revcom.us, February 15, 2021 through February 21, 2021 (#687)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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NEW YEAR'S STATEMENT BY BOB AVAKIAN

A New Year,
The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—
For The Emancipation Of All Humanity

 

1In my statement of August 1 of last year, I put forward the analysis that, in the particular circumstances of this presidential election and the truly profound stakes it posed, if the Trump/Pence regime remained in power at the time of this election, it would be necessary and important to vote for Biden to deliver a decisive electoral defeat to the fascism represented by this regime. At the same time, I emphasized that simply relying on voting would likely lead to disaster, and that it was vitally important for masses of people to take to the streets, in nonviolent but sustained, and growing, mass mobilization with the demand that this fascist regime must be OUT NOW!, as called for by RefuseFascism.org.

As it turned out, masses of people did vote in large numbers to oust this fascist regime—and, in doing so delivered a decisive enough electoral defeat to the Trump/Pence regime that its increasing, and then massively violent, attempt at a coup has been more difficult to pull off and has finally been defeated, with Trump forced to leave (while still refusing to acknowledge his loss in the election), even as Biden had to be inaugurated in a capital city that was a locked-down armed camp.

In immediate terms, the catastrophe has been narrowly averted that would have occurred if this fascist regime had been re-elected (or in some other way remained in power) and on that basis further consolidated its fascist rule and been more fully emboldened and unleashed to implement its horrific program. The fact that the Trump/Pence regime has had to leave office is of great importance and something in itself worth celebrating! Yet the reality is that, not only in relation to this election but throughout the four years of this regime’s rule and its mounting atrocities, there has not been the massive nonviolent mobilization called for by Refuse Fascism to drive out this regime—and, in the aftermath of the election, the streets were dominated by fascist mobilizations, and not by opposition to fascism. This has resulted in a situation where, despite the Trump/Pence regime’s loss in the election, the forces of fascism are still in many ways being strengthened, and the opposition to this has remained much too passive and reliant on the terms set by the Democratic Party.

The reality has to be confronted that, as expressed through the election, nearly half this country has passionately, aggressively and belligerently embraced what is represented by “Trumpism.” The unavoidable truth is that this country, the much-proclaimed “Shining City on a Hill,” is full of fascists!—in the government at all levels and in large parts of the society as a whole. And a defining characteristic of these fascists is their fanatical allegiance to demented distortions of reality, which is extremely difficult (and in many cases impossible) to penetrate with reason and fact, because these distortions serve to reinforce their sense of threatened entitlement and render long-standing prejudices and hatreds even more virulent. This fascism is deeply rooted, in the underlying dynamics of the capitalist-imperialist system that rules in this country and in the whole history of this country, from its founding in slavery and genocide. Related to this is another critical truth: Biden will fail miserably in his attempt to bring about “healing” and “unite the country.” As I have written previously:

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!

There is no question that many of the policies of the Biden/Harris administration will be different than the blatant atrocities of the Trump/Pence regime, and things will definitely “feel different” with Biden and Harris, but the way they will try to “unite the country”—in line with the interests and requirements of this system of capitalism-imperialism—is something that no decent person should want, or be part of. In seeking to re-establish and reinforce “stability” at home, and to maintain the U.S. as the world’s number one oppressive power, Biden, Harris, and the Democrats (as well as other “mainstream” institutions, such as the New York Times and CNN), will make determined attempts to keep the masses of people who have righteously hated the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime, and who aspire to a more just world, firmly tied to this system—restricting their political vision, and activity, within the confines of this system, preventing them from acting in their own fundamental interests and those of humanity as a whole. And to the degree that things are maintained within the limits of this system, this will actually have the effect of furthering the horrors for humanity that are built into this system, while also reinforcing and giving further impetus to the underlying economic—and the social and political—forces that will strengthen the fascism that has already shown great strength in this country (and a number of others).

2Even as it is critically important that the voting in this election has resulted in a decisive defeat for the Trump/Pence regime and its attempts to more fully consolidate fascist rule, this must not be allowed to obscure this crucial truth: The polarization, between Democrats and Republicans, as expressed through the electoral process in this country, involves contention over how to uphold and pursue the interests of the capitalist-imperialist system and rule by the capitalist class. It does not represent the fundamental divisions in society and the world, nor the fundamental interests of the masses of people, in this country and in the world as a whole. Nor can the profound problems confronting humanity be solved—in fact, they can only get worse—within the confines of this murderously oppressive and exploitative system and the chaos and destruction it will continue to unleash on a massive scale, so long as it continues to dominate the world.

This is fact-based, scientifically-established truth. Ignoring, denying, or trying to pursue individual escape from this reality will only make things worse and hasten disaster.

The electoral defeat of the Trump/Pence regime only “buys some time”—both in relation to the imminent danger posed by the fascism this regime represents, and more fundamentally in terms of the potentially existential crisis humanity is increasingly facing as a consequence of being bound to the dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism. But, in essential terms, time is not on the side of the struggle for a better future for humanity. So the time there is must not be squandered—mired in oblivious individualism and political paralysis or misspent on misdirected activity that only reinforces this system which perpetuates endless horrors for the masses of humanity and has brought things to the brink of very real catastrophe.

A profoundly different polarization must be brought about, in line with the potential for a radically different and better world, representing the actual interests of the masses of people and ultimately all of humanity. A radically different approach to understanding, and acting on, the relations and problems of society must be taken up—a thoroughly and consistently scientific method and approach.

3Among many who have been outraged by the way Trump has consistently engaged in both pathological and purposeful lying, there has been a great deal of emphasis on the importance of science and truth, on facts and evidence-based reasoning. This has focused to a significant degree on the criminally anti-scientific approach that Trump and Pence have taken to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the encouragement of this anti-scientific madness among the fascist “base” in society at large—all of which has led to at least tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of unnecessary deaths as well as unnecessary hardship and suffering for masses of people. This emphasis on science and the scientific method is vitally important, but it is also necessary to emphasize the real need and great importance of being consistent with this, and following scientifically-determined truth wherever it leads, in order to correctly understand reality, in every sphere of life and society.

This means fully breaking with and moving beyond an approach of merely embracing truths—or supposed truths—with which one is comfortable, while rejecting, dismissing, or evading actual truth which may make one uncomfortable. One important dimension of this is rising above and repudiating methodologically the philosophical relativism of “identity politics,” which does a great deal of harm through its own version of reducing “truth” to partial, unsystematized experience and subjective sentiment (“my truth”...“our truth”...) in opposition to real, objective truth, which is correctly, scientifically arrived at through an evidence-based process, to determine whether, or not, something (an idea, theory, assertion, etc.) corresponds to actual material reality. While politically this “identity politics” may be proceeding from a desire to oppose various forms of oppression—even if this is often characterized, and vitiated, by people of different “identities” seeking to claim “ownership” of opposition to oppression—in terms of epistemology (the approach to understanding reality and arriving at the truth of things) “identity politics” has a lot in common with the reliance on “alternative facts” (assertions that are in opposition to actual facts, often wildly so) that is the hallmark of the fascists. Even as it is important to recognize the political distinctions involved, the situation is far too serious, and the stakes far too high, to allow ourselves to fall into, or conciliate with, any form of opposing the scientific method and its pursuit of objective truth about actual reality.

To understand why we are confronted with the situation we are, it is necessary not merely to respond to—and in effect be whipped around by—what is happening on the surface at any given time, but to dig beneath the surface, to discover the underlying mainsprings and causes of things, and arrive at an understanding of the fundamental problem and the actual solution. This means coming to the scientific understanding that we are living under a system, and what that system actually is (the system of capitalism-imperialism); working to grasp the deeper relations and dynamics of this system and how this is setting the framework for how different sections of society spontaneously think and react to events in society and the world, and what is the possible way forward to transforming all of this in the interests of the masses of humanity and ultimately humanity as a whole. A crucial part of this is a scientific understanding of major changes, resulting from the very dynamics and functioning of this system, that have led to upheaval in society and have in significant ways fed this fascism: changes in the capitalist-imperialist economy and correspondingly in the social structure and “social composition” within this country, as well as internationally, which have undermined “traditional” forms of oppression without, however, leading to the ending of this oppression but establishing and enforcing it in new forms, while provoking what is truly a deranged, sadistic and often violent reaction on the part of the sectors of society who have identified their interests, and in effect their very being, with the traditional forms of oppression.

As an introduction, and overarching point, in regard to some of these important changes, it is important to emphasize that these changes, and especially those that have occurred in the last few decades, are bound up with the heightened parasitism of capitalism-imperialism in the contemporary world. As I explained in Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary, parasitism refers to

the fact 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 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).

Since the end of World War 2 (75 years ago), the situation of Black people has dramatically changed. These changes were initially based in increased mechanization and other transformations in agricultural production, and the economy overall; they were driven by a powerful upsurge of struggle of Black people, wrenching concessions out of the ruling class in this country that was anxious to maintain its image as “the champion of democracy” and “leader of the free world,” especially in its confrontation with the Soviet Union for a number of decades after World War 2. As a result of these and other factors, Black people’s oppression is no longer centered around brutal exploitation in the rural south, in conditions of near slavery (and in some cases actual slavery) backed up by Ku Klux Klan terror, but instead involves a situation where masses of Black people are segregated and concentrated in urban areas throughout the country and subjected to systematic discrimination and continual brutality and murder by the police. Over the past several decades, due to heightened globalization and automation of production, interacting with continuing discrimination, there has been the elimination of a great deal of factory employment which provided Black men (and some women) with better-paying jobs in the urban areas. At the same time, as a result of the civil rights and Black liberation struggles of the 1960s/early ’70s, and other factors, there has been the growth of the Black middle class. But there has also been an increase of the so-called “underclass,” concentrated and contained in urban ghettos and more or less permanently locked out of regular employment in the “formal” economy.

Unable to provide a positive resolution to acute contradictions bound up with these changes—unable to end systemic racism which involves degrading discrimination against even economically better-off sections of Black people—unable to integrate large numbers of Black people into the “formal” economy—the ruling forces in society have responded to this situation with mass incarceration of millions of Black males (and growing numbers of females) with arrests, trials, convictions and sentences embodying yet more discrimination and injustice, and by unleashing and backing systematic police terror, which is especially directed against Black people in the inner cities but can target any Black person, anywhere, at any time. The attempt to brutally enforce “law and order,” given that a more just solution is impossible under this system, heightens the volatility of this whole situation, leading to further upheaval—including completely justified and righteous protest and rebellion—which, in turn, is seized on by fascist forces in promoting their grotesque white supremacist portrayal of the masses of Black people as “criminals” and “uncaged animals.”

The fact that, with all these changes, and regardless of who is occupying the seats of power, systematic discrimination and murderous oppression has persisted, has led some Black people to conclude that the Democratic Party is the problem, since it has consistently sought the support of Black people but has repeatedly acted against their interests. Even as the Republican Party has become the vehicle of overt and aggressive white supremacy, it is true that the Democrats, and not just the Republicans, have presided over the oppression of Black people. But what is the actual reason for that, and what is the real answer to it? The reality is that white supremacy is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism, and neither of these ruling class parties could put an end to this, even if they wanted to. The answer is not rallying to the fascist Republican Party, or trying to play these bourgeois parties against each other, or embracing “Black capitalism” and begging for a better “seat at the table”—all of which will only reinforce the existing system of oppression and perhaps benefit a few at the expense of the many. The answer is revolution, and establishing a radically different society that has the basis as well as the orientation to uproot and abolish white supremacy, and all oppressive relations.

There have been profound changes in the situation and social position of large numbers of women, both within this country and internationally. To cite one important dimension of this, much of the sweatshop labor in the Third World involves women, forced to work under horrific conditions. In this country, changes in the functioning and structure of the economy (as part of the increasingly globalized world economy) have led to extensive employment, and exploitation, of Black women (and other women of color), in the service and retail sectors in particular. At the same time, not only is there more opportunity for large numbers of women (especially white women, but some women of color as well) to find positions in the professions and in business, but this has also become a necessity in order for their families to maintain a “middle class way of life.” This situation where greater numbers of women are employed outside the home, including a significant increase in the number of women in better-paid middle class positions, has seriously strained and significantly undermined the “traditional” patriarchal (male-dominated) family and patriarchal relations in society overall.

All this has provided more favorable conditions for, and has been significantly influenced by, the struggle against the oppression of women, which was powerfully expressed as part of the overall radical upsurge of the 1960s and has continued in various forms since then. As I spoke to in Away With All Gods!:

Through the upsurge of the ’60s, many things were called into question—not just in the realm of ideas, although that was extremely important, but in practice, in the realm of political struggle—things that are foundational to this society. And many changes were brought about, partly as a result of mass political struggle and partly because of the changing features and needs of the economy. Once again, one of the most important dimensions of this was in relation to the role of women, particularly among professionals and other sections of the middle class, where it became both possible and necessary for women to work full time, in the effort to maintain a middle class standard of living. When you combine that with political and ideological expressions of feminism, and other movements that came forward out of the ’60s, this did pose a very direct challenge to traditionally institutionalized forms of oppression in this society.

Yet the elimination of male supremacy is impossible within the confines of this system. This is true because male supremacy has been deeply woven into the fabric of this society, and because this system is based on capitalist commodity relations and exploitation—things are produced to be exchanged (sold), through a process in which masses of people work, for a wage or salary, to create profit that is accumulated by capitalists who employ them and control their work—a system in which the patriarchal family unit remains an essential economic and social component and requirement, even as it is being put under increasing strains. And the fascist section of the ruling class has, over a number of decades now, waged a relentless attack on Constitutional rights, and mobilized their social base of religious fundamentalist fanatics, to forcefully and often violently assert “traditional” patriarchal oppression—with the assault on the right to abortion, and even birth control, a major focus of this attempt to essentially enslave women. What I wrote, 35 years ago, is today more true than ever:

Over the past several decades in the U.S. there have been profound changes in the situation of women and the relations within the family. In only one of ten families is there the “model” situation where the husband is the “sole breadwinner” and the wife a totally dependent “homemaker.” With these economic changes have come significant changes in attitudes and expectations—and very significant strains not only on the fabric of the family but of social relations more broadly.... 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. 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.

What has gone along with all this has been an increased possibility and “space” for the assertion of gender “identity” and relations that run counter to the traditional oppressive gender relations—and, once again, there has been the often violent attempt to reassert and reinforce the traditional relations and to suppress anything that does not conform to this.

Religion, and especially religious fundamentalism, is a powerful factor promoting and reinforcing the patriarchal subordination of women, as well as other “traditional” forms of oppression. Here is an important insight by Kristin Kobes Du Mez, who grew up in a town in Iowa that was filled with white Christian fundamentalists (which she refers to as “white evangelicals”) who are the backbone of present-day American fascism. In her book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, she writes:

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. [emphasis added here]

Given the tight connection between militant patriarchy and fascism, it is not surprising that some (though clearly a minority of) Black and Latino men have been drawn to support for Trump, despite his overt white supremacy. (This includes some who are or have been prominent in rap music. While there have been positive forces and elements in rap and Hip Hop overall, what has been increasingly promoted is a culture that is full of, not to say dominated by, misogynistic degradation of women, as well as admiration for the kind of hustler gangsterism that is one of Trump’s defining “qualities.”) It is also not surprising that even significant numbers of women (mainly white women but also some Latina and other women of color) have been drawn to this fascism, as the phenomenon of the oppressed clinging to “tradition’s chains” that oppress them is unfortunately all too common. (Think of the mothers in the fatherland, written about by Claudia Koonz in her book with that title—women who actively worked for the aggressively male supremacist Hitler and the NAZIs in Germany during the rise of fascism there in the 1930s. Or listen to the words today of Black female fascist Candace Owens, who has praised Hitler for his efforts to “make Germany great”: “There is no society that can survive without strong men.... In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.” Of course, for fascists like Owens “strong” and “manly” men are those who embody and enforce traditional gender relations, exercising domination over women who submit to this domination—and men who do not conform to traditional gender roles and relations, men who support equality between men and women are somehow “weak,” “effeminate,” “emasculated.”) And for white women who are part of this fascist phenomenon, in which virulent male supremacy is a defining and cohering element, there is also the fact that these women can join in with the white supremacy which, particularly in a country like the U.S., is also a defining and decisive element of this fascism and is closely intertwined with the virulent male supremacy—as reflected in Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s formulation: aggressive, militant white masculinity.

As a result of the intensifying climate crisis, war and repression—and, as a driving force in all this, major changes in the capitalist-imperialist dominated world economy, including the further growth and increased impact internationally of corporate agribusiness and labor-displacing technology, increasingly monopolized control of seeds and chemicals, greater monopolization of marketing, and vast land-grabbing investments—there is massive dislocation and upheaval, particularly affecting people in the global South (the countries of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia—the Third World). An important feature of all this is mass urbanization: more than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, with huge shantytown slums, involving more than a billion people, in the urban areas of the Third World, even as tens of millions of people from the Third World have been forced to migrate to the U.S. and countries in Europe. And the situation has developed where, in some of these countries—with the U.S. a prime example—the economy could not function without the exploitation of large numbers of immigrants, while many are subjected to the constant threat of deportation, which also makes them even more vulnerable to extreme exploitation.

The ruin of much of traditional small-scale farming in Third World countries and the dramatic increase of an urban population there (as well as in the U.S. and some other imperialist countries) which in large numbers is unable to find work within the “formal economy”—this has also fostered the growth of an illegal economy and of gangs (and, particularly in Third World countries, cartels) based on this illegal economy, in particular the drug trade, but also the trafficking of human beings, especially women and girls viciously victimized in prostitution, the “sex industry,” and literal sexual slavery.

This dramatically changed and often highly volatile situation has also been a major factor in the rise of religious fundamentalism, in the Third World and notably in the U.S., where Christian fundamentalism is a powerful negative social and political force. Interconnected and interacting with these economic and related social changes in a way that has contributed to the increased influence of religious fundamentalism, particularly in the Third World, has been the defeat, or abandonment, of movements in the Third World led by communists or revolutionary nationalists against old-line colonialists and neo-colonial oppressors, above all the U.S., in the period after World War 2—with the greatest setback being the reversal of socialism and the restoration of capitalism in China in the 1970s, which transformed China from a powerful socialist country and a beacon and bastion of support for revolutionary struggle throughout the world, into a rising imperialist power and itself an exploiter of masses of people in Africa and other parts of the Third World.

The rise of religious fundamentalism has occurred together with, and in opposition to, the increase of secularism (people who are not religious, or at least not part of traditional religions), especially among the more educated urban populations. This secularism is not in itself conceived or intended as an attack on people who continue to hold religious beliefs, but it does objectively undermine religion—and it is taken as an attack “on everything holy” by religious fundamentalists who refuse to even attempt to reconcile religious belief with the results of scientific inquiry, as strongly reflected in their irrational attack on the solidly established scientific fact of evolution.

What is essentially involved in this division is the acceptance, or the denial and rejection, of evidence-based rational thought, including the importance of critical thinking, that has, in a broad sense, been the extension of the Enlightenment, which arose in Europe (in particular France) several centuries ago. In that time, and since, the advance of science and important discoveries this has brought forward have given impetus to the questioning of religion in a way that was not really possible before, since many of these scientific discoveries clearly contradict long-entrenched religious scripture and dogma, and the scientific method rejects the recognition of things as “real” if concrete evidence for their existence cannot be shown, in the real material world. And, as emphasized by Ardea Skybreak, author of the very important book The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters, science provides plenty of evidence that human beings have invented every religion that exists anywhere in the world. (In a book consisting of an interview with Skybreak, Science and Revolution, she also emphasizes that, although at times “bad science” has been used for very negative purposes, including to promote racism, the actual scientific method itself provides the means for refuting this: “you can use rigorous scientific methods to prove that was all bad science.”)

It is true that science itself cannot put an end to religious belief, as shown by the fact that there are large numbers of religious people who consider themselves advocates of enlightenment and accept the discoveries and conclusions of science (up to a point at least) but insist that there is a realm of existence—involving a supernatural being, or beings—which is beyond the scope of science. And it is a fact that in general the representatives of the ruling class in this country, whether they are “liberal” or “conservative”—and whether they themselves personally believe in god or not—definitely regard religion as a crucial part of maintaining the “social cohesion” of the country on a capitalist basis, and work to promote religion, in particular Christianity, in one form or another. (They are all essentially practitioners of the statement attributed to Napoleon: society is impossible without inequality; inequality is impossible to maintain without a morality to justify it; and such a morality is impossible without religion.) Nevertheless (to paraphrase an important statement by the physicist Steven Weinberg), although science itself does not eliminate religious belief, it does provide a basis for people not to believe in god and to reject religion. This is in conflict with those who believe religion is necessary for an orderly and “moral” society, and all the more so with those who insist on a religious fundamentalism that is wildly out of keeping with reality and with a rational approach to reality.

Yet, while it is true that, in order to win their full emancipation, the masses of people in the world will ultimately need to cast off religious belief in general, it is important to emphasize that, in the world today, the polarization does not simply come down to those who have rejected religion in the name of enlightenment vs. those who cling to religious belief. An important polarization now is that between what can rightly be called decent people (including large numbers of religious people) who are opposed to injustice, and on the other hand those who are determined to revive and enforce traditional forms of oppression. In regard to all this, one of the important questions is whether people come to embrace, or reject, two distinguishing qualities: largeness of mind and generosity of spirit.

4All this provides an important foundation and “backdrop” for understanding what happened in the recent election, why, and what are the implications of this, now and in terms of the future. The following, from a November 9, 2020 article by Leonard Pitts Jr (“The election of 2020 has ended at last, but the celebration has caveats”) contains some important insights. The result of this election, he writes, “strips bare all the glossy claims about who we are as a country, underscoring the fact that in a meaningful sense, we are not one country at all anymore, but two sharing the same borders.” He continues:

The last time that happened [with the Civil War], it took four years and 750,000 lives to force us back into some semblance of oneness. Even then, the seams of the fracture were always visible.

Unlike that break, this one is not starkly geographic: South versus North. No, this one is city versus country, college educated versus high school educated and, most significantly, future versus past. Meaning that yesterday, this was a nation where white people were the majority, and tomorrow it will be one where they are not.

Although Pitts is correct that the division today is more rural vs. urban than strictly South vs. North, it is the case that the old (and new) Confederacy—and in particular rural white southerners—remain the anchor for an ill-founded and ill-intended attempt to restore the past (in the name of “Making America Great Again”). As I pointed out in the 2017 talk The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!:

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.

At the same time, the divide, and the clash, between the past and the future goes deeper than demographic changes and the prospect of a majority non-white U.S. population. The forces fighting for the past are aiming to reverse, with a vengeance, even the modest concessions that have been made to the fight against social injustice and institutionalized inequality and oppression, and to enforce a form of capitalist dictatorship that is overt and unrestrained by the Constitution and the rule of law (or which turns the Constitution and the rule of law into merely instruments of fascist tyranny and atrocity).

As I put it in my August 1 Statement, 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).” While this might hold things together, in an extremely negative way, for a certain period, in the final analysis this cannot succeed—cannot indefinitely preserve this system of capitalism-imperialism, and cannot lead to any future but one of horrors for humanity, if indeed we have a future at all. And the supposed “alternative,” as represented for example by the Democratic Party in the U.S., involving a “more democratic” means of exercising the rule of this system, will also continue to embody and enforce terrible and completely unnecessary suffering for the masses of humanity and pose an existential threat to humanity as a whole, even if not always through the same brute and unmitigated juggernaut of horrors as the fascist form of capitalist dictatorship.

What was expressed through this recent election—what, in fact, is expressed through all elections under this system—is not “democracy” and “the will of the people” in some abstract sense but specifically a choice that is made between different representatives of this system of capitalism-imperialism, which is the only “realistic” choice that is, or can be, offered under this system. In this particular, extraordinary situation, that choice—between fascist and bourgeois democratic capitalist rule—actually made a real difference, to the point where it was right to support one side, the Democrats, in order to deliver a defeat to the attempt to more fully consolidate fascism. But that does not change the fact that this was a vote on the terms of the very system that has produced this fascism and will continue to provide fertile soil for this fascism at the same time as it continues to generate horror after horror for humanity—horrors that are hidden only from those who do not, or will not, look. The “liberal” (or “mainstream”) version of this system’s rule involves the enforcement of the exploitation and oppression of masses of people in this country and throughout the world (including the more than 150 million children in the Third World who are cruelly super-exploited in sweatshops and mines). Enforcing all this, and defeating attempts by rivals to gain a larger share of this plunder and to replace the USA as the world’s dominant power—that is what “liberal” (and other) representatives of this system mean when they speak of the “national interests” of this country. And this is the foundation for the “progressive” approach of allowing for some more “diversity” and “inclusiveness” for previously excluded sections of this society, and the promotion of certain aspects of science, on the basis of and especially for the purposes of this international plunder, of people as well as the environment.

5To emphasize this crucial point once again: It is necessary to confront the fundamental reality that there is no future worth living for the masses of people and ultimately for humanity as a whole under this system—which has given rise to a powerful fascism; which is the source of horrendous, and unnecessary suffering, not only for masses of people in this country but for billions of people throughout the world; and which poses a growing threat to the very existence of humanity, through its massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons as well as its accelerating destruction of the environment. It is true—an important truth—that the Trump/Pence regime (and others like it, for example the rule of Bolsonaro in Brazil) has made the environmental crisis far worse—has, so to speak, accelerated the acceleration of environmental destruction. But the dynamics and requirements of this system are driving the climate crisis toward the point of no return, regardless of which particular person or regime is acting as its dominant political representative. Capitalism is often extolled for being a “dynamic” system, constantly bringing about changes. But this is a “dynamism” based on exploitation for privately-accumulated profit, and driven by anarchy (and anarchic competition between capitalists), and that very anarchy is rapidly propelling things toward an existential threshold—past which humanity could well be irreversibly hurtled—if this system of capitalism, in its imperialist globalized expression, continues to dominate the world.

Given how much the fascist social base in this country has been conditioned to falsely and ridiculously identify the Democrats (even “centrist” Democrats like Biden) as “radical socialists” (or even “communists”) and to viscerally hate them on that basis—largely because of the Democrats’ limited concessions to the struggle against racial and gender oppression, to the need to address the climate crisis, and to a reckoning with the real history of this country—it is highly ironic that it is only a powerful movement aiming for actual socialism, as a radically new and emancipating society and the transition to the fundamental goal of communism on a global scale, that could create the basis for significant numbers of those, and in particular youth, who have been caught up in this fascism to break with that and become part of the struggle aiming for a positive resolution of the contradictions that this system of capitalism-imperialism continually intensifies. (As any rational person can readily determine, the relatively small number of “democratic socialists” who are part of the Democratic Party are in no way “radical socialists”—or really socialists at all—but are social-democrats who are aiming not for the abolition of the capitalist system and its replacement by a socialist system, but for reforms within the capitalist system which would not change, or significantly affect, its basic nature and functioning.)

The fact is that there is no bringing back (or newly bringing into being) an idealized way of life that supposedly existed in the late 19th century and the first part of the 20th century in this country, no return to an imagined idyllic America, characterized by “traditional values” which somehow fairly rewarded “virtues” such as hard work, and where people occupied the place in society they deserved (or were intended by god to occupy)—something which has really existed only in the minds of those who seek an illusory “restoration” of this, and who have been conditioned to irrationally hate everyone and everything that has supposedly destroyed it. And there is no bringing back the situation that existed for several decades after World War 2 where large numbers of people (especially, though not only, white men) without a college education could have jobs in major industries like auto and steel at a wage that made possible a “middle class standard of living.” That there is no basis for this is true not because of conspiracies by “satanic liberals who drink the blood of trafficked children” but, once again, because of the workings of this system of capitalism-imperialism, which have led this world to be shaped as it is, and to be heading for the environmental disaster it is rapidly bringing into being, if it does not first extinguish humanity through nuclear war unleashed by the powerful possessors of massive nuclear arsenals.

And no one should want to go back to the actual past: to a world marked by massive poverty and disease, even beyond the terrible toll this takes today, especially in the Third World; with the horrendous destruction and suffering brought about through two world wars in the 20th century, in which tens of millions of people were slaughtered, and atomic bomb attacks were unleashed by the U.S. on two Japanese cities at the end of the second world war, immediately incinerating hundreds of thousands of Japanese people and ushering in the “nuclear age”; with the USA marked by open, institutionalized segregation, discrimination and “second class” status for people of color and women, and a brutally suppressed existence for LGBT people, and Black people in particular subjected to continual terror, marked by repeated lynchings and other depraved acts accompanying them. The future lies not with the (real or imagined) past but in going forward, to an actual socialist society, and ultimately a communist world, where the fundamental orientation and practical policy are geared to meeting the material, intellectual and cultural needs of the people, while giving increasing scope to individual initiative, on the basis of and within the framework of the collective and cooperative foundation and ethos of society, where age-old economic and social relations of exploitation, inequality and oppression are surpassed, and no longer does the well-being of some rest on the misery of others.

It should be clear that the present polarization and the profound problems that must be faced cannot be solved by trying to “adjust” things within the confines of this system. The example of the “Occupy” movement of the last decade is another illustration of this. This attempt to in effect repolarize the 99 percent against the 1 percent of super-rich failed, in significant part because social relations (such as the oppressive relations between different “races” and genders), and not just economic relations, are powerful material forces, and a good part of that “99 percent” is determined to maintain those unequal and oppressive social relations from which they benefit (or strongly believe they benefit), especially in this capitalist society which sets people against each other in often ruthless competition.

It is only on the foundation of a radically different economic system—a socialist economic system (mode of production), where society’s productive resources are collectivized, marshaled and utilized, in a planned way, to meet the material, intellectual and cultural needs of the people, on a continually expanding basis—that there can be a favorable basis for uprooting and transforming social relations that embody oppression, and the ways of thinking that go along with and reinforce that oppression, moving beyond the situation where (as Lenin so aptly put it) people are not merely encouraged but are compelled to calculate, with the stinginess of a miser, what their position is in relation to others.

6All this strongly points, once again, to the need not simply to “face reality” but to consistently apply the principle that science matters and truth matters, and therefore to seriously engage the scientific analysis (which I have outlined here) of the problem facing humanity, and the solution: where the world is heading now, under the domination of this system, and the radically different direction it needs to, and can, take. It calls for a willingness to apply this same approach—that science and scientifically-determined truth matter—to communism and the historical experience of the communist movement, and in particular to the new communism which has resulted from decades of work I have carried out. This 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. Unlike those who slander and condemn, or simply ignore, communism and the historical experience of the communist movement, I myself have done, and have led others in doing, extensive, serious scientific, study—investigation and analysis—of the history of the communist movement and the socialist societies it has brought into being (as well as countries that have called themselves “socialist” but in fact are not, such as Cuba since 1959, Venezuela in recent decades, and the Soviet Union and countries of Eastern Europe, where capitalism was restored and has reigned for more than 60 years, well before they became openly capitalist countries a few decades ago). This scientific approach has led to the conclusion that with the actual socialist societies that have been brought into being, with the leadership of communists, first in the Soviet Union and then in China (before capitalism was restored in the former in the 1950s and in the latter after the death of Mao in 1976), this experience of socialism has been mainly—and in the case of China overwhelmingly—positive, while secondarily there have also been significant, in some cases serious or even grievous, errors.

Drawing from this historical experience of the communist movement and a broad range of human endeavor, the new communism, as its defining method and approach, emphasizes the critical importance of science and applying the scientific method to everything—to society as well as nature. It firmly rejects any approaches that amount to applying and justifying the bankrupt and extremely harmful notion that “the ends justify the means,” and that “truth” is just an “instrument” of desired objectives, rather than what it actually is: a correct reflection of objective reality.

It is this same method and approach that has been applied to continually deepen the understanding of the nature and functioning of the system of capitalism-imperialism that continues at this point to dominate the world, with terrible consequences and implications for humanity and its future. And this work is continuing as an important part of developing the revolutionary movement that is needed in order to finally abolish this system and bring a radically different and much better world into being. While much remains to be done and many challenges remain to be met, a scientific analysis and synthesis of fundamental questions relating to the situation facing humanity and the possibility of human emancipation can be found—in both more concentrated and popular forms and in works of considerable depth—in talks and writings of mine and other materials that are available at revcom.us. And a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and emancipating society, on the road to the final goal of a communist world, is set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored.

It is a fact that, nowhere else, in any actual or proposed founding or guiding document of any government, is there anything like not only the protection but the provision for dissent and intellectual and cultural ferment that is embodied in this Constitution, while this has, as its solid core, a grounding in the socialist transformation of the economy, with the goal of abolishing all exploitation, and the corresponding transformation of the social relations and political institutions, to uproot all oppression, and the promotion, through the educational system and in society as a whole, of an approach that will “enable people to pursue the truth wherever it leads, with a spirit of critical thinking and scientific curiosity, and in this way to continually learn about the world and be better able to contribute to changing it in accordance with the fundamental interests of humanity.” All this will unchain and unleash a tremendous productive and social force of human beings enabled and inspired to work and struggle together to meet the fundamental needs of the people—transforming society in a fundamental way and supporting and aiding revolutionary struggle throughout the world—aiming for the final goal of a communist world, free from all exploitation and oppression, while at the same time addressing the truly existential environmental and ecological crisis, in a meaningful and comprehensive way, which is impossible under the system of capitalism-imperialism.

Far too many have rejected this—or, more often, failed or refused to even seriously engage it—because of ignorance and prejudice which have their ultimate source in the distortion relentlessly propagated by guardians of the present order, and which serve to reinforce this highly oppressive order. Here, it has to be said (and can be readily demonstrated) that the “liberal” bourgeois attack on communism is, in its own way, as ludicrous and outrageous—crudely in violation of the scientific method and blatantly in opposition to the actual facts—as the fascist mangling of truth which the “liberals” are forever decrying. This does great harm to humanity: Refusing to apply, and acting in opposition to, an honest, scientific approach to communism, the actual history of the communist movement, and the development of the new communism contributes to closing off the only real alternative to this truly monstrous system of capitalism-imperialism—the only viable alternative that represents the fundamental interests and a future worth living for the masses of humanity and ultimately humanity as a whole.

The road to a better world is not, and will not be, an easy one—this cannot be accomplished without determined struggle and, yes, great sacrifice. But continuing on the current course, under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism, means a continuation of the horrors already being perpetrated in the world today, the far worse horrors that are immediately threatening, and the very real existential danger that is increasingly looming.

In the face of the fascist juggernaut that is still threatening and gaining strength, large numbers of us who are deeply sickened and outraged by this, and who aspire to something much better, have raised and rallied to the call that science and truth matter and must be our guide. Let us now be brave enough, and bold enough, to apply this in an unhindered way, determined to seek the truth and follow the truth wherever it leads, overcoming all obstacles to this, including any cherished illusions and ingrained prejudices that run counter to reality and scientifically-established truth. Let us dare to act to make a reality of what science reveals as possible: a radically different and far better world and future for humanity.

 

Download PDF of this statement (English):    Booklet    |    8.5x11 sheets


In Spanish:

Download PDF in Farsi:

(This translation reposted from the website cpimlm.org)

 

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/682/revolution-tour-livestream-donor-comments-en.html

Heartfelt comments received from people who donated during the Fundraising Livestream

"The 5, 20, 50, 100 dollars you donate makes all the difference"

Updated | revcom.us

 

Thank you to all the donors who contributed to the last livestream for the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. Here are some of the moving statements that came in with your contributions...

Please write to us at GetOrganizedForRevolutionTour@gmail.com with your fundraising ideas and questions. The National Revolution Tour is aiming to impact society with the New Years statement by Bob Avakian: “A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity.” In addition to this, and the work of The RNL – Revolution Nothing Less – Show, we’ll be organizing “zoom into the revolution” seminars.

Sign up and contribute to make all this possible.

 

** I can contribute $10 to the National Revolution Tour. I understand the importance of the Tour. I’ve got a job and kids and I would join the Tour if I could. The Revolution Tour needs support to keep spreading the message of revolution. Trump is extremely dangerous because his forces are angry and stirred up. Trump is using the common denominator of fear, telling them everybody is against them, Black people, the media, etc. Seventy-four million voted for Trump, that tells us this society has never faced up to systemic racism and the delusional ones are full of force, full of hate and fear – being told there is a “secret plot.” So how do we get by the brainwashing?

Some think “it’s calm now” but I think it’s the “calm before the storm.” I loved Bob Avakian’s piece on radical change is coming, and either it is going to be radical reactionary or radical revolutionary. I see a civil war coming, all hell breaking loose, lunacy coming to a head – a “bad karmic manifestation.” The Tour is in the field telling people what is really going down, delivering the truth. There are tremendous tensions going on after the election, I got family members down south and the racism is intense. On the other side I see the beginning of a global rising. I see a new generation standing up to injustice. People need to join the revolution with us and overcome their fears. I also want to raise money for the Tour from my friends.

 

** From a store clerk in Houston who collected $13 in donations with a coin jar:

The goal is to make this world a better place for all mankind. We need a new system and new leaders. Leaders that really care about our problems.

 

** I am donating my Stimulus check plus some more to come this week “Revolution, Nothing Less,” with BA’s laser-like vision, scientific method and the Party he built and leads, gives us the tools we need to prepare ourselves, the people and the Party for that rare historic moment when a revolutionary situation arises... so that humanity can seize the time and put us in the path to shape a society free of exploitation and oppression, when life and our planet can flourish in common harmony.

 

** People don’t know the best chance we got for the real revolutionary future is with what BA is bringing! And with this Tour. Listen, I’m sick and tired of waking up every day with this oppressive system, these cops killing and destroying the planet... and these FUCKING FASCISTS! I’m donating $40 today to this Tour to bring the leadership we need. I’m donating as much as I can, as often as I can, and if you feel like I’m saying, I’m calling on all you all to do that too!

 

** From West Harlem: I’m donating $50 to help with all the materials you need. All the papers and books that the people need to know about the real change. This will help because I want people to know about the change the revolution will bring. And I hope others will do likewise. And, of course, donate as much as you can!

 

** This $100 donation is in memory of TC who shared two things (at least!) with BA: a passion for tennis and desire for a much better world. He had read BA’s article on revolution and Roger Federer’s tennis (Revolution, Roger Federer’s Tennis: What Do They Have To Do With Each Other? A Lot, Actually.) and was deeply moved by BA’s powerful writing and his appreciation of Federer’s skills and overall orientation to be kind to the “lowly ball boys and ball girls.” TC was not a revolutionary but decided to read BA’s memoir next to learn more about this leader. This donation is to help get BA out into the world, with his largeness of mind and generosity of spirit, for all of humanity.

 

** Four months ago I moved to NYC and started volunteering at one of the most interesting and extremely vital bookstores in the city. With the help of Revolution Books, I was introduced to and challenged by Bob Avakian. In his work I have found answers and found myself asking new questions. Like why the country is the way it is. Or why the ENTIRE WORLD suffers? Having questions isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but JUST learning isn’t enough. With the help of BA and his workings, I can see it isn’t just about me, but all humanity. I encourage anyone who feels like putting a “band-aid” over the issues we are facing, only to have them come back and worse than before, to donate to this mission! I am donating not only because of how tired I am with the system, but for what this means for the world. It’s up to you and me to make change!

 

** The last four years have seen white supremacy dare to raise its ugly head, encouraged by Trump. And we have seen horror after horror, atrocity after atrocity. People are horrified, terrified. They don’t know what to do, other than rely on “politics as usual.” But it’s going to take far more than that. We need a whole new world, one that is truly just, and that unleashes the best of humanity. But first we need to survive the current situation. The Revolution Tour is all about achieving both of these difficult and monumental goals. Think how different the world would be if we stopped the forces of fascism in its tracks. How much closer to that better world we could be? Please join me, donate all you can. If it’s $100, or even more. Or whatever you can. The world needs the Revolution Tour, and the tour needs *us*. WE are the roots of Revolution... and the place where a better world begins.

 

** I am donating $500 to the National Revolution Tour. One of the things that has impressed me about Avakian and the New Communism is the importance of critical thinking and his emphasis of seeking truth through the scientific method.

As a leader and philosopher he has promoted critical thinking among those like myself who have embraced his leadership. Not only that, he has called upon us to reach for the best within ourselves. He has called for us to keep our “moral compass” if you will. Revolution is not about “revenge” but about the “Emancipation of all Humanity” and about being “proper stewards” of our dear Mother Earth.

I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the RevComs in NYC and D.C. in the last few months. They are both critical thinkers and amazing people. They have the courage of their convictions as well as a deep love and compassion for Humanity.

One of the foulest slanders that is aimed at Avakian and those who embrace his leadership is that they are “cultists.” This is pure bullshit. Anyone who has actually read Avakian’s work or met RevComs has to be struck by the emphasis on critical thinking and the search for the truth by employing the scientific method.

Much love and respect to Avakian and all the RevComs.

 

** I am furloughed and an essential worker yet I can donate to the National Revolution Tour. With regard to Bob Avakian, what is it that he is saying that can address all these different sections of people? The question of “division” is on point. When you look at the gangs, they are one step away from understanding the system, and they have to go up against the Derek Chauvin’s of this world (the cop who murdered George Floyd). When you look at the high school students, how can you convince them? Who is going to have sway over the high school class?...

Those people on the 6th in the Capitol – it’s clear they do not want to share power. The impression I am getting is capitalism and fascism come hand in hand. But what is so subtle is the U.S. went to the other countries and created a wasteland – the refugees come here, and the Democrats subjugate the immigrants into another class of people. KRS-One once had a song out, calling out the “overseers” – his intent was to call into question the role the police play in this society: their adversarial and confrontational role in relation to the African-American community. It’s a challenge to “make the case” that we could all be in alliance against those “overseers” who want to rule over everyone: I understand the work of the National Revolution Tour is vital.

 

** Today I am donating the $600 that fascist Trump gave me (the stimulus Congress voted and Trump signed) to the Revolution Tour. Due to pandemic-caused unemployment many may not be able to do this, but I can. I have been watching the Revolution Tour online, in videos and print, seeing them in the street getting the truth to the people in so many dramatic and inspiring ways. They are my heroes. In this capitalist society money is required for everything from printing flyers to travel, food, housing... If they have enough I want them to buy national TV and radio time! There are so many good causes today but this cause goes at the very root of it all, the horror of worldwide capitalism-imperialism. It is about the future of all humanity and the planet. Bob Avakian’s message, the “what is to be done,” cuts through the fog like a red beacon. P.S. I am already a monthly sustainer and encourage others to do this also, it is a convenient way to feed in large or small amounts, whatever you can.

 

** I’m someone who has been following/supporting revcom.us and The Revolution-Nothing Less Show for some time. Why am I supporting today’s livestream for revcom.us and The Revolution-Nothing Less Show?

The recent fascist coup attempt has forced many people out of their stupor and has shown them the reality of the fascist Trump/Pence regime which recently left power. However, the danger is still not over—there is still a vengeful MAGA fascist base as well as the Republi-fascists who still are in key positions of power who are NOT reconciled to their defeat and still are looking for ways to take revenge upon their opposition in other forms.

The world we live in means that there are tens of millions of people who are refugees from war, climate catastrophe in many different parts of the world. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic which has killed over 2,225,900 people worldwide and over 450,000 people in the U.S., the oppression of women, etc. We do not have to live this way anymore. There is enough wealth and skill to take care of the needs of humanity and the planet, except that this capitalist-imperialist system of private ownership/socialized production prevents humanity from living up to its full potential.

Bob Avakian has brought forth in the New Communism a way to analyze society on a scientific basis and proceeding from what is reality and not how people want to see things. He maintains that this system cannot be reformed and that all-the-way revolution is needed to create a different future.

You do NOT have to agree with everything that Bob Avakian says, but people who agonize over the state of humanity/the planet are invited to find out more what this revolution is about, even if you have questions, doubts or disagreements.

There is the “NEW YEAR’S STATEMENT BY BOB AVAKIAN” which is on revcom.us and people can compare/contrast it (and other writings with other programs out there).

This is why I am donating $600 from my stimulus check to the RevComs so as to help to facilitate meeting the $50,000 goal of the livestream. I am challenging people to match this $600 that I am donating.

 

** I'm doing $200 to the National Revolution Tour. When I heard the reflection of Cornel [West] and the others about BA, about BA’s love for the people, the significance of truth and science, this was deeply moving. It takes courage to confront reality, and science to unlock obstacles that seem unsolvable on the surface. We need this science, this method! One of the revcoms mentioned that contributing to the Tour is a way for the revcoms to bring this revolution to all kinds of people. By contributing we can do this. It isn’t just about our personal experience. I like what she said! I am so proud to be contributing to the Tour, to the revcoms and to the future! Looking forward to season 2 of The RNL Show, too!

 

** This $2,000 donation is a challenge to others whose hearts are pounding for the true liberation of all humanity, and its path has been determined by Bob Avakian in New Communism through a real revolution.

 

** I am honored to be able to donate to the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour.

At this late hour, with so much at stake for all humanity, and for the very future of this planet, I am contributing $1,000 along with a $1,000 matching fund (from my veteran’s benefits) toward the courageous and selfless work of the Revolution Tour, to promoting the most important Revolutionary leader in the world today, Bob Avakian!

I want to give people everywhere the chance to hear about, and know Bob Avakian, his life, his leadership and his path-breaking scientific discoveries and moral leadership he has given to all who desire to free humanity from all its chains. I want people to be familiar with his life, how he “gets people,” his courage and also his humor. I want his Memoir to be in the hands of many thousands of youth looking for a life with meaning. I also invite people, especially artists, to read one of my favorite short works by BA, the lofty revolutionary embrace that shines through in “Materialism and Romanticism: Can We Do Without Myth?

I have known BA for a long time. I was a veteran of the US Navy during the Vietnam War. Like millions of others in this country, I was inspired by the heroic victory of the Vietnamese people in defeating the most powerful army in the world. And I learned about (then) socialist China, and its leader Mao Tse-Tung. That led me and millions of others – even in this country – to dream, and fight, for a different, much better world.

But, over the decades, many, who at one time, called themselves revolutionary, or even communists, have fallen along the way. Some by bullets from the enemy, but far more by the sugar-coated bullets of making peace with the world we are given, or by cynicism and pessimism and the me-first ideology of this pariah system.

But NEVER, BA! Bob Avakian is not one who has EVER FAILED to SPEAK TRUTH TO THE POWER OF THE DOMINANT NARRATIVE!

I remember his powerful speech in support of the Black Panther Party on the Steps of the Oakland City Hall, where he said to white people, “The Black Panther Party doesn’t hate you because you’re white, they hate you cuz you ain’t taking care of business!”

I remember a speech he gave to an Iranian student rally as the U.S. was amping up a massive, widespread and vicious reactionary lynch-mob movement against anything Iran or Iranian after the overthrow of the Shah when Iranian students took over the US Embassy. As the “progressive” left remained silent, BA called all to understand why it was correct, and urgently needed, to go out in the streets and fight for the revolutionary internationalist slogan “It’s Not Our Embassy!”

Of major significance, BA firmly upheld the Great Cultural Revolution in China against the howls and derision of bourgeois experts and movement hacks alike. He singularly, and with convictions, called out and exposed the capitalist coup in China upon the death of Mao. Then, BA went much deeper to scientifically analyze Mao’s (as well as other leaders and founders of the Communist movement) historic advances and contributions but also their philosophical and scientific weaknesses and errors. Again, this was done in spite of the vitriol of "marxist" scholars and shrieks of blasphemy from dogmatists, here and internationally. But all of BA’s rigorous study and analysis became part of the scientific foundation of both his “New Communism” and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

BA warned of the rise of a fascist movement decades ago, and struggled for people to understand the danger of the rising of American-style Christian Fascism uniting with nativist white supremacy and misogyny and their plans for a civil war to take America back to its genocidal beginnings. And he calls on us to act, with science and substance.

Heed the call! Get with, support, and spread the work of the Revolution Tour! Help them on the ground and in any way you can in their timely work to spread BA and his extremely urgent leadership to every corner of the world!

 

** It’s my privilege to donate to revolutionaries seriously working on how to bring a whole other world into being.

 

** Why I'm Donating to the Revcom.us Tour:

I'm donating to the Revcom.us tour because I'm impressed with the fact that the structure of Avakian's new communism is based on science, humanism, and ethics. Democracy is built on slavery, imperialism, and capitalism—three ideologies that exploit other humans and the environment. These elements have poisoned our country and government and given rise to the corrupt leadership of Donald Trump and the fascist Republican party. Knowledge of Avakian's new communism should be spread as widely as possible.

 

** From a high school student who gave $50 and is reaching some of his friends to give:

Right now is a time of existential dangers and profound possibilities. We need to seize the momentum and make huge breakthroughs before the fascists come back stronger and harder. No one is going to make revolution for us. I am donating as much as I can, and contributing in other ways, because there is no more noble a cause than the movement for revolution.

 

** From a recently graduated college student and member of the Revolution Club: 

The urgency is real. The attack on Capitol Hill by fascists is not the worst of what could happen in the U.S. And we have seen the escalation from months, to years ago. The forces that are necessary to counteract this act of domestic terrorism require mass mobilization from the people and leadership. We have one. We have the leadership from the RevComs that have continuously warned us about the dangers of this fascist regime. They have called for mass mobilization. Today is an event to fundraise for this revolution and we need your support. Everything that it requires, materials, pamphlets, banners, books, shirts, every single piece of material that we get out to the people is crucial and it requires funds. People from all different backgrounds have donated, and their contribution is important. We have seen the Revolution Tour expand to different states, we have seen the growth of people mobilizing into the streets, but the fight is not over. The 5, 20, 50, 100 dollars you donate makes all the difference. People are very willing to donate to causes that once it is out of their face, it is forgotten, but not this. You are now part of the revolutionary forces working towards mass mobilization. The donation is from the people, contributing directly to the emancipation of humanity. Although many of us are in need at this moment, the need for revolution, the need to counteract this fascist agenda, is an urgent matter. Not only must we fight for the revolution, we must also fund the revolution.

 

** From a donor who gave $3,000

Dear comrades,

I am happy to donate to the Get Organized for an Actual Revolution Tour.

We live in a time of danger and immense challenges. The events of the past week should make this starkly apparent to everyone, even to those who, up to now, have willfully attempted to close their eyes to this obvious truth.

Yet within this situation there is also opportunity, the chance to wrest a new future. To do this there is an urgent need for the new communism, for the leadership and scientific method of Bob Avakian to become a growing, contending force in the world.

I am excited by the important steps the National Revolution Tour has taken to do this, putting revolution—a real revolution, that will completely overturn the brutal, outmoded system of capitalism-imperialism and begin building a new society free from all oppression and exploitation—on the map. 

At this crucial time nothing is more important, and I am glad for the opportunity to contribute to this effort as we enter a new year. I urge everyone who reads this to join in supporting this vital effort in whatever ways you can.

 

** From a Vietnam War veteran who donated $100:

I am a Vietnam veteran. I was involved in the active duty GI movement against the War after I found out what the war was really about.

I have some photos from the war on my home wall and in my phone.

One is a 10-year-old girl running from a napalm attack with horrific burns all over her body. Napalm was introduced to the war by the U.S. military. Other photos show villages being burned all over Vietnam by U.S. troops (from the book Kill Everything That Moves by Nick Turse). By the war's end 3 million Vietnamese had been murdered by U.S. forces.

U.S. chauvinism was a major factor in U.S. troops regarding the Vietnamese as subhuman. Troops called massacres "just gook business" of no consequence.

The American Crime series initiated by Bob Avakian on the revcom.us website brings out the "actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today and the terrible consequences of this."

I am a disabled veteran but I've decided to give $100 out of my stimulus check to the revolution tour because the tour is boldly going out among people spreading the leadership of Bob Avakian everywhere. And. they are organizing ppl into the revolution. They are the hope for a future with no more of these murderous, horrific wars. And no more oppression and exploitation anywhere in the world. This revolution tour is not half-stepping.

 

** From a psychologist

Yes, I would like to contribute to the National Revolution Tour. I have been thinking, you were right! The RCP and Refuse Fascism were right. I knew how many right-wing forces there were, but I have been shocked. I am all for the National Revolution Tour, because this opposition needs to be public. I appreciate Bob Avakian, for how to create an egalitarian and democratic society. I agree with Bob Avakian’s indictment of capitalism. Avakian is a vector of humane and progressive politics I am for. But so many are conditioned to believe that anything done for the common good, by a government, is socialism and that’s looked at as horrible among a large section of people in the U.S. People have been the victims of a propaganda campaign since 1917—the Russian Revolution. But I have been motivated to learn the truth. It’s very positive to have the National Revolution Tour. Think of the ’60s, with gay people coming out of the closet, Civil Rights and MLK and the Black Panther Party, think about the anti-Vietnam War movement. People told the truth then and now the Revolution Tour is a first rate educational opportunity. I think we are going into heavy duty chaos with COVID, fascism, the economic situation. Every group doing something positive, like the National Revolution Tour, should be supported because it adds to the momentum of progressive change.

 

** From a part-time immigration attorney:

I will donate because I know enough about Bob Avakian to agree with the diagnoses, but at this point I don’t know all about his critical thinking as to what to supplant this system with. I want to give because I want to raise consciousness, and I don’t want people to lose hope. I want people to know the world doesn’t have to be this way, that there is a better way that they are not consigned to this system of capitalism. It’s hard to get conscripts, not enough are coming on board. Even after the George Floyd protests around the country, I don’t enough see people mulling over this revolution because I know there are obstacles thrown in the way of the people: ideas of reform, narrow and parochial, or just the difficulty of surviving from day-to-day. It’s hard for people to find the emotional space to look at science. Even if the people realize the system shackles them there is still an aesthetic intimacy to moving to take on this system - maybe it will take a revolutionary event for the masses to jettison those things. But I am not one to say “I don’t believe in orthodoxy so I won’t give.” I am not one of those people who pre-judge Bob Avakian and revolution. I am not one of those people and that is to my credit. The National Revolution Tour is laudable, helping people transcend the everyday shit.

 

** From a supporter of Tour who donated $250:

I am encouraging everyone to support revcom.us which is based upon knowing/changing reality, science and the truth. I am challenging everyone to match and challenge this amount I'm donating.

 

** From a group of friends in Chicago:

A group of 5 supporters of the Tour in Chicago have issued a match challenge for at least 5 people to make up $1,000 in monthly sustainer donations over the next six months. This group of 5 includes 2 people who are giving $5/month, one person is giving $10 for the next 6 months, and one more person committed but is still pondering and checking their finances to see what they can afford. The initiator is donating $200 /month = a total of $1,320+ for six months. All of these people are writing statements about why they joined this effort to support the Tour and are reaching out to other supporters. Here are four of our statements. So we are asking – can you match this?

 

** From a high school teacher: 

I would like to make it clear that I want to contribute regularly! Why? These fascists are not going away. History tells us you can’t “wait around until it all works out.” And not all of us can be on front line like the National Revolution Tour. We have to support those on the front lines AND those with the analysis, the context, and a way out and this is what the National Revolution Tour is doing. Remember that revcom.us front cover with Hitler Trump on the cover? Even I wasn’t quite sure. Even I had questions and concerns. But it turned out to be correct… the analysis is right on point. The National Revolution Tour offers another option, because what is being framed is either fascism or ‘reaching across the aisle.’ This revolutionary analysis has legs under it and people have to do the reading and study. Revolution. Sound far-fetched? Engage it. In fact it is irresponsible to not be engaging revolution – we are on the brink of whether we will survive as a species and genocidal racists in the most powerful country in the world have us teetering on full-out fascism. Fascism is the function of capitalism, a natural function, we would be remiss to not look at revolution and communism and support those who are taking it to the people.

 

** From two activists from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, New York:

We have raging genocidal viruses in this country!

The COVID-19 virus has been killing now as many people who died on 9/11 every day affecting disproportionately people of color. The COVID-19 virus is spreading rapidly in prisons and jails across the country due to extreme congregate settings, poor health care, and grossly inadequate PPE.

Incarcerated people are infected by the coronavirus at a rate of more than five times higher than the nation’s overall rate. And yet there have not been anywhere near the numbers of early release especially amongst the aging and at-risk prisoners. This is genocide under a White Supremacist system.

The virus of systemic racism and genocide has been raging for centuries in this country since its beginning. Even in the light of the powerful, righteous uprisings for Black Lives Matter that took place over the past months, there has not even been an ounce of justice for the victims of State-Sponsored Violence!

The U.S. justice department just announced that after over five years of “investigating,” they will not bring any criminal charges in the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, on November 22, 2014. Tamir was murdered while playing with a toy gun in less than a minute by police. 

Once again, it was recently announced that in Kenosha, WI, the prosecutors will not file criminal charges against the police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back in front of his three little children who were seated in his car on August 23, 2020. Jacob Blake is paralyzed for life.

And again, no charges have been filed in the killing of Breonna Taylor, an EMT worker who was shot in her bed by police in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13, 2020. Millions of people shouted her name in protests around the country for justice, to no avail.

We could go on and on with the thousands of names who have been killed by law enforcement with impunity. Mass incarceration infused with COVID-19, the relentless murder of Black, Brown, and Native peoples by law enforcement, are all part of the escalating genocide waged by this White Supremacist system.

This White Supremacist system is not “broken.” It is doing what it was designed to do. It is guilty of crimes against humanity and needs to be abolished! That is why, we from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, are supporting the National Revolution Tour and are calling on you to do the same and to donate generously. We need to support the Revolution Tour to fight for a better world where black and brown people no longer have a target on their back and white supremacists are no longer given a ‘get out of jail’ free card.

We urge you to join us and make a contribution to support the work of the National Revolution Tour!

 

** From an immigrant woman (in Spanish and English):
Apoyemos la gira por la revolución ahora más que nunca necesitamos seguir levantando la voz que Trump debe salir de la presidencia ya, debido a que el sistema se apoya en el pensamiento supremacista blanco es un riesgo, vemos cómo agencias del gobierno protegen y alientan estos movimientos de odio, y que quieren sentar las bases para un país, misógino, con opresión a las comunidades que se ven diferentes o piensan diferente a ellos. Por eso seguir luchando por un mundo mejor es importante y podemos hacerlo posible, apoyando con una donación a los compañeres en la Gira por la Revolución Nada Menos.

Let us support the tour for the revolution now more than ever we need to continue to raise the voice that Trump must leave the presidency now, because the system relies on white supremacist thinking is a risk, we see how government agencies protect and encourage these movements of hatred, and who want to lay the foundations for a country, misogynist, with oppression of communities that look different or think differently from them. That is why continuing to fight for a better world is important and we can make it possible by supporting our comrades in the Revolution Nothing Less Tour with a donation.

 

** From a donor in Southern California:

I donated to the revcoms because they truly understand and are well-versed in the fallacies of capitalism - they do important work, from the articles they publish to the peaceful protests that they organize with others, we all must strive to be as passionate and motivated as this organization is and we must support the Revolutionary Communists in whatever ways we can afford to.

 

** From a donor in California:

This week's siege on the Capitol showed to people across the country that the fight to quell authoritarianism in the United States is far, far from over. Many said that once the Democrats gained control of all branches of government, Donald Trump and his allies would accept defeat and move on. They were wrong. It's time to start calling these people what they are: Fascists who are committed to keep power at all costs. The people in power who have supported this attempt to overthrow the democratic process should be held accountable for their actions, but if history tells us anything, that is unlikely. The people being arrested and detained are simply middlemen who are being punished to appease the status quo, while those with political power in the country get off scot free, to possibly attempt more insurrections at a later date. The only way to fight Fascism in the 21st century is the same way it has been done in the past: through people power. The people rising up and saying no more to the racist and authoritarian mob is the only way to combat this rising threat. Not appeasement and twitter bans. Even if Donald Trump's administration ends on the 20th of January, Fascism is still here and more mainstream than it's ever been in close to 100 years. It's time to stop ignoring that fact and start fighting.

 

** From someone who has been sustaining the Tour and donated $600 today:

I am donating the full amount of my stimulus check. There is nothing that needs stimulating more than the latent revolutionary energy of millions fighting for a beautiful world worth living in. I have had the privilege of meeting numbers of members from the Revolution Club. They are some of the most inspiring and wonderful people I have ever met, both for their tireless efforts fighting for a bright future and in the way they as individuals represent that future in how they carry themselves and relate to others. There is no better cause anyone can donate their money to.

 

** From a member of the Revolution Club:

The role the Revcoms have played in leading society in these intense and unprecedented times is invaluable – but it does require funds to continue and grow. Donate what you can today!

 

** From someone making a $25 donation:

A small donation, but I encourage others to give what they can manage to fighting fascism and creating a better world.

Fundraising Livestream for the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour
January 31, 2021
The goal for the livestream of $30,000 was met and exceeded!

How to Donate to the National Revolution Tour

  • Venmo: “@RevolutionTour”
  • CashApp: $revtour
  • Send a check or money order,
    payable to RCP Publications,
    memo line: National Revolution Tour. Mail to:
    • RCP Publications
      Box 3486, Merchandise Mart
      Chicago, IL 60654-0486

Watch video of fundraising livestream (aired Sunday, January 10):

 

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/686/rnl-show-episode-39-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Episode 39 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show!

Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump—What Are the Stakes?
Plus Bob Avakian on Liberation of Black People

youtube.com/therevcoms

Episode 39 comes out during the week of the Trump impeachment hearings and during a time where the potential for many to confront the real stakes of the failed fascist white-supremacist coup are great. With the conflict at the top marking a certain direction and the question of whether Black people can truly "break the chains" in the air, we bring to you an episode that opens up some of the important contributions from Bob Avakian to the struggle for the liberation of Black people and the emancipation of humanity.

This episode will bring forward revolution in sharp contrast to the all-too-familiar conversations on endless resistance or "the greedy corporations"! We will share some of Bob Avakian's history and some of the impact that he has had on others, from the 1960s to the present. And we will speak to the stakes around the impeachment trial. Join our hosts Andy Zee and Sunsara Taylor as they dig into this and more in this week's episode of The RNL Show.

This Episode includes:

* Part one of a new video series called “Bob Avakian for the Liberation of Black People and the Emancipation of All Humanity.”

* Part of an interview with Joe Veale—revcom, former member of Black Panther Party—that was featured on the website revcom.us.

*An Excerpt from Bob Avakian’s 2012 talk BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! titled "The System Has No Future for the Youth, But the Revolution Does."

*A look at the impeachment trial of Trump and what the stakes are, drawing from a recent roundtable by RefuseFascism.org. Featuring clips from Samantha Goldman, RefuseFascism.org Editorial Board, host of the Refuse Fascism podcast, and Jared Yates Sexton, professor, writer & political analyst, author of AMERICAN RULE: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People, followed by a deeper look at the driving forces of fascism with a dialogue between hosts Andy Zee and Sunsara Taylor.

*An invitation from Annie Day, member of the National Revolution Tour and writer for Revolution newspaper, to dig into the New Year's Statement from Bob Avakian more deeply with others, with the “Zoom Into the Revolution” seminars.

Follow @TheRevcoms on social media 
Donate and become a patron at patreon.com/therevcoms 
Like, Share, and Subscribe: YouTube.com/therevcoms

 

 

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

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/683/strategic-commanders-of-the-revolution-en.html

STRATEGIC COMMANDERS OF THE REVOLUTION

by Ardea Skybreak

| revcom.us

 

What distinguishes the strategic commanders and what they have in common with each other, despite different particularities, is the ability (and the inclination!) to wrangle with the biggest questions of the revolution (before and after the seizure of power), to understand what it means to apply evidence-based scientific methods to assess and evaluate ever changing reality, to be increasingly able to sort out a complex of contradictions and rank and prioritize them correctly, to consistently proceed from the loftiest strategic objectives and work back from that to figure out what needs to be done at any given time to move the process forward. In short, well-rounded, all-sided revolutionaries, rooted in and proceeding from the New Communism—the most advanced iteration to date of what is needed in the world and how to get there—and with a willingness to go out and FIGHT with masses to get with all this if they ever want to get free.

Properly understood, an illiterate peasant in a 3rd world country or an unschooled basic person from the inner cities can be trained to be a strategic commander of the revolution (not just a tactical commander, and certainly not a “movement activist”!). You don’t have to have been formally trained as an intellectual to be bright, engaged, curious about all sorts of things, able to think on lots of different levels, and to play with lots of different elements. And you don’t have to be a highly trained intellectual to learn the basics about what is wrong with the world, what needs to (and can) be done about it, what it is going to take, what it is that BA and the New Communism are about, and why you, and many, many others, need to become followers of this person and this scientific approach to emancipating humanity. You can learn to understand better why it is that so few people are currently with this, what obstacles you are going to encounter, why the key right now is to go wage ferocious struggle with and among the people to get on board, but all the while modeling and demonstrating the right methods.

So... not a movement activist. Also not an armchair “marxist.” But definitely steeped in the core methods, approach and objectives of the New Communism and eager to go fight for this out in society, with the requisite passion, substance, determination and conviction.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ardea Skybreak is a scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and an advocate of the new synthesis of communism—also known as the New Communism—brought forward by Bob Avakian.  Important works by Skybreak include The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters; Of Primeval Steps and Future Leaps: An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women’s Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation; and an interview with Skybreak, 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.

 

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

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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

 

Editors note: This article written by Bob Avakian in June 2020 during the Beautiful Rising is highly relevant right now, especially in the context of recent events, and we highly recommend this to our readers.

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/687/impeachment-verdict-from-senate-and-shamelessness-of-republifascists-en.html

The Impeachment Verdict from the Senate, and the Shame(lessness) of the Republi-FASCISTS

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Along with what is below, for a fuller picture, go here.

This past week witnessed the second Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The House of Representatives, led by the Democratic majority, had voted to impeach Trump on January 13. This was then sent to the Senate for trial, with assigned House Democrats as impeachment managers, making the case to the senators as jurors. The trial focused on Trump’s actions to overturn the election, with an emphasis on the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, an attempted fascist coup. Five people died in this attack and scores were injured, as the crowd outside celebrated around a gallows and a huge cross, waving flags of the slavery-defending Confederacy and Trump himself.

Through the use of powerful videotapes and timelines, an undeniable case was made by the impeachment managers that:

In the face of this and other clear evidence and what everyone—even many Republicans—said was an incompetent legal defense of Trump, the vote to convict Trump was 57: 50 Democrats and seven Republicans—while 43 Republicans voted to acquit—falling short of the 67 votes needed to convict in an impeachment.

In other words, the Republican senators in their majority voted that Trump was not to be found guilty of any of this. They made clear that their allegiance is to Trump, and to the whole fascist movement that they have now solidified. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell attempted to “have it both ways”—excoriating Trump’s behavior on the 6th (while staying silent on everything that had gone before and paved the way for the 6th, which he, McConnell, had aided and abetted in numerous ways) and then proceeding to vote AGAINST conviction on grounds that were at best flimsy and in actual fact invalid.2

In so doing, they ALL validated Trump as the continued leader of the Republi-fascists and validated as well the practice of armed fascist vigilantes, organized and unorganized, seizing the public square and threatening all who dare cross them.

This drives home what Bob Avakian has written in his New Year’s Statement, “A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity”:

The reality has to be confronted that, as expressed through the election, nearly half this country has passionately, aggressively and belligerently embraced what is represented by “Trumpism.” The unavoidable truth is that this country, the much-proclaimed “Shining City on a Hill,” is full of fascists!—in the government at all levels and in large parts of the society as a whole. And a defining characteristic of these fascists is their fanatical allegiance to demented distortions of reality, which is extremely difficult (and in many cases impossible) to penetrate with reason and fact, because these distortions serve to reinforce their sense of threatened entitlement and render long-standing prejudices and hatreds even more virulent. This fascism is deeply rooted, in the underlying dynamics of the capitalist-imperialist system that rules in this country and in the whole history of this country, from its founding in slavery and genocide. Related to this is another critical truth: Biden will fail miserably in his attempt to bring about “healing” and “unite the country.” As I have written previously:

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!

 


1. The fascist mob had been whipped up by Trump’s claim that Pence was not doing Trump’s bidding in his attempts to steal the election. [back]

2. McConnell, as the head of the Senate Republican majority, had first set it up so that Trump could not be tried while still president by delaying the Senate trial—and then at the impeachment itself, McConnell claimed that the trial was unconstitutional because… Trump was no longer president! [back]

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/687/refuse-fascism-statement-on-the-second-senate-acquittal-of-donald-trump-en.html

Statement on the Second Senate Acquittal of Donald Trump

From the Refuse Fascism Editorial Board

| revcom.us

 

Donald Trump has been acquitted in his second impeachment. But he is guilty as hell of inciting a violent mob and leading a fascist movement determined to seize power by hook or by crook.

A majority of the Senate, including 7 Republicans, voted to convict, but this was not enough to render a guilty verdict and open up a vote to bar Trump from ever running for office again. Trump gloated about his second acquittal, calling this impeachment “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country,” and stating that this was just the beginning of his MAGA movement.

Let’s dispense with the excuses that 43 Republican senators voted to acquit because they are afraid of Trump’s base. They want Trump’s base. Whatever qualms a few may have about the rough edges, they represent and court a fascist base and fundamentally agree with the fascist program Trump has cohered. They are fighting for a different form of rule that relies on terror and violence, and a society of unchallenged white supremacy, misogyny and patriarchy, Christian theocracy and vicious “America first” xenophobia. Trump tore up the rule book and burned up the democratic conventions in ways that fascists in and out of government, in this country and all over the world, want to emulate. He sent a white supremacist lynch mob to the Capitol—with their gallows, their Confederate/Trump flags, their false victimhood and white rage. There can be no uniting with that.

Now this unpunished fascist coup attempt is at once a dress rehearsal for possible future attempts to seize power in the wake of an electoral defeat and an immediate victory for fascists. The U.S. Senate has now legitimized a fascist party with a paramilitary wing. Members of the party who do not fall in line with even its most blatant crimes are censured and worse. It can now become common practice to deny the vote not just through racist gerrymandering and court challenges, but through mob violence.

Even as the Democratic House Managers sharply exposed what Trump did to foment and lead this fascist coup attempt, the Democrats restrained their strategy from the beginning with the logic that they would never have enough votes to convict. They did not fight to win. Even a surprising last-minute victory, when the Senate voted to call witnesses, was quickly squandered in the face of the GOP’s threats and intimidation. Live public testimony from GOP representative Jaime Herrera Beutler about Republican House Minority Leader McCarthy’s phone call with Trump—in which Trump refused to rein in the rioters, even as the murderous siege on the Capitol unfolded, and complained that the mob must have cared more about the election results than McCarthy did—could have opened up the possibility of calling other Republicans to testify and further exposing their lies about what really happened. Calling witnesses could have turned the trial into a real political fight for conviction, but the Democrats caved. Far from enabling them to get on with Biden’s agenda, this has strengthened the offense of the Republi-fascist party.

This acquittal shows once again that there is no bottom to the immorality of Trump and his fascist followers. Now our side, those who aspire to a more just society, has to STOP putting ceilings on our determination to resist and stop this vicious American fascism. If you are heartbroken, disturbed, and angered by one more failure to hold Trump accountable for his crimes; if you are concerned about what this means for the future; if you dread the return of Trump to public life or someone even worse seizing power, then it is time to fully face the reality that this country is full of fascists. It is time for us to really get into a debate about why that is happening and what we can do to change it. And it is time to stop being passive spectators and channeling all of our righteous outrage into voting. Voting alone will not stop fascism, and fascism must be stopped.

Will we allow fascists to win the battle for the future, with all that means for humanity and the planet, or will we stand up? We will remain vigilant. We will organize and form action networks to be proactive and resist the continuing danger of fascism. We pledge to the people of the world:

IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY, WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT A FASCIST AMERICA!

The Senate Impeachment Trial & the Need to Refuse Fascism

This urgent discussion was recorded February 8, on the eve of Trump's second impeachment trial.

Visit RefuseFascism.org

 

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

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/687/from-department-of-alternate-universes-trump-dealt-crushing-blow-in-historic-guilty-verdict-en.html

From the Department of Alternate Universes

TRUMP DEALT CRUSHING BLOW IN HISTORIC GUILTY VERDICT; FORBIDDEN FROM RUNNING FOR OFFICE AGAIN

Biden Raises Serious Questions About “Whole History and Future of This Country”

| revcom.us

 

February 14—Donald Trump was dealt a crushing blow as the U.S. Senate voted 71 to 29 to convict the former president and forbid him from running for office ever again. Yet almost more shocking than the actions against the former president was President Joe Biden’s statement directly afterward:

“My fellow Americans, as I said at my inauguration, while many pressing issues confront our nation, there was no issue anywhere nearly as important as moving quickly and firmly to deal with the coup attempt by Donald Trump. As I told you: if fascism is not decisively punished and if we do not move to root it out, then the cancer will grow back and next time we might not be so lucky. Just think for a minute what would have happened had Donald Trump succeeded in overturning the election.

“For that reason, and in response to the way you filled the streets in the days after that coup, refusing to be intimidated by the vicious fascist mobs, sometimes at great sacrifice, we had to—yes, you forced us to—do everything we could. So we went to work on this seriously and with a singular focus. The testimony that we were able to compel from the Republicans in Congress who had been in phone touch with Trump during the actual siege of the Congress... the firsthand accounts from those close to Trump, who knew they faced jail time if they perjured themselves and were discovered... the transcripts and documents showing the actual coup-planning meetings that we were able to uncover... all these and more were part of using every possible legal means to drag the whole truth into the light of day and make the case that could not be denied.

“Listen—I even had to go up against those in my own party who counseled not doing anything to upset our legislative agenda, who said we should do just enough to weaken the fascists and get our program through, and then win the next election. That we dare not, in their words, ‘tear the country apart.’ But my friends and fellow countrymen, we’ve been doing that kind of thing for decades and the country already is torn apart. I came to believe that it had finally come time to admit that the fascists have advanced through all our seemingly clever but in fact dangerously stupid stratagems.

“Had we not moved so decisively, had we merely put on a good case, even a compelling case, but not fought all-out in a way commensurate with the terrible stakes in front of us, we would have been faced with the worst of both worlds: a maniacal fascist tyrant politically wounded but still with his following and able to come back to public life, along with his violent armed fascist organizations who would be emboldened by their ‘success’ in literally getting away with murder. The ‘strong-man’s’ grip on one of our major parties—the one that in fact still dominates the judiciary, the state legislatures, and much of the core arms of government, as well as large sections of the military and virtually all of our municipal police departments—would have been tightened. That party would have had a permanent armed wing, ready to violently intimidate and attack any who dared oppose them in the public square, including even high government officials. And by the way, don’t be fooled by these 11th hour professions of regret from some of our colleagues across the aisle—they brought forward this fascism, they believe in it, they benefit from it and they’re gonna keep trying to bring it back in one form or another.

“So we had no choice—not if we wanted to prevent the installation of a fascism that would have foreclosed any chance at change whatsoever and would have spelled almost certain doom, if not today then tomorrow.”

Biden, visibly shaken by his rendition of “what might have been,” paused before the next, even more shocking part of his speech.

“My fellow Americans, I wish I could say that it is all over. But what I saw over the past four years, what we endured during the elections, and then the outright attempted coup on January 6 compelled me to search my soul.

“First, I asked myself: why haven’t we Democrats fought this with all our might? Why have we refused, after all these years, to call it for what it is: fascist?

“Well, here’s the deal: we were afraid. We were afraid of many things—of Trump himself, of his angry mobs of followers, and of what we might have to do if he defied us and even moved against us.

“But most of all, we feared what it would say about our society to admit that it was our American system that had spawned this monster. We feared that you, the people, would begin questioning the very legitimacy of our government and begin asking deeper questions. We feared that if we called this what it is that you would go into the streets and we feared that once you did, you would begin to sense your potential power and build unity and organization that was not under our thumb. We feared that our international domination—which, after all, is what makes possible our ‘great standard of living’—would be shaken. So for years we used everything at our disposal to keep you passive. And to be honest, it wasn’t all that hard. But look where that got us!

“But let’s go deeper. What does it mean that this so-called great democracy of ours spawned this? I’ve had to think deeply these past weeks and months about the white supremacy that defines our history—the genocide against the peoples who lived here before Europe came, both historic and ongoing; the kidnapping and enslavement of ten generations of Africans and their descendants in a crime of such horror, duration, and continuing effects that it truly shocks the soul; the endless wars we’ve waged—some you know about and some you don’t, and most we’d all just as soon keep secret—against other peoples to dominate their economies and distort and mangle their societies.

“Think about it. Today even we Democrats will sometimes use the word ‘systemic’ to talk about our problems. But let’s face it folks—that ‘system’ has a name: capitalism-imperialism. And so long as this capitalism exists, we’re going to be facing these kinds of crises, and even worse.

“Barack Obama, under whom I served, used to say that we were creating a ‘more perfect union.’ But look—that’s a steaming load of malarkey and we’ve always known it. More perfect union? Last great hope of mankind? C’mon man—from day one this has been a society of slavery, genocide, worldwide oppression and plunder, the mutilation of the lives and spirits of the half of humanity that is female, the persecution of people who didn’t conform to ‘straight’ gender roles, the wholesale destruction of our environment... my god, it makes your head spin and heart ache when you finally confront it for what it really is. ‘Soul of America,’ my ass—America’s like a butcher shop full of blood and shit and carcasses where we manage to put some pretty wallpaper up on the top floors and spray the damn place with Febreze every five minutes while we stuff our faces with the meat prepared below.

“So where do we go from here? Folks, the thing is this: I have no answers, no real answers—and more fundamentally neither does the system I have served for 50 years. Given the relentless pace and scope of the environmental crisis, given the fact that it would take a whole different economic and political system, with different social relations and institutions to root out the cancerous white supremacy, the patriarchy, the callous chauvinism and hatred against those outside our borders, I can only say that there must be huge and fundamental change... change that will require great sacrifice up against the powerful forces who, I will tell you, are determined to keep their grip on things and will use the tremendous machinery of violence we have built up to do so... as I was until just a few months ago.

“Because of all that, today I announce...”

* * *

But that really didn’t happen, did it?

So what are WE gonna do?

 

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

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/687/india-hindu-fascist-regime-caught-in-frame-up-of-progressive-activists-en.html

From a Reader:

India’s Hindu-Fascist Regime Caught Red-Handed in Frame‑up of Progressive Activists—After Two Years of Brutal Imprisonment

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ note: India—the world’s second most populous country—has been in the tightening grip of a Hindu-fascist government since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aims to impose the open domination of the Hindu majority over hundreds of millions of Indians of other religions, and to impose the most oppressive features of fundamentalist Hinduism on everybody. As part of that, Modi aims to gain unchecked political power and repress all resistance. The following is a contribution from a reader on this situation. (See previous revcom.us coverage for background: "What Happens When a Fascist Leader Is Re-Elected? A Flashing Red Warning Sign from India"; "Kashmir Dying"; and "Admit That the Waters Around You Have Grown".)

India has had a longstanding Maoist movement waging armed struggle, now mainly led by the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI[M]), referred to below. The repression of the Indian state against this movement and its supporters, especially by the Hindu-fascist government of Modi, has been vicious and has to be fiercely opposed. At the same time, there are crucial differences—in methods and goals—between Bob Avakian’s new communism and the CPI(M)’s adaptation and rendition of Maoism, and for more on this, readers can go to “Ajith—A Portrait of the Residue of the Past,” in issue #4 of Demarcations, a journal of communist theory and polemic.

A major focus of the tightening grip of fascism in India under the rule of Narendra Modi and the BJP has been the prosecution of 16 progressives who the government claims are members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI[M]). The exact charges keep shifting, and have included trying to collect weapons and plotting to assassinate Modi himself. On this pretext, most of these activists have been denied bail and imprisoned for years under brutal conditions. It has now been exposed that the key “evidence” in this case was fabricated by the Indian authorities.

The imprisoned activists include Stan Swamy, 83, a Jesuit priest suffering from Parkinson’s disease; Varavara Rao, 80, a poet whose health deteriorated to the point that he became incoherent last summer (later he contracted COVID-19 and is now hospitalized); Sudha Bharadwa, 56, a lawyer who gave up her U.S. citizenship to work with oppressed tribal groups in India, and who suffers from diabetes and hypertension. Others are professors, writers, human rights activists and others not inclined to bow to a fascist regime.

Initially the arrests were tied to an “Elgar Parishad” (Congress for Speaking Aloud)—a conference on December 31, 2017 with speeches and cultural performances—organized by progressive forces to mark the 200th anniversary of a historic military victory won by Dalit1 soldiers at a village called Bhima Koregaon in the Maharashtra region in western India. That event brought together mainly Dalit people to celebrate the historic event and to stand against the oppression they face today. The next day, reactionary Hindu nationalists instigated violence during street celebrations by marching into the crowds waving the saffron (orange-yellow) flag of their movement. A 16-year-old boy was killed by police, and two local leaders of the ruling Hindu-fascist BJP were initially charged as instigators.

Targeting Progressives and Widening the Net

But local police soon turned their attention to those accused of organizing the Elgar Parishad, arresting five. This then mushroomed into a broad witch hunt against leftist intellectuals. By December 2019, almost two dozen artists and activists had been arrested (these new indictments included some, but not all, of the original defendants). First they were accused of having “enacted provocative songs, short plays, dance, and distributed books” so as to “create violence, instability and chaos.” In other words, the government claimed that by promoting the dignity and humanity of Dalits, they “provoked” Hindu nationalists to act violently!

Then police charged that the event was organized by a Maoist “front organization.” This was after two respected retired judges publicly stated that they alone had organized the event “with the simple motive of spreading the message of fighting communal forces.” (“Communal forces” is more or less the Indian equivalent of “hate groups.”) The case was taken over by the national police (the National Investigative Agency), which came up with a 17,000-page document that painted these activists as an urban arm of Maoist revolutionaries. By October 2020, the Bhima Koregaon case was being used to justify charges—and military operations—against a prominent Maoist leader.

These charges were widely seen as flimsy and outrageous, but police claimed they had “evidence”—10 letters to or from CPI(M) allegedly found on the laptop of Rona Wilson, one of the defendants. Police claimed that in one letter, “Wilson had written to a Maoist militant” and “discussed the need for guns and ammunition and urged the banned group to assassinate Modi.”

Police Hacked Computers to Plant Evidence

Now it has been exposed that police planted these letters. Human rights groups hired Arsenal Consulting, a high-profile Massachusetts digital forensics firm, to examine Wilson’s laptop. Arsenal reported that “An attacker used malware to infiltrate a laptop ... before [Wilson’s] arrest,” and created a “hidden folder to which at least 10 incriminating letters were delivered.” The malware also recorded Wilson’s keystrokes, passwords, and browsing activity.

Arsenal’s report stated that “This is one of the most serious cases involving evidence tampering that Arsenal has ever encountered.” And while the malware used against Wilson is commercially available, Arsenal also found that nine supporters of the defendants were hacked with “a [malware] tool sold only to governments.”

The Washington Post asked three independent experts in digital forensics to review Arsenal’s report, and they affirmed that the report’s “conclusions were valid.”

The Bhima Koregaon Defendants Must Be Freed!

Even before this outrageous frame-up was exposed, the arrests had been criticized or condemned by groups from the American Bar Association to the UN Human Rights office to Amnesty International India. But the Indian government is so far refusing to back down, claiming that it still has “substantial documentary and oral evidence.” (This “oral evidence” includes the testimony of an informant that at meetings of progressive attorneys, Wilson and another defendant would “insist on defending political prisoners”!)

This exposure comes in a time of mounting crisis for the Modi regime, with major farmers’ protests and growing discontent with the handling of the COVID pandemic, the economy, and other issues. The Bhima Koregaon case has been a spearhead of fascist consolidation under the Modi regime. Now widening cracks in this frame-up could serve as an opening to win freedom for these defendants as part of going up against fascism in India—and other countries. In India and all over the world, the people face an urgent need to fight through to a whole new world.

 


1. Under the ancient Hindu caste system, every Hindu is born into a specific caste that determines how they are viewed and treated for their whole life. Higher castes are privileged, lower castes are not, and at the bottom are 200 million “Dalits” (formerly referred to as “untouchables” because they were considered physically and spiritually “contaminated”) who have the worst and dirtiest jobs and face severe discrimination in all aspects of life.  [back]


Map of India


A major focus of the tightening grip of fascism in India under the rule of Narendra Modi and the BJP has been the persecution of 16 progressives who the government claims are members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Protesters demand release of all political prisoners in New Delhi, September 5, 2018. (Photo: AP)

See also:

Free All Political Prisoners in Iran NOW

Read more


Major and persistent opposition to three laws that hurt farmers, like this protest blocking a road to New Delhi, February 6, has come at a time of mounting crisis for Modi. (Photo: AP)

 

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/687/statements-from-kave-milani-mariam-claren-en.html

Statement from Kave Milani, representative of "Burn the Cage, Free the Bird" campaign in Europe, and

Statement from Mariam Claren, daughter of political prisoner Nahid Taghavi

| revcom.us

 

Statement from Kave Milani, representative of "Burn the Cage, Free the Bird" campaign in Europe

The documentary shows the fascist nature of the juridical system in Iran. This regime’s repression is not something new. Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) 42 years ago, there have been constant and continuous campaigns of terror and suppression waged to crush and subdue years of opposition and rebellions of the people, by utilizing all means of repression, prison, torture, execution and mass executions.

But the recent mass uprisings of December 2017 and particularly, November 2019 have been extremely important developments. These rebellions oxygenated all of Iranian society and were taken by the fascist theocratic rulers as a potential threat to their whole system. The regime was and is dead serious about not allowing such an actual threat to their rule to go unpunished. They want to make sure that these upsurges do not get infused with the outlook and program of the most radical revolutionary societal change.

This repression has intensified since October 2020—to prevent the commemoration of the anniversary of the November 2019 rebellion. This violent repression is still going on, new people arrested every day.

The new campaign of suppression by the IRI is two pronged. On the one hand search and arrest of political activists with the aim of “identifying” and breaking up, presumed or actual organized revolutionary forces. To this end, they are making sweeping arrests of all sections of society known for their oppositional views and activities against this regime. And on the other hand there have also been mass arrests of all strata of people who have taken part in many ways protesting atrocities of this regime, which IRI often accuses these political dissidents of “threat against the national security” or another outrageous charge of, “spies of the imperialists” or “conspiracy against national security.

This is a fascist ruling class that has wielded a lethal mix of theocracy, anti-imperialist demagoguery, legal and practical discrimination against oppressed nationalities and women, securitization of society under the guise of safe guarding “Islamic Revolution” from “foreign” harm.

These are some specific examples:

The IRI regime sees a convergence between repeated mass rebellions and the possible development of a revolutionary organized movement as a death blow to its existence, amongst other unresolved contradictions.

And on the other hand, people have no other choice but to stop the machinery of cruel persecution of the masses. In this context it is crucial to take up the Call for “Burn the Cage, Free the Birds” to Free All Political Prisoners in Iran NOW! It is imperative for revolutionaries and all social movements in Iran to defeat this and future waves of state repression.

This is a crucial necessity for all just social movements, to stop these repressions, pure and simple. So literally is the question of being crushed or carry our struggles to the future—no matter how different each of us sees what that future is. So this is the situation in Iran which has made such a Call by “Burn the Cage, Free the Bird” so timely and urgent necessity.

It is true that today this regime is facing threats from the U.S. and other Western imperialist powers, which the regime tries to offset by clinging onto Chinese and Russian imperialists. But in this contention, both sides have punished the masses of people to make them choose one side over the other when in fact none of these two rotten sides have one iota of interest of the people in mind.

Thus; the “securitization” of any political opposition also flows from the theocratic nature of this regime. Since it considers itself a representative of God on Earth, this regime considers any opposition to its “Islamic Revolution” and its holy Leader as a “war against God,” which according to Sharia law is punishable by death. All of these are written into its fascist laws. It is a regime that imposes anti-scientific superstition and religious ignorance on the people, but buys the most technologically advanced tools of espionage and repression from China, Russia, Germany, France, and other traders of torture and repression, instruments and military hardware and technology, while BUYING VAXIN from the West is forbidden!

The regime has to respond violently to struggles of the masses and the revolutionaries because it wants to survive. That is safeguarding “national security.” Through widespread repression and killing of the masses and political activists AND THIS SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED. And under no circumstances should we let the atmosphere of fear and despair settle in.

It is crucial to confront the attacks of the ruling powers who want to destroy the movement for revolution and its leadership. The cruel and illegitimate nature of the IRI’s class rule and theocracy must be exposed, their repression reversed, and their police state defeated!

Make no mistake, our struggles have stacked up against “their” repression. They want to crush us. But we must send a clear and resolute message: we will not swallow your crimes in silence and on our knees!

To be sure, the ranks of this regime are riddled with conflict. But they are united like a fist against us when they want to crush us. We undoubtedly have differences amongst us in various ways. But it is necessary to strive to unite in the face of their repression.

We may have differences over various issues. We may have contradictions over how we think and approach events and affairs. But nothing is more clear than the obvious truth that we must all defend every and all resistance movements against their repression. Any kind of refusal to call out the crimes of this regime cannot be justified. It is cowardly not to come to terms with a regime that is executing people at a lightning pace based on false confessions and torture. Silence in the face of this will have terrible consequences for every decent body and for all just struggles. We have to fight against any form of oppression and unite to support all resisters and activists in their struggle.

See also:

Free All Political Prisoners in Iran NOW

Read more

Statement from Mariam Claren, daughter of political prisoner Nahid Taghavi

First of all, I want to thank Marcia Ross and Jeff Kaufman for shining a bright light on the heroism of Nasrin Sotoudeh and through her story let the world know what is happening in Iran. Like Nasrin, my mom, Nahid Taghavi, is a political prisoner in the Islamic Republic of Iran who fought for the rights of other human beings. By their works, people like Nasrin and my mom set an example to care about other people, about the world we live in, and to struggle for the world to be a better place.

My mother is 66 years old with high blood pressure and other serious medical needs. She had moved us from Iran to Germany in 1983. Since 15 years, she’s commuting between Germany and Iran. On October 16, 2020, my mom was taken away by the security guards from her home in Tehran. The security guards used ambulances to cover their act of kidnapping my mother. Since then she’s being held in Evin Prison Isolation Section 2A under the control of the Revolutionary Guard, and the reasons for her arrest have not been disclosed. She has no access to a lawyer and no consular support despite her German citizenship.

For several weeks we don’t even have a sign of life—she was not allowed to call. At the 100th day of her detention her brothers were allowed to see her, separated by a pane and in the presence of the Revolutionary Guard. They talked to her for about 30 minutes. Then my mom was blindfolded and taken away by a guard.

The prosecutor’s office is refusing her choice of lawyer. They told my uncles that only certain numbers of lawyers trusted by the government can see the files. They also said my mother’s case would not be brought to court until she confirms her charges. This is ridiculous and shows a court case has no real value in Iran. The prisoner is placed in solitary confinement for months, broken through brutal interrogation methods and forced to make false confessions. Unfair trials and arbitrary prison sentences are the results.


Mariam Claren stands in front of a bank of life-size posters of her mother, Nahid Taghavi, a women's rights activist held in solitary confinement since mid-October by Iran's oppressive Islamic fundamentalist regime.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/682/free-all-political-prisoners-in-iran-now-en.html

Free All Political Prisoners in Iran NOW

Updated | revcom.us

 

Since October 2020, a new wave of widespread crackdowns against political and social activists has been carried out by the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). The repression has grown broader and more horrific. Among those arrested and jailed are activists in the environmental, women’s, teachers’, students’ and labor movements. They are journalists, artists, lawyers, authors, and poets. They are members of national minorities such as Kurds, Baluchis, Arabs, and the Baháʼí religious community. They are liberals, radicals, and revolutionaries from different generations of political dissidents against the reactionary rule of the IRI.

Most of these prisoners are being held without any charges or trial. Many have no known charges, no access to lawyers and/or family members, or have not been identified—all these are violations of the basic legal and human rights of the accused. The alarming escalation of executions of political prisoners (e.g. blogger/journalist Rouhollah Zam on December 12) heightens the urgency of our campaign to free them NOW.

Beside long imprisonment, they face torture, sexual violence, flogging, mock and actual executions, and now torment and death by COVID-19 infection. Some of these political prisoners are in prolonged solitary confinement in Evin prison, a notorious torture and death chamber. Several have dual citizenship with Germany, Sweden, Britain, and France.

These recent raids coincided closely with the one-year anniversary of the November 2019 uprising that rocked Iran. The IRI fears the resistance forces inside Iran who were planning to hold commemorations of this rebellion. Set off by massive inflation, high unemployment, and a harsh economic slowdown brought on by cruel U.S. sanctions, mass protests engulfed 100-200 large and small cities across Iran in 2019. The Islamic regime responded not only with mass arrests but with water cannons, tear gas, live ammunition fired from rooftops, helicopters, and police forces on the ground—shooting some protesters at close range or as they were running away. Estimates are of hundreds killed (some were children), thousands wounded and arrested with reports of hospitals overflowing with the wounded. The IRI blacked out the internet to hide the true scale and scope of their murderous rampage on the uprising and its aftermath.

If the modern history of Iran has shown us anything, it is the irrepressible heroic spirit of generations of Iranian people against oppressive regimes. A people who resisted the CIA coup in 1953;who overthrew the U.S. puppet Shah Pahlavi’s blood-soaked rule by the revolution of 1979; who for the past 40+ years, rose up repeatedly against a theocracy that had taken power with the help of the Western powers, led by the U.S. The resistance continued even as the IRI massacred tens of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, and as generations of women have been imprisoned and tortured for refusing the forced hijab/veil and medieval Sharia law.

U.S. imperialists have NO right to speak when it comes to the suffering of the Iranian people. There have been many recent U.S. aggressions such as the new Biden administration refusing to lift sanctions; the U.S. (Trump) ordered murder of top IRI henchman General Soleimani in January 2020; and the suspicious murder of the top Iranian nuclear scientist in November 2020. Years of vicious U.S. sanctions battered the body and spirit of the 80+ million people in Iran—depriving them of food, medicine, books, fuel, and other daily necessities, but providing a club to the IRI to beat down any dissent as “support for U.S. imperialism.” These actions by the U.S. may also give more impetus to the IRI to further escalate repression against political prisoners in particular.

The U.S. and IRI regimes have their national interests but we and the people of these countries have OUR shared interests. It is in the interest of the people all over the world to unite and defend the political prisoners of Iran whose lives and dignity are in imminent mortal danger.

People in the U.S. have a special responsibility and opportunity to unite across all social and political movements or divides against this vile repression by the IRI, and to actively oppose any war moves by the U.S. government that would bring even more horrific suffering to the people of Iran.

We support protests in defense of the political prisoners inside and outside Iran, as well as protests against U.S. sanctions and war threats/moves against Iran.We are joining the urgent cries for justice and freedom by Iran’s political prisoners and their colleagues, family members, and supporters. We have begun a united worldwide movement in the fight to free them NOW, in our determination to prevent fresh atrocities and deaths.

FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS IN IRAN!

This statement was initiated by Carol Downer and Dolly Veale (November 2020, updated January 2021)

Sign the Statement / Join the Campaign

 Mehran Raouf
Mehran Raouf, a labor activist, was arrested on October 16, 2020. In a span of weeks the Islamic Republic of Iran aggressively attacked and arrested many people, imprisoning unknown numbers of social and political activists. Moreover, a large number of anonymous citizens have been arrested and detained.

Download a template letter which can be used to accompany this statement, to be sent out broadly to colleagues, contacts, friends...

See also:

Dire Situation for Iran's Political Prisoners and the Urgent Need for Worldwide Protest

Read more

NO to U.S. War on Iran! Free All Political Prisoners In Iran!
A Resource Page

Read more

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/687/on-the-polish-governments-attacks-on-abortion-rights-en.html

On the Polish Government's Attacks on Abortion Rights, the Rising Tide of Global Fascism, and the Need for a Radically Different Alternative

by a member of the National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

On January 27, 2021, the fascist regime in Poland announced that it would begin enforcing a ruling, first announced in October, which bans the vast majority of abortions in the country, including making illegal the most common form of legal abortion, those due to fetal defects. This means that now, all forms of abortion are outlawed, with the only exceptions being in the event of rape, incest, or where the life or health of the mother is threatened. This has everything to do with slamming women back into more “traditional forms” of oppression and subservience, in response to and in revenge for the increased participation of women in the economy and social life, and as part of a larger theocratic-fascist agenda and global movement that is on the march, and advancing.

The initial announcement of this ruling last year sparked a wave of righteous protests, with hundreds of thousands of women, and many men as well, taking to the streets in largely nonviolent, but sustained and dramatic action. As a prior letter from a reader described scenes from October, protesters

carried signs like “People before embryos” and “I wish I could abort my government.” They poured out of workplaces in a nationwide work stoppage. Groups of women marched wearing the red robes of the Handmaid’s Tale symbolizing the future of women’s subjugation that this decision represents. Protesters defiantly challenged the oppressive weight of the Catholic church on their lives, disrupting Mass in Catholic churches and staging sit-ins at cathedrals with women holding coat hangers as the symbol of dangerous illegal abortions, which is the fate that many now face.

While outrage at the abortion restrictions was the main factor driving the protests, they also served as expressions of anger and disgust with the overall far-right, fascist program being rammed down the throats of the people in Poland. Young people and students have been a critical part of the protests, and express high levels of opposition to the ruling fascist “Law and Justice” Party.

The “Law and Justice” Party (PiS), currently led by Jarosław Kaczyński, was founded in 2001, and rose to power in 2015 with a program of religious fundamentalism and its corresponding “traditional values,” including virulent patriarchy and homophobia, with a heavy dose of xenophobia (hatred of foreigners) directed against migrants and refugees. Since then

the Law and Justice Party has moved systematically to take control of the courts, forcing out justices from the Supreme Court to remake it into a rubber stamp for the ruling party and taking full control of the Constitutional Tribunal—the court which has now passed the anti-abortion decree. Through seizing control of the courts, in the face of mass protest, they have been bludgeoning through attacks on the basic rights of the people.

The moves in Poland by PiS to reduce women to breeders legally and socially subordinate to men and the church is part of a wider, global movement for fascism, which has its momentum bound up with changes in the world situation going back several decades, including mass upheaval and dislocation of millions of people in different parts of the world due to globalization, and the intense, xenophobic backlash across Europe. Bob Avakian (BA) recently spoke to this world situation and its implications in his New Year’s Statement, A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity:

This dramatically changed and often highly volatile situation has also been a major factor in the rise of religious fundamentalism, in the Third World and notably in the U.S., where Christian fundamentalism is a powerful negative social and political force. Interconnected and interacting with these economic and related social changes in a way that has contributed to the increased influence of religious fundamentalism, particularly in the Third World, has been the defeat, or abandonment, of movements in the Third World led by communists or revolutionary nationalists against old-line colonialists and neo-colonial oppressors, above all the U.S., in the period after World War 2—with the greatest setback being the reversal of socialism and the restoration of capitalism in China in the 1970s, which transformed China from a powerful socialist country and a beacon and bastion of support for revolutionary struggle throughout the world, into a rising imperialist power and itself an exploiter of masses of people in Africa and other parts of the Third World.

In particular, he has said about the oppression of women:

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.

And he goes on to say:

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.1

From the women of Poland fighting for the right to control their own bodies, and their very lives, in the streets, to the desperate throngs of migrants and refugees surging across the borders of Central America, through Mexico, and up towards the border with the U.S., to the hundreds of thousands now buried in mass graves the world over, the victims of a pandemic made so unnecessarily worse by the workings of a system which cannot provide adequate healthcare and vaccines to the world’s population—the present situation feels untenable, because it is.

In all parts of the world, the need for a radically different world—for an alternative grounded in science, for the emancipation of all humanity, cries out. Such an alternative exists, in the new communism forged by Bob Avakian, which provides the basis and the guide for a whole new wave of struggle to bring down the system of capitalism-imperialism that serves as a stranglehold on humanity’s potential. The new communism also involves a more scientific understanding of the material basis for the oppression of women, how this arose with the first class divisions among human beings, and how this oppression has been intertwined with every distinct set of exploitative production relations since then. What is needed is a revolution to establish a different set of production relations, genuinely socialist, and go to work on getting beyond all oppressive social relations. Avakian has also brought alive how even in a future socialist society, the unevenness and contradiction in the conditions and role of women, as we transform society, can and must be a crucial part of what drives forward the communist revolution, and ensures that it is an all-the-way revolution.

But in all parts of the world, these breakthroughs and their author, BA, a radically different leader than anyone else on the planet today, who himself concentrates the core principles and scientific method at the heart of this new communism, is too little known. This is a situation that must be transformed, and quickly.

The billions of people in the world today for whom life is a daily hell—the exploited and oppressed of humanity have a leader—someone who has dedicated his whole life to their emancipation—to solving the problems that stand in the way of that road. Isn’t it criminal that not more have come to know him? Isn’t it incumbent on all of us to help bridge this gap—to help bring BA to the masses, and bring forward wave upon wave of followers of BA as a conscious force for a new communist revolution to put an end to all oppression and exploitation, everywhere?

 

1. See RADICAL CHANGE IS COMING: WILL IT BE EMANCIPATING, OR ENSLAVING—REVOLUTIONARY, OR REACTIONARY? [back]




The fascist regime in Poland's announcement that it would begin enforcing a ruling which bans the vast majority of abortions in the country was met with righteous protest, January 27-29. (Photos: AP)

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         

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/687/a-reflection-on-episode-39-of-the-rnl-show-en.html

“Creative, ‘Connecting,’ Timely and Compelling”
A reflection on Episode 39 of The RNL Show

Letter from a member of the National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

As always, The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show was great, but I thought this episode (#39) was a particularly creative, “connecting,” timely, and compelling show, and I wanted to share some of the reasons why I thought this was so. It is well worth watching more than once!

1. Starting with Andy Zee’s comments and commentary—one of the formulations that “stuck with” me—“this is a big deal.” I think the first time he said it was that there is a way out of all of this thru revolution “and that is a big deal.” Then again he said it in relationship to having a roadmap out (i.e., a strategy to make revolution) developed by Bob Avakian (BA) and “this is a big deal.” Then a 3rd time again in relationship to having a way out of all the horrors perpetrated daily by the system of capitalism-imperialism and “this is a big deal.” This all served to really take you back to the fact that it is “a really big deal” and we can’t take all of this for granted. He also managed to put the full content of the 4 Alls1—which can seem very abstract and distant—in very popular language. His bit on “greedy corporations” being the problem was very funny and very pointed! And when he described the “cesspool,” all of the bullshit on the internet would leave humanity in, he brought in the harm of revenge and recriminations which I thought again was very pointed and relevant, implicitly contrasting that to what kind of world we actually would want to live in.

2. Then BA’s clip from Revolution—Nothing Less! talk on the basic youth and prisoners. In addition to really appreciating how BA’s heart and commitment really come through in this excerpt, there’s a lot to reflect on in terms of BA’s method. I thought a lot about this on a long walk this morning. When BA identifies obstacles, he doesn’t see them as reasons something can’t be done but rather as problems to solve, contradictions we can work on to transform them. This point of method is echoed in Bob Avakian for the Liberation of Black People and the Emancipation of All Humanity: “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.” Also in his New Year’s statement: “All this strongly points, once again, to the need not simply to ‘face reality’ but to consistently apply the principle that science matters and truth matters....” He is really struggling for people to work, with him, on actually solving these problems, not just recognizing them—although that is important as well. In this clip he goes at the question of the youth, how objectively they have no future in this society. The truth of this is not dependent on whether they are thinking about revolution right now or not. Objectively, they have no future under this system, but in the revolution they do. And BA teases apart the contradictions among the people, in this case the Black and Brown youth, on the street and in prison. He enables you to see the potential there, including in their thinking, and what actions they have taken and how those repeated impulses toward unity are smashed again and again by the authorities of the system. Being able to see that enables us to go to work on bringing this strategically critical base of people forward to become followers of BA.

3. The whole section on “Bob Avakian for the Liberation of Black People and the Emancipation of All Humanity” was on a whole other level and a “socialist new thing,” as we used to say. The intro Andy Zee gave, bringing in the quote from BAsics 3:19,2 the inspiration the struggle of Black people in this country has been for the people around the world (last year’s uprising against police murder of Black people as well as the liberation struggles of the 1960s), and the important scholarship that has been done, but that none of this fundamentally answers where this all comes from and how to end it, and BA has done the work on both counts. “And that’s a really big deal.” The video was beautiful, moving, compelling, truly amazing! It taught history, internationalism, determination to dedicate one’s life to ending the suffering of the oppressed people of the world, and objectively a call for others who are moved by this to do the same, all concentrated in this leader, Bob Avakian, who you really get a sense of as a person and a revolutionary leader. This article, and this video, are real positive factors we need to figure out how to get out far and wide.

4. Joe Veale’s interview. I think I have heard most of it before, but particularly in combination with the “Bob Avakian for the Liberation of Black People and the Emancipation of All Humanity,” this was so powerful, really ripping away any petty identity politics, really seeing BA as the leader he was even in the mid-’60s working with the Black Panther Party, the impact of his work starting with the Red Papers3 on those who were seriously looking for how to end this, not build up their career as an “activist” or something like that. Interesting that Joe echoed something very similar to what Michelle4 said, that Joe had gone through the experience of being in the Black Panther Party and BA understood it better than he did! And how passionate BA was about Free Huey! and communism.

5. The RefuseFascism.org forum was really good—the emphasis on public opinion, the mass trials, the different perspectives, the different solutions proffered, and the fact that this all can be brought together in a forum like this, that there is enough unity to strengthen the movement to drive out the fascist regime, even though there are big differences, which can and will be aired. I noticed a number of lively and really thoughtful comments in the chat when it was airing live, so I think others appreciated it quite a bit as well.

 


1. The 4 Alls—a formulation by the Chinese communists based on a conception by Marx which says: “the dictatorship of the proletariat is the transition to the abolition of all class distinctions, of all the production relations on which those class distinctions rest, of all the social relations that correspond to those production relations, and the revolutionization of all the ideas that correspond to those social relations.” Quoted from the section “The 4 Alls” in The New Communism by Bob Avakian. He goes on to break them down, and I would recommend people take a look at this section to understand this fundamental principle more deeply. [back]

2. “There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn’t fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression [of Black people]. There’s never gonna be a revolution in this country, and there never should be, that doesn’t make that one key foundation of what it’s all about.”
BAsics 3:19 [back]

3. The Red Papers was the theoretical journal of the Revolutionary Union, precursor of the Revolutionary Communist Party. [back]

4. Michelle is a member of the Revolution Club who spoke in this episode of The RNL Show. [back]


Read more

Watch video

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

"You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics."

Order the book HERE
Download the book in ePub format HERE

 

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/685/left-wing-spin-doctors-vs-communist-truth-tellers-en.html

"Left"-Wing Spin Doctors vs. Communist Truth Tellers

From a member of the National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

There was an article in the New York Times on Monday, January 25, “How Liberals Rehearsed for Trump’s Power Grab.” While reading the article I was struck again and again by the stark differences between how “the left” (as it refers to in this article), and how Bob Avakian (BA) in his statement “A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity” approach the current situation we face, the role of truth, and the capacity of people to face reality. I thought it was worth doing some compare and contrast of the two approaches because we are in times of very high stakes and these questions of approach and method matter a great deal in how we can act to change the world. The quotes from BA are from this New Year’s Statement.

The article reports that hours after the attempted coup in Washington, DC, on January 6, more than 900 people, “a coalition of union officials, civil rights lawyers and campaign strategists” joined a video call. The article states, “The meeting was no lucky feat of emergency organizing, nor was the highly disciplined and united front that emerged from it.” According to the New York Times, the video call included a presentation by a “liberal messaging guru” (What the hell is that?) urging “against calling the attack a ‘coup,’ warning that the word could make Mr. Trump sound far stronger than he was.”

Remember that just hours before, inspired and mobilized by the President of the U.S., a fascist mob of hundreds, many of whom were armed with poles, mace, and zip ties, ready for action, had smashed their way into the U.S. Capitol, calling out “hang Mike Pence” and “Where’s Nancy?” And what was the extent of the response from this coalition of “progressive” organizations and people—connected to or carrying forward the strategy of the Democratic Party—to these historic and earthshaking events? Don’t use the word “coup” because of the effect it would have in making “Trump sound far stronger than he was.”

Whether it was a coup attempt or not, wasn’t the criteria. The criteria was “what will people think.” This coalition connected to the Democratic Party are among the very people who are outraged, and righteously so, at the fascist forces, at all levels, who promote anti-scientific, baseless claims about COVID or the “stolen” election “because a lot of people believe it,” but they proceed to say whatever will have the effect they want rather than tell the actual truth.

This same coalition also called off a major public mobilization initially called for the day after the election to oppose Trump/support Biden. Why? They were afraid such a mobilization might “‘inadvertently turn the tide of media momentum’ by depicting a defeated president as a fearsome adversary.” The assumption by this coalition is that somehow through repeating their “narrative,” they would be able to determine whether Trump was actually a “fearsome adversary.” This fascist, white supremacist, misogynist, xenophobe is commanding the fealty of tens of millions of people in this country, not to mention the mob of thousands in DC on January 6, with enablers and supporters up and down the ranks of the Republican Party, but these organizers had the notion that they could determine his strength by choosing the right words to reflect the “narrative” they wished were true and by calling people out of the streets.

How is this approach different from the “alternate facts” of the fascists, regardless of their intent? Compare this to what Bob Avakian says about what we face in his Statement: “The unavoidable truth is that this country, the much-proclaimed ‘Shining City on a Hill,’ is full of fascists!—in the government at all levels and in large parts of the society as a whole.” Again, BA is putting the reality of the situation before people to confront and by understanding it, be part of changing it.

Even at the spontaneous celebrations when Biden was declared the winner of the election, people were “urged to take a tone of celebration and triumph,” with no hint that this fascist movement, reflected in the fact that 74 million people voted for Trump, might continue to be a problem. It was a righteous victory which was rightly celebrated, but the organizers’ goal was to make sure these celebrations made “Mr. Trump’s actions look impotent.” But people need to know the truth, and BA tells people the truth, not telling people what makes them comfortable: “The reality has to be confronted, that as expressed through the election, nearly half this country has passionately, aggressively and belligerently embraced what is represented by ‘Trumpism.’”

This “progressive” coalition connected to the Democratic Party had come together before the election with an aim to identify ways that Trump could seek to “win” or steal the election beyond the ballot box and map out a strategy through legal channels and procedures to prevent that. In addition to nixing any street protests as being “provocative” to the fascists, they also deemed that even the reformist demands of “Defund the Police” and “Abolish ICE” were unacceptable and needed to be “supplanted by a more studied vocabulary, developed through nightly opinion research and message testing.” Don’t talk about what the millions in the streets were outraged by in the beautiful uprising last summer. Forget about digging into what the source of the unending murder of Black and Brown people by the police is. Never mind why immigrants are put into cages under this system (under both the Republicans and Democrats as we know all too well). They make no political critique, there is no struggling with people about whether their demands would actually bring about the justice they so urgently want, no “democratic process” here. Just make sure the messaging doesn’t upset anyone, based on good marketing methods and focus groups.

Compare this to what BA calls out in the Statement: “This fascism is deeply rooted, in the underlying dynamics of the capitalist-imperialist system that rules in this country and in the whole history of this country, from its founding in slavery and genocide.” People need to face that fascism was spawned from the very nature of the system in this country, not something that Trump is solely responsible for and that will be gone as he leaves office.

People broadly do have a deep sense that this fight against fascism isn’t over even if Biden won the election. The fascist politicians continue to follow Trump as the impeachment trial begins to take shape, and Trump himself continues to threaten, bully, and organize any who waver. The thugs are still in the streets, all the stronger because people did not broadly take up the call by Refuse Fascism to build a mass, nonviolent, sustained movement to demand that the fascist Trump/Pence regime must go! But these “progressive” organizers are working very hard to keep any discussion, any demands, any dreams within the confines of “what is.”

This is not just a matter of individuals being kept in a political and ideological straitjacket. It has much further ramifications. BA states: “And to the degree that things are maintained within the limits of this system, this will actually have the effect of furthering the horrors for humanity that are built into this system, while also reinforcing and giving further impetus to the underlying economic—and the social and political—forces that will strengthen the fascism that has already shown great strength in this country (and a number of others).”

Revolutionary communists often hear from people in the movements that the Times article is talking about, that we have a “hidden agenda.” But who is creating a “narrative” that suits their needs rather than telling people the truth? Who is downplaying the actual strength of the fascists because it helps make the people they seek to keep passive feel better? Who are the people making decisions to cancel the outpourings of people in the face of the fascist threat of stealing the election?

Let’s look at what is actually true and what is illustrated even in just this article compared to what BA is putting before people in this New Year’s Statement. BA, and the revolutionary communists who follow him, are constantly calling on people to be critical thinkers, gather evidence for your conclusions, fight to be consistently scientific in your method and approach to understanding problems and solutions, and put the big questions of the revolution before people so that collectively we can work on solving them.

BA, and the revolutionary communists who follow him, insist on telling people the truth even if it is not what people want to hear, struggling with them to act on their convictions and principles and dig more deeply into the analysis of BA while they are doing that. All of this so that by understanding what problems we are up against we can all act in ways that are consistent with the radically better world we want to bring into being.

As BA says here: “A profoundly different polarization must be brought about, in line with the potential for a radically different and better world, representing the actual interests of the masses of people and ultimately all of humanity. A radically different approach to understanding, and acting on, the relations and problems of society must be taken up—a thoroughly and consistently scientific method and approach.”

Be part of fighting for that different polarization he is talking about. Get into this Statement, spread it, talk with others about it, and continue to dig more deeply into the works of BA and find out more about the leader we have in BA, find out why BA is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

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

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/avakian/science/05ba-science...revolution-the-basic-contradictions-and-dynamics-of-capitalism-en.html

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Download PDF of entire work

Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, The New Communism. In addition to excerpts already posted on revcom.us, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both revcom.us and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. A prepublication copy is available on line at revcom.us.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science."

Excerpt from the section:
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism

This gets us to the basic point of why anarchy is the principal form of motion, and the driving force, of capitalism and its fundamental contradiction. Now what do we mean by anarchy? There are a lot of different ways that anarchy or anarchism is expressed—some people proclaim themselves anarchists, and we’ll talk about them. But anarchy, basically, means something—a thing or a process—which is not consciously regulated. It might be regulated in some way, but it’s not consciously regulated in the society overall. So let’s talk about anarchy and how it fits into this capitalist system—why anarchy of production is the main driving force of capitalism, and why this driving force of anarchy forces the capitalists to constantly intensify the exploitation of the people who are working as their wage slaves—the proletarians, the people without means of production who have to sell their labor power—and why the capitalists are constantly going from one part of the world to another to find people they can exploit even more ruthlessly. What needs to be understood—and right now is very little understood—is that it’s not just that they’re greedy, but that there are driving compulsions that the capitalists themselves are under, which force them to constantly do these things, including to more intensely and viciously exploit the people who are working under their command.

Now, in the polemic by Raymond Lotta in Demarcations #3, “On the ‘Driving Force of Anarchy’ and the Dynamics of Change,” an important statement of mine is cited, which gets to the heart of this, so I’m going to get into some of this and break it down a bit. It begins:

It is the anarchy of capitalist production which is, in fact, the driving or motive force of this process [of capitalist production], even though the contradiction between the bourgeoisie and proletariat is an integral part of the contradiction between socialized production and private appropriation.

That’s the first sentence of this statement, and let’s stop there for a minute, because there’s a lot packed into that. What does it mean, “the contradiction between socialized production and private appropriation”? Well, we talked about what socialized production is: a lot of people working on a production process, not a bunch of individuals each producing things with their own means of production—their own little plot of land, or their own tools, or whatever. So that’s the socialization of production.

But while production under capitalism is carried out in this kind of socialized way, the people who control it and appropriate the products of it, and make the profit from it, are individuals, or corporations, groupings of capitalists. So, thousands and ultimately millions of people work in this process socially, but a small number of people in different aggregates, different groupings of corporations and other forms of capitalism, takes the products as their private property and sells them, accumulating for themselves the profit that comes from doing that. The people who do the work in a socialized way don’t get the product that they work on. That goes to a capitalist (or group of capitalists) that pays them a wage; and then, as previously discussed, they have to go out and buy other things, other commodities. So you don’t work in an auto plant and, at the end of the day, you can say, “Well I’ve worked here three weeks, I think I’ve produced the value of a car, so I’m gonna drive it home.” How many years in prison would you get for that? So, it’s private appropriation on the basis of socialized production. That’s the fundamental contradiction at the heart of capitalism. But what I quoted, just a minute ago, says that it’s the anarchy of capitalist production which is the driving force of this process. And then that statement goes on to elaborate: “While the exploitation of labor-power is the form by and through which surplus value is created and appropriated, it is the anarchic relations between capitalist producers, and not the mere existence of propertyless proletarians or the class contradiction as such, that drives these producers to exploit the working class on an historically more intensive and extensive scale.” And: “This motive force of anarchy is an expression of the fact that the capitalist mode of production represents the full development of commodity production and the law of value.”

What does this mean? Well, I have talked about what commodities are, and how, under capitalism, in general things are produced not to be used directly by the people who produce them, but as things to be exchanged in society (and the world) as a whole, through a whole network of relations that are held together by money (or things which act as a stand-in for money). This is what it means to say that the capitalist mode of production represents the full development of commodity production. OK, so far maybe so good. But what about this law of value? The law of value says this: the value of any product—that is, any commodity, anything produced and exchanged—is equal to the amount of socially necessary labor time to produce that particular commodity. And the reason that anarchy is at the heart of this, is that all these capitalists are engaging in commodity exchanges with each other, as well as commodity exchanges with consumers, and it’s all tied together by this law of value—that’s what regulates it in the ultimate sense, even as it’s a bunch of different capitalists accumulating privately, in competition with each other, in the same field of production or in different fields of production, or in the realm of finance, and so on. But, once again, underneath all this is this socialized process of production.

Now, if it were the case that you just had one big group of capitalists exploiting people, and you didn’t have this whole commodity system, then this one big group of capitalists could regulate things and keep all this madness from happening, where people are thrown out of work, plants are closed down, corporations go from one part of the world to another, with all the consequences of that for people. I mean, look at Detroit. I made this point, in Revolution—Nothing Less!19 that, after the rebellion in Detroit in 1967, all of a sudden the ruling class said, “Ooh we got a big problem here in Detroit, we’ve got all these Black people without jobs, they’re being discriminated against, and brutalized by the police, we better go out and hire a bunch of them, give them a well-paying job in the auto plants”—and they went out and hired thousands of Black people right after the rebellion. Now all those jobs are gone. Detroit is a basket case where large parts of the people in the city can’t even consistently get clean water. Why? Because of the dynamics of capitalism—the unregulated character, the anarchic character of capitalism, where these different aggregates of capitalists, privately appropriating socially produced wealth unto themselves, in different segments, are in competition not only with each other in a particular country but are in competition with capitalists all over the world, and therefore they are constantly having to change the way they produce things, constantly having to shift the arena, or the part of the world in which they’re operating, in order to try to outcompete each other, with the threat of going under if they aren’t more efficient than the others. If they don’t more efficiently exploit people, they will go under, or be reduced to second-class capitalist status, on the verge of going under, even if they’re billion dollar corporations.

When I was a kid, for example, Sears was a big department store. When I was really young they even had the Sears Roebuck catalog: You didn’t order things with your smart phone, you got a catalog and ordered things through the mail from the catalog. Well now, Sears is still around, but it’s not big like Walmart or something, because Walmart came in, found cheaper ways to do things, paying people low wages in the South, then expanding into many parts of the world, particularly the Third World. It’s got operations in places like Bangladesh. The factory that collapsed on the women and killed them in scores, and the fires in the factories there that killed hundreds, were making products for Walmart, and that’s why Walmart could sell them more cheaply than Penney’s or Sears or whatever, and so Penney’s and Sears are in danger of going under—and forget about K-Mart, it’s just kind of limping along.

Or there is the situation with the major supermarket chain A&P, which we now hear is going under. And where is Radio Shack now? Or, to go further back, where is the Kaiser automobile (there is Kaiser Health Care, but where is the car that Kaiser used to make)?

These are just a few examples—many others could be cited. This is an expression of the anarchy of capitalism—it’s not all regulated from one center, it’s all these different capitalists in fierce competition with each other, even sometimes huge groupings of capitalists controlling billions of dollars but always under the threat of going under if they can’t do things more profitably than others who are in the same field, or in some other field, who then buy them up or drive them out of business altogether.

This is the nature of capitalism. Things are constantly changing. I once made this comment to people: You know, things are going along in the economy and then some twit invents an app, and then all of a sudden everything changes. One of these guys coming out of Stanford, or wherever, invents some new device, some new technology, that both makes it possible, and at the same time makes it more and more necessary, to do something through the Internet, more productively and efficiently; and then some of the previous ways of doing things get undermined. Think about Uber and taxis. Uber is undercutting the taxi business, and you had this big thing in France where all the taxi drivers were trying to burn down Uber, because it’s putting all the taxi drivers out of work. Well, this is just an example, again, of the anarchy of capitalism. Somebody comes up with a new innovation for how to organize the production or the distribution of things more efficiently, with greater profit, with less costs of production—and BOOM, the people who had their money in the more traditional way of doing things, even if they’d been doing well for a while, may go under.

These are the basic dynamics of capitalism. For the reasons I’ve been speaking to, there is the continual competition, with even big fish getting eaten up by more efficient “sharks.” And, at the same time, all these capitalists are linked, and ultimately regulated, by the law of value—they’re all tied together by the reality, expressed as the law of value, that the value of things produced is equal to the amount of socially necessary labor time that goes into their production. And this contradiction—capitalists, or groups of capitalists, that exist and operate as separate units of capital, while at the same time they are bound together by, and forced ultimately to proceed on the basis of, the law of value—this is what leads to the anarchy of capitalism, what leads to anarchy being the driving force of capitalism and the key expression of capitalism’s fundamental contradiction, between socialized production and private appropriation. That anarchy is what drives the capitalists to exploit and oppress people in all the ways that we’re all too familiar with, including giving not a damn if you worked for them for 30 years and your children are dependent completely on the wages or salary that you earn—if it’s more profitable to shove you out the door and go somewhere else, that’s just the rules of the game, baby, too bad for you, because it’s do that or die on the part of the capitalists, because they’re in competition with a whole bunch of other capitalists.

As a sharp illustration of this, there was a very good article20 on the revcom.us site about this capitalist who had investments in Bangladesh but who wanted to be a socially-conscious capitalist. This article ran down all the ways in which he tried to do things differently, do them in a way that would not so viciously exploit the women working in the plants that he owned—not have them in such horrific conditions, give them more social benefits—and how he was forced to give that up by this very driving force of anarchy, by the competition from other capitalists doing things in more efficient, more ruthless ways. So even though he was a good-hearted capitalist—and that may sound like an oxymoron (a contradiction in terms), but he was actually a good-hearted capitalist—still, he couldn’t keep up his “kind capitalism” because of the basic dynamics of what drives capitalism.

This is very important to understand, because it shows why you can’t reform this system. You can’t, for example, get capitalists to act more responsibly toward the environment. Look at Obama. He’s the “green president.” Yet he’s opened up all this oil drilling in all these new areas, which is going to heighten the environmental disaster that’s already developing, because the U.S.—that is, the ruling class, the capitalist-imperialists that Obama represents —they are in competition with other capitalists all around the world for sources of oil, and to be able to produce oil more cheaply. And oil is a strategic resource that has everything to do with military power. Militaries run on oil, and the U.S. military is one of the world’s largest, if not the largest, consumer of oil. So, even if Obama wanted to be an “environmental president,” in a real sense, the dynamics of this capitalist system wouldn’t allow him to do that. This is what so many people don’t understand. They constantly are deceived, and deceive themselves, because they don’t understand the fundamental dynamics and “rules” of the system they live under and how that sets the terms for what is, and is not, possible in terms of changing things. Even if something seems to make a lot of sense and to be rational from the point of view of the needs and interests of humanity as a whole, if it doesn’t fit into those dynamics of capitalism, if it can’t be made to work through the relations and dynamics of capitalism, it won’t happen under this system. And that’s why the situation with the environment is getting worse and worse. Yet, here you have someone like Jared Diamond who wrote this overall very good book, Guns, Germs, and Steel,21 talking about why the world’s the way it is, and why it came to be that in some parts of the world people have a lot more technology and power, while in other parts of the world people have much less and are oppressed by the people who have more, and so on. He has a certain amount of materialism, even some dialectics thrown in there, but then when he looks at the environment,22 he sees the desperate situation with the environment, the tremendous havoc that’s being wreaked on the environment, and the fact that it’s almost reaching a tipping point where it won’t be possible to undo this, and what does he come up with? The idea that we have to go convince the heads of these corporations that it’s in their interests, it’s in accordance with their bottom line, to be more rational about the environment—that’s what he comes up with! He just completely throws out the kind of basic understanding that went into Guns, Germs, and Steel, even with certain limitations in that book. He just deceived himself because, even though he had a certain understanding to a certain level, he didn’t really deeply grasp the basic dynamics of how this system works and how you can’t change it into something else just by talking to people about what would be better for the earth and for the people of the earth, in the abstract. This, once again, gets to the fundamental question of why this system cannot be reformed and why you have to have a completely different system in order to address these social problems of such great magnitude, like the environment, or the oppression of women, or the oppression of different nations and peoples.

Now, it’s not that the contradictions of the economic system—the fundamental contradiction of capitalism, between socialized production and private appropriation, and within that the driving force of anarchy—it’s not that this is the only significant part of reality, the only significant contradiction in this society or in the world as a whole. There are other very important contradictions which have a certain life and a certain dynamic of their own. For example, the oppression of women: As I have pointed out, this arose way before capitalism. And so did the oppression of one group of people by others, in a number of different forms. But at this point, with the system of capitalism, with its tentacles reaching out and ensnaring the whole world within its overall dynamics, all these different contradictions now take place within the fundamental framework of the capitalist system. So while these different social contradictions have to be addressed in their own right, and they have their own dynamics—and you can’t simply say, “If we want to get rid of the oppression of women, we just have to change the economic system,” you have to do a lot more than that—still, in regard to such things as the oppression of women, and even as you’re addressing this in its own right, ultimately what you’re able to do will be determined by what the character of the economic system is, because it’s fundamentally the functioning of the economic system that sets the basic terms, and the basic limits, of what can take place. So even if a problem didn’t arise with the capitalist mode of production, it is now taking place within a world where the dynamics of that economic system fundamentally and ultimately set the stage and the terms within which you are operating.

To summarize this crucial point, we could put it this way: 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.

19. BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live. Film of a talk given in 2012. For more on this film and to order the DVD set, go to revcom.us. [back]

20. “Everyone's Talkin' About Inequality—Let's Talk About the System Causing It: Lesson from Bangladesh,” Revolution #326, January 12, 2014. Available at revcom.us. [back]

21. Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (W.W. Norton & Company, 1999). [back]

22. Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Viking, 2005). [back]

 

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

Materialism vs. Idealism
Dialectical Materialism
Through Which Mode of Production
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism
The New Synthesis of Communism
The Basis for Revolution
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense
Self and a “Consumerist” Approach to Ideas
What Is Your Life Going to Be About?—Raising People’s Sights

Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism:
            A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation

The “4 Alls”
Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System—And a Transition to Communism
Internationalism
Abundance, Revolution, and the Advance to Communism—A Dialectical Materialist Understanding
The Importance of the “Parachute Point”—Even Now, and Even More With An Actual Revolution
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
   Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core
Emancipators of Humanity

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

One Overall Strategic Approach
Hastening While Awaiting
Forces For Revolution
Separation of the Communist Movement from the Labor Movement, Driving Forces for Revolution
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat
Youth, Students and the Intelligentsia
Struggling Against Petit Bourgeois Modes of Thinking, While Maintaining the Correct Strategic Orientation
The “Two Maximizings”
The “5 Stops”
The Two Mainstays
Returning to "On the Possibility of Revolution"
Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism
Internationalism and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way
Popularizing the Strategy
Fundamental Orientation

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

The Decisive Role of Leadership
A Leading Core of Intellectuals—and the Contradictions Bound Up with This
Another Kind of “Pyramid”
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP
The Need for Communists to Be Communists
A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That
Strengthening the Party—Qualitatively as well as Quantitatively
Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the “Ohio”
Statesmen, and Strategic Commanders
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the “Art” of Leadership
Working Back from “On the Possibility”—
   Another Application of “Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core”

Appendix 1:
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/687/rnl-show-episode-40-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Episode 40 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show!

Trump Acquitted; The Hidden Colfax Massacre (Black History); A Call to Revolution and a Scientific Approach

Premieres Thursday, February 18, 2021
5 pm PT / 8 pm ET
YouTube.com/TheRevcoms

*After Trump's acquittal for inciting a violent fascist coup attempt, can Biden's promise of “uniting the country” really succeed? Should it?

*How has capitalism-imperialism driven the changes in the position of Black people since World War II? Why is revolution the only solution to their oppression?

*Making revolution and emancipating humanity requires leadership, but what kind of leadership?

*What did the Colfax Massacre of 1873 have to do with 100+ years of lynch-mob terror?

Hosts Andy Zee and Sunsara Taylor wield Bob Avakian's seminal New Year's Statement: A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity, to dig into these questions and more. Plus: Hear directly from Bob Avakian as he calls on you to get with this revolution and breaks down what kind of leadership we need to get free. Finally, you don't really know Black history if you haven't learned about the Colfax Massacre of 1873 and the Supreme Court's approval of racist terror.

 

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/686/zoom-seminar-syllabus-en.html

Syllabus for Zoom Into the Revolution Seminars on the
New Year's Statement by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The electoral defeat of the Trump/Pence regime only “buys some time”—both in relation to the imminent danger posed by the fascism this regime represents, and more fundamentally in terms of the potentially existential crisis humanity is increasingly facing as a consequence of being bound to the dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism. But, in essential terms, time is not on the side of the struggle for a better future for humanity. So the time there is must not be squandered—mired in oblivious individualism and political paralysis or misspent on misdirected activity that only reinforces this system which perpetuates endless horrors for the masses of humanity and has brought things to the brink of very real catastrophe.
– from The New Year’s Statement By Bob Avakian, A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity

The events of 2020 and early 2021 were a cataclysmic shock.  Why did this—the wildfire spread of COVID, the uprisings against police murder and white supremacy, the fascist reaction and then the coup attempt by Trump—happen? Where is this headed?  Where do the interests of humanity lie? 

Most importantly: is a different and better future possible?  And if it is, what IS that future... and how do we get to it?

The “Zoom Into the Revolution” seminars will focus on the New Year’s Statement by Bob Avakian: A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For the Emancipation of All Humanity to dig into and answer those questions.  This statement is not just a scientific analysis—though it is that, and a unique and very profound one—it is most of all a call to fight for and bring forward a radically new world, one in which all of humanity would be emancipated.

 

There will be four sessions:

1. Applying the scientific method to society: what is this method and why is it crucial?

We’ll focus on this from the statement:

“[Following scientifically-determined truth wherever it leads] means fully breaking with and moving beyond an approach of merely embracing truths—or supposed truths—with which one is comfortable, while rejecting, dismissing, or evading actual truth which may make one uncomfortable. One important dimension of this is rising above and repudiating methodologically the philosophical relativism of ‘identity politics,’ which does a great deal of harm through its own version of reducing ‘truth’ to partial, unsystematized experience and subjective sentiment (‘my truth’...‘our truth’...) in opposition to real, objective truth, which is correctly, scientifically arrived at through an evidence-based process, to determine whether, or not, something (an idea, theory, assertion, etc.) corresponds to actual material reality.”

And we’re going to dig deeply into this paragraph:

“To understand why we are confronted with the situation we are, it is necessary not merely to respond to—and in effect be whipped around by—what is happening on the surface at any given time, but to dig beneath the surface, to discover the underlying mainsprings and causes of things, and arrive at an understanding of the fundamental problem and the actual solution.”

Supplementary viewing:

Why We Need A Scientific Method and Approach to Life and Our Struggle

Session plan for the first “Zoom into the Revolution” seminar:

Further Questions for Session 1 of "Zoom into the Revolution" Seminars

 

2. Applying the scientific method to society, part 2: Why are we in the situation we’re in today?

What has changed—and what hasn’t changed, at least fundamentally—in the conditions of the African-American people, women, the economy, and the grip of religious fundamentalism (internationally, and within the US)?  What accounts for these changes—and what are the dynamics and direction of these, if we confine our actions within the political bounds of this system?  Do you think that BA’s analysis is true—that is, do you think that it accurately reflects objective reality and correctly captures the motion and underlying dynamics of how society has changed, and why?  What do you think about the quote from Leonard Pitts that BA cites at the beginning of section 4—do you think it’s true?  And what do you think about how BA responds to it?

Supplementary viewing:

What is capitalism? Parts 1, 2 and 3 (from Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What’s It All About)

 

3. Why can only revolution, and nothing less than revolution, deal with the problem(s) we face?

How do you understand, and do you agree with, the following—that is, do you think it’s true?  If so why, and if not why not?  And what are the implications of this:

“It is necessary to confront the fundamental reality that there is no future worth living for the masses of people and ultimately for humanity as a whole under this system—which has given rise to a powerful fascism; which is the source of horrendous, and unnecessary suffering, not only for masses of people in this country but for billions of people throughout the world; and which poses a growing threat to the very existence of humanity, through its massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons as well as its accelerating destruction of the environment. It is true—an important truth— that the Trump/Pence regime (and others like it, for example the rule of Bolsonaro in Brazil) has made the environmental crisis far worse—has, so to speak, accelerated the acceleration of environmental destruction. But the dynamics and requirements of this system are driving the climate crisis toward the point of no return, regardless of which particular person or regime is acting as its dominant political representative. Capitalism is often extolled for being a ‘dynamic’ system, constantly bringing about changes. But this is a ‘dynamism’ based on exploitation for privately-accumulated profit, and driven by anarchy (and anarchic competition between capitalists), and that very anarchy is rapidly propelling things toward an existential threshold—past which humanity could well be irreversibly hurtled—if this system of capitalism, in its imperialist globalized expression, continues to dominate the world.”

How would you apply science to answering this question? How does BA?

Supplementary viewing:

The Five Stops: Why This System Can't Be Reformed

4. The future we need... the leadership we have—a better world IS possible—the new communism and Bob Avakian.

BA calls on people to

“apply this same approach—that science and scientifically-determined truth matter—to communism and the historical experience of the communist movement, and in particular to the new communism which has resulted from decades of work I have carried out. This 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... This scientific approach has led to the conclusion that with the actual socialist societies that have been brought into being, with the leadership of communists, first in the Soviet Union and then in China (before capitalism was restored in the former in the 1950s and in the latter after the death of Mao in 1976), this experience of socialism has been mainly—and in the case of China overwhelmingly—positive, while secondarily there have also been significant, in some cases serious or even grievous, errors.” 

We’ll dig into that experience.

Then, as the main thing, we’ll get into and break down the boldfaced paragraph that discusses the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian.

“It is a fact that, nowhere else, in any actual or proposed founding or guiding document of any government, is there anything like not only the protection but the provision for dissent and intellectual and cultural ferment that is embodied in this Constitution, while this has, as its solid core, a grounding in the socialist transformation of the economy, with the goal of abolishing all exploitation, and the corresponding transformation of the social relations and political institutions, to uproot all oppression, and the promotion, through the educational system and in society as a whole, of an approach that will ‘enable people to pursue the truth wherever it leads, with a spirit of critical thinking and scientific curiosity, and in this way to continually learn about the world and be better able to contribute to changing it in accordance with the fundamental interests of humanity.’ All this will unchain and unleash a tremendous productive and social force of human beings enabled and inspired to work and struggle together to meet the fundamental needs of the people—transforming society in a fundamental way and supporting and aiding revolutionary struggle throughout the world—aiming for the final goal of a communist world, free from all exploitation and oppression, while at the same time addressing the truly existential environmental and ecological crisis, in a meaningful and comprehensive way, which is impossible under the system of capitalism-imperialism.”

Supplementary viewing: 

BA Speaks: REVOLUTION – Nothing Less, from Part 2, 18:08 to 32:14

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
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Watch: youtube.com/therevcoms

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us: