirming Trump’s chosen nominee, another Supreme Court Justice. Trump brayed to his fascist crowds about nominating a “very talented, very brilliant woman.” The front-runners for nomination, according to the press, are hard-core Christian fascists.1 As we go to press, except for Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, no other Republican senator has announced they would oppose confirming a new justice before Election Day. At least three are minimally needed, for any real chance of obstructing a quick confirmation.

The fact that McConnell in 2016 refused to allow the Senate to even consider Barack Obama’s nominee for a court vacancy2 on the grounds that such nominees should not even be considered during an election year points to the hypocrisy of the fascists, and their relentless drive to cement into place a fascist America. In fact, Ted Cruz went on to say the vote and appointment need to be held before Election Day to, according to the New Yorker, “insure a solid conservative majority on the Court and avoid the possibility of a tie in the event of a challenge to the election’s result,” invoking the possibility of a constitutional crisis without having a nine-justice Supreme Court.

This is part of the fascists’ rationale—stacking the highest court of the land for any election-related court battles ahead,3 and ensuring the continuity of the Trump/Pence regime. They also don’t want to risk losing the possibility of a solid Christian fascist majority for the decades ahead. This new justice will no doubt vote to overturn abortion rights altogether. Without this right, women can be forced to bear children against their will—a form of female enslavement—and one of the prime anchors and spearpoints of the Christian fascist program.

First, any attempt by this fascist regime to jam a nominee through the Senate is totally illegitimate and must NOT be allowed.

It strengthens the completely illegitimate fascist grip on power, and should be fought tooth-and-nail through all appropriate nonviolent means—and mass outpourings of resistance and opposition can be positive as part of what IS most urgently needed: building and strengthening the nationwide struggle called by Refuse Fascism to drive out this fascist regime, with mass nonviolent sustained struggle, day after day starting in October, #OUTNOW.

Second, this will necessarily sharpen the splits between the Nazi-Republicans and the Democrats, and their social bases, as part of the divide between the fascists and those who oppose them.

It is hard to say at this stage, as we go to press, how all this is going to proceed and play out, and there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty and unknowns. But it is important to keep in mind some basic principles of the fundamental interests of the masses of people, and the potential dynamics between splits atop society and their interaction with mass actions from below:

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

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

Stay tuned to this site—and the Revolution—Nothing Less! Show on YouTube—for updates as the situation develops, and more commentary.

 


1. According to news reports, a top candidate Trump is considering is Amy Coney Barrett—a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. She belongs to a Christian fascist group called People of Praise. According to the Daily Mail, “The group’s ultra-conservative religious tenets helped spur author Margaret Atwood to publish The Handmaid’s Tale, a story about a religious takeover of the U.S. government which is now a hit TV show, according to a 1986 interview with the writer. Members of the group swear a lifelong oath of loyalty, called a covenant, to one another. They are also assigned and held accountable to a personal adviser, known until recently as a ‘head’ for men and a ‘handmaid’ for women.” [back]

2. When Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016, McConnell declared almost immediately that no nominee by then-President Barack Obama to replace Scalia will be considered by the Republican-controlled Senate. This was more than 11 months before Obama’s replacement would be sworn in. When Obama went ahead and nominated Merrick Garland, the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat, McConnell and the Republicans blocked even any hearings on the nomination in the Senate and the seat went unfilled until Trump won the election and put in Neil Gorsuch. Clearly, it’s extreme hypocrisy for McConnell to now declare he will forge ahead with any Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg, less than two months before the election. [back]

3. There is a good possibility that if the presidential election does go on, and the vote count is close, it will go to the Supreme Court. In the 2000 presidential election, with a very close election between George W. Bush and Al Gore that hung on a ballot recount in Florida, the Republicans argued successfully at the Supreme Court to stop the Florida recount. This essentially threw the election to Bush based on the electoral college, although Gore had won the popular vote by a significant margin. Brett Kavanaugh, a Christian fascist put on the Supreme Court by Trump, was a member of the Bush legal team in 2000 that won the Supreme Court case on the Florida recount. [back]

 

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