revcom.us, July 12, 2021 through July 18, 2021 (#708)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/694/a-declaration-a-call-to-get-organized-now-for-a-real-revolution-full-en.html

FROM THE REVCOMS (REVCOM.US):

A DECLARATION,
A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW
FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

| revcom.us

 

Let’s get down to basics: We need a revolution—nothing less!

To everyone who can’t stand this world the way it is ... who is sick and tired of so many people being treated as less than human ... who knows that the claim of “liberty and justice for all” is a cruel lie ... who is righteously enraged that injustice and inequality go on, and on, and on, despite false promises and honeyed words from people in power (or those seeking power) ... everyone who agonizes about where things are headed and the fact that to be young now means being denied a decent future, or any future at all ... everyone who has ever dreamed about something much better, or even wondered whether that is possible ... everyone who hungers for a world without oppression, exploitation, poverty, and destruction of the environment ... everyone who has the heart to fight for something that is really worth fighting for: You need to be part of this revolution.

This revolution is not just “a good idea”—it is actually possible.

Is this for real? Are we serious about this, and can we back it up? YES. We are not here to repeat garbage that may be “popular” or to spread the lies we are constantly told by the people in power and their mouthpieces in the media and elsewhere. We are here to bring the truth. So here are some basic truths that we need to understand and live by.

1. The system we live under, the system of capitalism-imperialism destroys lives and crushes spirits. It is the source of endless horrors for the majority of people in this country and all around the world, and it is increasingly threatening the very existence of humanity. The military of this country is not carrying out an “honorable service”—and it is not some “bad ass” force that people should respect. It is doing the same thing around the world, on a massive scale, that the police are doing here: carrying out the cowardly killing and terrorizing of people in the service of the biggest oppressors in the world, the rulers of this country. And it is a major cause of the destruction of the environment.

It is a hard but basic truth: For the masses of people, and ultimately for humanity as a whole, there is no future, or no future worth living, under this system.

But there is a way to a world and a future that is worth living, and is worth fighting for right now: revolutiona real revolution, not playing around with a few changes that leave this system in place and in power, while benefitting only a small number. A revolution means a force of millions, drawn from many different parts of society and organized for an all-out fight to overthrow this system and replace it with a radically different and much better economic and political system, a socialist system, based on meeting the needs of the people and carrying forward the fight for a communist world where there will finally be an end, everywhere, to the exploitation, oppression, and destruction of the environment that is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism. Anything less than this revolution will completely fail to deal with the root of all the problems or lead to the actual solution.

2. Revolutions are not possible all the time, but are generally possible only in rare times and circumstances, especially in a powerful country like this. This is one of those rare times and circumstances. This system is in real trouble, caught up in crisis and conflicts for which it has no easy or lasting solutions. Throughout this country the workings of this system have given rise to deep divisions which cannot be resolved under this system. Society is being ripped apart. Those who rule are locked in a bitter fight among themselves, and they cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past. Although there are a lot of bad things connected with this and it could lead to something really terrible, it is also possible that we could wrench something really positive out of it—revolution, to put an end to this system and bring something much better into being.

We have seen the potential for revolution powerfully demonstrated just last summer when millions of people, of all races and genders, all over this country, and all around the world, rose up together against racist oppression and police murder. We have seen this potential in the mass outpourings of women, in countries all over the world, refusing to put up with being abused and degraded. This potential is also revealed in the deep distress being expressed, by scientists and millions of ordinary people, about the continually worsening climate crisis and the threat this poses to the future of humanity—a crisis this system cannot solve, but can only make worse. But, with all this, right now only a small number of us have recognized the need for this revolution and are acting to make it happen. So there is crucial work that must be done now to win people to understand the need for revolution and act to make it real—to turn the potential for revolution into a powerful movement and organized force for an actual revolution.

3. To make this revolution a reality, we need leadership with the scientific method, the strategy and program that can shine a light through the madness and chaos that this system is constantly creating and can lead in carving the path forward out of this madness to the radically new world we need. AND WE HAVE THAT LEADERSHIP—IN BOB AVAKIAN (BA). BA is the architect of a whole new framework for the liberation of all oppressed people and the emancipation of all humanity: the new communism. We are followers of BA. And you need to become followers of BA too. There never has been a leader like this in this country and there is no other leader like this in the world now. We cannot afford not to follow this leadership if we ever want to get free and put an end to this madness.

4. We need to urgently change the situation where not nearly enough people know about this revolution and are with it. We need to get this revolution, and its leadership, known everywhere. We need to challenge and seriously struggle with people right around us, and all over the country, to do something that, yes, requires real heart and will make a positive difference for real—become part of this revolution, and follow this revolutionary leadership. We need to organize more and more people into the ranks of the revolution.

Organizing people into this revolution means reaching out to all sorts of people—not just where there are protests and rebellions against oppression and injustice, but everywhere throughout society—spreading the word about revolution and getting people together (in real life and online) to grapple with why an actual revolution is necessary, what such a revolution involves, and what kind of society this is aiming for. This will enable people who are new to the revolution to themselves become organizers for this revolution and to recruit more and more people to do the same. On this basis, and through the growing ranks of the revolution acting together as an increasingly powerful force, it will be possible to attract and organize the necessary numbers, and build up the necessary strength, to be in the position to do what needs to be done.

We need to struggle hard with people to take up the orientation and strategy, the values and goals, for this revolution, and dedicate themselves to working for this revolution, while we unite growing numbers to fight the abuse, brutality and destruction perpetrated by this system, and through all this get thousands and then millions of people prepared and steeled to do away with this system that brings so much hell to people. We need to wield this growing revolutionary force to stand up to this system and its murderous enforcers and to change the whole “terrain” (the political, social and cultural situation and “atmosphere”) throughout society, in order to weaken the hold of this system over people, win people away from acting to strengthen and enforce this system, and create the best possible conditions for this revolution to succeed.

To come back to basics: We need revolution—a real revolution. We cannot afford to waste these rare times and circumstances that could be ripened into a real chance to make revolution. We cannot afford to squander the rare and precious leadership we have for this revolution. We have to get busy, build the movement and the organized forces for revolution all over the country, and work together tirelessly for this revolution, to actively prepare for the situation where this system can be brought down and something much better brought into being.

To get more of the tools and the knowledge you need to become part of this revolution, and to go to work building for this revolution, get with those representing for this revolution right now, become part of the Revolution Clubs around the country, go to our website revcom.us regularly, and watch The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show every week.

If you want to know more about this, right now, keep reading: here is further knowledge about these basic truths.

One. This system of capitalism-imperialism rules and profits by exploiting and oppressing, using and abusing masses of people, including children, all over the world; by treating whole groups of people as less than human; by slaughtering people who get in its way; by threatening people with its arsenals of mass destruction; by destroying the environment. Regardless of who is in the positions of power, this is the only way this system can operate, and under this system things can only get worse. All this is why we need a revolution. Bob Avakian (BA) has put this very clearly: “We have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!

To make it very clear once more: By revolution we mean nothing less than overthrowing this whole system—defeating, disarming and dismantling the murderous armed power and other institutions that enforce this system—completely abolishing this whole system and replacing it with something radically different and much better, a new society built on an entirely different foundation. And this new system we need is socialism—an economic and political system that is set up to meet the needs of the people, not the profit and power of exploiters and oppressors—a system that moves to do away with all exploitation and oppression, and supports people everywhere fighting against exploitation and oppression, in order to get to a communist world, where all this madness will finally be ended, for real, and people all over the world will be able to work together for the common good. Don’t be fooled by talk about how communism is no good and will make things worse. That is just talk that helps to keep this system of capitalism-imperialism going, with all its horrors for the masses of humanity and its growing threat to our very existence. In the works of BA, and other works you can find at revcom.us, you can learn the real truth about communism and the way BA has further developed communism into an even more powerful and liberating science of revolution: the new communism.

Two. This is one of those rare times and circumstances when revolution becomes possible, not just because this system is always a horror, but because the crisis and deep divisions in society now can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means or radically emancipating revolutionary means. Those who have ruled over us, for so long, with their Republican and Democratic parties, are now caught up in bitterly fighting each other over how to hold this country together, keep this system going, enforce its rule over the people it exploits and oppresses, and maintain this country as the world’s top-dog oppressive power. The Republicans are moving to exercise this rule through fascism: discarding the pretense of “democracy for all,” relying on naked brutality and trampling on people’s rights, to enforce undisguised, aggressive male supremacy, white supremacy, xenophobia (hatred of foreigners and persecution of immigrants, especially from non-white countries) and crude “America first” chauvinism. The Democrats are trying to keep things together with more disguise and deception, with the claim that what exists in this country is a “great democracy” representing “the will of the people,” and for this reason it deserves to be, and needs to be, the most powerful force in the world. But, in reality, both of these ruling class parties are working to maintain the violent oppressive power, the dictatorship, of this capitalist-imperialist system, with all the horrors for humanity this involves.

These divisions and conflicts have ripped big holes in the camouflage of this system, further exposing its real nature and the lie that this is “the greatest country in the world,” the “shining light of freedom” and “leader of the free world.” All this is very likely to become more and more intense, tearing apart the bonds that have held things together under this system and further deepening the divisions throughout society, including within the institutions of power. This could lead to something very bad—or something very good, IF we act in the way we need to in these rare circumstances and fight to take things where they need to go.

As BA has emphasized, in a powerful New Year’s Statement (A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity), the fact that the fascist Trump was voted out of office is important but it only “buys some time” and time is not on the side of the fight for a better future for humanity. So the time there is must not be wasted by going along with this system. We will never get where we need to go by being a tail on the Democratic donkey (and, obviously, not by siding with the Republican fascists). No, we need to break out of acting on the terms, and within the confines, of this system, which has all this murderous oppression and destruction built into it. We need to be actively working to radically change the “alignment of forces” in society, to where things are more favorable for overthrowing this whole system.

These days there is a lot of talk about another civil war, especially from fascists, in government and the broader society, who think they could just carry out a one-sided slaughter of those they hate, including Black people and other people of color, “illegal immigrants,” “uppity women” and those who don’t conform to “traditional” sexual and gender relations and “norms.” This situation needs to be radically changed, to where there are masses of people prepared to defeat these fascists and to do so as part of getting rid of this whole system, which has bred these fascists, along with all the other horrors it continually perpetrates.

What we need is “repolarization for revolution—making real revolution an active and increasingly powerful force of first thousands, and then millions, of people organized to work for and win more and more people to this revolution—radically changing the “terrain” on which the revolution will be fought.

Today, there are not only many fascists in the murderous police forces, but more than a few in the military as well. But it is a fact that, at the high point of the 1960s, the strength of the radical liberation movements at that time reached into and strongly influenced every part and every institution of society—including the armed forces of this system, where more of the soldiers looked for leadership from the Black Panther Party and other revolutionary-minded forces than from the president of the United States (the so-called “commander-in-chief” of the armed forces). Even with the differences between then and now, creating this kind of situation—where a revolutionary movement based on the new communism and the leadership of BA is impacting every part of society and key institutions—this is achievable, and is a very important part of preparing the ground for the seizure of power, when the time is right. This will make it possible to have the best fighting chance to take revolution all the way, and not be beaten back down into yet more horror.

And the potential for this revolution is real. There is the ever intensifying climate crisis—and it is a scientific fact that this system of capitalism-imperialism cannot solve this crisis, but can only make it worse. At the same time, over the past few years, literally millions of women, all over the world, have demonstrated their outrage at the murder and rape, the attacks on their right to abortion and birth control, and the all-around brutality and abuse they are continually subjected to, as a result of the male supremacist relations that are built into this system of capitalism-imperialism, and all systems that are ruled by exploiters and oppressors. And last summer, when millions of us, of all races and genders, rose up all over this country in righteous rebellion in response to the vicious murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police, this powerfully demonstrated the potential for revolution.We were supported and joined by millions more in countries all over the world. And, at the height of this, the whole country, the whole world was compelled to recognize and to talk about the long and continuing chain of these racist murders and big questions about the whole history and nature of this country. Yes, this powerful rising was, in the short run, misled into dead-ends by people working for meaningless petty reforms and seeking funds for themselves and positions within the structures of this system. But that does not change the fact that what was demonstrated was the possibility and potential for something much greater and far better—an actual revolution.

Three: Bob Avakian (BA) came forward as a revolutionary and developed into a communist leader through the mass revolutionary upsurge of the 1960s. He is an old white guy—yes, deal with it! Unlike so many who considered themselves revolutionaries at that time, BA has never given up, never departed from the road of revolution. He has continued to advance on this road and to confront the problems and difficulties in making revolution. He has drawn crucial lessons from the historical experience (positive and negative) of revolution throughout the world, and from many other aspects of human society and human endeavor. He has deeply studied how this system of capitalism-imperialism actually works, and what are the defining contradictions of this system that constitute the basis for overthrowing it. It is through all this that he has brought forward a whole new framework for the liberation of all oppressed people and the emancipation of all humanity: the new communism.

BA is providing ongoing leadership for this revolution, and he has a whole body of work that contains the scientific method to analyze the problem and the solution, the strategy for the revolution to bring down this system, and the vision and concrete plan for that radically different and much better society, on the road to emancipate all of humanity from every form of oppression and exploitation, and to enable humanity to become fit caretakers of the earth. He’s even written a Constitution (the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America) that concretely maps out what to do starting right after the seizure of power, so we can actually work on building up that whole new emancipating society. It is simply true: There never has been a leader like this in this country and there is no other leader like this in the world now, and we cannot afford not to follow this leadership if we ever want to get free and put an end to this madness.

Four: Many of the people who can be won to this revolution are not “into this” now and are not acting in accordance with the methods, principles, and goals of this revolution. And there is still way too much trying to get over on each other and attacking each other, which only brings more heartbreak and misery. This revolution is in the interests of all people who catch hell under this system and all those who hunger for or dream about a world where an end to exploitation, poverty, inequality, injustice and oppression is not a bitter joke but a liberating reality. Instead of fighting each other, we need to be uniting everyone with a heart for justice and protecting and defending each other from the criminal, brutal and murderous actions of “official” forces and fascist forces with the power to do us the greatest harm. We need to be working together to build up the ranks of the revolution and prepare to defeat the forces, of any kind, that would keep this system going and make its madness even worse.

And, in working to change the world in this way, people can change themselves—they can be united with in refusing to put up with injustice that no one should accept, and struggled with to see that revolution is the way to put an end to all this—that revolution is what we should live for and fight for. The basis for making this real is concentrated in the guideline: Fight the Power, and Transform the People—for Revolution.

To do this, people need to break with this system’s ways and take up radically different and emancipating methods, principles and goals, and a radically different and far better culture, morality and way of relating to each other. With the revolution it’s not “everyone out for themselves and against everybody else”—it’s all of us together who can’t stand to live like this and hunger for something much better, something truly emancipating.

At the same time as leadership and guidance for this revolution is being provided, in an ongoing way, through our website, revcom.us and through The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show, and while paying attention to the necessary health measures in light of the still continuing COVID pandemic, we are reaching out directly (in real life) to people around the country, to bring the liberating message of this revolution, to win growing numbers of people to this revolution and organize them into the ranks of this revolution.

All over the country, in every neighborhood, every school, every place and every institution where there are people sickened by the way things are, or questioning whether things have to be this way, revolutionary organization needs to be built, as part of the nationwide revolutionary movement. This revolution and its leadership need to increasingly become the authority that people look to and the leadership they follow, setting the standard and providing the direction for how people see things, and how they act.

Through all this, growing numbers of people can be working together to shape the political situation, winning masses of people to revolution and strengthening the organized revolutionary forces for the all-out fight for revolution when the conditions for revolution have been ripened.

To come back, once more, to basics: We need a revolution—a real revolution. And this revolution is possible. To everyone who hungers for an end to oppression and injustice, and everyone who has the heart to fight for something that is really worth fighting for: You need to get into this revolution, become part of the organized forces for this revolution, and work tirelessly for this revolution, so that we can have a real chance to win.

 

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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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/donate-to-the-revolution-donate-to-the-future-en.html

DONATE to the revolution... DONATE to the future!

We made the goal!! Thank you to those who contributed and were part of raising funds for the National Revolution Tour's $25,000 drive.

Keep it up and stay tuned for more — ongoing fundraising is needed to build up a financial base of support for the Tour as we step up our work in these crucial times.

| revcom.us

 

We've received many generous donations, inspiring statements and several collective fundraising projects to meet this necessary goal – but we need to, and can, reach even more broadly to meet this goal.  These funds are needed to spread and build up the force for revolution and fundraising itself is an essential part of organizing for revolution.

There are millions of people agonizing about this society... why the COVID crisis, and the systemic inequities and anti-science lunacy that make it worse, is continuing around the world... why access to abortion is hanging by a thread... why the fascists are ripping apart even basic voting rights for large sections of oppressed people... why whole parts of the world are drowning and others scorching due to capitalism-caused climate change... and losing sleep over what must really be done about this... millions of people who don't want to see this future but aren't paying enough attention to all this... all these people need to be reached and challenged with the message in A Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now For a Real Revolution... they need to dig into the important new article from Bob Avakian, This Is A Rare Time When Revolution Becomes Possible—Why That Is So, And How To Seize On This Rare Opportunity.  People need to be given the way to contribute to this—with their ideas, creativity and financial resources.  They need to be given the opportunity to spread this to others. 

Hit the street-corners, farmers markets and phones... reach broadly, widely and wage struggle – to contribute to the revolutionary force going up against all the ways this system has people fighting each other, doing for self, or caught up in band-aid reforms that will go nowhere and worse!

What would you give for there to be a future worth living in? A future for humanity and the planet, a future for the millions of youth in this country and all over the world? There is hope for that future — in the revolution to bring into being a whole better world and the work now to make that revolution real. There is nothing more important to contribute to than this future.

The fascists are on the march, the planet is burning, murder by police continues unabated, the right to abortion hangs by a thread...

It is a hard but basic truth: For the masses of people, and ultimately for humanity as a whole, there is no future, or no future worth living, under this system.

But there is a way to a world and a future that is worth living, and is worth fighting for right now: revolutiona real revolution, not playing around with a few changes that leave this system in place and in power, while benefitting only a small number.

— from the Declaration from the Revcoms,
A Call to Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution

Fundamental, radical, change is necessary, it is possible, and there is a force working urgently to build up the forces to make this revolution — the revcoms, The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour, but this will not have the necessary impact without your financial support

Contribute to the future, contribute to the revcoms. A force — on the ground in Los Angeles and anchoring a national movement for revolution. A force, with the leadership in Bob Avakian, who’s brought forward a whole new framework for the liberation of all oppressed people and the emancipation of all humanity. A force that is working to grow and to spread, going up against all the ways this system has people fighting each other, doing for self, or caught up in band-aid reforms that will go nowhere and worse... a force that is not tailing after whatever is popular, repeating the lies we are constantly told by the people in power and their mouthpieces in the media and elsewhere. A force that is bringing people the hard but liberating truth and organizing forces now for a real revolution.

What would you give for there to be a future worth living in? A future for humanity and the planet, a future for the millions of youth in this country and all over the world? There is hope for that future — in the revolution to bring into being a whole better world and the work now to make that revolution real. There is nothing more important to contribute to than this future.

Revolution will not happen without financial support from the people themselves—those who catch the most hell under this system, and all those who are sick and tired of living in a world where people are treated as less than human. If you want to get free... if you want humanity to get free... you need to be part of taking responsibility for this. This means contributing funds and raising funds from others for the revolution necessary to bring a whole new world into being.

Funds are needed to print materials, for transportation, advertising, support for the frontline revolutionary fighters who are currently on the National Tour, now focused in Los Angeles, to run the revcom.us website, and to produce the weekly YouTube show, The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show, which are providing national leadership and guidance for this revolution.

The Declaration from the revcoms, A Call to Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution, speaks to the fact that now is a rare moment when revolution could be possible and the need to get busy building up the organization needed for this revolution — it lays out a strategic plan and approach for people to come together and collectively go to work on the problems of the revolution. Contributing and raising funds is key to all that... it’s key to people stepping into this revolution, to organizing others and taking responsibility for revolution. 

All across the country, from July 12 to 21 and going forward from there, we’re coming together to raise funds — people like you and people very different from you — all coming together to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Through collective “revolutionary change” jars, asking our friends and family, knocking on doors, neighborhood car washes, COVID-safe backyard parties, tamale sales, bake sales, and getting with people who can give larger contributions to match the community efforts. All of our efforts — big and small —

There’s nothing more important to contribute funds to than the work beginning NOW to organize forces for real revolution.

Send your ideas, statements of supports, reports of experience, and more to getorganizedforrevolutiontour@gmail.com or DM us on social media @therevcoms

More statements from donors:

From Juanita Young:

My name is Juanita Young, the mother of Malcolm Ferguson who was murdered by the NYPD in March of 2000. I’m donating $1,500 to the National Revolution Tour, and I’m calling on others to donate to it too and to match my donation. The revcoms have stood with me and other families fighting to end police getting away with murdering our children. And thru working with them over the years, I’ve recognized that we aren’t just fighting for self, but for eliminating all oppression and for humanity. And I’ve come to understand that we need a revolution.

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From a young doctor who supports, and financially sustains, the National Revolution Tour:

In every life snuffed out by the murderous oppressors of this system, or lost fleeing devastation to cross the deadly gauntlet of the US southern border ... or those who died in a moment’s breath in their home as death rained from above at the hands of the US or its most dependable allies ... we lose humanity, joy, spirit, and creativity ... a loss that did not need to be. In the brave uprisings in Minneapolis or Kenosha, Cali or Gaza City, there are the seeds of a new world.

More than anything else at this moment, people need a scientific vision that can shape the struggle, allow them to see the roots of these regenerating outrages as this system itself, that these stem from the necessity it faces and can never be reformed away, and that this system is not invulnerable and that it regenerates the fuel of its own potential destruction with each brutal act. People need the new communism, and the leadership of Bob Avakian, to see the right path forward, and the real potential that exists before us.

Genuine revolutionary consciousness is needed, desperately, and a movement that embodies this exists, is growing, and needs our support!! Please give to match—and exceed—my gift. Let us all do our part to take responsibility for the growth of this revolution!

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Statement from woman from Trinidad, currently in Chicago:

Why I fundraise for the revolution is because I am tired of this system and how it is working against you.... Fundraising is necessary for the work of the Revolution Tour and Rev Clubs because of what they are doing getting the message out about Bob Avakian and the revolution to the masses abroad—internationally as well as in the U.S. They need food, bullhorns at rallies, ink and paper for printing, etc. We need to come together with the Revolution Club to do what we can to donate to the Tour. We need to engage more of the young people so they can really know what the money is going to. The importance of fundraising allows us to meet with the youth one on one or in groups on the street to educate and recruit them to the revolution. Once educated they cannot unknow—hence we have to educate them about the revolution because they are the future.

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A message from a manager of a convenience store in Houston, who contributed $17 himself and has put up a donation jar for the revolution:

I just heard Dr. Phil Rice’s message about fundraising for the revolution. I’m doing my part, donating and encouraging others to donate. I have a fundraising jar at my job. I encourage people to donate and to read about it. I’m not good with words. So other people can do other things like motivational speaking. Or go to marches and spread the word ... I am for Humanity First. That’s a big thought, what this whole revolution is about. Everyone together for this common goal.

  • 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 the livestream that aired July 18:

Read new statements from donors

Go here for fundraising materials.

From People Who Lost Loved Ones to Violence on the Streets:
"We call on everyone who wants to end this madness to donate to the National Revolution Tour"

Read more

Watch this letter being read by Roosevelt from @revclubchi:


Family Members of People Murdered by Cops Call on You to:
DONATE GENEROUSLY TO THE NATIONAL REVOLUTION TOUR!

"The revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has said that the words 'justifiable homicide' pour gasoline on the already burning wounds suffered by people whose loved ones have been murdered by police. We know this is true because all of us have had to bury loved ones who were killed by cops. And we are writing to urge you to donate generously to support the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour..." Read the full letter signed by eight people whose sons, brothers, and loved ones were murdered by the police.

Fundraising Materials

Download and print FUNDRAISING PAMPHLET (PDF)
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Download and print POSTER (PDF)
English
Spanish

 

 

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

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/699/family-members-of-people-murdered-by-cops-call-on-you-en.html

Family Members of People Murdered by Cops Call on You to:

DONATE GENEROUSLY TO THE NATIONAL REVOLUTION TOUR!

| revcom.us

 

The revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has said that the words “justifiable homicide” pour gasoline on the already burning wounds suffered by people whose loved ones have been murdered by police. We know this is true because all of us have had to bury loved ones who were killed by cops. And we are writing to urge you to donate generously to support the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour.

Having to bury loved ones whose lives had been stolen by those who are sworn to “protect and serve” was devastating. It was made even worse by the way the police and the media lied about our loved ones to justify having murdered them. And the system denied us and so many others justice at every turn. All this made clear to us that fundamental change was needed to end murder by police and other horrors this system forces so many people to suffer. And this Tour is all about fundamental change—making revolution.

The people on the Tour have put their lives on hold to travel across the country to spread the message that revolution is not only needed—it is possible. To introduce people to the leadership we have for this revolution in Bob Avakian. And to challenge people to get organized into the movement for an actual revolution.

The Declaration and Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution, distributed by the Tour, says that we are living “in one of those rare times and circumstances” in which a revolution could be possible. If you are someone who can't stand this world the way it is, someone who is sick and tired of so many people being treated as less than human, now is the time that you need to support this Tour. Make a generous donation to the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour now! This is a moment where your funds and fundraising efforts can have magnified impact.

Thanks in advance for your generous support.

 

Initial signatories:

Gloria Pinex, mother of Darius Pinex murdered by Chicago Police, January 2011

Freddie McGee, father of Freddy Latrice Wilson murdered by Chicago Police, November 2007

Gabriel Black Elk, brother of Paul Castaway murdered by Denver police, July 2015

Minister Collier Cannon Baggett, grandmother of Jimmel Cannon shot 4 times by Chicago Police at age 13 (Jimmel survived the shooting), July 2011

Andree Smith, mother of Justin Smith murdered by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, August 1998

Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson murdered by New York City police, March 2000

Veda Washington, aunt of Alton Sterling who was murdered by Baton Rouge police in July of 2016

Cynthia Lane, 19 year old son murdered by Chicago Police on August 24, 2014

 

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/171/willy_mobile_shaw-en.html

Statement by Bob Avakian on the Occasion of the Death of Willie "Mobile" Shaw

| revcom.us

 

Willie "Mobile" Shaw grew up and lived his whole life in the Nickerson Gardens Housing Project in Watts, Los Angeles. After working with revolutionaries there for a period of time, he joined the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. The hardship of his life conditions led to his having a serious illness, and he died on November 24, 2005 due to complications following surgery. The following is a statement by Bob Avakian at the time of Willie Shaw's death.

The death of Willie "Mobile" Shaw is a terrible and bitter loss. Willie wanted his life to be about something—something beyond the dog-eat-dog and the murderous madness this system brings down on people, and catches them up in, in a thousand ways every day. He joined the revolution, became a communist and dedicated his life to the liberation of all people who are oppressed by this system—not just people of one race, or in one neighborhood, but men and women of all races, nations, and languages, all over the world. Most of them Willie had never met, but he came to see that they shared a common fate and could bring a much better future into being. Willie's life is proof that those this rotten system tries in every way to drag down—can rise up; that those the system treats as less than human—can become the liberators of all humanity.

Willie never turned his back on people who had not yet come to see the world as he had come to see it—as it really is; he never gave up on winning them to the fight for a radically different and much better world. Willie brought to the revolution a gigantic heart, a wealth of life experience and great wisdom drawn from that experience. I consider myself very fortunate to have met Willie and spent time talking with him. He asked me many questions—and he helped me learn many things. Willie said to me: "You are the only hope we have." I have kept those words in my heart, with a deep sense of responsibility to live up to them. But Willie, and all the people like Willie in the world, are also the ones who give me hope—they represent the hope of humanity for a better world. Willie's whole life experience, and his all too early death, cry out the need for revolution. And the changes Willie went through, in his all too short life—the way he came through so much to take up the cause of liberating humanity—shout out the possibility of revolution. As our hearts ache over the loss of Willie, let us keep in our hearts, and let us learn all we can, from the beautiful human being that Willie "Mobile" Shaw was and the way in which, in dedicating his life to revolution and communism, he truly made it count, in the greatest way possible.

 

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/708/whos-going-to-step-up-and-fill-mobiles-shoes-en.html

Who's Going to Step Up and Fill Mobile's Shoes?

by Joe Veale, revcom, former member of Black Panther Party

| revcom.us

 

The following is Joe Veale's tribute to Willie "Mobile" Shaw at the Watts memorial, December 18, 2005. It has been slightly edited for re-publication.

The death of Comrade Mobile is a great loss for the international proletariat and for our Party. He was full of enthusiasm for revolution and communism, and he was a proud follower of Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. 

He was truly an inspiration to all of us. Words cannot describe how much we will miss him. 

When he joined the Party he was already very ill and facing death. But the possibilities for a whole new world were opened up for him. He learned of the great revolutionary potential that the people in the ghettos and barrios in this country and around the world possess. He learned that they are part of the international proletariat—that they have the potential to become emancipators of all humanity—and he went all out to lead them in acting on this reality. This was his dream. This is what his life was dedicated to. 

He said that he did not want to end up broken, living without hope. He said he wanted his life to count for something—to bringing about change for the people. 

He was an internationalist. He would get up in front of a group of Latinos and say to them, 

“I’m the same as you. We speak different languages; we have different cultures but we are the same class of people. It was my blood the police spilled when they killed that 18-month-old baby Suzie Pena. 

“Just because we are Black don’t mean that other people haven’t gone through hard times—see those two homeless white guys over there—if it starts to unfold the way we talking about, even though we don’t know them, I bet you they going to be with us. I see a lot of people—how they living. They might not be thinking like us right now but when the shit comes down, they gonna look and say, yeah! I see what’s happening and join in.” 

Mobile was always talking about how that’s his blood fighting in places like Nepal and the Philippines. 

When he discovered the leadership of BA, his approach to revolution, his vision for a whole new society, Mobile went all out to tell everybody about it. He wanted others to see what he saw; that with this leader we can really bring about a whole new society and world. He was like a kid who had just discovered a great big candy store and he wanted everybody to get some of it. 

As some of y’all know, sometimes Mobile would go nose to nose with you over this stuff. Not out of anger, but because he had great love for you and he wanted you to see that we have a great leader that can lead us to win. 

He was patient. He would give you a break for a day or two—then he would be right back at it again. 

After watching the DVD Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About by Bob Avakian, he said,  

“Man, this is my education. I think people are going to start thinking I went to school or something. I be learning so much stuff, different words, history. The more I listen to Bob Avakian, the more I’m learning. People watch the tape one time and say I listened to it already. No, no, you can’t listen to it one time. You got to listen to it over and over. Every time I bet you’ll think of something new you didn’t think about before.” 

He would open his front door and turn the volume all the way up so that everybody could hear it. He played it for the gangsters, the homeless, smokers, regular working people, church-going people, Latinos—everybody. 

To him Bob Avakian is one of a kind: “No other leader talks the real like he does.” And from him Mobile learned what the new society would be like. Mobile broke it down like this. 

“This system makes people do what they want them to do. In the new society you might only work for four hours and then you do art, science, crafts, or whatever. The masses out here think they are in control of the drugs but the system puts the drugs out here to keep us from thinking and acting in a revolutionary way. People look at the new society like that is unbelievable. But we have the right person to lead us there. There is enough people around the world that if they got a hold of the Chairman and took him up it would be a cold revolution. People need to know that they have a leader like Bob Avakian on their side and they need to stand up for him.” 

And even though Mobile was very ill he went all out in doing this. He was confident that once people understood what he understands that they too will become fighters in the cause of revolution. 

He was a seeding machine. Everywhere he went he was planting the seeds of revolution. The vision of a socialist and communist society; spreading the truth that with the leadership of Bob Avakian we can get to that new society. 

And I would add that we need millions and millions like Mobile too—millions who come from the bottom of society, Blacks, whites, Latinos, Native American, Asians. Those who are the most determined to see it all the way through—like Mobile was—must be the backbone of this revolution. It’s this class of people who have the potential to take it all the way. Until there are no more haves lording it over the have-nots. No more whites oppressing non-whites. No more men oppressing women. No more one group controlling the wealth and power and making others slave for them to make them richer and more powerful. 

Mobile would say that BA is different than all other leaders out here. Other leaders when they speak to you, they speak at you, they speak down to you. When Bob Avakian speaks he speaks from standing with you. Other times he would say, 

“People want to see a change but they say when, how and where. I tell them to look at Mao. He did it. He led a revolutionary struggle for power in China. BA can lead us in doing that too. He’s at work and we have to get to work too. If we don’t get out there and help people see the two sides then the ruling class is going to win.” 

Mobile would get the stores around here to carry the DVD. One time he reported, “The majority of stores around here have the DVD of the Chairman. Three out of five people who have it are surprised that he is talking that way.” 

And he went on to report, 

“A lot of people out here don’t see no leaders. I say we have a leader. That leader is Bob Avakian. People he is speaking to, a lot of them go to church for other reasons (than being a Christian Fascist or Bush supporter—JV). They are looking for something that only BA can give them. I joined the church because of my illness; hoping that I could be healed. Through talking with the Party and grappling with how I am really going to spend my Sundays, I saw the Unity Picnics (picnics promoting unity between Blacks and Latinos that the RCP was part of organizing in the Nickerson Gardens Housing Projects)—getting together on that basis was way better than the church. The only way I can see a change is with the Party.”… and as Mobile would always say: “the Chairman.” 

One of the last things Mobile did was to take part in the World Can’t Wait Drive Out the Bush Regime1 demonstrations on November 2, 2005. There were thousands and thousands all along Wilshire raising this demand. He was very excited about this. He thought about getting up and speaking at it. But he was in a wheelchair and decided not to do it. At one point he was overcome with emotion and the tears started to flow. He was very excited and happy. But he said that there should have been more people from Watts at this. More people standing up and representing the people on the bottom of society—the proletariat—like he was doing. He later talked about how he was doing what he was doing so that people from places like Watts can see that this revolutionary movement that we are building represents them. And he was voicing a little frustration with people being slow to recognize this. 

This brother left some big shoes to fill. Who’s going to step up and fill those shoes? What he dedicated his life to is what we all need to dedicate our lives to. Join this movement for revolution. Join this Party. Build it. Support it. Become a follower of BA. Become part of the emancipators of all humanity and be one of the gravediggers of this foul and cruel capitalist imperialist system. 

 


1. The organization World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime was formed in 2005. Their mission was to mobilize “people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the U.S. government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.” On November 2, 2005, on the one-year-anniversary of Bush’s re-election, tens of thousands marched around the U.S., inaugurating the effort to drive out the Bush regime.  [back]


Willie "Mobile" Shaw

 

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/633/bob-avakian-a-radically-different-leader-en.html

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

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

| revcom.us

 

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

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

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

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

Bob Avakian ... on the basis of decades of hard work [has been] developing a whole body of work—theory to advance the science of communism, to advance the science of revolution, to more deeply explain where the problems come from, what the strategy is for getting out of this mess, what the methods and approaches should be to stay on track and actually build a better world, to build a society that most human beings would want to live in. (From Science and Revolution, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak)

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

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

As a revolutionary leader, BA also embodies this rare combination: someone who has been able to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to “break down” complex theory and make it broadly accessible.

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

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

Download poster and leaflet:

11x17 poster

8.5x11 two-sided leaflet

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

Click to read and download (PDF)

 

 

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

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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/665/bob-avakian-for-the-liberation-of-black-people-en.html

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

| revcom.us

 

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

As BA has written about his life’s work:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

As a revolutionary leader, BA also embodies this rare combination: someone who has been able to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to “break down” complex theory and make it broadly accessible.3

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

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

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

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

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

In 1863, mid-way in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln finally issued the Emancipation Proclamation and, as a result of the Civil War, Black people were formally freed from literal, physical slavery. But today the question is: When, and how, will Black people finally be free from all forms of slavery and oppression? And this poses straight-up this big question:

When will Black people finally emancipate themselves from the mental slavery of religion?!....

Once more, the question is sharply posed: How can Black people be finally and fully emancipated from centuries of oppression, and how does this relate to ending all oppression, of all people, everywhere?

The answer is that the possibility of this is real, but it can happen only on the basis of a scientific approach to changing the world and the scientifically-grounded understanding that this oppression is rooted in and caused by the system of capitalism-imperialism—the same system that is viciously exploiting and murderously oppressing people not just in this country but all over the world and is plundering the natural environmentand that this system must and can be overthrown through an actual revolution and replaced by a radically different and far better system: socialism, whose final goal is a communist world, without any oppression or exploitation of anyone, anywhere.3

****

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

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

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donald Trump—Genocidal Racist (Parts 1-10) 

Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System

Police And Prisons: Reformist Illusions And The Revolutionary Solution

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

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

Bob Avakian On Emancipation From Mental Slavery And All Oppression

Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James And The Whole Truth

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

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

Trump And Pigs: A Racist Love Affair

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

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

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

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

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

Patriarchy And Male Supremacy, Or Revolution And Ending All Oppression

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

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

Bob Avakian On Ugly Words & Phrases

Bob Avakian On Tulsa Racist Mobs

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

[back]

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/683/the-more-i-engaged-ba-i-could-not-wait-to-get-out-of-prison-en.html

"The More I Engaged BA, The More I Could Not Wait to Get Out of Prison"

by Joe Veale, revcom, former member of Black Panther Party

| revcom.us

 

Editors' Note: We received the following from Joe Veale.

I’ll start like this. I “knew” BA even before I met him. We grew up in the same city, in Berkeley, California. The Black Panther Party had started in Oakland which was right next to Berkeley. I knew a lot of the rank and file Panthers, once they got going. They were telling me what they were doing—they had developed this organization and they were trying to make revolution to overthrow the system and to put an end to the oppression of Black people. They were straight up about the fact that racism went with the capitalist system, working to overthrow the system and not working within the system. And they made it clear to me that they was trying to build the revolution not only among Black people, they was trying to build support for it among whites, you know, support for this among whites as well as other different races and nationalities. And in that context, BA’s name always came up. It was “Bob Avakian.”

I hadn’t met him yet, I wasn’t a Panther yet, but I knew about him. That’s what they were saying—this is the main person who supported them when they first began. Then when I started to go to Panther rallies, that’s what I would see on the stage with these Black revolutionaries, Black militants—BA would be right up there speaking with them about Black liberation and revolution, and supporting the Panthers.

Joining the Panthers

Then when I joined the Panthers—it was in Richmond, California, that’s the branch I went in. BA and the Revolutionary Union, which he led, were also there as well. I didn’t know this at the time, but they were in Richmond doing their political work. They were answering the call from the Panthers and others to take revolutionary politics out to poor whites. He talks about it in his Memoir (excerpts from the Memoir available here).

Richmond was a proletarian city of different races and nationalities. So out in Richmond, I would see him come by the office to talk with the Panther leadership. At times I’d have assignments at the National Office in Berkeley and I’d see him come through there talking to some of the national leaders and everything.

I remember on one occasion it was at this community college, Contra Costa College. BA talks about doing work there and the Panthers did work there also. This is when I first ran into BA face to face. And one of the things that really struck me, because up to this point, I had never met anyone who was white that was so passionate about Free Huey! Huey Newton and Bobby Seale were the two founders of the Black Panther Party. Huey was facing a murder charge for a shootout with Oakland police and they were trying to put him in the gas chamber. BA had Free Huey buttons all over his clothing—it was really striking to me. He also had Mao Tsetung buttons all over him.

You know, the Panthers were into popularizing Mao’s Red Book, but BA was just as passionate, if not more so, about Mao and revolution. I hadn’t met anybody—anybody white, to be frank—who was so passionate about Black liberation and communist revolution.

Then I found out that me and BA, we had some of the same friends. He talks about one of these friends—Billy Carr, who was also a friend of mine. Billy was a very good athlete, and a really nice person—he was a little older than me. Billy ended up being in “the life”—I had gotten into it too and I kinda idolized Billy.

But he was a friend of BA’s that he knew really well. BA was struggling with Billy trying to get him to do something else with his life. He wasn’t blaming Billy for being in the situation that he was in, he was blaming the system and trying to get Billy to see that. He really understood and he had a lot of real affection for people like Billy generally. When I realized that and I learned that BA had genuine friends like that, that they had potential to do something great with their life, this had a big impression on me—I just have to be straight up about it.

Studying Revolution in Prison, Going Up Against Identity Politics

In the early ’70s when I was sent to federal prison, these revolutionary prisoners (seven prisoners known as Leavenworth Brothers) struggled with me to read BA’s writings. Because I was really angry like [another person in this discussion] was talking about. I was cocky and angry, and nobody could tell me shit. I had a certain attitude towards other prisoners: “y’all trying to win a longevity contest but you need to be out here trying to make revolution.” Anyway, some people were struggling with me: “if you’re really serious you got to read BA.” The first thing they had me read was Red Papers issues #5 and #6, both issues were about the Black National Question or Black liberation. I knew BA had wrote these.

I had already read, studied, and listened to Malcolm X, all of his speeches/recordings over and over. I had read Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth. I had read all this stuff from the Panthers and the Panthers’ leaders about this contradiction—the oppression of Black people—and what’s the solution to it. But when I read Red Papers 5 and 6, I recognized that I had never seen this kind of approach, this kind of systematic and scientific approach that BA took to understanding and analyzing it: from the time of slavery, to sharecropping and Jim Crow, to moving into the urban cities, into the proletariat still facing discrimination, segregation, and police terror—the implications of all that for revolution. Black people was now potentially in a more powerful position to contribute to communist revolution to emancipate humanity. I had never read anything like that.

But at that time some people were saying (at least some people that I knew—it was one of the things that was in the movement at that time): “don’t read anything from somebody white that’s trying to tell you about the struggle of Black people or any other oppressed people because its social chauvinism.” It means they are trying to take over “your” struggle. They are trying to “own” it. No! If it is true and scientific it is getting to the root of the problem so that this oppression can be uprooted and overthrown.

You hear a lot of this today in identity politics lingo—it’s white privilege, white racism, therefore white people are automatically disqualified and they have no business in here trying to tell you about what is real or not real. That is bullshit! It’s a way of avoiding the central point which is whether what anybody says is true or not, does it correspond to reality or not? You can determine that by taking the evidence-based scientific approach.

It’s bullshit on another level. I knew BA, and I knew where his heart was.

And then when I got to reading his writings—I got to know his method of thinking, his thinking process, how he went about engaging reality. When I received that pamphlet while I was in prison, Revolutionary Work in a Non-Revolutionary Situation, I thought it was a masterful grasp of the dialectical materialist method—understanding how a thing of one quality can be transformed into a whole different kind of quality. How a non-revolutionary situation can be transformed into a revolutionary situation.

I was in prison and we had our Marxist study group. We were comparing all these people that were saying they were communists and communist leaders. You had different ones—October League, League of Revolutionary Struggle, Communist Workers Party, Black Workers Congress—all these different organizations. You had ’em all, they were all around. We were looking at all of them, what they were saying in relationship to what BA and the RU were saying, as well as comparing it to how Mao, Lenin, and Marx took up the scientific method, how they engaged reality, and who here came the closest to that. Even at that time BA stood out.

The method that he was applying, even though he has developed it and made different ruptures since that time—but you could see, if you was looking for it, that there was some real systematic and a scientific way of getting to the roots of things. He did not put forward or say something just ’cause it was something to make people feel good, he just told people the truth whether they liked it or not. It was something I really appreciated. He applied this to everything including the oppression of Black people and how it had changed over the years.

Getting Out of Prison and into the Movement

The more I engaged BA, I could not wait to get out of prison. Before that, I didn’t give a fuck whether I got out or not. Before that I was saying: if I only live five more minutes it’s going to be on my terms, whether I’m in here or whether I’m out there—fuck it! But once I started getting into... I wanted to get out. I wanted to get with the leadership of BA. I wanted to meet him, I wanted to get with the Revolutionary Communist Party because I thought: hey, we have the leader and the leadership to really make revolution that we was trying to do in the ’60s.

When I came out of prison in the late ’70s, what immediately happened was the Bob Avakian and Mao Tsetung Defendants court case. He was part of a demonstration in DC that was viciously attacked for defending Mao and revolution in China and was calling out the capitalist coup after Mao’s death. BA himself was facing hundreds of years in prison. Because I knew that we had something special here in terms of a leader, I volunteered immediately to go to DC to be one of the volunteers. I said: we can’t allow BA to be snatched away from us. I’ll go anywhere, do anything politically, to prevent that from happening. And 200 of us volunteers went to DC. We went there to politically “turn DC upside down”—again, this is in BA’s Memoir. We were passionate about that, even as we were just beginning to grasp what we have in the leadership of BA.

I was brand new. I had just got out of prison, my parole had just ended the day before and the very next day I was on the plane to DC as a volunteer. So, I’m there, and I think it was a speech BA had just given to the volunteers. I’m standing in the back talking to somebody, he comes up to me. He starts talking to me about some of things we were all studying at that time about the Collapse of the Second Communist International. We studied why during Lenin’s time, Lenin was the only one who led the masses to go for revolution. They had other parties that were bigger and had even greater influence but were capitulating and leading the people in different countries to take up guns to defend the fucking imperialist fatherland and shit like that, during World War 1.

BA just walked up to me and started talking to me about that and some of the lessons that we should draw from that. I was just kinda... I have to say I was kinda taken aback because he came up and was talking to me. But BA was so genuine, he had no airs, he was just so genuine. I was just talking to him... even though he’s this really advanced world-class leader, when you’re talking to him it’s like you’re talking to your best friend, it’s like talking to a friend—that’s just how he comes off to me, which again, just really struck me. This always has struck me about him.

Back to what I was saying about his friend Billy, even the thing with the Panthers, when I listen to BA talk about it, he understands it better than I do. I was in the Panthers, I went through it, but he understands it. When I went to prison that’s why I was so angry because of what had happened to the Panthers. But BA had a rational and a scientific understanding about why they split apart, and departed from the road of revolution. Again, not blaming them, appreciating the very brutal and murderous repression they faced—but more so, recognizing how they didn’t make the leap to become scientific about revolution.

Nobody in the ’60s came up with a real strategy that can lead millions and millions to defeat and overthrow this system, what to replace it with, what kind of leadership do we need, what kind of methods and approach does that leadership needs to be based upon.

So it’s the same thing like what I was saying about Billy or with those youth in Chicago when we showed them the video clips of BA Through the Years. BA resonates when people hear him, especially the basic masses, as well as others. When they hear him it resonates so profoundly because he understands their situation, what they are going through, and what is the way out—better than you do.

You may be going through and suffering in this way, but it is like going to a doctor, a good doctor. You’re the one suffering but they understand what the solution is to put an end to that suffering better than you do and better than you can. Because he has done the work. People need to engage this work and become followers of BA.

“There has never been a leader like this”

But these are some of the things that have really always struck me about BA. It always struck me on a real personal level. Anytime I was ever able to talk to him, and then read and study his works, it’s so striking that there has never been a leader like this. I think it’s really rare. Especially when I was in prison, and other times, I would just hope that we could get a leader that could really lead the masses to get out of this shit and really navigate through all the twists and turns. Because in any revolution there are always difficulties, there’s always unanticipated things that pop up, but you got to have a method and approach that allows you to be able to work through that and not be thrown by that. And that’s what I see with BA.

When I was in my prison cell, I used to think that either I was going to do something crazy when I got out or I was just going to go to China and live because Mao was still alive at that time. But I hated this system, I hated what it was doing to the masses, not just here but all around the world. But I didn’t think we could get that leadership on that level of a Mao, a Lenin, or a Marx. Then I started realizing that we had it, we have it. And now, it’s developed more beyond what it ever had been in the history of the communist revolution, because BA has made this science much more thoroughly and consistently scientific, to be in synch with reality and how it is changing, and how it CAN be changed to emancipate humanity.

I would read some of things from the first wave of the world revolution—Marx making the first great breakthrough in our understanding in the struggle for human emancipation—but there were definite limits and weaknesses in the first stage of communism. Sometimes I would read those things and get to a place where I’d say, “oh yeah, now we can relax because there’s a kingdom of peace and forever harmony”—that’s a vision would come to my mind. But I don’t ever get that from BA.

Through this revolution humanity can surpass being divided into antagonistic groups—but there’s always going to be matter in motion, there’s always going to be struggle, even if it’s not always antagonistic, that’s just reality. That’s what’s so fucking refreshing. Because when I was in prison people would talk... some of these people, they was eloquent, they’d been studying Marxism—but it was really dogmatic. And I’d listen to them talk and my jaw would just drop because they’d be talking about how the working out of history is pre-determined, that feudalism would be negated by capitalism, and capitalism is going to be negated by socialism—and it was all a kind of worked out in a one/two-step harmony. Real dogmatic and shit like that. Some of that was in that first phase of communism, and BA has gotten rid of all of that with his new synthesis of communism. You don’t find none of that religiosity, religious mantra and shit like that in it and stuff. To me, that’s why I think we can do this—with him, and with his leadership, because of that.

 

BA Through the Years 1969,1979, 2003

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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/707/rnl-show-episode-60-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Episode 60 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show!

The Chinese Communist Party Is NOT the Party of Mao and Revolution!

 

The Truth About the 100th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party: The Party in China Today is NOT the Party of Mao and Revolution... but of Counterrevolution and Capitalism-Imperialism!

In this episode we bring to you an extensive interview with Raymond Lotta where he’ll go into the great accomplishments of the communist revolution in China from 1949 to 1976; the tremendous advance of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution; and the REVERSAL of that revolution in the capitalist coup of 1976, which gave rise to the capitalist-imperialist nightmare of China today. Lotta, together with host Andy Zee, will point to how Bob Avakian has summed up this experience, along with other revolutions and broader human experience, as part of forging a new synthesis of communism to chart the path of emancipation today.

We will also bring you an excerpt of a speech from Bob Avakian where he poses sharply: “Which System, Capitalism or Communism, Is the Nightmare for Humanity?”

We'll share a powerful spoken word poem from Roosevelt of the Chicago Revolution Club, a true friend and champion of The Revolution, Nothing Less Show.

Finally, in light of the recent discovery of two mass graves of hundreds of indigenous children buried near forced boarding schools in Canada that were part of the genocide against Native Americans, we bring you "American Crime Case #40: Native American Boarding Schools: 'Kill the Indian, Save the Man.'” This practice—of stealing the children of Indigenous peoples and forcing them into boarding schools to be robbed of their language, culture, family bonds and more—was widespread in the United States as well. An estimated 150,000 children were forced into these schools for more than a century in this country. This American Crime segment was produced by the filmmaker David Zeiger, based on Case #40 in the American Crime series found at: revcom.us/americancrime

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/706/rnl-show-episode-59-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Episode 59 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show!

Imagine A New Society; Bob Avakian on "Weapons of Oppression..."; Abortion Rights with Dr. Warren Hern

Premiering: Thursday, July 1, 2021
5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT
YouTube.com/TheRevcoms

 

As the climate heats up, murder rates rise, and the right to abortion hangs by a thread, the urgency of revolution could not be greater. We bring you Bob Avakian's recent piece, “Weapons of Oppression, and the Heart to Fight to End Oppression,” taking on this system's “two big weapons it uses to maintain masses of people in a situation where they are oppressed, brutalized, degraded, and demoralized.” Then, Andy Zee presents excerpts of Bob Avakian's 2003 talk, Revolution: Why It's Necessary; Why It's Possible: What It's All About, to help us step out of this world that this system keeps us locked in to “Imagine a New Society.” Finally, Sunsara Taylor interviews Dr. Warren Hern, an outspoken doctor who has performed abortions for nearly 50 years, about the fascist assault on abortion rights as the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case that could overturn or drastically restrict this right.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/705/rnl-show-episode-58-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Episode 58 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show!

A Future Worth Fighting for: Revolution, Nothing Less!

 

What do the deep divisions throughout society reveal about not only the dangers to humanity's future, but also the potential for a real revolution? Andy Zee wields A Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now for A Real Revolution to examine the sharp conflicts among the rulers and what it means that we are living in rare times when a revolution could be possible. Get to know Bob Avakian through the final segment of the article "Bob Avakian For The Liberation of Black People And the Emancipation of All Humanity." And learn even more deeply the lessons of the revolutionary marches on June 12 in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/704/rnl-show-episode-57-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Watch Episode 57 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show!

Report from June 12 Marches Announcing: 
An Emerging Force Is Organizing NOW for a Real Revolution

Premiering: Friday, June 18, 2021
5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT
YouTube.com/TheRevcoms

 

On June 12th, the Revcoms and scores of others marched in each of three cities—Los Angeles, New York and Chicago—to “Show the World: We Are Getting Organized Now for REVOLUTION, NOTHING LESS!” These marches were conceived, planned and organized as part of—and in the context of—making good on the call from the Revcoms in “A Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution.”

Led by Revolution Club members stepping and marching in formation—serious, determined, disciplined, with revolutionary élan and a conquering spirit—these marches included people of all ages from diverse walks of life. Together, they expressed and spread the joy and pride of being part of something that is pointing an emancipatory way out of the horrors humanity is caught in under the current system.

In his opening commentary, Andy Zee provides orientation and strategic understanding, drawn from “A Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution,” to understand what guided the Revcoms in these June 12th marches and which must now guide the work to learn deeply the lessons of this experience and make further advances in building the movement for revolution now. He invites everyone—including people who just learned about this revolution through last weekend's marches—to be part of this.

In the rest of the episode, through our documentary footage, you will see and feel the impact of these revolutionary marches and the potential they revealed that must be seized and built upon urgently by all who want a better future for humanity.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/703/bob-avakian-weapons-of-oppression-en.html

WEAPONS OF OPPRESSION,
AND THE HEART TO FIGHT
TO END OPPRESSION

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

This system has two big weapons it uses to maintain masses of people in a situation where they are oppressed, brutalized, degraded, and demoralized. 

The first weapon is the murderous armed force of this system—which, along with all its other atrocities, continually hunts down and kills Black, Brown, and Native American people in the most depraved ways.

The second weapon is the way this system messes people up and gets them thinking and acting in messed up ways—and especially how this system denies the youth a decent future, forcibly confines so many in miserable conditions and gets them caught up in fighting and killing each other. This, too, is a monstrous crime of this system

What kind of system condemns so many youth to nothing better than this?! What kind of system does so many people this way, and then seizes on what it has got people caught up in—uses this as an excuse to treat masses of people as less than human, murder them in the thousands and lock them up in the millions, right in this country, while it slaughters people all around the world and destroys the earth? It is this monstrous system of capitalism-imperialism that we are now forced to live under—a system that could not survive without viciously exploiting billions of people worldwide, including more than 150 million children—a system that never will, and never can, stop doing all this.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!

We revcoms are out to change all thisthe only way it can be donethrough an actual revolution, to do away with this whole system. We have the science, the strategy and plan, and the leadership to do this, and we are actively working and waging the necessary struggle to bring forth and organize a revolutionary force of thousands, and then millions, from many different parts of society—and especially youth whose anger, frustration and desperation to make a mark in this world and be respected needs to be, and can be, transformed into determination to put an end to this system and to bring a radically different and much better world into being—to become emancipators of humanity.

In A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION* we have made it clear: this not only cries out to be done—it is possible. And everyone who has a heart to fight for something really worth fighting for needs to get with this revolution we are working for NOW.

 


* A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION is available at revcom.us—and it is being posted and passed out to people in neighborhoods and other places around the country, as a key part of spreading the word about this revolution and organizing people into this revolution.  [back]

Listen to Bob Avakian on:

"WEAPONS OF OPPRESSION, AND THE HEART TO FIGHT TO END OPPRESSION"

revcom.us · Weapons Of Oppression, And The Heart To Fight To END Oppression, by Bob Avakian

Download flyer (PDF) here

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/haiti-plunges-deeper-into-crisis-even-more-horrors-for-the-masses-en.html

Haiti Plunges Deeper Into a Crisis, Fundamentally Created by Capitalism-Imperialism

A Presidential Assassination, Even More Horrors for the Masses of People 

| revcom.us

 

According to news reports and the current Haitian government, early on July 7, heavily armed men attacked and swarmed into the home of President Jovenel Moïse, ransacked it, and shot Moïse a dozen times, killing him. His wife Martine was also seriously wounded.

Over the next two days, Haitian police captured or killed 23 people alleged to have been part of the raid. The government claims they are Colombian mercenaries (plus two Haitian-American translators). The Colombian government reported that travel records show that these men began gathering and preparing in the Dominican Republic (Haiti’s neighbor) and in Haiti itself starting about two months ago.

This level of advance planning and financing points to powerful forces being behind the assassination, but who these forces were, and why there was no resistance from the president’s security force (reportedly 100 strong) are at this point unknown.

But the immediate result is clear—it has set off an enormous political crisis that threatens to further unravel Haitian society.

An Extremely Dangerous Political Crisis

Haiti was already in a complex political crisis—the legislative and judicial branches had largely stopped functioning, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court just died of COVID-19, and for the last year Moïse has been ruling by decree.1 A large section of the population considered Moïse completely illegitimate, and there were repeated waves of protest demanding he resign. In response, Moïse was trying to make changes to the constitution to allow him to stay in office longer and gain greater powers.

Because of all this, there is no clear successor to the presidency, and no established process to select one. In this situation, three different political leaders are claiming to be the new head of state, and each is appealing to the U.S. and other big powers that dominate Haiti, as well as to different forces and factions in the Haitian ruling class to back them.2 The fact that these would-be successors are looking to the U.S. for who should lead their country reveals much about how the U.S. dominates Haiti and its responsibility for the suffering of Haitian people.

Further complicating this situation is that different bourgeois political parties have relationships with powerful criminal gangs that they unleash to attack neighborhoods that support their opponents. And some of the larger gangs even have aspirations to displace the established political leaders and run things themselves. There are reports of violent clashes between gangs struggling to control the roads that lead south out of the capital to the rest of Haiti.

The government (currently headed by Moïse’s prime minister, Claude Joseph) declared a 15-day “state of siege” granting police extraordinary powers, and appealed to the U.S. and the UN to send troops to “protect” the airport and other infrastructure. (So far, as we go to press, the U.S. has expressed no interest in doing this but is sending FBI and Department of Homeland Security agents to “assess” things and participate in the investigation of the assassination.)

In other words, various reactionary (anti-people) forces are deploying armed force to fill the political vacuum created by Moïse’s murder. There is a great danger that this could escalate to civil war on very bad terms and/or lead to the consolidation of a fascist-style dictatorship. The uncertainty and instability of the situation are paralyzing the economy as people fear to even be out on the streets.

Haiti was already suffering greatly—according to CNN, 60 percent of its 11 million people live in poverty. CNN also describes UNICEF's assessment that "1.5 million children are currently in need of urgent humanitarian assistance." And that the COVID epidemic is raging, and Haiti has "not ... received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.”3

This political crisis is making all of that even worse, and is likely to lead to increasing crime, violence, poverty, and new waves of refugees fleeing the island to the U.S. and elsewhere. While there is a lot that is uncertain, unknown and changing rapidly, what we do know is the whole history that has led to this point.

Haitian Crisis Rooted in Colonialist and Imperialist Foreign Domination

Haiti has been reeling from crisis to crisis for decades and decades, with each one bringing terrible suffering to the country’s 11 million people. In addition to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, mudslides, and most importantly the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed at least 200,000 people, there is ever-deepening poverty, unemployment and outright hunger, and the rampant crime and gang activity that always accompany deep poverty.

U.S. media and politicians talk about Haiti like it was a tragedy to which they are benevolent bystanders. They cluck their tongues “sympathetically,” saying that “Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere,” in spite of “billions of dollars in aid” from “the international community.” They talk about Haiti’s “troubled history” of political instability and coups.

But they omit or “forget” to mention the vicious—and predatory—role of “the international community,” especially France in slavery times, and the U.S. for the last 100 years. You won’t read much about the French warships that besieged Port-au-Prince in 1825, demanding billions of dollars in “reparations” for France’s lost “property” (i.e., slaves liberated when the Haitian revolution, the world's first successful slave revolution, overthrew French rule in 1804); or about the U.S. and French efforts to “isolate” Haiti and the contagion of slaves rising up; or about the 1915 U.S. invasion and 19-year occupation of Haiti, or the U.S. backing for the brutal dictatorships of Papa Doc Duvalier and his son Baby Doc, the destruction of the Haitian rice industry … and on and on and on.4

For a more detailed history of this, we highly recommend these revcom.us articles:

Haiti has been part of and kept in a subjugated, impoverished and desperate situation by predatory imperialist powers. But even beyond Haiti’s particular history, the crisis there now is also part and parcel of mounting instability and dislocation in the world as a whole. Over the last century and more, the system of capitalism-imperialism has penetrated into every corner of the planet, imposing its viral system of production for profit, and of empire to protect those profits. And along with this has come countless wars; global climate change with its floods, storms and droughts, and the widespread destruction of small-scale peasant farming; the escalating growth of gangs, sex-trafficking and informal economies that ravage the population; the rapid moving of industries from one country to another seeking cheaper labor … all of which have rendered life in dozens of countries like Haiti unbearable.5

It is all this that has been playing out in Haiti, with the rise of the widely hated Jovenel Moïses regime, his murder by as-yet-unknown forces, and now the power struggle erupting within the Haitian elite to see who can get the backing of the U.S. to rule over and help further loot Haiti. All this is a damning indictment of imperialist domination of Haiti and of the capitalist-imperialist system as a whole.

 


1. According to the New York Times, “the nation’s democratic institutions have been hollowed out... Haiti is a parliamentary democracy with almost no parliament. The Senate is at one-third its usual size, and the lower house is entirely vacant because the members’ terms expired last year. Mr. Moïse had governed by decree for about a year.… [T]he judiciary has been virtually nonexistent for the past year, with judges often on strike to protest the political upheaval and rampant violence. And the head of the nation’s highest court, who might have offered guidance, died of Covid-19 in June.” [back]

2. For more on the power struggles in Haiti, see the New York Times, “Haiti’s Power Vacuum Escalates Kingmakers’ Battle for Control.” [back]

3. See CNN, “Two Americans among 15 detained over assassination of Haitian President.” [back]

4. For the real story, see “American Crime, Case #80: 1915-1934: The U.S. Invasion, Occupation and Domination of Haiti,” “The U.S. in Haiti: A Century of Domination and Misery,” and “HAITI: Five Days of Inspiring Rebellion Against Imperialist-Imposed Price Hikes… and the Crying Need for Revolution,” all at revcom.us. [back]

5. For more on why capitalism-imperialism is creating unprecedented crises around the world, see the “New Year’s Statement from Bob Avakian,” and “A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution” from the revcoms, both at revcom.us. [back]


A large section of the population considered Moise illegitimate. Above, in February 2021, people protested demanding he resign. Photo: AP


60 percent of Haiti's 11 million people live in poverty. Natural disasters contribute, like the earthquake of 2010 in which 250,000 people died and 5 million were displaced. Above, people line up for food and water after 2016 Hurricane Matthew. Photo: AP


Disabled Haitians at a shelter after their homes were set on fire by gangs, July 2021. Photo: AP

 

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.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/biden-invokes-america-first-chauvinism-in-speeding-up-troop-withdrawal-from-afghanistan-en.html

Biden Invokes America-First Chauvinism in Speeding Up Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note (7/12/21): This past April, the U.S. officially announced it would withdraw its military forces from Afghanistan. That withdrawal has now begun and is unfolding rapidly—Biden says it will be completed by the end of August. This is sending shockwaves through Afghanistan, where the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist Taliban is reportedly rapidly gaining ground.

This U.S. withdrawal does not represent “abandoning” the Afghan people as some in the ruling class and media claim. It’s not abandonment because the U.S. was never in Afghanistan for the Afghan people.

In fact, on July 8, Biden laid out his justifications for this move, starting with naked America-first chauvinism, that “American lives are the only ones that count,” stating: “Let me ask those who want us to stay: How many more? How many thousands more American daughters and sons are you willing to risk? And how long would you have them stay?”

What about the tens of thousands of Afghan lives lost or the millions shattered thanks to the U.S. war and everything it unleashed? What about the millions of Afghan lives now imperiled thanks to how America’s imperialist war installed an oppressive regime while fueling the Taliban resurgence? And how is this blatant chauvinism fundamentally any different than what Trump was peddling?

Biden also tried to hide the nature of the U.S. invasion and occupation, the staggering toll it inflicted on the Afghan people, and the profundity of America’s defeat, by rewriting history. Biden claimed the U.S. “did what we want to do in Afghanistan: to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and delivered justice to Osama bin Laden and to degrade the terrorist threat to keep Afghanistan from becoming a base from which the attacks could be continued against the United States. We achieved those objectives. That’s why we went. We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build.”

The following article, originally posted in March 2020, sheds light on—and shreds—Biden’s lies about America’s real history in Afghanistan, its actual motives for waging war in 2001, and whether the U.S. was ever a “force for good” there, and lays out some of the key lessons to be drawn from this 20-year war.

Stay tuned to revcom.us for coverage of this rapidly developing situation.

America Leaves Afghanistan After Killing Over 100,000 People in Its "Good War"

Originally published March 9, 2020

 

On February 29, the U.S. signed an agreement with Afghanistan’s Taliban—the enemy it had been fighting for nearly 19 years—pledging to withdraw all American military forces over the next 14 months.

This is a big deal. The Afghanistan war has been a horrendous imperialist crime and a big disaster and defeat for the U.S. After waging the longest war in American history, the rulers are withdrawing without having defeated their adversary or achieving their goals, and with very little in return from the Taliban except a promise not to allow Afghanistan to be used for attacks on the U.S. or its allies.

The impetus to negotiate this withdrawal is driven by how the section of the ruling class led by Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, assess the challenges facing U.S. imperialism globally and how to respond. It is beyond the scope of this article to fully assess this complex situation, but it’s important to note that a U.S. withdrawal after nearly two decades of occupation on these terms, with the likely return of the Taliban to power could be very destabilizing—in Afghanistan and South Asia, with potentially long-term, global, and unpredictable repercussions. It’s also important to note that there are very sharp differences within the U.S. ruling class—including within the pro-Trump camp—about this deal. Some are calling it surrender on the Taliban’s terms and warning of dire consequences for the U.S., from outright civil war in Afghanistan to the possible rise of an Islamic state in the turmoil following a U.S. withdrawal. (See sidebar on the basics of the agreement.)

So it’s important to understand in an overall sense what’s happened, why it happened, and what lessons to draw from the war and its outcome.

October 7, 2001: America Launches Afghanistan War

On September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, a reactionary Islamic jihadist organization, orchestrated attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, which killed some 3,000 people. At the time, bin Laden and Al Qaeda were based mainly in Afghanistan, which was then ruled by the extremely oppressive, Islamic fundamentalist Taliban. (See sidebar on the “Crimes of the Taliban.”)

Some four weeks later, the U.S. under George W. Bush began bombing Afghanistan. Then, together with its NATO allies, it invaded and occupied the country, quickly overthrowing the Taliban and destroying most Al Qaeda bases.

The U.S. called its war “Operation Enduring Freedom,” and claimed it was a “justified response” to 9/11 aimed at bringing those responsible to justice, defeating the Taliban, ending the scourge of “international terrorism,” and keeping America safe. Bush also claimed the U.S. was fighting for tolerance, freedom, women’s rights, and a “new democracy” in Afghanistan.

What the U.S. Inflicted on the Afghan People... 18 Plus Years of Brutality and Murder

Over the course of 18 years, three administrations have deployed nearly 800,000 troops to Afghanistan, and 50 NATO countries and their partners have sent tens of thousands more.

The violence unleashed by the U.S. has been staggering. Between 2004 and 2018, it dropped over 38,000 bombs on Afghanistan.1 As of March 2020, it had carried out over 12,000 drone strikes.2

U.S. forces and their Afghan clients terrorized people with dead-of-night house searches. They created a network of prison and detention centers where at least 15,000 Afghans have been detained on little or no evidence, brutally beaten, tortured, and sometimes killed. This week the International Criminal Court stated it had proof that U.S. forces had “committed acts of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape, and sexual violence”—war crimes—in Afghanistan.3

By August 2016, some 111,000 people had been killed and over 116,000 injured in the war. And one study found that the “war on terror” had directly or indirectly led to around 220,000 deaths in Afghanistan by 2013. On top of this carnage, nearly five million Afghan people have been forced from their homes by the war.4

Meanwhile, 2,313 U.S. and 1,145 NATO and coalition troops have been killed and another 20,000 U.S. soldiers wounded.

The U.S. promised to improve life for the Afghan people, and it’s spent billions on various development projects. Yet its first move was to install a puppet government made up of warlords, ethnic power brokers, Islamic fundamentalists, and other pro-U.S. reactionaries. Under this cabal of reactionary thugs, corruption and brutality were the order of the day. The “democratic courts” the U.S. set up were so corrupt that many people preferred to take their grievances to the Taliban, who were seen as “brutal but fair.”

Today over half Afghanistan’s 35 million people remain impoverished, and nearly half are food insecure. Chronic malnutrition has stunted the growth of a mind-boggling 41 percent of Afghan children under five. Half the population lives on less than a dollar a day.5

Life was a nightmare for women under Taliban rule, and the U.S. promised to free Afghan women. Some reforms have been enacted, mainly in urban areas, but some two-thirds of Afghan girls still don’t attend school and 87 percent are illiterate. At least 70-80 percent are forced into marriage, many before the age of 16. Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Nearly 90 percent of Afghan women are victims of domestic abuse.6 Amnesty International calls it one of the worst places in the world to be a woman.

Now, after all these years, the U.S. is apparently leaving—having essentially been defeated by the Taliban—with nothing to show for all the promises they made, the more than $1 trillion they spent, and the violence and brutality they rained down on the people of Afghanistan.

Why Did All This Happen?

Why Did the U.S. Invade in the First Place?

The U.S. attacked and occupied Afghanistan, first, to send a message that the U.S. rulers, like global mafia godfathers, saw as essential for maintaining their world dominance: no one was going to get away with carrying out an attack like September 11 without an overwhelming, ruthless, and murderous response.

And overall, the U.S. rulers saw the Afghanistan war as the opening salvo of a protracted global “war on terror” to “drain the swamp” of those Islamic fundamentalist forces that oppose the U.S. and reshape the broader Middle East, seeking dominance of the region and parts of South Asia (see Bringing Forward Another Wayby Bob Avakian). The rulers envisioned taking control and imposing an imperialist model of development on key countries in the region and transforming some of the conditions that were fueling Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism. All this was viewed as a means of strengthening the U.S. imperialist grip on these key regions, to surround and undercut global rivals—Russia and China in particular—and lock in U.S. global dominance for decades to come.

(Obama was forced to scale back these grand ambitions, but he continued and escalated the war in Afghanistan in order to attempt to preserve U.S. global credibility, defeat the Taliban, and maintain U.S. imperialist dominance in the Middle East and Central Asia. For Obama’s role in this mass murder, see “Obama’s War Crimes in Afghanistan—A Simple and Quick Reminder,” revcom.us.)

The U.S as a Reactionary Occupying Force in Afghanistan

For all their violence, the U.S. and its allies were never able to defeat the Taliban or get control of Afghanistan. The Washington Post recently exposed that the U.S. had been systematically lying: painting a rosy picture of progress when its own study concluded “military commanders have been unable to deliver on their promises to prevail,” and after over 18 years the U.S.-backed government still only had “control or influence“ of at most about half the country.7

The U.S. and the forces they backed represented and enforced the shackles that exploited, suffocated, and held down the Afghan people: imperialist domination, enslaving patriarchy, and Dark Ages religious tradition and bigotry.8 No matter how much money the U.S. spent on this or that project, they all took place within this overall reactionary, oppressive framework.

The way the U.S. military fought reflected this. U.S. bombs, missiles and operations often claimed the lives of ordinary Afghans—in their homes, at family gatherings, in the course of their daily lives. One GI told military investigators, “we’re running over kids with our MRAPS [armored vehicles].” All this contributed to the war’s enormous toll on civilians—39,000 dead.9

Like pigs patrolling America’s ghettoes and barrios, the U.S. military was an occupation force that sees Afghan people as potential enemies, and racist contempt for them is widespread. One investigation found Special Forces operatives “hated” the Afghans they trained, saying they were “awful—the bottom of the barrel in the country that is already the bottom of the barrel.” Villagers were referred to as “‘speaking derka derka’—a racist term for “the language Muslims speak.” (As if all Muslims spoke the same language!)10

Instead of winning “hearts and minds,” America’s war (and other factors) fueled the resurgence of the Taliban and enabled it to mobilize a section of the Afghan people against the U.S. occupation and the regime it propped up. This is a textbook case of Bob Avakian’s analysis that

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade [increasingly globalized western imperialism] on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.11

BA also sums up:

[T]hese imperialists are good at invading countries and knocking over regimes, but then when they find themselves in the position of occupying the country and they have a population that gets aroused against them, it becomes a different dynamic, and it is not so easy for them. It is not so easy for them to maintain “order” and to impose the changes they want to impose in accordance with their interests. It is not so easy to impose this “from the top down”—which is the only way imperialist occupiers can impose changes.12

(See Bringing Forward Another Way by Bob Avakian for further analysis of the contradictions and difficulties faced by the U.S. imperialists in their global “war on terror” focused in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

What Does This Mean For Humanity?

First, the Afghanistan war shows that no matter how the U.S. rulers portray America’s motives in these wars as just and pure, these imperialists act out of their interests and necessity to enforce and maintain their worldwide empire of domination and exploitation.

Second, while the Taliban are a thoroughly reactionary force which has nothing to do with the struggle for emancipation, there is still something important for those fighting for genuine revolution and liberation to learn from the war in Afghanistan: that the imperialists are not all powerful and that an enemy which is inferior in firepower and other forms of strength can, in the right circumstances, defeat the most powerful army in the world.

 


1. “The U.S. Never Dropped As Many Bombs On Afghanistan As It Did In 2018,” Forbes, November 13, 2018.  [back]

2. Current Statistics “Drone Strikes in Afghanistan,” The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.  [back]

3. “Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan,” New York Times, July 19, 2009. There have been widespread reports that U.S. forces tortured and abused hundreds of detainees at firebases or other installations, and that the CIA has operated secret detention centers holding “ghost prisoners” (detainees who are not given any legal rights or access to counsel and who are likely not reported or seen by the International Red Cross). “I.C.C. Allows Afghanistan War Crimes Inquiry to Proceed, Angering U.S.” New York Times, March 5, 2020.  [back]

4. “Human Cost of the Post-9/11 Wars: Lethality and the Need for Transparency,” Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, November 2018; Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the “War on Terror”: Iraq Afghanistan Pakistan, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Physicians for Social Responsibility, March 2015, p. 15. The U.S.-led war has had a devastating impact on neighboring Pakistan as well as the war in Afghanistan, U.S. drone strikes, and reactionary jihadism spread across the border (with Al Qaeda joining forces with Pakistani Islamists to wage war on the Pakistani state). Body Count estimates that the U.S. war caused some 80,000 Pakistani deaths between 2004-2013 alone.  [back]

5. “Country Profiles: Afghanistan" and “Multidimensional Poverty Index", United Nations Human Development Report, 2018; “Afghanistan", World Food Program; “Afghanistan's poverty rate rises as economy suffers,” Reuters, May 7, 2018.  [back]

6. “THE WORLD’S WORST PLACES TO BE A WOMAN,” Amnesty International, 2019.  [back]

7. “The Afghanistan Papers”: The Lies Exposed — and the Deeper Truths That Need to Come Out,” revcom.us, January 20, 2020.  [back]

8. Afghanistan is also divided between different nationalities and ethnic groups including Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras.  [back]

9. “The Afghanistan Papers.”  [back]

10. “The Afghanistan Papers.”  [back]

11. Quote posted at “In the Middle East, and in the World, America: The #1 Terrorist—A special resource page on the Middle East,” revcom.us, October 28, 2019.  [back

12. Bob Avakian, “BRINGING FORWARD ANOTHER WAY,” revcom.us, March 18, 2007. See also, Bob Avakian, “Breaking Out of a Deadly Dynamic An Excerpt from: Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution,” revcom.us, Nov, 2015.  [back]

13. “U.S. report denies 90 Afghan civilians were killed,” New York Times, September 2, 2008.  [back]

14. Bob Dreyfuss, “Mass-Casualty Attacks in the Afghan War,” The Nation, September 19, 2013; “Afghanistan: The MASSACRE and The LIES,” revcom.us, May 17, 2009.  [back]

15. “Massacre at Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan-U.S. Bombs Send a Bloody Message to the World,” revcom.us, October 3, 2015.  [back]

 

From Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution:
"Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation & Crimes Against Humanity"

Watch the complete speech here.

The Basics of the U.S.-Taliban Agreement

Here are the basic elements to the agreement the U.S. signed with the Taliban that have so far been made public:

  1. The U.S. is pledging a total withdrawal of its 12,000-14,000 military personnel—the first group within 135 days, and then the remaining 8,600 within 14 months, provided the Taliban carries through with its end of the agreement.
  2. The U.S. also pledges to remove UN and U.S. sanctions against the Taliban and not to violate Afghanistan’s sovereignty with force or intervene in its domestic affairs.
  3. The Taliban is not to be involved in or allow any groups or forces to mount attacks on the U.S. or its allies from Afghanistan, be sheltered on Afghan soil, or transit through Afghanistan.
  4. The Taliban will begin negotiations with the U.S.-backed Afghan government (which is not party to this agreement and wasn’t even invited to be part of negotiating it) on Afghanistan’s political future in the near future—with the provision that the U.S. will work to secure the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan.
  5. The Taliban and the U.S. will work to reduce the level of violence.

The Taliban has not laid down its arms, renounced its vision of an Islamic state in Afghanistan, committed to accepting the legitimacy of the current Afghan government, or promised to uphold the basic rights of the Afghan people. Nor has it denounced Al Qaeda. And the agreement does not clearly and formally prevent the Taliban from again taking over much, if not all of Afghanistan at some point.

So all in all, this agreement is mainly on the Taliban’s terms and seems to indicate that the U.S. rulers are trying to cut their losses and withdraw. (On March 3, Trump spoke directly to the leader of the Taliban by phone, the first president to do so.)

However, the situation in Afghanistan remains volatile. This week there have been attacks, military clashes, and a U.S. airstrike, and U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo warned the Taliban and the Afghan government to reduce the violence. So exactly how, when, and perhaps if this agreement gets carried out remains unclear.

Sources: “A Secret Accord With the Taliban: When and How the U.S. Would Leave Afghanistan,” New York Times, March 8, 2020; “4 Takeaways From the U.S. Deal With the Taliban,” New York Times, March 1, 2020; “What does the Taliban-US agreement say?” Al Jazeera, February 29, 2020

Bringing Forward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters in the fall of 2006. This groundbreaking analysis, made during the George W. Bush years, continues to be very relevant, especially in the context of sharpening contradictions centered in the Middle East and aggressive U.S.-led moves against Iran.

The Horrific Crimes of the Taliban

The Taliban is a reactionary organization, representing the traditional ruling forces of Afghanistan and organized around the often violent enforcement of suffocating, draconian laws and social codes, especially targeting women, based on a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. “Taliban” means “students,” and many of its founders were trained in fundamentalist schools—madrasas—supported by Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan’s neighbor Pakistan as part of the U.S. imperialist-led proxy war against Soviet occupation in Afghanistan during the 1980s.* The Taliban, which is based mainly among Afghanistan’s Pashtun people, became a powerful force in the 1990s and took over Afghanistan in 1996 after a bloody civil war, and it has had, and continues to have, support from Pakistan.

Under Taliban rule, women were forced to wear burkas, prevented from going to school after age eight, barred from most work, and couldn’t even go out of their homes without male supervision. Sexual apartheid was practiced throughout society, and women “guilty” of even minor infractions were subject to public floggings, even killed. The Taliban’s atrocities—like stonings of women in stadiums for “crimes” such as adultery—sickened people across the globe. The Taliban targeted people of other religions, even other branches of Islam, and also the country’s smaller non-Pashtun nationalities and non-believers, and bitterly suppressed the oppressed peoples of all nationalities and religions. During their rule they carried out gruesome massacres of their opponents in Mazar-i-Sharif (1998), Sar-i Pul (1999-2000), Rabatak (2000), and Yakaolang (2001).

The Taliban’s methods of waging war reflect its barbaric program. During this latest Afghan war, it has targeted, assassinated, massacred, and brutalized civilians, and carried out widespread rapes and other crimes against humanity. During its 2015 takeover of Kunduz, Amnesty International reported, “Mass murder, gang rapes and house-to-house searches by Taliban death squads are just some of the harrowing civilian testimonies.”

 


* After the Soviet Union invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S. and its allies organized, trained, and funded reactionary Islamic fundamentalist mujahideen to wage war against it. Soviet socialism had been defeated in the 1950s, and the Soviet Union became capitalist and by the 1970-80s was an imperialist power contending with the U.S. for global dominance. The U.S. helped fuel the savage 1979-1988 war between the Soviet Union, then occupying the country, and U.S.-backed Islamic fundamentalists. This reactionary bloodbath killed between 800,000 and 1.5 million Afghans (along with 15,000 Soviet soldiers), forced five million Afghans from the country as refugees, and displaced another two million within Afghanistan. The reactionary jihadists and Islamic fundamentalists the U.S. armed, trained, and organized have continued to wreak havoc in Afghanistan—and across the region—in the decades since, some becoming the backbone of Al Qaeda and the Taliban. For more, see the revcom.us American Crime series “Case #24: U.S. Proxy War Against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, 1979-1988.”  [back]

America’s Campaign of Death from the Sky in Afghanistan

Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed by U.S. bombs and its 12,000-plus drone strikes, some which obliterated homes, wedding parties, and whole villages. Here are just a few—of many—examples:

  • Over 90 people were massacred in August 2008, including 60 children and 15 women in the village of Azizabad.13
  • Between 26 and 140 Afghan civilians, mainly women and children, “perished in the blink of an eye,” in the villages of Shiwan and Granai, in western Afghanistan when their homes were destroyed by U.S. bombs in May 2009.14
  • In October 2015, the U.S. destroyed a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 19, and wounding dozens of patients and staff.15

 

 

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/deadly-factory-fire-in-bangladesh-kills-over-50-theres-a-system-behind-the-horror-en.html

Deadly Factory Fire in Bangladesh Kills Over 50—There's a System Behind the Horror

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note (7/12/21): On July 8, a deadly fire in a food and beverage factory in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, killed at least 52 people. The fire raged for more than a day, sending thick clouds of smoke into the air. According to fire officials, the main door to the five-story Hashem Foods factory, which targeted both the domestic and export markets with packaging and fruit drinks, was locked from the inside—trapping many workers inside. Highly flammable chemicals and plastics were stored in the building, and there were multiple other fire and safety regulation violations. Some people in the burning building tried to escape by jumping from upper floors, with at least 26 suffering injuries.

Bangladesh has a long history of such fires and other “accidents” in sweatshops mainly geared for export. In 2012, a fire at the Tazreen Fashions garment factory killed over 100 workers who had been working overtime to produce clothes for Walmart and other transnational corporations. The workers were trapped inside the overcrowded factory because there were no emergency exits. In 2013, the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed, burying more than 1,100 workers in the rubble and seriously injuring many others.

In light of the latest deadly fire in a Bangladeshi sweatshop, we are reposting this article—which originally appeared after the Rana Plaza disaster—going into how such horrors are rooted in and flow from the workings of the system of capitalism-imperialism.

Everyone's Talkin' About Inequality—Let's Talk About the System Causing It
Lesson from Bangladesh

Originally Published January 6, 2014

 

On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed and became an instant tomb for more than 1,100 people. Aside from the dead, many others are now maimed for life, their bodies mangled, without arms and legs. The incident became emblematic of a world of inequalities. But what people aren't talking about is why capitalism must generate such inequalities.

Since this disaster, the deadliest in the history of the garment industry, questions have been raised: Who should be responsible to the victims' families? What can be done to prevent this from happening again? What is the culpability of companies like Walmart that outsource to factories in Third World countries?

Many have pointed to the unfair, unsafe, sweatshop conditions of the workers in Rana Plaza: that Bangladesh has one of the lowest costs of labor in the world with the national minimum wage at 21 cents an hour, or $38 per month; that the eight-story building was so shoddily built that workers had reported massive cracks in the walls the day before and refused to work—but factory owners coldly calculated that deadlines were more important than safety so workers were told if they didn't return to work their pay would be cut.

Millions around the world looked at this horrific incident and what it says about the gross inequalities in the world. Many people are not just aware of, but appalled by the fact that we live in a world where so many people live in conditions of misery, poverty, and starvation. Some talk about how capitalism is "greedy" and "unfair" for the majority of people who live on this globe.

But what is really needed—to get at the problem AND the solution—is a lot more discussion and understanding about WHY capitalism, by its very nature, HAS TO generate such inequality and impoverishment. WHY the economic laws that govern the system of capitalism will and can only lead to horrors like what happened in Rana Plaza. That no amount of regulation, reform, compensation, or even capitalists with good intentions who try to treat the workers fairly, is going to fundamentally change this hellish situation. That what is really needed is REVOLUTION to get rid of this system of capitalism, and to replace it with a whole new economic and political system working towards the emancipation of humanity worldwide.

The story of Rana Plaza provides a lesson in exactly this point.

A System at Work

Mango is an international fashion brand based in Spain that ships 60 million garments a year. At the time of the disaster, it had arranged to have 25,000 samples of polo shirts and other items produced at the Phantom Tac factory in Rana Plaza. This factory, a recent New York Times article noted, "could be regarded as an unlikely attempt to prove that a Bangladeshi factory could be socially responsible and make a profit." But let's look at what these efforts to be a "socially responsible" factory really show.

One of the owners of the Phantom Tac factory, David Mayor in Spain, did seem to be trying to do some good things. His fashion clothes, for example, had the motto "clothing with a heart." Mayor said he wanted to show it was possible to run an ethical business in which workers were trained well and treated with respect. He teamed up with a Vatican missionary to offer a training program aimed at poor women in rural Bangladesh who flock to Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital, in search of work. He hired about a dozen of them at his own factory. He wanted consumers to understand how their clothes are made, so he created a website to connect them with workers sewing their clothes. He opened a shop in Dhaka where clothes had a code on the sales tag so that buyers could type this in and learn about the Bangladeshi women who had made the garments they had bought. (See "Clothing Brands Sidestep Blame for Safety Lapses," New York Times, December 30, 2013.)

All this, of course, took money to set up. It took money to finance the rural training program. It took money to set up the shop in Dhaka. A woman was hired to develop the website. So what happens when someone like Mayor tries to "do something good" like this in the whole setup of capitalism?

Well, first of all, Mayor was not operating in a vacuum. He had to go up against all kinds of other capitalists all over the world who are trying to make a profit just like him. Other capitalists who are not spending this extra money on "socially conscious" projects.

Think of all the different companies around the world making clothes. There's a lot of anarchy here—uncertainty, disorder, and chaos.

By the time Mr. Mayor had set up his factory in Rana Plaza, he had already bought machinery, the cotton for the shirts, and bought people's labor to work and was paying them wages for that. He had already invested all that, and that money was gone—it was now embodied in the machinery, the raw materials, and the wages. So the only way he could get that back—plus end up with more capital in the form of more money, or profit—was to exploit the people working for his company—to have them produce more value than all the money he had invested in the first place. Then he had to sell the products, the shirts, in order to realize his profit.

BUT here's where the anarchy of capitalist commodity production and exchange comes in. Every capitalist is competing with all the other capitalists doing the same thing all over the world, facing the same compulsion to "expand or die," to beat out your competitors—or go under. And this requires cutting costs at every step along the way.

The fact of the matter is: The capitalists who aren't doing extra socially conscious projects like training programs for young girls in rural Bangladesh or connecting consumers in the West with factory workers in the Third World—which cost money—are going to have a competitive edge over someone like Mayor. So eventually Mayor will have to either stop such programs or go under.

In a 2008 interview in the World Trade Review, Mayor said he'd figured out that he would have to charge an extra 10 cents per piece to really improve the lives of his workers. And he said, "When you are a manufacturer negotiating orders with buyers that 10 cents becomes very important, it is very competitive and 10 cents becomes a lot."

In fact, Mango set up production in Bangladesh at Rana Plaza in order to cut costs to be more competitive. The New York Times noted: "Technology and investment are transforming the upper end of the industry, enabling Mango and other brands to increase sales, manage global inventories with pinpoint precision and introduce new clothes faster than ever—all as consumers now expect to see new things every time they visit a store. But these brands depend on factories in developing countries like Bangladesh, where wages are very low and the pressure to work faster and cheaper has spawned familiar problems: unsafe buildings, substandard work conditions, and repeated wage and labor violations."

While Mayor was trying to carry out some socially conscious projects, workers at the Phantom Tac factory said deadline pressures were relentless. Managers hid excessive overtime or other wage violations. There were violations of child labor. Conditions in the factory deteriorated as the company began to focus on winning larger orders. Right before the building collapse, under pressure to meet orders, workers were forced to work through the night. Workers were told if they complained they'd lose their job. (Reuters, "Bangladesh disaster crushes owner's ideal of clothes with a conscience," June 16, 2013)

Mayor's factory was just a small part of Mango's worldwide operations where a big part of its "growth strategy" has been placing a premium on efficiency, cost and speed. No room here for any extra "socially responsible" costs.

Eventually Mayor had to tighten expenses at his factory in Rana Plaza. He stopped funding the training program for women in the rural areas. The person developing the consumer website left.

Now, 200 of the men and women who worked in Mayor's factory—bent over their machines for 12 or more hours a day for barely enough to live on—are dead and others are now living with bodies crushed beyond repair.

Mayor has disappeared and his business partner in Bangladesh is in jail in connection with the building collapse.

*****

The 4,500 garment factories in Bangladesh and the 3.6 million garment workers in Bangladesh who are mostly women are part of a $1 trillion global clothing industry. Garment manufacturing in Bangladesh is a $20 billion industry. It is the mainstay of the country's economy, employing 40 percent of the country's industrial workforce. Bangladesh is the second-largest exporter of garments in the world (after China)—garments account for 80 percent of the country's exports. The bulk of these exports, 60 percent, go to Europe; 23 percent go to the United States—more than to any other individual nation.

In the business of making clothes, just like any other business, a capitalist has to get a bigger and bigger share of the market. Each one has to keep fighting to outdo their competitors or go under—and have to continually cheapen costs in order to stay alive. This means seeking out the lowest, most exploitative wages. This means cutting costs wherever possible—even if it means shoddy and dangerous working conditions. This means denying workers any kind of organizing rights. This means violating safety codes that if followed would require spending money.

The needless deaths of the workers in Rana Plaza teach us a lesson about the problem AND the solution.

There is no such thing as capitalism without inequality, without exploitation, without misery, without horrific disasters like what happened in Rana Plaza. This hellish situation is dictated by the very nature and laws of how this system must and can only operate. And yes, no amount of regulation, reform, compensation, or capitalists with good intentions who try to treat the workers fairly, is going to fundamentally change this hellish situation. What is really needed IS revolution to get rid of this system of capitalism, and to replace it with a whole new economic and political system working towards the emancipation of humanity worldwide.

 


July 9, 2021. At least 52 people died in a huge blaze that engulfed a food and beverage factory in Bangladesh. Photo: AP


April 30, 2013, Bangladesh: Factory worker being pulled from the rubble where more than 1,100 workers died. Photo: AP


April 30, 2013, Bangladesh: An attempt to rescue several factory workers buried in rubble after the Rana Plaza clothing factory collapsed. Photo: AP

 

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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BASIC POINTS OF ORIENTATION

| revcom.us

 

1. This system of capitalism-imperialism is the source of endless horrors for the majority of people in this country and all around the world, and it is increasingly threatening the very existence of humanity. We are actively working for an actual revolution—to bring down, to overthrow and completely abolish, this whole system as soon as possible and replace it with something radically different and much better, a new society built on an entirely different foundation. That, and nothing less, is what is needed. So that is what we are all about—and we have the necessary scientific method, the plan, the strategy, and the leadership to succeed in this. But there aren’t enough people committed to this yet. So... this is what you need to be about. Anything else will completely fail to deal with the root of all the problems or lead to the actual solution. Given the situation facing humanity, we don’t have time to waste, so we need to get busy working for this revolution, in an organized way, and winning more and more people to do the same.

2. We are followers of BA. And you need to become followers of BA too. He is an old white guy—yes, deal with it! He is providing ongoing leadership for this revolution, and he has a whole body of work that contains the scientific method to analyze the problem and the solution, the strategy for the revolution to bring down this system, and the vision and concrete plan for that radically different and much better society, on the road to emancipate all of humanity from every form of oppression and exploitation, and to enable humanity to become fit caretakers of the earth. He’s even written a Constitution that concretely maps out what to do starting right after the seizure of power, so we can actually work on building up that whole new emancipating society. There never has been a leader like this in this country and there is no other leader like this in the world now. We cannot afford not to follow this leadership if we ever want to get free and put an end to this madness.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/691/there-is-the-powerful-positive-potential-en.html

There is the powerful positive potential...

| revcom.us

 

There is the powerful positive potential of what it is that Revcoms are—and need to be—fighting for, consistently, boldly, compellingly bringing forward and bringing alive. In this context, the following passage is worth reviewing and reflecting on, from Bob Avakian’s The Coming Civil War and Re-polarization for Revolution in the Present Era, Religion and the Right to Religion, DARK AGES MENTALITY AND THE LIBERATING OUTLOOK AND METHOD OF COMMUNISM”:

The religious fundamentalists, of various kinds, make a point of recruiting in the prisons, and they come with a heavy ideological message. There is something very important to be learned from the “Losing My Religion” article that appeared in our newspaper within the past year. The author of the article, who comes from a family steeped in religious fundamentalism, says that his own life experiences had provided plenty of reasons to reject religion, but it was only when there was another coherent ideology that he could take up that he completely broke with religion. And that coherent ideology wasn’t another religion—it was the scientific outlook and method of communism, which he was introduced to through writings of mine which he encountered in college. He also commented on that: he said that these writings, and the outlook and method they embody, taught him to do what religion never did—to think critically. It is not at all the case that people can only “lose their religion” by replacing it with another religion in some form. But there does have to be another explanation about the world and existence and why this is the way it is, and how it could be different. And how an individual relates to that. If you want to rupture people out of shit, not only stuff that lands them in prison, but the daily shit they are caught up in, in the society, you have to have a really strong hardcore ideological thing to bring to them. It doesn’t have to be dogmatic—it should not be dogmatic, and it should not be religious—but it has to be coherent and systematic. It has to explain the world—and in our case we can actually explain it in a scientific way [BA laughs]. That ’s an advantage of communism over religion, even though religion has certain short‑term advantages because it can appeal to things we can’t appeal to, things that go along with spontaneity. But we have the advantage of actually being able to make reality make sense for people. That’s a very powerful thing.

We should not underestimate the importance, not only with prisoners but in general, of doing a lot of ideological work to really enable people to see the world in a wholly different way— really the way it is. To take the pieces of this puzzle that are all out of whack and don’t fit together— it’s like looking through a weird kaleidoscope the way most people see reality. And then it’s misinterpreted for them by all these different bourgeois and reactionary ideologies and programs, and so on, including various religious views. But communist ideology and its application to the world is a way of taking reality and having it make sense for people. That’s what the CD1 of my speech on religion aims to do, that’s what we urgently need to do in general. [Emphasis (boldface, italics, and underlining) added here]

 


1. This refers to a talk on religion given in 2004 by BA which was later encompassed in Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World (Insight Press, 2008)  [back]

 

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

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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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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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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/705/bob-avakian-answers-accusations-of-cult-en.html

Bob Avakian Answers
Accusations of "Cult":

IGNORANCE, AND COWARDICE

| revcom.us

 

In my writings and talks, I have repeatedly emphasized the importance of seeking the truth by scientific means, and following the truth wherever it leads—applying the scientific method to continually learn about reality, from many different sources, including people who disagree with what we are all about—in order to transform reality in a positive way, in the interests of humanity.

We revcoms are always anxious to learn about any real problems or shortcomings in what we are doing, so that we can do even better in working for the revolution that is so urgently needed. We are strongly in favor of serious discussion, debate and principled struggle over ideas (ideological struggle), especially about the profound problems and critical situation that people here, and all over the world, are facing, and what is the answer to this. There is far too little of this, and we are actively working to overcome that—to promote serious discussion, debate and principled ideological struggle about these crucial questions.

But the accusation that we are a “cult” has nothing to do with reality, is not in any way an expression of principled disagreement, and does not make any kind of positive contribution to serious discussion and debate over crucial questions.

In some cases this accusation comes partly from ignorance—not knowing what we are actually about. But if you don’t know about this, you should find out about it, and not just listen to—and repeat—ignorant nonsense about it. And, on the part of far too many, there is deliberate ignore-anceconsciously avoiding knowledge of what we are actually saying and doing, while spreading rumors and lies about this. Anyone who really wants to know what we stand for, and are working for, can easily find out, by watching The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show and going to revcom.us, where works of mine and other materials make very clear what we are actually saying and doing: We are applying—and continually working and struggling to win growing numbers of people to take up and apply—a scientific (not a “cultish”) method and approach, in building for an actual revolution to sweep away this oppressive and destructive system of capitalism-imperialism, which causes so much horrendous and unnecessary suffering, not just for masses of people in this country but for the masses of humanity worldwide, and which poses a growing threat to the very existence of humanity.

But there is also cowardice on the part of some who make this ridiculous accusation of “cult”: It is a way of saying you don’t have the heart to fight for something really worth fighting for, a way of looking for (or inventing) “faults” in what we are about, so that you don’t have to put yourself on the line to do something that would really deal with the terrible situation that so many people are subjected to and the profound crisis that humanity is facing and needs to radically transform. It is a way of avoiding the work, the struggle—and, yes, the sacrifice—that is required to actually have a chance, at long last, to bring down this atrocious system and contribute in this way to the goal of ending all oppression, exploitation, degradation and the destruction of the environment—emancipating humanity from all this.

And it should be obvious who most benefits from this cheap talk of “cult.” It is the powers-that-be—those who rule in this system, who inflict so much suffering on the masses of people, everywhere, with such terrible cruelty and brutal savagery. They are determined to keep on doing this, and they are very happy to see slanders and lies spread about the people who are serious about putting an end to all this and are actively working to do that.

As I said at the beginning, we revcoms are determined to continue learning more, in order to do even better in meeting the tremendous challenge we are facing—building for, and organizing forces for, a real revolution. And we are working to promote serious discussion, debate and principled ideological struggle about the profound problems and critical situation that people here, and all over the world, are facing, and what is the answer to this.

Everyone who does not wish to remain mired in ignorance regarding such crucial questions, and who refuses to sink to the petty, gutter level of accusations of “cult,” should seriously engage what we are saying and doing and take part in the crucial process of grappling with what is really required to deal with the situation with which humanity is now urgently confronted.

 

 

 

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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/705/bob-avakian-revolution-and-emancipation-not-petty-reform-and-revenge-en.html

I'm So Sick of this Whole "Identity Politics" and "Woke" Thing

REVOLUTION AND EMANCIPATION—NOT PETTY REFORM AND REVENGE:

On Movements, Principles, Methods, Means and Ends

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The Ends Must Determine the Means, Not the Ends “Justify” the Means

Movements—in the social and political sense—involve people acting together for certain objectives. Positive social and political movements mobilize masses of people in struggle against oppressive and murderous policies and actions of their government and oppressive social relations (such as white supremacy and male supremacy) and the institutions and culture that embody, promote, and enforce them. For example, in recent years, there have been powerful movements against institutional racism and police terror, in this country and all around the world. And, in many countries, there have been mass outpourings against sexual abuse and other horrific oppression and degradation of women, including attacks on the right to abortion.

Several years ago, when the long-standing predatory sexual behavior of Harvey Weinstein was being forcefully exposed, and could not be denied, I wrote the following:

The phenomenon of sexual harassment and sexual assault—including (but not limited to) the sexual abuse of women by men who hold positions of power over them—is long‑standing and widespread throughout this male supremacist society and is reinforced by the putrid culture it has spawned. The outpouring of outrage against this sexual abuse and the all too commonplace institutional cover‑ups and complicity with it, and the demand for a radical change in the culture—which has made a major leap in relation to the accusations against Harvey Weinstein and has now spread far beyond that, involving millions of women, in sphere after sphere throughout this country and in other countries as well—is right, righteous, and long overdue, and should be supported, encouraged, spread, and defended against counter‑attack.1

At the same time:

This long‑suppressed and thoroughly just outpouring of outrage is not the same as any particular accusation. Such particular accusations do have to be approached on the basis of scientifically evaluating the evidence, and this is especially important where the accusations not only allege misconduct but actual criminal action, such as rape or other sexual assault. But this distinction, between particular accusations and the overall phenomenon, should not be allowed to obscure or diminish the righteousness and importance of the massive upsurge against this widespread and deeply‑rooted abuse and the tremendous injury it does to women and to humanity as a whole.2

Unfortunately, however, as things have developed, particularly in this country, the righteous rage that has been unleashed around this has not mainly taken the form of a movement mobilizing masses of people in struggle against the horrific oppression of women and the institutions and culture that embody, promote, and enforce this. (As one striking aspect of this, while there is an urgent need for mass mobilization taking to the streets in powerful resistance against the mounting attacks on the right to abortion, there has been a marked absence of such mass resistance.) Instead, with “me too,” what this has involved (or devolved into) is not so much a “movement,” but a continuing succession of accusations, directed mainly against individuals, where the goal often is (or becomes) “canceling” the person (or persons) accused, without any kind of scientific evaluation of the evidence.

The issues that have given rise to “me too” are clearly of great importance, and many of the accusations made in this connection are no doubt true. And, as an important article at revcom.us has emphasized:

It is a very real phenomenon, and an egregious outrage, that many women who are raped and sexually assaulted are then intimidated, or otherwise prevented, from coming forward or from pursuing this. And this needs to be resolutely opposed and fought against.3

But again,

as outrageous as this is, as much as it is an additional assault on these women and on women overall, that is not the same thing as saying, and should not lead to an approach that says, that every accusation of rape or sexual assault is automatically (or almost certainly) true—nor even that if there are many people making similar accusations, then those accusations are therefore true (there have been more than a few instances where multiple accusations against a person have proven to be false). What is true has to be determined by a scientific approach, relying on evidence and the correct analysis and synthesis of what the evidence as a whole indicates. Accusations are a kind of evidence—as are denials of those accusations—but in and of themselves they do not constitute a sufficient basis to draw definite conclusions.4

So what is the answer to this? The best and most just way to deal with this, particularly while we are still living under this system, is to build mass struggle to

create the kind of atmosphere in society overall and in different institutions and parts of society, that make it much more difficult for rape and sexual assault to be carried out, and that encourage and support women in resisting this and in coming forward to raise this and seek justice when it does happen, while at the same time insisting on a consistent approach of proceeding in relation to accusations of rape and sexual assault, and accusations of crimes and wrongdoing in general, through a process that relies on a scientific method and approach and where the kind of "trial by media" and "media tyranny" that is so commonplace these days, and the very poisonous atmosphere this creates and reinforces, will be firmly rejected and denounced.5

Continuing exposure of and mass opposition to such outrages as gender and racial oppression is very much needed and extremely important, but the “cancel culture” that often accompanies this is a decidedly negative counter-current, which is generally an expression of petty bourgeois narrowness and cynicism,

which is marked by (real, or artificial and fashionable) outrage at instances of social injustice but at the same time by a dismissal or outright rejection of any real attempt at bringing a truly just society into being, and which is often molded and manipulated by ruling bourgeois forces—and is carried to fanatical extremes, unmoored from and in opposition to a rational, scientific method and approach. And this is made all the worse by the powerful influence of the extreme individualism that is promoted throughout this society, with its poisonous component of constantly seeking to “tear down” others (which has become a perverse “national sport”).6

And here we see the basic problem that I pointed to, in speaking about “cancel culture” in Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds”:

among other things, “cancel culture,” in primarily targeting individuals, is an approach that tends to ignore, downplay and fail to really fight against the institutions and the whole system which constitute the deeper root and source of these outrages. Rarely, if ever, does this approach aim at “canceling” the whole system!7

Further, this “canceling” of people

is often amplified through “trial in the media and social media,” with neither any prospect nor even any pretense of due process or any real attempt to get at the truth, fueled by the dangerous notion that a mere allegation is enough to condemn someone and make them a permanent pariah, and marked by a refusal to apply any measure of proportionality, to make any distinctions between different kinds and degrees of wrongdoing.8

It is true that individuals raising incidents of sexual or other abuse can encourage others to do so, and this can lead to a situation where “the dam breaks” and the whole larger social phenomenon of such abuse forces its way into public consciousness, where before it had been effectively, or largely, suppressed. This could contribute to a real outpouring of mass struggle against such abuse. But, again, that does not mean that it is justified, or will lead to a positive result, to trample on basic principles and methods in the approach to particular accusations of abuse, even if this is done in the name of the larger social good. And focusing on individuals as an overall approach—especially with revenge all too often becoming the aim, and crucial principles and methods violatedcan only lead away from the actual solution.

What is needed are mass movements that mainly focus and direct the struggle against “the institutions and the whole system which constitute the deeper root and source” of the outrages. There is great importance to uniting all who can be united in these struggles, and overall in the struggle against injustice and oppression. Principled ideological struggle, over what are the deeper causes of the outrages being fought against, and what direction the struggle against this should take—this is necessary and important. But this is far different from, and directly in opposition to, petty narrowness and sectarianism—including “woke commodification” of the struggle, with notions of “ownership” of a movement, and the division of those who should be united in the struggle into “commodity” categories: those who have the supposed right to “own” a movement and decide its direction, and those who, on the other hand, are reduced to subordinate “allies” of these “owners.” (It is remarkable how much the terms of capitalist commodity relations and “business” have saturated the “popular culture,” with expressions about “owning” this or that strikingly commonplace; and this way of thinking also has significant influence in “woke” culture and movements claiming to be opposing oppression.) This narrow approach does not seek to break out of the oppressive and suffocating confines of this system of capitalism-imperialism, but strives instead for a “better place” within this system, which causes so much horrendous, and unnecessary, suffering for the masses of humanity.

It is also striking that so many “woke” people do not expose and condemn the fact that the country they are living in (the “good ole USA”) has, over nearly a century, been the most powerful imperialist oppressor in the world, and the greatest destroyer of the environment, doing the greatest harm to humanity. How much, in all the “woke” talk about “privilege,” is there a denouncing and renouncing of American privilege—of American supremacy and American chauvinism? How much a clear-cut stand that American imperialism should be firmly opposed in its attempt to maintain its position as number one oppressor, worldwide, and that the masses of people in this country have no interests and no stake in American imperialism’s rivalry with China, itself a rising capitalist-imperialist power? How much a reckoning with the fact that people in this country share—even though quite unequally—in the “spoils” that come from American imperialism’s plunder of the world’s people, including masses of children? How much an orientation and declaration that it would be far better to do without these “spoils”—by doing away with American imperialism and struggling together with people all over the world to be rid of all imperialism, and all relations of exploitation and oppression, all plunder of people as well as the environment?

Not very much.

In opposition to concepts of “ownership,” in regard to mass movements, while due weight needs to be given to the whole history and present reality of horrific oppression, and the experience of people directly subjected to such oppression, if the goal is actually to abolish and uproot oppression, the standard against which anyone’s (or any group’s) ideas and proposals need to be evaluated is: objective reality—and specifically what is the nature of the particular problem (or form of oppression) people are up against, what is the source and cause of this, how does this relate to the fundamental problem (the whole system), and how to correctly handle the relation between the more particular and the fundamental, in order to move toward achieving the actual solution. (And, no, objective reality is not a white supremacist or male supremacist “construct”—it is...objective reality.)

In this regard,

it is very relevant to refer to a statement by Lenin who said that all those who approach revolution with the orientation, “They had their chance, now it’s my turn to have a go at it”—all those who approach revolution in that way do so from the point of view of the petite bourgeoisie. And it hardly needs saying that the approach of the petite bourgeoisie is not going to lead to the achievement of the “4 Alls” and the emancipation of humanity.9

(The “4 Alls” refers to the statement by Marx that the communist revolution aims for the abolition of all class distinctions, all the production relations on which those class distinctions rest, all the social relations that correspond to those production relations, and the revolutionizing of all the ideas that correspond to those social relations. This is both a concentrated and a comprehensive expression of the fact that this revolution aims for the complete elimination and uprooting of all relations of exploitation and oppression and the institutions that enforce this, along with the radical transformation of the culture and ways of thinking that arise from and reinforce these antagonistic relations among human beings.)

And, of course, Lenin’s important insight definitely applies to people who are not even striving for a real revolution, to put an end to this whole system, but are “working for meaningless petty reforms and seeking funds for themselves and positions within the structures of this system.”10

A Scientific Approach, Not “Knee-Jerk” Reactions, Subjectivism and Sophistry

Here is another matter of fundamental principle:

It has to be said—and cannot be overstated—that, in the world today, there can be no just society without the rule of law; there can be no rule of law without due process of law; and there can be no due process of law without the presumption of innocence (and that presumption of innocence must be real—and not a farce, as it is in this society).That is why so much emphasis is given to these principles in the new communism, including specifically the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored.

It also has to be said that there can be no justice, and great harm will be done, where “trial in the media and social media” is treated as equivalent to, or a substitute for, due process—and this is especially so when what is involved are accusations not against representatives of state power, like the police, but against “ordinary people,” even wealthy and/or prominent ones.11

Yet substituting “trial in the media and social media” for due process, and violating the important principle that an allegation or accusation, by itself, is not in fact “proof”—this all too often characterizes “cancel culture.” This is graphically expressed in the fact that, with “me too,” the orientation has been widely propagated, and taken up, that it is necessary to “believe all women” making such accusations—not just take such women seriously, but automatically “believe” them. And this same approach (that accusations, unless obviously unfounded and blatantly ridiculous, should be accepted as “proof”) has been widely applied to allegations and accusations of many different kinds.

It is also necessary to make certain important distinctions—between different kinds and degrees of wrongful acts (even where “guilt” is validly established) and between situations where the accused acknowledges the wrongdoing and, on the other hand, those situations where they deny wrongdoing and insist on their innocence. But it is often the case that where the accused does deny the accusation, “trial in the media and social media,” with the “presumption of guilt” (particularly in the form of treating an accusation itself as “proof” of guilt) assumes even more insistent and virulent expression.

Some defend “the presumption of guilt” in these situations by applying sophistry (faulty, bogus reasoning) that argues along these lines: “Okay, due process of law, including the presumption of innocence, should apply in court proceedings relating to alleged violation of the law; but in the realm of public life and public opinion this does not apply.” And so the approach is taken—directly and explicitly, or implicitly and in practice—that, in this realm (of public life and public opinion), it is perfectly fine to rely on “trial in the media and social media” and the standard that a mere accusation is the same as actual proof.

This often finds expression in the statement that an accusation is “credible.” Here a trick (a “sleight of hand”) is being played. “Credible” essentially means “believable.” Many things can be “credible” but that does not mean that they are true. Yet, with this logic, “credible” is treated as equal to, or a legitimate substitute for, true. (And acceptance of the idea that accusations being “credible” means the same thing as such accusations actually being true—this leads to, and reinforces, a more general credulousness: a readiness to believe things, especially things that tend to “confirm” one’s inclinations and prejudices, without having a valid basis for determining whether they are true.) This orientation also frequently finds expression in the statement that “I believe so-and-so” (someone making an accusation), where such “belief” is closely akin to religious belief—is a substitute for actual evidence (or flies in the face of evidence that runs counter to such “belief”).

In reality, whether something is true—and specifically whether an allegation or accusation is true—cannot be determined on the basis of whether, by itself, it seems believable. Once again: The truth of such an allegation or accusation can only be determined by examining it scientifically, through accumulating and evaluating evidence, including what is said, and what may be brought forward as evidence, by way of refuting such an allegation or accusation.

In cases where there are serious allegations of wrongdoing but legal, courtroom proceedings do not apply, and what is at issue is something like the accused’s employment or position (as well as their reputation), the best chance of getting at the truth would often mean having a process that is carried out by a qualified “disinterested party” (a person, or group of people, with the appropriate training and experience, and with no “stake,” no “axe to grind,” in the matter) and where the approach that applies in legal matters would also be basically applied, including the requirement that an allegation be proved, with compelling evidence, and there is a real opportunity for the person (or persons) accused to confront and attempt to refute the allegation and any evidence offered as proof of it. (Of course, it will be difficult to effect such a process, in the current atmosphere especially, with the very negative “tear down” culture and far too many people, including many celebrities and influential people, quick to dissociate themselves from, and join the condemnation of, people on the basis of what are mere accusations, which have not been proved—or have, in some cases, been effectively disproved. Even more significantly, corporations and other prominent institutions which for so long ignored, covered up and suppressed exposure of actual wrongdoing, have in many cases “flipped” to an approach of ridding themselves of people accused, without the kind of process called for here. With both these approaches, the basic motivation has been the same: to protect their “brand” and “bottom line.”)

In some cases, and particularly in the absence of the kind of adversarial process that takes place in legal, courtroom proceedings, or something approximating that (both sides presenting evidence and questioning the evidence brought by the other side), it may be very difficult, if not actually impossible, to validly determine whether an accusation is true, or not. And, while it is very important that there be mass struggle against oppression and injustice, it is a fact that there is not a basis within the confines of this system of capitalism-imperialism to fully and finally uproot the oppressive and exploitative relations that are built into this system. But that does not mean that it is alright to substitute “cancel culture” in place of actual mass movements, and to substitute subjective impressions and opinions in place of a valid process for determining the truth.

What I am arguing for here is also in direct opposition to another very harmful aspect of “cancel culture”:

There is the phenomenon of not only targeting and seeking to tear down individuals, but along with that, or as part of it, going through the whole history of people’s lives, going back decades—even into someone’s very early years—and seeing if you can find something around which they can be condemned and which therefore disqualifies them from any positive role in anything. Now, as I have stressed many times, where people have committed real crimes and outrages they should be held accountable; but there is also the need to look at the arc of someone’s life and what is the principal and defining aspect of their life. Is it the mistakes they’ve made, or even a really terrible thing they’ve done at some point? Is that the essential aspect of their life and what defines it? Or has their life involved real transformation, where what has come to define what they are about are the positive things that they have done and the positive trajectory to their life overall?12

Of course, the basic approach argued for here is not “perfect” and will not always lead to the most correct and just outcome (as, in fact, is the case with actual court proceedings, especially under this system). The reality has to be confronted that it is not possible to achieve a fundamentally just resolution to all this within the confines of this system, with the oppressive and exploitative relations built into it, and the putrid culture that it is promoted by this system and serves to reinforce it. But, so long as we are living under this system, the approach I have outlined here is definitely better than “cancel culture,” with its reliance on “trial in the media and social media” and acceptance of an allegation in itself as “proof.”

This emphasizes the point—something which is also a critical matter of method and principle—that people should not “jump to conclusions” about an allegation or accusation, substituting their own inclinations or prejudices for a process which has more of a possibility of arriving at a valid conclusion. It emphasizes that there should be no “trial” in the media and social media—and that an orientation and culture needs to be fostered and fought for where people actively reject efforts in the media and social media to pre-judge and prejudice things in regard to allegations and accusations.

As pointed out in the article on fascist lunacy and “woke folk insanity,” trial in the media and social media, the acceptance of a mere allegation as “proof,” and the whole “cancel culture” that goes along with this, is

just another version of the extremely harmful notion that “the ends justify the means” (that any means are justified if the goal is, or is proclaimed to be, righteous), something that is firmly rejected by the new communism and should be rejected by anyone who aspires to a truly just society.13

Difficult as it may be, especially in the current social atmosphere—where many people are genuinely and righteously outraged by the endless abuses to which masses of people are continually subjected, but may also be influenced by the poisonous culture of “tear down” and revenge that is promoted throughout society—it has to be recognized that there will be situations where it is not possible to come to a well-founded conclusion about certain allegations and accusations. In these situations, it is correct and important not to draw, and especially not to broadcast and propagate, definitive conclusions (even in the guise of “opinions,” “guesses,” and “inclinations”). In short, sometimes it will be correct and necessary to just say “we can’t tell,” and act accordingly—yes, applying what amounts to “the presumption of innocence.”

This will undoubtedly lead to certain situations where someone who is in fact guilty of harmful actions (whether actually illegal or not) will “get away” with this, and escape what would be appropriate accountability. But, again, applying the principles and methods I have emphasized here will definitely lead to a better situation than one where subjective, unscientific judgments are substituted for a process through which allegations and accusations could be reasonably evaluated (or, worse yet, these subjective judgments are persisted in, when there is such a process but it leads to a conclusion that is contrary to these subjective judgments); where, without any semblance or pretense of due process, people are “tried and convicted” in the media and social media; where there is a marked lack of proportionality, so that regardless of the nature of the offense for which someone is “convicted,” they are generally subjected to “cancellation” and, if not literally deprived of their liberty, are often deprived of their livelihood or standing in society and turned into outcasts (treated as permanent pariahs).

With the approach of focusing on and “canceling” individuals, the larger social outrages—the oppression and injustice that does great harm to masses of people—will remain fundamentally in place and unchanged. On the other hand, even while there will be situations where it is not possible to validly determine the “guilt or innocence” of a particular person (or persons) who are accused of wrongdoing, it is definitely possible to come to firm conclusions about what is right and wrong in terms of oppression and injustice, and to build mass movements that focus the struggle against the institutions and culture—and ultimately the whole system—that is responsible for this oppression and injustice.

There are also situations where accusations of wrongdoing do not involve direct personal (or professional) interactions but things such as statements, writings, and actions of the alleged wrongdoer which have a broad social effect (involving, for example, race or gender relations). In this regard, as I have spoken to previously, “in some cases it is actually clear, right away, what is right and wrong—things that should be upheld, and things (such as Confederate monuments) that should be repudiated and removed.”14 In many cases, however, the situation is more complex. Particularly in situations where what is involved is in fact complex, it is especially important to seriously engage what is being said by people on the different sides of a dispute, rather than “rushing to judgment” and looking for cheap ways to attack someone whose position you are inclined to disagree with. Here, the following principles of epistemology (the means for arriving at the truth) are of critical importance:

The truth of something does not depend on who says it, or how it makes you feel. Because something comes from a source you like does not make it true; and because something comes from a source you do not like does not make it untrue. And truth is not a “popularity contest.Because a lot of people believe something does not make it true; and because only a few people believe something does not make it untrue.

Truth is objective—which means: Whether something is true or not depends on whether it corresponds to actual reality.15

But, in opposition to any kind of serious and scientific approach,

“woke folk cancel culture” rejects the distinction between what is more immediately clear and what is more complex—and rejects rational discourse and serious, scientific exploration of and grappling with questions that may in fact be complex, replacing this with knee-jerk reactions, in accordance with whatever have become the momentary imperatives of “identity politics wokeness.”16

“Ends and Means,” and the Fundamental—and Urgently Needed—Solution

The completely legitimate frustration and anger that results from the recognition (or the sense) that there is not, and there cannot be, any fully just resolution to all this under this system—this should be turned into a profound determination to abolish this system, and bring something much better into being. As emphasized in Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis: “The trauma that results from directly suffering horrific forms of oppression and degradation is very real, and no one should deny or underestimate that.” But this needs to become something greater than personal angst, or a desire for revenge—it needs to be “transformed into anger and determination to be part of a collective struggle to put an end to all the atrocities, everywhere, whose fundamental source and cause is this system of capitalism-imperialism.”17

This means and requires building movements that are actual movements of masses of people mobilizing to fight the oppression and injustice constantly perpetrated by this system—mass movements that in word and deed reject the poisonous notion that “the ends justify the means,” and instead employ means that are consistent with, and an expression of, the goal of ending the injustices and outrages to which masses of people are continually subjected under this system.

Fundamentally—and as a matter of urgent importance—it means actively, systematically working now to build up the organized forces for, to bring into being more favorable conditions for, and then to carry out a revolution with the aim of bringing about the elimination and uprooting of all injustice and oppression, all exploitation and degradation, through overthrowing this system of capitalism-imperialism, which is the ultimate source and root cause of all this, and bringing into being a radically different, emancipating society and world, on an entirely new foundation.

As I have emphasized in Breakthroughs:

The goal of this revolution is not revenge and the reversal of the positions of oppressed and oppressor (“the last shall be first, and the first shall be last”).... You see it over and over again—the goal becomes revenge, it becomes something short of transforming all of society. It becomes, “get mine if I can, or if I can’t at least I can tear somebody else down.” That’s very pronounced in this society, particularly at this time, and even struggles which are dealing with very real and profound contradictions and relations of oppression can be turned toward that kind of outlook and approach by the powerful pull of spontaneity and the prevailing relations in this society.

This goes back to the point that even movements which start out highlighting very important outrages and injustices, and carrying out struggle against them, can only continue to go in the direction they need to go in, ultimately—and all these different forces in society that are opposing various forms of oppression can only be united in a lasting and forward moving way—on the basis of a scientific communist approach and what it reveals to be the solution to the profound problems that the present society embodies and enforces. With the outlook of the petite bourgeoisie you’re never going to get there. What is needed is—in a non-reified sense, in the communist sense—the outlook of the proletariat, the outlook and approach that corresponds to the fundamental interests of the proletariat, which involves the recognition that only by emancipating all of humanity can any one section of the exploited and oppressed be emancipated.

In contrast to narrow and petty motivations and aspirations for things such as revenge and “my turn to have a go at it,” the goal of the communist revolution is, as emphasized in THE NEW COMMUNISM, “getting to a different world where all these horrors for the masses of people don’t go on any longer.” The goal is the emancipation of humanity—the abolition of all exploitation and oppression, and the corresponding antagonisms among human beings, and the uprooting of the soil out of which they arise, with the achievement of communism, throughout the world.18

 


1. A Question of Basic Stand and Orientation, SUPPORT AND SPREAD THE FURY AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE, by Bob Avakian, is available at revcom.us/avakian/ba-important-works-en.html.  [back]

2. A Question of Basic Stand and Orientation, SUPPORT AND SPREAD THE FURY AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE.  [back]

3. Some Points of Orientation, Principle, and Method Regarding the Accusations Against Bill Cosby. This article is also available at revcom.us.  [back]

4. Some Points of Orientation, Principle, and Method Regarding the Accusations Against Bill Cosby.  [back]

5. Some Points of Orientation, Principle, and Method Regarding the Accusations Against Bill Cosby.  [back]

6. Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds.” This article is also available at revcom.us.  [back]

7. Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds”.  [back]

8. Bob Avakian, Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism. This is available at revcom.us/avakian/ba-important-works-en.html. (This passage is also cited in Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds.”)  [back]

9. Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary, by Bob Avakian, published as an ebook by Insight Press (insight‑press.com), is available online at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and other major retailers (EPUB, MOBI, PDF). It can also be accessed at revcom.us.  [back]

10. FROM THE REVCOMS: A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION. This is available at revcom.us—and it is being posted and passed out to people in neighborhoods and other places around the country, as a key part of spreading the word about this revolution and organizing people into this revolution.  [back]

11. Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds.”  [back]

12. Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism.  [back]

13. Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds.”  [back]

14. Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds.”  [back]

15. Conspiracy Theories, Fascist “Certitude,” Liberal Paralysis, Or A Scientific Approach to Changing the World. This article by Bob Avakian is also available (in both a short and longer version) at revcom.us. (Emphasis—boldface—added by the author here to the phrase “or how it makes you feel.”)  [back]

16. Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds.”  [back]

17. Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism.  [back]

18. Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary. The quote in the last paragraph here is from the book by Bob Avakian, THE NEW COMMUNISM, The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, Insight Press, 2016.  [back]

Hope For Humanity
On A Scientific Basis

Breaking with Individualism,
Parasitism and
American Chauvinism

Bob Avakian
Author of The New Communism

Read more     |     Download the PDF

Read excerpts here.

Also by Bob Avakian and referred to in this essay:

Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds”

A Question of Basic Stand and Orientation, SUPPORT AND SPREAD THE FURY AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE

Some Points of Orientation, Principle, and Method Regarding the Accusations Against Bill Cosby

Conspiracy Theories, Fascist “Certitude,” Liberal Paralysis, Or A Scientific Approach to Changing the World

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/699/bob-avakian-on-fascist-lunacy-and-woke-folk-insanity-a-new-two-outmodeds-en.html

Bob Avakian On
Fascist Lunacy and "Woke Folk" Insanity: A New "Two Outmodeds"

| revcom.us

 

A number of years ago, drawing from the title of a book by Benjamin Barber, I referred to one of the main confrontations taking place in the world as Jihad vs. McWorld/McCrusade. (“Jihad” here refers to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, and “McWorld/McCrusade” to increasingly globalized western imperialism, infused with a poisonous sense of “the superiority of Western Christian Civilization.”) As I wrote then:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the “historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system,” and in particular the U.S. imperialists.1

Today, these “two outmodeds” still have real importance, but it must be said that there is, in addition, a new kind of “two outmodeds,” which is particularly pronounced in the U.S.: fascist lunacy and “woke folk” insanity.

I have written and spoken extensively about the viciously deranged, anti-scientific mangling of reality and truth that characterizes fascism as a powerful force contending for power—aiming to institute a more blatant and overt capitalist dictatorship, which would gut and pervert the rule of law, brutally suppress the rights of masses of people and carry to even greater extremes the exploitative and oppressive relations of this system of capitalism-imperialism and the threat to human existence through destruction of the environment and the danger of nuclear war.

But there is another kind of insanity that is becoming a major destructive force in politics and society: the increasing move to tear down everything and everyone that does not, and cannot, meet the tortured, anti-historical and anti-scientific “test” of conforming to the often arbitrary standards of “wokeness.” There are numerous and multiplying instances of this—including, for example, situations where someone (say, an artist) who is white does something powerful to expose the oppression of Black people... and instead of this being appreciated for its contribution to the understanding of and struggle against this oppression, the person is attacked for alleged “cultural colonization” (supposedly “appropriating” the exposure of and struggle against this oppression). This is crazy, and worse than crazy. As others have pointed out, carried to its logical extreme, this kind of “identity politics” wokeness—with its insistence that only people who directly experience something can legitimately say anything about it—would, among other crimes, put an end to, or at the least would seriously restrict and vitiate, literature and art. And overall, this does great harm to the struggle against oppression and the kind of society we should want to live in. Yet, like an out-of-control virus, this madness is continually expanding in its scope and mutating in its particular forms, as it becomes more and more extreme, and more and more unhinged from a sane approach to reality.

The Actual Struggle Against Injustice and Oppression, and the Perversion of Poisonous “Cancel Culture”

In A Beautiful Uprising: Right And Wrong, Methods And Principles, in examining different trends that were evident in the mass outpouring against police terror and institutional racism last summer, I emphasized these basic points of method and principle:

It is crucially important to identify what, in any given phenomenon (a system, a movement, a person), is the main thing (the principal aspect), which defines the essence of that phenomenon at any given time, and overall. For example, both Nat Turner and John Brown, who led heroic (if ultimately defeated) rebellions against slavery, were highly religious—and it is not wrong to see each of them as a kind of religious fanatic. But their religious zealotry was in the service of fighting the main (the most egregious) form of exploitation and oppression of that time—slavery. We cannot condemn Nat Turner or John Brown because they did not recognize that, to lead the struggle to do away with all oppression, it is necessary to cast off the mental shackles of religion and take up a consistently scientific method and approach—just as we cannot condemn them for not fighting against what is today the main system of exploitation and oppression subjecting the masses of humanity to horrific suffering, the system of capitalism-imperialism, because in their time the most decisive immediate question was not (yet) the abolition of the capitalist-imperialist system and the ending of all relations of exploitation and oppression, but the abolition of the system of outright slavery. That was the main (principal) contradiction being confronted. And the main (principal) aspect of what they did, in rising up against slavery, was overwhelmingly positive, even with certain definite secondary shortcomings (including the fact that, in the rebellion led by Nat Turner, they killed not only the adults but the children of slave-owning families).2

The cancerous “cancel culture” carried out in the name of “wokeness” tramples on these crucial methods and principles. In “A Beautiful Uprising” I pointed to the fact that, in some cases it is actually clear, right away, what is right and wrong—things that should be upheld, and things (such as Confederate monuments) that should be repudiated and removed—while in many cases the situation is more complex. But “woke folk cancel culture” rejects the distinction between what is more immediately clear and what is more complex—and rejects rational discourse and serious, scientific exploration of and grappling with questions that may in fact be complex, replacing this with knee-jerk reactions, in accordance with whatever have become the momentary imperatives of “identity politics wokeness.” As I emphasized in Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis:

where people have committed real crimes and outrages they should be held accountable; but there is also the need to look at the arc of someone’s life and what is the principal and defining aspect of their life. Is it the mistakes they’ve made, or even a really terrible thing they’ve done at some point? Is that the essential aspect of their life and what defines it? Or has their life involved real transformation, where what has come to define what they are about are the positive things that they have done and the positive trajectory to their life overall?

What is involved here is a very wrong and harmful approach of “canceling” people—indicting them (in the realm of public opinion if not legally) and canceling them out—which is different than holding people accountable for serious acts of oppression or other outrages that they’ve committed but then also looking at the whole arc and main content of what their life has been about. (And this is made all the worse by the fact that it is often amplified through “trial in the media and social media,” with neither any prospect nor even any pretense of due process or any real attempt to get at the truth, fueled by the dangerous notion that a mere allegation is enough to condemn someone and make them a permanent pariah, and marked by a refusal to apply any measure of proportionality, to make any distinctions between different kinds and degrees of wrongdoing.)3

It has to be said—and cannot be overstated—that, in the world today, there can be no just society without the rule of law; there can be no rule of law without due process of law; and there can be no due process of law without the presumption of innocence (and that presumption of innocence must be real—and not a farce, as it is in this society). That is why so much emphasis is given to these principles in the new communism, including specifically the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored.4

It also has to be said that there can be no justice, and great harm will be done, where “trial in the media and social media” is treated as equivalent to, or a substitute for, due process—and this is especially so when what is involved are accusations not against representatives of state power, like the police, but against “ordinary people,” even wealthy and/or prominent ones. Yet “trial in the media and social media”—where mere accusations are treated as proof of guilt and there is a marked lack of proportionality (and at times even a refusal to recognize or accept the outcome of serious investigation and genuine due process)—this is what is clamored for and practiced with the cancerous “woke folk cancel culture.” This is just another version of the extremely harmful notion that “the ends justify the means” (that any means are justified if the goal is, or is proclaimed to be, righteous), something that is firmly rejected by the new communism and should be rejected by anyone who aspires to a truly just society.

But this kind of madness is what happens when petty bourgeois narrowness and cynicism—which is marked by (real, or artificial and fashionable) outrage at instances of social injustice but at the same time by a dismissal or outright rejection of any real attempt at bringing a truly just society into being, and which is often molded and manipulated by ruling bourgeois forces—is carried to fanatical extremes, unmoored from and in opposition to a rational, scientific method and approach. And this is made all the worse by the powerful influence of the extreme individualism that is promoted throughout this society, with its poisonous component of constantly seeking to “tear down” others (which has become a perverse “national sport”).

And, among other things, “cancel culture,” in primarily targeting individuals, is an approach that tends to ignore, downplay and fail to really fight against the institutions and the whole system which constitute the deeper root and source of these outrages. Rarely, if ever, does this approach aim at “canceling” the whole system!

All this is also an expression of “woke entrepreneurialism”: It treats oppression and opposition to oppression as “capital”—and seeks to “own” and “leverage” it—instead of fighting to abolish the oppression.

Now, as with the original “two outmodeds,” it is important to have a definite understanding about which of these new “two outmodeds” represents the greater danger and does, by far, the greater harm. Clearly, it is the fascist lunacy, and not the “woke folk” insanity. But, at the same time, as with the original “two outmodeds,” these new “two outmodeds” also reinforce each other even while opposing each other, and this, too, is a dynamic that must be broken with, in rejecting and opposing both of these new “two outmodeds.” (And those who deny that “woke folk” insanity and “cancel culture” is a real and serious problem—insisting instead that what is involved is merely holding people accountable for wrong-doing—are refusing to look at, or are seriously distorting, reality. They are akin to those pseudo “leftists” who have tried to prettify Islamic fundamentalist terrorism by characterizing it as “political Islam” and even in some cases have tried to portray this as a positive force against western imperialism.)

These New “Two Outmodeds”—Death Throes of This Moribund System—and the Revolution That Is Urgently Needed to Overthrow This System

In my New Year’s Statement (A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity), I pointed to the fact that, while they invoke very different political objectives, the fascists and the advocates of “identity politics” wokeness have much in common in terms of their epistemology (their approach to knowledge and truth). Both treat “truth” as something that conforms to subjective inclinations and prejudices, rather than to objective reality.5 And it has to be said that, in its social effect, “woke folk” insanity actually serves to reinforce and strengthen the fascist forces, which are quite capable of seizing on especially the most egregious expressions of this “wokeness” not just to mock and ridicule “woke” people but to deny very real oppression and obstruct the struggle against it, while in an overall way this “woke folk” insanity constitutes a diversion and evasion from—and actually does great harm to—the struggle against the oppression and exploitation of masses of people, here and throughout the world, and the need for revolution to abolish and uproot the basis for this oppression and exploitation.

It is this revolution—an actual revolution, to overthrow and completely abolish this system of capitalism-imperialism and bring a radically different and much better society into being, on an entirely different foundation—which must be urgently built for now, through applying the scientific method and scientifically-grounded principles of the new communism, in opposition to everything that serves to enforce and reinforce this system of capitalism-imperialism, which embodies the most horrific oppression and which increasingly poses an existential threat to the very existence of humanity.

 

1. Discussion of these “two outmodeds” (Jihad and McWorld/McCrusade) can be found in a number of works by Bob Avakian, including Bringing Forward Another Way, which is available at revcom.us, BA’s Collected Works. [back]

2. The article Bob Avakian On A Beautiful Uprising: Right And Wrong, Methods And Principles is also available at revcom.us. [back]

3. Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism is available at revcom.us, BA’s Collected Works. [back]

4. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America is available at revcom.us. [back]

5. New Year’s Statement By Bob Avakian, A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity, is available at revcom.us. [back]

Click to read.

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

Click to read and download (PDF)

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/702/supplementary-excerpts-en.html

Supplementary Excerpts

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Editors’ Note: The following excerpts from works by Bob Avakian (which are available at or can be ordered through revcom.us) are relevant to the article Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds” and generally to the phenomena of “identity politics,” “wokeness,” individualism, parasitism and American chauvinism.

See Further Supplementary Excerpts here.

 

From Breakthroughs, The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary (ebook edition, 2021).

And then there’s BAsics 4:10:

For humanity to advance beyond a state in which “might makes right”—and where things ultimately come down to raw power relations—will require, as a fundamental element in this advance, an approach to understanding things (an epistemology) which recognizes that reality and truth are objective and do not vary in accordance with, nor depend on, different “narratives” and how much “authority” an idea (or “narrative”) may have behind it, or how much power and force can be wielded on behalf of any particular idea or “narrative,” at any given point.1

This is extremely important as well—the relation between relativism and “might makes right.” Say, for example, that you are part of an oppressed group. You have a narrative about your oppression. But if the very righteous and just struggle against this oppression—against the police murder of Black and Brown and Native American people, for example—is reduced to a matter of narrative, to a matter of what amounts to a subjective view of the world (“We know what this means, we know where it comes from and what to do about it because we experience it, as part of our particular group identity”)—if that’s the epistemology that you’re putting forward, well, then, what happens when you run into a group with more power than you? Like the police—they’ve got their epistemology and their narrative too: “You are all a bunch of animals, you have to be confined; and if you in any way provoke us, we have the right to kill you.” That’s their narrative. This racism is written right into the law of this society and its bourgeois dictatorship. What do I mean by that? Well, what does the law say in most states? If the police have “a reasonable fear” of either harm to themselves or someone else, they have a right to use force, including deadly force. Well, then, you’ve got racism written right into this, because almost all police regard Black people, particularly young Black males (not only them, but particularly young Black males) as a threat, as a danger. So the rationale for police killing Black people is built in, they’ve written racism into the law. That’s their narrative—and their narrative has the backing of the state, which is why they almost never get indicted, let alone convicted, of these murders, time after time after time.

And then there’s the military of this system. They’ve got a narrative, too, about how they’re a force for good in the world, and they need to wield this force to impose order because that is for the greater good. And they’ve got their military power to back up that narrative. So, if it’s all a bunch of narratives, then whoever’s got the most power behind their narrative is going to ultimately prevail.

This gets to a point from Mao that is important in its own right and also has important application here. Mao said that striking a pose to intimidate is a very common tactic among certain people. In confronting the enemy, he pointed out, it’s absolutely useless, and among the people it does great harm. Think about this: If you’re in these narrow circles where the currency is identity politics, maybe you can get over by insisting on your narrative over somebody else’s. But in the broader world, and in particular up against the enemy, the ruling class, they don’t give a damn about your narrative, they don’t give a damn about your identity. They’ve got their interests and they’ve got a lot of force behind their interests, and your posturing with your identity is absolutely useless, it’s worthless, up against that. And this is all the more the case with the fascist regime that is now [in 2019] in power. Of course, it is not the case that fascism arose and came to power because of identity politics and the corresponding epistemology. The point is that these fascists want to reinforce and intensify the oppressive relations that identity politics is seeking to address in a distorted and ill-founded way, and these identity politics disorient and disarm people ideologically and render them less able to deal with this. Such identity politics, and in particular the posturing that all too often accompanies it, is only “useful” among people who will be intimidated by this, and in fact such intimidation does a great deal of harm. That’s what Mao meant when he said this kind of thing does great harm among the people. Intimidating people rather than winning them to a scientific understanding of reality, and what needs to be done about it, can only do harm among the people, and it’s absolutely useless against those who have real power.

So, once again, there is a great deal that is concentrated in BAsics 4:10 in terms of the relation between epistemology and advancing beyond a state in which might makes right. To further illustrate the important questions of principle and method that are involved, let me cite the following from my “Discussion with Comrades on Epistemology” drawing from the historical experience of the communist movement:

One of the big questions is “are we really people who are trying to get to the truth, or is it really just a matter of ‘truth as an organizing principle’?” Lenin criticized this philosophically—“truth as an organizing principle”—and you can criticize it to reject religion and opportunism which you don’t find particularly useful, but you can end up doing this yourself in another form....

I’m talking about a new synthesis—a more thoroughly materialist epistemology. Lenin wrote Materialism and Empirio-Criticism where he argued against these things [like "political truth," or "truth as an organizing principle"] but sometimes the practical Lenin got in the way of the philosophical Lenin. The political exigencies that were imposed contributed to a situation where some of the way Lenin dealt with contradictions had an aspect of Stalin.* There are many examples of this in The Furies [a book on the French and Russian revolutions by Arno Mayer]. In some instances, the Bolsheviks had a kind of "Mafia" approach in some areas, especially during the civil war that followed the October 1917 Revolution. In some cases, when people would be organized by reactionaries to fight against the Bolsheviks, the Bolsheviks would retaliate broadly and without mercy. Or they would kill people not only for deserting the Red Army but even for dragging their feet in fighting the civil war. While sometimes in the midst of war, extreme measures may be necessary, overall this is not the way to deal with these contradictions....I read Lenin on this and thought, "this is not right." There’s epistemological stuff bound up with all this as well. [Bob Avakian, “Bob Avakian in a Discussion with Comrades on Epistemology: On Knowing and Changing the World,” in Observations on Art and Culture, Science and Philosophy. p. 56, p. 55]

*Note added by the author: The reference here to “an aspect of Stalin” is a shorthand way of speaking to the negative side of Stalin—in particular his tendency, in dealing with what were very real and often acute contradictions, to rely on state repression, including capital punishment, instead of ideological struggle (combined with an insistence on adherence to discipline, and lesser punishment for violation of discipline, in situations where that was required).

And here we see the close interconnection between epistemology and morality. The orientation and principle that “Everything that is actually true is good for the proletariat, all truths can help us get to communism” is not only extremely important itself but is also closely related to the fact that the new communism thoroughly repudiates and is determined to root out of the communist movement the poisonous notion, and practice, that “the ends justifies the means.” It is a bedrock principle of the new communism that the “means” of this movement must flow from and be consistent with the fundamental “ends” of abolishing all exploitation and oppression through revolution led on a scientific basis.


1.   BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, RCP Publications, 2011. An ebook version can be downloaded for free with a link at revcom.us/avakian/ba-important-works-en.html. [back]

 

 

From Breakthroughs.

The goal of this revolution is not revenge and the reversal of the positions of oppressed and oppressor (“the last shall be first, and the first shall be last”). Here it is very relevant to refer to a statement by Lenin who said that all those who approach revolution with the orientation, “They had their chance, now it’s my turn to have a go at it”—all those who approach revolution in that way do so from the point of view of the petite bourgeoisie. And it hardly needs saying that the approach of the petite bourgeoisie is not going to lead to the achievement of the “4 Alls”2 and the emancipation of humanity. Even though at times the practical/political Lenin got in the way of the philosophical Lenin, in the sense discussed earlier, this is a very important statement by Lenin, because what he refers to as the point of view of the petite bourgeoisie is a powerful spontaneous pull, even on people who are not in the petite bourgeoisie. You see it over and over again—the goal becomes revenge, it becomes something short of transforming all of society. It becomes, “get mine if I can, or if I can’t, at least I can tear somebody else down.” That’s very pronounced in this society, particularly at this time, and even struggles which are dealing with very real and profound contradictions and relations of oppression can be turned toward that kind of outlook and approach by the powerful pull of spontaneity and the prevailing relations in this society. [Emphasis— boldface—added here]

This goes back to the point that even movements which start out highlighting very important outrages and injustices, and carrying out struggle against them, can only continue to go in the direction they need to go in, ultimately—and all these different forces in society that are opposing various forms of oppression can only be united in a lasting and forward moving way—on the basis of a scientific communist approach and what it reveals to be the solution to the profound problems that the present society embodies and enforces. With the outlook of the petite bourgeoisie you’re never going to get there. What is needed is—in a non‑reified sense, in the communist sense—the outlook of the proletariat, the outlook and approach that corresponds to the fundamental interests of the proletariat, which involves the recognition that only by emancipating all of humanity can any one section of the exploited and oppressed be emancipated.

In contrast to narrow and petty motivations and aspirations for things such as revenge and “my turn to have a go at it,” the goal of the communist revolution is, as emphasized in THE NEW COMMUNISM,3 “getting to a different world where all these horrors for the masses of people don’t go on any longer.” The goal is the emancipation of humanity—the abolition of all exploitation and oppression, and the corresponding antagonisms among human beings, and the uprooting of the soil out of which they arise, with the achievement of communism, throughout the world.


2. The “4 Alls” refers to the statement by Marx that the communist revolution aims for the abolition of all class distinctions, all the production relations on which those class distinctions rest, all the social relations that correspond to those production relations, and the revolutionizing of all the ideas that correspond to those social relations. [back]

3. Bob Avakian, THE NEW COMMUNISM, The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, Insight Press, 2016 [back]

 

 

From Breakthroughs.

The ruling class repeatedly seeks to pit different sections of the people against each other and, contrary to the illusions of “intersectionality,” the ruling class has many powerful ways to do that if you’re not proceeding from the point of view of the emancipation of humanity as a whole.

There is a whole history of different sections of the people being pitted against each other. You have the egregious example of the Buffalo Soldiers after the Civil War—Black soldiers who fought to put down and kill off the Native Americans and steal their land—while in the Civil War, among the different Native American peoples, there were some who sided with the northern Union while others sided with the southern Confederacy, based on their narrow perception of their immediate interests. Only coming from the point of view of communism can you unify the masses of people to overcome every manifestation of oppression and achieve the “4 Alls.” [Emphasis—italics—added here.]

 

 

From Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism, 2019.

Virulent Individualism and Oblivious Individualism

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

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

So there are these different kinds, or two broad types, of individualism (with many gradations, obviously). But what is the unifying element in them? Self. The self. As I pointed out in the Dialogue with Cornel West in 2014,4 the “selfie” is a perfect iconic representation of this whole outlook and this whole culture. It’s not that every “selfie” is in and of itself bad, of course. But there is a whole culture around it, even to the point where people go to a beautiful place in nature and what are they preoccupied with? Taking a “selfie” of themself instead of taking in (and yes, taking photographs of) the vast beauty that’s stretched out before them. The important thing, with this outlook, is: “Here I am, look at me.” It’s the “look at me, look at me, look at me” ethos that is so predominant in both these forms of individualism, even in the one that’s not consciously virulent but is nevertheless strikingly oblivious.

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

Now here let me be very clear: There are people in the world, masses of people in the world, whose lives are so chaotic and whose suffering is so terrible that it’s very difficult for them even to engage, let alone learn about, much of what’s going on in the world. I’m not talking about those people whom the operation of this system grinds down and subjects to so much horror that, on their own, they are really deprived of even the opportunity to learn about and to engage the larger world. I’m talking about people who have every opportunity to do so but, either with a malignant (or virulent) mentality, or in a more “benign” but nevertheless oblivious way, choose not to pay attention to these things. I’m not necessarily opposed to people watching some videos or YouTubes of cats playing the violin (and similar things on the internet), but if that kind of thing is your preoccupation—let alone if snark and tearing down other people on the internet is your preoccupation—then, obviously, this is something any decent person should be very concerned about and strongly oppose and struggle sharply against.


4. REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN (2015). The film of this dialogue is available at revcom.us/avakian/ba-important-works-en.html. [back]

 

 

From Hope for Humanity on a Scientific Basis

Parasitism, American Chauvinism, and Individualism

Interestingly, in an article about privacy and the problems that the internet poses for people in terms of having any privacy (“Just a Face in the Crowd? Not Anymore”),5 the authors of the article, Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger, refer to this as a “status‑obsessed culture,” and they particularly talk about how this is a problem in terms of people having any privacy because people want to use the internet to boost their status all the time: “Look at me doing this, look at me doing that,” and so on, and so forth. But this phrase, I think, is very apropos, is a very relevant and meaningful phrase: a “status‑obsessed culture.” This is what’s been continually encouraged through the major institutions of this society, and it is a particular variant, obviously, of the widespread individualism, both virulent and oblivious.

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

All this is very much bound up with the parasitism of American society, which (as explained in Breakthroughs...) 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). As Lenin phrased it, this puts “the seal of parasitism” on the whole of societies such as the U.S.


5. Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger, “Just a Face in the Crowd? Not Anymore,” New York Times, April 18, 2019. [back]

 

 

From Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis.

Identity Politics and Individualism

As pointed out in “All Played Out,”6 there is the “politics of ‘identity’ that really comes back down to me.” We see all the time that, even while this identity is associated with a group, in fundamental terms it’s really about “me” and “mine”; it is posed, at least objectively and often consciously, against other people, even other bitterly oppressed people, in a way that smacks of disgusting individualism and petty rivalry based on that outlook. Along with this, there is the whole phenomenon of “woke” parasitism and seeking “safe” privileged enclaves within, and on the basis of, the depredations and exploitation by this imperialist system of the masses of people of the world as well as the environment.

“Identity politics” distorts, corrupts, misdirects and undermines the exposure of and the needed struggle against what are, in fact, horrific forms of oppression. In this connection, let’s contrast experience in the 1960s vs. today’s phenomena of “triggering” and trauma.

Back in the 1960s, drawing from my own experience, I remember that, in the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley in 1964, the culmination and the high point of that struggle was when there was a massive sit‑in, in the administration building on the Berkeley campus. Hundreds of people sat in and refused to leave until their demands were met. Ultimately, 800 were forcibly ejected from the building and arrested when the governor (the Democratic Party governor) of the state called out not only the local police, but the county sheriffs and the state police to come in and roust us out of the administration building. We were confronted with these police who were roughly arresting people—grabbing people, particularly women, by the hair and throwing them down the stairs as a way of evicting them from the administration building. Well, it strikes me now, in looking back on this, that the one thing we forgot to do, in the face of this, was to say: “Wait, you’re triggering us. You can’t do this. You’re causing us trauma.” I’m sure that would have worked to prevent the police from acting in that brutal manner.

Or, when Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, together with others who made up the first members of the Black Panther Party, carried out their armed patrols against police brutality and murder, and they encountered police who threatened them and demanded that they put down their weapons (which the Panthers were legally carrying), well then, Huey and Bobby should have said to those pigs: “Stop—don’t you know you’re triggering and traumatizing us!” Yes, I’m sure that would have made the pigs back off.

Or, we can think about “Stop the Draft Week,” when thousands of people went to demonstrate at the Oakland induction center at the height of the struggle against the Vietnam war, in the effort to shut down the induction center (where people were conscripted—forced—into the U.S. military). People sat in, to block the doors. And the Oakland police, who are known for their racism and brutality going back generations, came in and brutally attacked people, and dragged them away in the most vicious manner. Well, it strikes me now that the real failing at that time was that, as those people were sitting in and the police were approaching, they should have said: “Stop! You’re triggering us.” I’m sure that would have stopped the police from brutally rousting people away from the doors.

And there are many other examples. Think about People’s Park in Berkeley, when, at its high point, there was a massive demonstration of tens of thousands in support of the seemingly modest demand to have a park in an area that the university wanted to turn into a parking lot. During the course of this struggle, people were shot by police and one of the demonstrators, James Rector, was killed as part of a police attack on a demonstration. And in addition to people being shot, the National Guard had been called out, and there were a number of us, hundreds, who went to the fence that the university and the authorities had put around the People’s Park area. The National Guard was stationed inside the fence, and many of us were at the fence, shaking it. Well, because the National Guard was armed and was being ordered to be prepared to shoot—that was very clear—the question for us was: Should we tear down this fence and face the fusillade of bullets coming at us for doing so? And people decided, in those circumstances, that this wasn’t the right thing to do. But obviously we were completely mis‑directed in those circumstances. We should have said to the commanders of the National Guard: “Not just pointing those guns at us, but just having those guns near us, is triggering us. You can’t do this. You have to stop this right now!”

Now, obviously, I’m being ironic here. But the point that comes through—and these examples are deliberately ludicrous to make the point—is that in any real struggle to deal with any real oppression, up against powerful enforcers of that oppression, you are going to have to face the prospect of real sacrifice, including the prospect of being physically attacked. And if you think that you can carve out little safe enclaves, and that this is somehow going to lead to any kind of significant change in society, you are full of illusions and delusions.

So, this is something important to understand. The trauma that results from directly suffering horrific forms of oppression and degradation is very real, and no one should deny or underestimate that—but, instead of an individual “turning inwards,” this needs to be transformed into anger and determination to be part of a collective struggle to put an end to all the atrocities, everywhere, whose fundamental source and cause is this system of capitalism‑imperialism. And, yes, this will require struggle and sacrifice. But it’s worth it, it’s what needs to happen.


6. “All Played Out,” a spoken word piece by Bob Avakian, with musical accompaniment by William Parker (Centeringmusic BMI, 2011) is available at revcom.us/avakian/ba-important-works-en.html and at soundcloud.com/allplayedout. [back]

 

 

From The Problem, the Solution, and the Challenges Before Us, 2017.

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

 

 

From The Truth About Right‑Wing Conspiracy...And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer, 1998.

[Bill] Clinton represents an attempt to deal with these acute and potentially explosive contradictions by giving a certain expression to "inclusiveness"—to "diversity" and "multi‑culturalism"—while retaining and fortifying the white supremacist and male supremacist relations that are an integral and indispensable part of the structure of U.S. capitalism‑imperialism. In line with this, Clinton has promoted a less absolutist version of the "traditional values" and the "Judeo‑Christian tradition" which has justified and reinforced the exploitative and oppressive relations on which this system is built.

But, in the view of Clinton's conservative and particularly his fundamentalist opponents, Clinton's program will not work and will only undermine the historically established girdings of the system, both in its economic base and in the superstructure of politics, culture and ideology—it will lead to the unraveling of the legitimating social "consensus" and social "cohesion" necessary to maintain this system. And the fact is that there are today in the U.S. broad numbers of people who, yes, participated in or were influenced by the movements of the '60s and have a corresponding commitment to social justice and equality, and who are unwilling to go along with the notion that America has some inherent moral right and obligation to bully its way around the world and impose a world order under its domination. At the same time, there is the phenomenon that, in some important aspects, the "recovery" of the U.S. economy that has taken place during the Clinton administration, and the more highly "globalized" and "flexible" production that has been a marked feature of this "recovery," has also contributed to "undermining the traditional family." And it has fostered the florescence of an outlook, particularly (though not exclusively) among more highly paid professionals, that involves no small amount of self‑indulgence and, related to that, a weakening of some "traditional values," including old‑style patriotism and the willingness to sacrifice for the officially defined and proclaimed "national interest." [Emphasis—italics—added here]

In some significant ways, what was written 150 years ago in the Communist Manifesto, concerning the consequences of unfettered bourgeois commodity relations, is assuming a pronounced expression among sections of the U.S. population in the context of today's "post‑Cold War" world capitalism. The following phrases from the Manifesto have a particular and powerful resonance: "the bourgeoisie, wherever it has gotten the upper hand...has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self‑interest, than callous `cash payment.' It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of Philistine sentimentalism in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value....In a word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation." There is a great irony here: the very "triumph" and "triumphalism" of capitalism in today's circumstances has produced effects and sentiments which tend to undermine, among significant sections of the U.S. population, the willingness to make personal sacrifices for "god and country"—that is, for the interests and requirements of the imperial ruling class, within the U.S. itself and in the world arena. In reaction to this, the "conservatives," with the Christian Right playing a decisive role, are attempting to revive and impose precisely "the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of Philistine sentimentalism"—to resurrect a situation where worldwide exploitation that is unsurpassed in its brutality is at the same time "veiled by religious and political illusions."

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/703/further-supplementary-excerpts-en.html

Further Supplementary Excerpts

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Previously, we have published excerpts from works by Bob Avakian (which are available or can be ordered through revcom.us) that are relevant to the article Bob Avakian On Fascist Lunacy and “Woke Folk” Insanity: A New “Two Outmodeds” and generally to the phenomena of “identity politics,” “wokeness,” individualism, parasitism, and American chauvinism. The following are further relevant excerpts, from Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism (2019), which is available at revcom.us/BA’s Collected Works. (Boldface emphasis has been added here by the author.)

See Supplementary Excerpts here.

 

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

As I have pointed out, in Ruminations and Wranglings1 (and in other works), the contradiction that people exist as individuals, but they also exist in a larger social context and are largely shaped by that social context, is a complicated contradiction that is important to handle correctly. And this contradiction is acutely expressed today in the fact that while people do exist as individuals, the terrible suffering of the masses of humanity and the urgent challenges facing humanity as a whole as a result of the escalating destruction of the environment by this system of capitalism-imperialism as well as the possibility of nuclear conflagration that continues to loom as an existential threat over humanity—all this cannot be seriously addressed, let alone actually solved, by each person pursuing their particular individual interests, and in fact people acting in this way constitutes a major obstacle to bringing about the necessary solution. Individualism is a significant factor and “unifying element” in much of the negative trends that play a major role in keeping people from recognizing the reality and depth of the horrors continually brought about by this system—and recognizing the urgent need to act, together with others, to abolish and uproot all this, at its very source. This highlights and heightens the fact that individualism, which is encouraged and expressed in extreme forms in this particular society at this time, is a profound problem that must be confronted and transformed.

* * * *

Here stands out again the great importance of the scientific method and approach of communism, as this has been further developed through the new communism, and the reality and possibility of radical, emancipating change, in this world. In relation to all this, and in particular the question of hope, there is great importance to the following statement by Marx which is cited in Part I of the RCP Manifesto, Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage:

Once the inner connection is grasped, all theoretical belief in the permanent necessity of existing conditions breaks down before their collapse in practice.2

This is extremely important because it gives emphasis to the importance of theory and of science—theory that’s grounded in and is an application of a consistently scientific method and approach—to reveal what are the actual relations and dynamics, what are the inner connections and “inner workings,” of the system that people are subjected to. First of all to reveal that there is a system that they are subjected to, and what are the inner workings and dynamics of that system and how it fits into the whole historical development of human society. (Or, in basic terms, that people are living within the confines of a system; that this system is not just something imposed by some powerful people, but is the result of certain historical development; that this system operates, and must operate, according to certain “rules” that flow from its basic relations, and that this embodies and gives rise to contradictions that cause all kinds of suffering for the masses of humanity, contradictions that are fundamental and essential to this system and cannot be eliminated without eliminating this system itself). And this scientific theory reveals that there is a way out of all this—and what that way out is.

* * * *

Particular Interests and General Interests—Differing Class Interests and the Highest Interests of Humanity

In The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,3 Marx makes the point that every class viewpoint identifies the particular interest of the class it represents with the general interests of society. Referring back to what is said about the “4 Alls” in Breakthroughs4 (and elsewhere)—that is, 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 revolutionizing of all the ideas that correspond to those social relations—referring back to those “4 Alls,” and in particular the relation and interconnection of production and social relations, it is important to recognize how, even spontaneously, different classes (that is, people who are part of different social groups in terms of the relations of production) differently experience and respond to social relations of oppression.

For example, among Black people—and this phenomenon is something you can see in the television program Black-ish, for example—Black people as a whole suffer horrific oppression in many forms, including one of the most egregious expressions of this, murder by police, as well as rampant discrimination and racism throughout the society; but different classes, strata and sections of the Black population experience this differently and respond to it differently. You can see it in people like Beyoncé and Jay-Z. The basic outlook they hold, and propagate, is essentially this: The way to deal with all this is to get big bank—get that paper, that’ll deal with all this. Well, this is obviously the outlook and the aspiration of bourgeois strata, what have become bourgeois strata among Black people. And then there are other manifestations of the same kind of outlook among the more bourgeois and petit bourgeois strata of Black people who see the solution as working within the system and getting a better place within this system. That is their spontaneous inclination, their spontaneous view of the problem and the solution. And, among other things, this explains why there has been such enthusiasm for having Obama as the first Black president.

Now, it’s been pointed out before, and it bears repeating, that among all strata in society the outlook that characterizes the petite bourgeoisie and ultimately the bourgeoisie has significant influence. So it’s not like the basic, more proletarian or semi-proletarian masses of oppressed people are somehow immune from this petit bourgeois and bourgeois thinking. Far from it. Nevertheless, in terms of what this represents, what social position and outlook it corresponds to, it is representative essentially of the petit bourgeois and bourgeois strata.

The same thing applies to the oppression of women. As with any oppressed group (in this case, half of humanity), with regard to women any injustice or oppression against any part of women does great harm to women as a whole. But, again, different strata among women—and women in different parts of the world, for that matter—experience this differently and spontaneously have different notions of what is the problem and the solution. Among the more bourgeois-aspiring and petit bourgeois professional women, and so on, a significant spontaneous inclination is: Let’s get more women into positions of authority and power, more women CEOs, more women in the professions, and in government, and so on. That is seen as the solution, or a big part of the solution, to the problem. Now (to use a grammatical double negative) it is not that discrimination against women in the spheres of business and the professions, etc., should not be opposed. It should definitely be opposed, fundamentally because this does harm all women. But this does not deal with what the essence of the problem is and what the solution is. And, in fact, in certain ways this can end up reinforcing this system and its oppressive relations. To be clear, it is not that the fight against discrimination in these spheres is itself harmful (as I have emphasized, the opposite is the case); but what is harmful is the notion that getting more women (or, for that matter, other oppressed people) into positions of influence, authority and power within this society, in the functioning of this system, is the answer, the solution, to inequality and oppression. That is a harmful illusion that can only mislead and misdirect people and actually serve to reinforce the very system that is the source of oppression and exploitation. So here is another complex contradiction that requires the application of the scientific method to achieve the necessary synthesis: waging the fight against discrimination and oppression of any section of women (or other oppressed groups) while combating the notion that fulfilling the aspirations of the petit bourgeois and bourgeois strata among the oppressed is the solution, that it can or will lead to the end of oppression and exploitation of the masses of people and ultimately to the emancipation of all humanity.

This goes back to Marx’s point in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, that every class—or the outlook corresponding to different classes—all consider that the particular interests of their class represent the general interests of society, of the people. The reality is that only for one class at this point is it true that its interests as a class—not in a narrow or reified sense, but in the most fundamental sense—correspond to the general interests of society, or of the masses of humanity and ultimately humanity as a whole. That class is the proletariat, the exploited class under this capitalist-imperialist system, because in the fundamental and ultimate sense only by ending all oppression and exploitation—only with the achievement of those “4 Alls” throughout the world—can the exploitation and oppression of the proletariat as a class be finally ended.

As for the ruling capitalist class of this country, and in general the capitalist-imperialists in the world, their interests lie in maintaining and reinforcing the system of capitalism-imperialism and in their striving to be in the “top-dog” position in a world dominated by this system, with all the terrible suffering and truly dire consequences this involves for the masses of humanity. The petite bourgeoisie (or middle class) is itself incapable of offering any alternative to this present horrendous system.

 


1. Ruminations and Wranglings: On the Importance of Marxist Materialism, Communism as a Science, Meaningful Revolutionary Work, and a Life with Meaning, by Bob Avakian (2009) is also available at revcom.us/BA’s collected works.  [back]

2. Marx to Kugelmann, 1868, cited in Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, September 2008 (RCP Publications, 2009). Available at revcom.us.  [back]

3. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Foreign Languages Press Peking, First Edition, 1878).  [back]

4. Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary (ebook edition, 2021).  [back]

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/avakian/science/there-is-an-urgent-need-en.html

There is an urgent need...

revcom.us

 

The new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian represents a qualitative advance in the scientific approach to making revolution and emancipating humanity

There is an urgent need for this new synthesis to be taken up, broadly, in this society and in the world as a whole: everywhere people are questioning why things are the way they are, and whether a different world is possible; everywhere people are talking about “revolution” but have no real understanding of what revolution means, no scientific approach to analyzing and dealing with what they are up against and what needs to be done; everywhere people are rising up in rebellion but are hemmed in, let down and left to the mercy of murderous oppressors, or misled onto paths which only reinforce, often with barbaric brutality, the enslaving chains of tradition; everywhere people need a way out of their desperate conditions, but do not see the source of their suffering and the path forward out of the darkness.

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/698/bob-avakian-breakthroughs-ebook-now-available-en.html

| revcom.us

 

EBOOK NOW AVAILABLE!

From the book:
A Brief Explanatory Preface

In what follows, many of the concepts that will be gone into are of necessity dealing with things on a high level of theoretical abstraction. I have done my best to make this accessible to people who do not yet have even a basic familiarity with these concepts, in order to provide them with a “way into” what is alluded to in the main part of the title, while for those already familiar with and partisan to this, the aim is to deepen the grasp of this and the ability to work with and wield this in contributing to the revolution, and the ultimate goal of communism, which this theory points to as possible, necessary, and urgently required for a profound leap in human emancipation. This is, in one important dimension, an elaboration on The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach, and Core Elements—An Outline.1 At the same time, as indicated in the title, it is a “basic summary,” because, even as a comprehensive exposition of much of what is addressed here is contained in the book THE NEW COMMUNISM 2—and important elements of this are included in the selections in BAsics,3 which can, in important ways, serve as a handbook for revolution—there is also a need for a distilled discussion of the theory, strategic orientation and objectives of the communist movement as this was developed from the time of Marx and with its further development and synthesis with the new communism. It is also a “basic summary,” rather than an attempt at a complete and final summary, because the development of the new communism is a work in progress, an important part of which is continuing to learn from and further synthesize what has come before, in the first great wave of communist revolution, beginning with the historic breakthrough by Marx.


1. Bob Avakian, The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach, and Core Elements—An Outline, Summer 2015. Available at revcom.us and thebobavakianinstitute.org. [back]

2. Bob Avakian, THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation (Insight Press, 2016). Also available as an eBook. Also available at revcom.us and thebobavakianinstitute.org. [back]

3. Bob Avakian, BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian (RCP Publications, 2011). Available as a free eBook at revcom.us. [back]

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/federal-court-moves-to-end-discrimination-against-white-farmers-en.html

Black Farmers Denied Debt Relief

Federal Court Moves to End Discrimination... AGAINST WHITE FARMERS!

| revcom.us

 

On June 23, a federal judge in Florida issued a nationwide injunction temporarily blocking debt relief payments intended for Black and other minority farmers.1 The payments, which are desperately needed for the survival of many Black-owned farms, are intended to be part of a much larger “American Rescue Plan” for coronavirus pandemic relief that became federal law in March. However, the relief for Black farmers was stopped after white farmers in several states—supported by former Trump/Pence regime officials and other fascists—sued, claiming they were being discriminated against. The case will be reheard, either later this year or early next year.

According to NBC News, the federal judge claimed in her ruling that debt relief for Black farmers “likely violates white farmers’ rights to equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.”2 She said that the debt relief program would “result in an imminent, one-time act of discrimination [against white farmers] that cannot be remedied through an award of monetary damage or other relief in this case.”3

The reality is that Black farmers have long been victims of repeated and systematic discrimination in this country. Through the course of the 20th century, Black farmers lost over 12 million acres of farmland.4 A recent study estimates the value of that lost land in today’s dollars to be over $185 billion.5 In 1920, there were 925,000 Black-owned farms totaling about 15 million acres of land, about 14 percent of all farms in the U.S.6 But over the next century, over 12 million acres of farmland were lost by Black farmers.7 Today, the number of farmers who are Black has fallen to 1.3% of the total.8

“The Last Plantation”

Small farmers in general have been getting crushed by corporate agriculture for the past 100 years.9 In 2017, a little over two million farms remained in the U.S.,10 down from about six million in 1935.11 But Black farmers have been hit particularly hard, repeatedly. The devastation of Black-owned farms has been driven by policy at the federal, state, and local levels; by discriminatory loan and finance practices of banks; and by outright racism on the county level. Beginning in the 1930s and continuing for decades afterwards, Black farmers seeking a loan had to go before committees12 mainly made up of wealthy Southern whites who “ignored or antagonized African-American farmers, who were excluded from serving on the committees and lacked the resources to challenge the decisions of the all-white members bent on limiting the amount of crops they could grow.”13

Massive loss of Black-owned farmland intensified in the 1950s and 1960s.14 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was sometimes called “the Last Plantation,” because it systematically denied operating loans to Black farmers and carried out other discriminatory practices.15

Audits of the USDA showed that its “illegal pressures levied through its loan programs created massive transfers of wealth from Black to white farmers, especially in the period just after the 1950s. In 1965, the United States Commission on Civil Rights uncovered blatant and dramatic racial differences in the level of federal investment in farmers.”16 Fifteen years later, the Reagan administration slashed funding to the USDA’s civil rights office and brought its enforcement program to a “virtual standstill.”17 Hundreds of discrimination complaints gathered dust or went into the trash.

In 1997, the National Black Farmers Association, representing nearly 1,000 Black farmers, sued the USDA in a $2.5 billion class action suit. The result of that suit was the largest civil rights settlement ever won against the federal government.18 The settlement was supposed to pay over $2 billion to Black farmers,19 mainly in the woefully inadequate sum of $50,000 each. Fewer than 16,000 of the 22,000 claims filed under the settlement were successful. Outrageously, 70,000 farmers were excluded from the settlement because they supposedly filed late.20

None of the payments went out until 2014—15 long years after the agreement was supposedly reached. Meanwhile, many farmers went deeper into debt, and many said the federal concessions were too little and too late—particularly for those who had lost their farms to foreclosure or who were forced to declare bankruptcy. And nothing changed in how the USDA dealt with Black farmers seeking justice from the USDA. A report on the website The Counter revealed that “by the end of the Bush administration, there were 14,000 outstanding cases [claiming discrimination against Black people] from between 2001 and 2008, and only one finding of discrimination during that period.”21

The Trump/Pence Regime’s Blatant Racism

As part of the overall fascist program of the Trump/Pence regime, Black farmers were victims of flagrant and open discrimination. A prime example of that was when Trump severely restricted the sales of many agricultural products to China in 2018, as part of a U.S. “trade war” with that country. Farm bankruptcies soared, and Trump “shoveled tens of billions of dollars to farmers, ranchers, and companies in the [agricultural] sector.”22 But 99.5 percent of this money went to white farm operators.23 John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, said, “The Trump Administration has been the worst administration in history for Black farmers. We have been totally shut out of the farm subsidy program, farm ownership laws, from rural development.”24

***

These obscenely vindictive and blatantly white supremacist actions are not “one-time” instances of discrimination. They are manifestations of a system with deep oppression of Black people woven into every stitch of its existence. And as the recent federal court ruling stopping debt relief for Black farmers illustrates, blatant exploitation of and discrimination against Black farmers continue to this day.

For more on the history of Black farmers, go here. Revcom.us will be covering further developments around Black farmers.

 

1. “Judge Blocks $4 Billion Debt Relief Program for Minority Farmers,” New York Times, June 23, 2021 [back]

2. “White Farmer Wins Temporary Halt to Program for Black Counterparts,” NBC News, June 24, 2021 [back]

3. “Court Halts Black Farmer Loan Forgiveness Program,” FarmProgress, June 24, 2021 [back]

4. “Relief Bill is Most Significant Legislation for Black Farmers Since Civil Rights Act, Experts Say,” Washington Post, March 10, 2020 [back]

5. “’Revolution is Based on Land’: Wealth Denied Via Black Land Ownership Loss,” Tufts.edu [back]

6. “African Americans Have Lost Untold Acres of Land Over the Last Century,” The Nation, July 17-24, 2017 [back]

7. “Relief Bill is Most Significant Legislation for Black Farmers Since Civil Rights Act, Experts Say,” Washington Post, March 10, 2020 [back]

8. “A Brief History of Black Land Ownership in the U.S.,” Fair Farms Maryland [back]

9. How America’s Food Giants Swallowed the Family Farms,” The Guardian, March 9, 2019 [back]

10. “New Census of Agriculture Shows Decline in Number of America’s Farms, Farmers, and Farmland,” American Farmland Trust, April 20, 2019 [back]

11. “Decline of the American Small Family Farm in One Chart,” Washington Post, September 16, 2014 [back]

12. The Agricultural Adjustment Agency (AAA), a federal agency whose intended purpose was to offset the effects of the Depression on agriculture, began a program of centrally set policies that were administered by county agents. [back]

13. “Black-Owned Farms are Hanging on by a Thread,” Eater, February 23, 2021 [back]

14. “The Great Land Robbery,” The Atlantic, September 15, 2019 [back]

15. “USDA: The Last Plantation,” Successful Farming, February 5, 2021 [back]

16. “The Great Land Robbery,” The Atlantic, September 2019 [back]

17. “This Land Is Not Your Land,Mother Jones, May-June 2021 [back]

18. As Revolution newspaper wrote at that time, “the USDA had to admit that they had simply ignored hundreds of discrimination cases filed by Black farmers. Some of the Black farmers who joined the class action suit have been fighting for justice and redress for 15 or 20 years.” [back]

19. “Black US Farmers Dismayed as White Farmers Lawsuit Halts Relief Payments,” The Guardian, June 22, 2021 [back]

20. “National Black Farmers Association – About Us” [back]

21. “How USDA Distorted Data to Conceal Decades of Discrimination Against Black Farmers,” The Counter, June 26, 2019 [back]

22. “Trump’s Trade Wars Have Made Bad Agricultural Policies Worse,” Foreign Policy, October 27, 2020 [back]

23. “Nearly 100 Percent of Trump Funds Designed to Help Farmers Went to White Farmers,” Grist, August 1, 2019 [back]

24. “Trump Administration ‘Worst in History for Black Farmers’: National Black Farmers Association President, Yahoo News, February 11, 2021 [back]


John Boyd and his father on their family farm in Virginia. He remembers how 30 years ago a USDA official tossed his loan application in the trash. Photo: Courtesy John Boyd


In 1997 the National Black Farmers Association, representing nearly 1,000 Black farmers, sued the USDA in a $2.5 billion class action suit. Here Tennessee farmers at a rally as part of that effort. Photo: AP

Bob Avakian on The Oppression of Black People & the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression

A resource page

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/fascist-voter-suppression-laws-loom-in-texas-en.html

Fascist Voter Suppression Laws Loom in Texas

| revcom.us

 

On July 7, the Republi-fascists in Texas introduced two bills in the state legislature that would massively disenfranchise Black and Latino voters. This move comes on the heels of the July 1 Supreme Court ruling that set a precedent (a standard other courts must follow) for approving voter suppression laws even when there is uncontested evidence that those laws make it more difficult for Black people, Latinos and Native Americans to vote.

The new Texas laws include:

Other sections of the new laws would make it harder to get absentee ballots; add new voter ID requirements; increase criminal penalties for election workers who violate the new laws; limit assistance that can be provided to voters; and greatly expand the authority of partisan “poll watchers” in ways that will be used by Republicans to intimidate and challenge voters.

For generations, Black people were denied the right to vote in the South through law and terror. That only changed with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That law was only passed after heroic struggle and sacrifice of people who risked and gave their lives in a movement that exposed the white supremacist nature of this country to the world. Today, disenfranchising Black and Latino voters is aimed at a return to those dark days, and has a distinctly apartheid1 dimension in Texas where 60 percent of the population is non-white but an overtly white supremacist party rules the state.

Voting under this system has always served to steer people into the deadly quicksand of believing the system can deliver justice to the oppressed. Even so, the Republicans are on a mission to “clear the ground” of any opposition to their fascist agenda of undisguised white supremacy, extreme women-enslaving patriarchy, vicious dehumanization of non-white immigrants, and shredding any pretense of democratic rights. Voter suppression is a key link in that agenda. Already this year, 28 laws restricting voting have passed in 17 states.

What is the response of the Democratic Party?

In a speech at historically Black Howard University, Vice President Kamala Harris said, “We are going to assemble the largest voter protection team we have ever had to ensure that all Americans can vote and have your vote counted in a fair and transparent process.” This when the Republicans are moving full-steam-ahead to make that impossible in state after state; using the filibuster to block any kind of federal law to address voter suppression (a procedure the Democrats could overturn but will not); and doing so with the backing of the fascist-packed Supreme Court.

What’s behind the paralysis of the Democrats? A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION gets to the heart of it:

The Democrats are trying to keep things together with more disguise and deception, with the claim that what exists in this country is a “great democracy” representing “the will of the people,” and for this reason it deserves to be, and needs to be, the most powerful force in the world. But, in reality, both of these ruling class parties are working to maintain the violent oppressive power, the dictatorship, of this capitalist-imperialist system, with all the horrors for humanity this involves.

 


1. Apartheid was the set of laws through which a white minority ruled over and violently imposed vicious oppression on the black African people of South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s.  [back]


People wait to vote at Texas Southern University, March 2020. Photo: Allyn West


Cops viciously attack a march for voting rights in Selma, March 1965.

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/darnella-frazier-filmed-police-murder-of-george-floyd-now-her-uncle-dies-in-pig-chase-en.html

Darnella Frazier Courageously Filmed the Police Murder of George Floyd… Now Her Uncle Dies in Reckless Pig-Chase

| revcom.us

 

“I woke up to the most horrible news. 💔MINNEAPOLIS police Killed my uncle 💔MY uncle... Another black man lost his life in the hands of the police! … Minneapolis police has cost my whole family a big loss…”

This is what Darnella Frazier posted on Facebook after her uncle, Leneal Lamont Frazier, was killed by the wanton actions of Minneapolis police on July 7.

Many people remember Darnella Frazier as a real hero. On May 25, 2020, she courageously took a video of the vicious murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis pig, Derek Chauvin. She was 17 years old at the time. Because of the video, people across the U.S. and around the world saw how Chauvin cold-bloodedly killed George Floyd with a knee to his neck for nine minutes. And she was a key witness, this past March, in the trial that convicted Chauvin of murder.

On the stand, Darnella said she had been “haunted” by what she witnessed. She said, “When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles, because they’re all Black…. I look at how that could have been one of them.”

Now, Darnella’s uncle has died at the hands of the pigs. The Minneapolis police said that one of their cops was pursuing a driver who allegedly carjacked a vehicle involved in multiple robberies and then the cop hit another car, completely unrelated to the chase, killing 40-year-old Leneal Lamont Frazier. Darnella wrote, “It’s not fair how the police can just go around killing people… WHY ARE YOU DOING A HIGH SPEED CHASE ON A RESIDENTIAL RODE??? you took an innocent life trying to catch someone else…”

According to a 2015 analysis done by USA Today, more than 5,000 bystanders and passengers had been killed and tens of thousands more injured in police car chases since 1979. And as usual, another murdering pig walks free. The cop who caused the death of Leneal Lamont Frazier faces no charges or disciplinary action.

Leneal Frazier was a father of six, including an eight-month-old son, and had one grandchild. People say Leneal had an outgoing personality and a caring heart. A GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral expenses remembers Leneal as a “protector” who loved family, friends, and barbecuing. Cheryl Frazier, Leneal’s sister, said, “He was a very good person. He would help you if you needed help. He’ll give you the shirt off his back if he had to…. He was always that type of person.”

Darnella Frazier says that she is trying to “heal from something I am reminded of every day.”


Leneal Frazier

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/refuse-fascism-mission-statement-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

RefuseFascism Mission Statement
July 2021

| revcom.us

 

RefuseFascism.org exposes, analyzes, and stands against the very real danger and threat of fascism coming to power in this country. Seventy-four million people voted for Trump in 2020. The Republi-fascist Party has been purged of dissenting voices. The mass fascist movement has hardened in the wake of their January 6 coup attempt. Fascist initiatives around restricting voting, immigration and abortion rapidly advance in statehouses across the country. The election of Biden has not eliminated the danger, it has only bought some time.

Fascism is not just a gross combination of horrific reactionary policies. It is a qualitative change in how society is governed. Once in power, fascism’s defining feature is the essential elimination of the rule of law and democratic and civil rights. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive “traditional values.” Truth is obliterated and fascist mobs and threats of violence are unleashed to build their movement and consolidate power.

The Democratic Party will not stop this nightmare. Trump, fascist Fox News, and the Republi-fascist Party have branded them as enemies and “traitors.” Yet, the Democratic Party will consistently pull to try to work with, conciliate with and collaborate with them. There can be no reconciliation with fascism except on the terms of the fascists. Fascism must be resolutely opposed.

RefuseFascism.org unites with people from diverse perspectives to sound the alarm and prevent the consolidation of this American fascism. Through our website, podcast, social media, and publications we engage, dialogue and debate with a broad array of writers, scholars, legal experts and people from different walks of life to educate people on the roots, nature, trajectory of the real and present danger of fascism. And, through our engagement and networking with people and social movements we are forging understanding and relationships aimed at preventing the consolidation of fascism.

Since the founding of RefuseFascism.org our stand and resolve have not wavered:

We pledge to the people of the world:

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

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/net-zero-carbon-emissions-an-imperialist-fraud-en.html

Letter from a Reader

Net Zero Carbon Emissions:
A Beginner's Guide to an Imperialist Fraud

| revcom.us

 


 

I have closely followed and learned from the coverage by revcom.us of global warming—both the science behind it and how the system of capitalism-imperialism has brought us to this crisis. I recommend the video from The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show on the climate crisis to learn the basics. Here I want to address a scheme getting a lot of attention that masquerades as a solution to global warming—but which actually perpetuates fossil-fuel use. The buzz-phrase is zero net emissions.

Joe Biden has loudly proclaimed that America's energy goal is “achieving net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050.” John Kerry, Biden's so-called “environmental envoy,” has met with world leaders declaring that “we need to get the U.S. and the entire world on a path towards net zero.” Many people, including in the environmental movement, see this as a real step forward. It is not!

I've written this letter as a beginner's guide to why "net zero" is part of the problem, not the solution to global warming.

Segment on the environment from
The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show:

What does net zero mean? 


The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased steadily over the last 60 years, and continues to increase despite 34 major climate conferences and a half dozen international agreements. (Click to enlarge.)

The United Nations says: “Put simply, net zero means we are not adding new emissions to the atmosphere. Emissions will continue, but will be balanced by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.” Net zero is described as getting to a place where carbon dioxide emissions have been greatly reduced but not eliminated—and the carbon that continues to be pumped into the atmosphere is supposedly countered by carbon being taken out of the air.

So “net zero” means that the amount of carbon dioxide going into the air equals what is taken out. Think of it like a bathtub. The faucet is turned on and water goes into the tub (carbon emissions are pouring into the atmosphere). At the same time, the drain is partially open and water is going out (carbon is being removed from the atmosphere). “Net zero” in our bathtub example is when what is going in is balanced by what is going out, so the water level in the tub does not change.

Just to be clear, it is NOT enough to keep the “water level” the same. So that's problem number one with “net zero”: the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is not being radically reduced, and that will have very bad consequences for the environment.

Problem number two with net zero is that it stipulates that it is OK to keep putting carbon into the atmosphere ... provided there is a pledge or promised plan to take carbon out of the atmosphere in the future. This is gross deception.

Back to the bathtub analogy. It is as if you continue to put a lot of water into the tub, and not much comes out the drain. But then you say, “Oh yeah, we know this might overflow, but we are working on net zero—we will slow the flow and drain this water out sometime in the future.” In other words, we can put off taking sweeping and drastic action now to limit carbon emissions as long as we pledge (make empty pledges) to do so down the road. Which is exactly the stance of the capitalist-imperialists.

How is net zero supposed to be achieved?

There are two legs to most net zero plans.

A) The first leg of net zero plans to reduce carbon emissions involves things like generating electricity without burning fossil fuels—through solar, wind, and hydroelectric power; and other measures like replacing gas-burning engines in cars with electric cars.

Let's look at the actual trajectory of things. In 1990, coal and natural gas (these are carbon-emitting fuels) accounted for 65 percent of the electricity mix of the U.S. In the 30 years since, the cost of producing solar and wind power has come down dramatically, and more solar and wind power are being used to generate electricity. But in 2020, coal and natural gas accounted for 60 percent of the U.S. electricity mix—just 5 percent less than in 1990.

In other words, more solar and wind power are being added to the power system of the U.S., but this is only a thin layer on top of a massive foundation of fossil fuels. Indeed, something else happened in the past 30 years: the U.S. became, and has remained, the world's largest oil and natural gas producer.

Despite the honeyed phrases from Biden and company about moving away from fossil fuels—THIS is the actual “path” the U.S. is on. And according to International Energy Agency forecasts, U.S. carbon emissions will rise (under Biden) by seven percent this year—while the planet as a whole will see the second-largest increase in carbon emissions in history. On why fossil fuels are so built in to the profitable functioning of capitalism-imperialism, see “50 Years Since Earth Day 1: Reflections on the Catastrophe That Is Capitalism-Imperialism,” by Raymond Lotta.

B) The second leg of net zero involves schemes for taking carbon out of the air through technology to capture carbon after it is in the atmosphere and to inject it into the ground.

Now technology to take carbon out of the air does exist. But this technology is very undeveloped and largely unproven. Indeed, many scientists say it is highly doubtful that such technology can be developed and applied soon enough to have a significant effect on the current and growing levels of carbon in the atmosphere.

One widely promoted scheme for carbon removal is called Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage. First, build giant tree plantations (trees absorb carbon from the air and store it in their trunks and branches); then cut the trees down; then burn the wood to produce energy; then capture the carbon dioxide emitted from the burn and store it deep underground. But, as just mentioned, the technology to do the “capturing” of the carbon is dubious at best.

And the whole process requires enormous quantities of water on a planet increasingly threatened by drought. This scheme would take up so much land that it would cut into food production and hurt the biodiversity of the planet. Globally, the amount of land that would be needed to build things like tree plantations to suck all of the continued emissions from the global capitalist-imperialist world economy is enormous. One calculation by Friends of the Earth International is that it would take twice the land area of India just to build plantations to take five percent of the carbon currently emitted into the air!

To go back to our bath tub analogy, it is as if part of the “drain” they are promising does not yet exist, and the part that does exist destroys the bathtub.

Architects of Net Zero Say They Were Wrong

Three prominent climate scientists who had helped to develop net zero, and had championed and popularized it, used the occasion of Earth Day 2021 to publicly and forthrightly criticize themselves. They issued an urgent wake-up call that net zero is part of the problem not the solution, getting into why it is wrong and what led them to support it. See their paper, “Climate scientists: concept of net zero is a dangerous trap.”

“We have arrived at the painful realization that the idea of net zero has licensed a recklessly cavalier ‘burn now, pay later’ approach which has seen carbon emissions continue to soar.”

“Over the years doubt has developed into dread. This gnawing sense that we have made a terrible mistake. There are now times when I freely admit to a sense of panic. How did we get this so wrong? What are our children supposed to think about how we have acted?” 

—James Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Global Systems, University of Exeter (one of the authors of the paper)


Dead mussels cover the beach at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver: The unprecedented heat wave in the Pacific Northwest in the last few weeks killed hundreds of people and scientists estimate a billion fish, mussels and other sea creatures who could not live in the hot ocean water. Scientists say this heat wave was driven by climate change. The mussels in this picture with their shells open are dead. Photo courtesy of Christopher Harley.

Why do the imperialists embrace and promote net zero?

The imperialists embrace and promote net zero because it does not demand an urgent and radical break with the current horrific trajectory human society is on. And it gives the appearance of making changes to deal with the climate crisis while in reality continuing business as usual.


Wildfires in 2018 emitted more than 111 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, that was equal to two-thirds of emissions from transportation. Here 2020 fires rage in the Amazon Rain Forest. Photo: Twitter

What effect will net zero have on the people and countries of Asia, Africa, and South America—the global South?

First of all, the global South has contributed much less carbon to the atmosphere than the imperialist countries. Yet it is already suffering a much greater burden of the effects of climate change: through rising sea levels harming cities and agricultural lands, droughts, storms like hurricanes, turning formerly fertile land into deserts, and much more. Net zero is an inadequate response to this calamitous situation.

In addition, many of the net zero schemes are actually incredibly destructive to the environment and to human society, especially in the global South. For example, the French energy corporation Total SA is negotiating in Africa to build massive tree plantations on land now occupied by Aka indigenous Pygmies and Bantu farmers who would be thrown off their land.


A powerful cyclone slammed into coastal India and Bangladesh May 20, 2020. Cyclone Amphan made landfall with winds of 120 mph. More than 2 million people were evacuated from their homes in Bangladesh. (Photo: Kazi Salahuddin Razu/NurPhoto via AP)

I hope these points help people understand why "net zero" is a dangerous and harmful deception.

 

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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/708/update-from-the-emergency-campaign-to-free-irans-political-prisoners-en.html

We received the following update from the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners NOW!
Campaign Update July 10, 2021

Mariam Claren: Funds needed by July 16 – every penny counts

$6,500 Raised—$8,500 To Go by July 16

| revcom.us

 

FLASH: Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Shahrzad Mojab, Mansoureh Behkish sign Emergency Appeal

Letter from Mariam Claren, daughter of German-Iranian political prisoner Nahid Taghavi: “We need to raise these funds by July 16 and every penny helps.”

July 10,
Hello to all supporters,

The fight for the release of political prisoners - especially my mother Nahid Taghavi - has become my life's work. I started the campaign #FreeNahid and work with many NGOs, human rights groups, and other campaigns and movements in support of Iran’s political prisoners.

Together with the U.S.-based International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners, we issued an Emergency Appeal - The Lives of Iran’s Political Prisoners Hang in the Balance—We Must ACT Now—and have collected over 2,000 signatures including from many prominent people.

We want to publish this Emergency Appeal and its most significant signers in the August issue of the New York Review of Books, which reaches tens of thousands of caring, thinking people, including intellectuals, writers and artists. This and online promotion costs $15,000 and would represent a breakthrough in rallying support for Iran’s political prisoners in the U.S.

We need to raise these funds by July 16 and every penny helps. I would be very grateful if you support us at: www.freeiranspoliticalprisonersnow.org/donate.

Please do it for all of those who are behind bars because they wanted to help others, so that they may all be free. I thank you with all my heart.

Mariam - forever #FreeNahid

Mariam Claren’s mother Nahid Taghavi is a 66-year-old German-Iranian dual citizen and women’s rights activist who was arbitrarily arrested on October 16, 2020. She was taken to Tehran’s Evin Prison, where she spent 194 days in solitary confinement and was interrogated 80 times for a total of 1,000 hours, all without legal counsel. She’s still awaiting sentencing along with several others, including British-Iranian dual citizen and labor activist Mehran Raoof. They last appeared in court on June 13. Their health and safety have not been verified since.

Campaign updates:

Mansoureh Behkish is a courageous resister and signer of the Emergency Appeal. Six of her close relativesfour brothers, a sister, and a brother-in-lawwere executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) during the 1980s. She continued to resist and faced continuous threats from the IRI, including up to eleven and a half years in prison. She is now an activist with the Mothers of Khavaran and a founder of the Mothers of Laleh Park. These groups are made up of family members fighting for justice for their family members who have been murdered or disappeared by the IRI. Their fight includes holding memorials at the unmarked mass graves where the bodies of their loved ones may have been dumped, such as Khavaran cemetery in southern Tehran, even though the IRI forbids families of the dead to mourn in the cemetery. Many of those buried at Khavaran were executed during the Islamic Republic’s 1988 massacre of 4,000-5,000 political prisoners. Their identities are unknown, even to their relatives. Iran’s newly elected president Ebrahim Raisi was on the death commission directly responsible for that atrocity.


The families of the victims of the 1988 summer executions gather in the Khavaran cemetery, which contains unidentified mass graves of political prisoners. (HRANA organization)

 

 

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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/708/closing-in-on-revolution-books-fund-drive-goal-en.html

UPDATE! Closing in on Revolution Books NYC's $10K Fund Drive Goal

| revcom.us

 

As of the weekend of July 10-11, friends and supporters have contributed over $9,200 toward the Revolution Books $10K fund drive.  This has included meeting two match challenges. 

Watch this video of a $1,500 challenge from a mental health professional. And join 80+ donors so far and numerous patrons of two stoop/yard sales to: “follow your heart... follow your convictions... give all that you can for Revolution Books. We must keep this bookstore as a center for world transformation!”

Donate now to be part of winning the $10,000 drive!

In These Times When Revolution
Becomes More Possible...
Humanity Needs Revolution Books
Donate Now to the Beacon
For A Whole New World 
$10,000 by July 20

Info & donate online here.

OR:

Venmo @ RevBooksNYC
CashApp $RevBooksNYC
PayPal.me/RevBooksNYC


Stoop sale to benefit Revolution Books NYC.

 

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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/707/china-100th-anniversary-of-the-chinese-communist-party-en.html

China's Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party

Not the Party of Mao and Revolution...
But of Counterrevolution and Capitalism-Imperialism

by Raymond Lotta

| revcom.us

 

Official celebrations have been taking place throughout China to mark the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Xi Jinping and other leaders of the ruling CPC pretend that there is an unbroken chain from the founding congress of the party in July 1921 to the present-day CPC. Theirs is a story of the CPC realizing its mission of turning China into a major world power that will not bend to foreign will or threat.

The U.S. imperialists and other Western imperialists promote their own version of this “unbroken chain” narrative. Theirs is a story of an historically “authoritarian” party that, from its very inception, has sought to control lives and dominate the world.

Both of these accounts are profoundly wrong lies and serve reactionary ends.

Getting Clear on Some Basic Facts of the Chinese Revolution... and Counterrevolution

Here is the truth. These one hundred years since the founding of the CPC have not been an unbroken chain but rather a matter of, a struggle between, revolution and counterrevolution.

The Communist Party that rules China today is NOT the same Communist Party that Mao Zedong led from 1935 until his death in 1976. It is NOT the same party that, under Mao’s leadership, stood for revolution, socialism, and a communist world without exploitation and oppression... the party that, under Mao, actually led the Chinese people to make revolution. The socialist revolution led by Mao was overthrown in 1976, shortly after his death and the arrest of his closest leading followers.

Here is the truth. The China of today is a thoroughly capitalist society—a rising imperialist power. The rulers of China have kept the name “communist party” and some of the trappings of the revolution to bolster their claims to legitimacy. But what was once a bastion of revolution now brutally exploits its people and competes with the U.S. for global supremacy.

Some Essential Historical Background

In 1949, the Chinese revolution gained victory. This was the culmination of more than 20 years of armed struggle that went through different phases: against oppressive warlord forces... against Japanese imperialism that had invaded and occupied much of the country... against U.S. backed reactionaries. The revolution under Mao’s leadership mobilized tens and hundreds of millions of peasants, workers, and broader sections of society in heroic struggle to put an end to the savageries of imperialist domination and landlord rule. But the seizure of power in 1949, as Mao emphasized, was not the end point but the beginning of a complex process and struggle of transforming society and thinking.

Mao was leading people on the socialist road. Hundreds of millions took up the cause of forging a society free from exploitation and oppression. But a new capitalist class had arisen within the structures of the CPC and the new socialist state—and they were organizing to take China down the capitalist road. Mao made the unprecedented analysis of the danger of capitalist restoration under socialism and how to combat this.

In 1966, Mao launched the Cultural Revolution based on that analysis, calling on masses of people to rise up to overthrow these new bourgeois forces and prevent the restoration of capitalism—and to carry the revolution forward towards a communist world. This monumental struggle and the incredible transformations that took place in China in the decade 1966-76 were a source of inspiration and direction for oppressed humanity and all who sought total emancipation and a new world.

But in October 1976, the capitalist roaders won out, carrying out a violent coup d’état a month after Mao died.

Revolution and Counterrevolution... Bob Avakian’s Historic Analysis

In 1977, Bob Avakian (BA) made an historic analysis of Mao’s last great struggle—of the struggle at the top levels of the Communist Party of China between the revolutionary forces on the one side and new capitalist forces on the other who were masquerading as “practical” socialists. He identified and examined the critical factors underlying the reactionary military coup of October 1976. He drew out the implications of the loss in China for all those across the planet who yearn to be free.

At a juncture of disorientation and demoralization among communist forces worldwide, BA took responsibility for leading the communist movement forward in the face of, and learning from, this terrible defeat. And BA has further developed the theoretical framework for understanding in great depth the struggle between revolution and counterrevolution within a communist party, in power or out of power. That is, whether a communist party will, as BA has expressed it, be “a vanguard of the future or a residue of the past.”

Whipping Up Nationalism-Chauvinism... Intensifying Great Power Rivalry

The counterrevolution of 1976 transformed the CPC into a repressive instrument serving the interests of a new, exploitative capitalist ruling class. By 2005-10, the Chinese party leadership was the core of what had evolved into an imperialist ruling class. The Chinese economy is organized around profit—with its commanding state-capitalist corporations, sweatshops, huge private pools of capital, and massive amounts of profit-yielding investment capital flowing abroad.

China’s capitalist-imperialist rulers are seizing on this 100th anniversary of the CPC to whip up nationalism and chauvinism. They are putting their growing military might on display. And putting the U.S. and other imperialists on notice that China will brook no interference in pursuing its “legitimate” great-power economic and strategic interests in central Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

For their part, the U.S. imperialists are seizing on this 100th anniversary to whip up anti-China chauvinism and to assert their “right” and “responsibility” to prevent China from upending the global, post-World War 2 international order established by the U.S. An order resting on a vast network of globalized exploitation and brute military force. For all the sharp, and sharpening, differences within the U.S. imperialist ruling class, on this there is basic unity: China is viewed as America’s chief adversary and “threat” to U.S. global supremacy.

Both sides are inflaming tensions. And the danger of escalation towards war between these two equally exploitative and oppressive powers is growing. Understanding the dynamics of the rivalry and contention between the U.S. and China is extremely important—and will be covered in greater depth at revcom.us.

Gaining Perspective... Becoming Followers of Bob Avakian in Order to Make Truly Emancipatory Revolution

The Chinese revolution of 1949-76, in particular the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, was the radically transformative high point of the first stage of communist revolution: beginning with the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871, and then the Russian Revolution of 1917-56. The important document Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage—A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, sums up this first stage and the way forward.

The interview with Bob Avakian on The Cultural Revolution in China...Art and Culture... Dissent and Ferment...and Carrying Forward the Revolution Toward Communism that accompanies this editorial provides valuable insights into the experience of the Chinese revolution, the challenges it faced at the time, lessons, and brings to life what BA has been bringing forward about the critical importance of dissent and intellectual-cultural ferment in the future socialist society. The excerpts from the interview with me get at the real history of the Chinese revolution, especially the Cultural Revolution, as opposed to the standard-issue slanders and distortions.

Bob Avakian has analyzed the great breakthroughs and the problems of China when it was a genuinely socialist society, taking in issues of method and approach—and gone deeply into the reasons for the defeat of the revolution. He has summed up the entire sweep of the first stage of communist revolution. He has defended, distilled, and built on the important advances in understanding made by the leaders of those revolutions and in some important ways ruptured with what has gone before. And in the process, he has qualitatively advanced the science of communism and the revolution to emancipate humanity.

In 1975, being a communist meant following Mao and the path he forged. Today, being a communist means following Bob Avakian and the new path he has forged, the new communism. This is the basis to initiate a new stage of communist revolution and go much further and do much better in today’s world. At a time when revolution is becoming more possible.


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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/707/imperialists-conducting-dress-rehearsal-for-war-in-south-china-sea-en.html

Letter from a reader:

Imperialists Conducting Dangerous Dress Rehearsal for War in the Western Pacific

| revcom.us

 

A huge flotilla of North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) warships, machinery of mass death and destruction, are now facing off with the war machines of Russia and China. The Western Pacific is so crowded with U.S., NATO, Russia, and China’s air and sea weaponry, nuked up to their gills, that the danger of an accident or intentional incident leading to full-scale war runs high, with potentially catastrophic consequences for humanity.

At the March 2021 NATO Summit, the U.S. imperialists led the 30-country NATO allied members to target Russia as the main current threat to the global status quo, while also pivoting their aim towards China. Also in March, the Pentagon set up a China Task Force.

The Russian navy, with its anti-submarine ships and high-altitude fighter aircrafts, held its largest war practice maneuvers in decades, just off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands. As the Russian naval forces roamed the west side of these islands, the U.S. had its aircraft carriers with a guided-missile destroyer circling the east side. The French and British imperialists, as part of NATO, joined this war practice in late June with their own nuclear-armed fighter aircraft and destroyers.


The Western Pacific is so crowded with U.S., NATO, Russia and China's air and sea weaponry, nuked up to their gills that the danger of an accident or intentional incident leading to full-scale war runs high, with potentially catastrophic consequences for humanity.

June 2021 Was a Busy Month of (World) War Preparations

In mid-June, NATO issued a communiqué that they pledge to maintain “an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional and missile defense capabilities...” In just the month of June, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command military forces took part in war rehearsals with more than 35 other countries. The largest war rehearsals in the Western Pacific region began in June in Australia. They involve more than 17,000 military forces from the U.S., Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Britain. This includes “combined Special Forces operations, parachute drops, amphibious [marine] landings, land force maneuvers, urban and air operations and the coordinated firing of live ammunition from late June until mid-August. France, India, and Indonesia will participate as observer nations.”1

The “pivot to Asia” that began under Obama has increased U.S. and NATO presence in the Pacific, aiming at encircling and warning China about its growing global economic, political, and military ambitions that pose a challenge to the post-World War 2 dominance of the U.S. and its allies.

Xi Jinping, leader of the CCP, or Chinese Capitalist Party, deceptively called the Chinese Communist Party,2 has issued an imperialist threat of his own that the “rise of China cannot be stopped.” A specific focus on contention in the growing war tensions is over the island of Taiwan, which China has historically claimed as part of its territory, but which the U.S. had maintained as an island fortress against socialist China under Mao’s leadership (1949-1976) and as a base area against capitalist China since the defeat of socialism in that country after Mao’s death.

The war rehearsals now taking place in a large swath of the Pacific Ocean is more akin to a gathering of capitalist/imperialist piranhas and hyenas—every single one of them. None are acting in the interest of humanity. The people of the world must act in our own interests, rise up and oppose the inter-imperialist war looming on the horizon, and make genuine new communist revolutions.


1. Increasing Pressure on China, by Ann Wright, PopularResistance.org, June 28, 2021. [back]

2. See “China's Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party: Not the Party of Mao and Revolution... But of Counterrevolution and Capitalism-Imperialism,” by Raymond Lotta, revcom.us, July 5, 2021. [back]

 

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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/708/bob-avakian-this-is-a-rare-time-when-revolution-becomes-possible-en.html

From Bob Avakian—Revolutionary Leader, Author of the New Communism:

THIS IS A RARE TIME
WHEN REVOLUTION BECOMES POSSIBLE—
WHY THAT IS SO, AND HOW TO SEIZE ON THIS
RARE OPPORTUNITY

| revcom.us

 

Many people have seen the very important statement from the revcoms, A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution, which is available at revcom.us, and is being posted and passed out to people in neighborhoods and other places around the country, as a key part of spreading the word about this revolution and organizing people into this revolution. Many more people need to get, and get deeply into, this “Declaration and Call.” Here, I am going to speak to some big questions related to this.

FIRST, SOME BASIC TRUTHS

1. We live under a system—the system of capitalism-imperialism (capitalism is an economic and political system of exploitation and oppression, and imperialism refers to the worldwide nature of this system).

This system causes tremendous suffering for people, all over the world, and it poses a growing threat to the very existence of humanity.

This is a system dominated by capitalist corporations, banks and other financial institutions controlling vast sums of money, all of which is based on exploiting people—masses of people here, and billions of people throughout the world, including huge numbers of children.

These capitalists are locked in cutthroat competition with each other, and this drives them to penetrate every part of the world, especially the poorer countries, in order to exploit people even more viciously, while leaving many people without a way to work at all, within the regular (“formal”) economy.

This system has white supremacy and male supremacy built into it.

This system continually causes situations where life becomes extremely desperate and often very dangerous for growing numbers of people in their home countries—forcing them to uproot themselves and migrate across countries and continents—and then treats them as criminals when they seek asylum, or relief from unbearable conditions.

This system leads to wars—wars to conquer nations and people, wars for control of key parts of the world, and potentially even wars between nuclear-armed capitalist-imperialist countries, fighting to determine which will be the most powerful oppressor in the world (if anything is left of this world after such a war).

This system is rapidly destroying the global environment.

All this is reality, and no one can escape this reality. Either we radically change it, in a positive way, or everything will be changed in a very negative way.

2. This system cannot be reformed to be a “better” system—it must be overthrown.

The system of capitalism could not exist without exploiting masses of people, and making life miserable for the great majority of humanity, at the same time as it increasingly poses a threat to the future of humanity. (I have analyzed the basic reasons why this is so in the article Commodities & Capitalism—And The Terrible Consequences Of This System, which can be found at revcom.us.)

The system of political rule—the “democracy”—that has existed in this country is, and always has been, democracy on the terms of this system and those who rule it. This capitalist “democracy” is a cover, and a means, for what really rules in this country—the dictatorship of the capitalist class—its domination of political power and official (supposedly “legitimate”) force and violence, as when the police repeatedly murder especially Black, Brown, and Native American people.

The capitalists control the system of elections, and every other dominant institution, in this country. Voting under this system, for either Democrats or Republicans, is voting for ruling class partiesrepresentatives of this system of capitalism-imperialism—who are determined to keep this system going, despite the terrible cost to the masses of humanity, and even with the very real threat this poses to the existence of humanity.

No matter what promises these politicians make—and no matter what schemes people try to come up with to make things more “just” or “equal” under this system—none of this can change the basic nature of this system and the way it has to operate because of its very nature.

The relations of exploitation and oppression that are built into this system are enforced through its institutions of official power and violence—the Congress and the presidency, the courts, and especially the police and the military.

Only a revolution—a real revolution, to ultimately defeat and dismantle these institutions of official violence and power, and bring into being a radically different economic and political system, with the goal of eliminating exploitation and oppression—only this revolution can deal with all this in a way that is truly in the interests of the masses of people and all of humanity.

(In the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored, there is a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for this radically different and better society—an actual plan for what to do after the seizure of power and for how to reorganize society on a completely different, emancipating foundation.)

WHY THIS IS ONE OF THOSE RARE TIMES
WHEN REVOLUTION BECOMES POSSIBLE,
EVEN IN A POWERFUL COUNTRY LIKE THIS

1. A revolution becomes possible, even in a powerful country like this, when three main factors have been brought into being:

A crisis in society and government so deep and so disruptive of the “usual way of things,” that those who have ruled over us, for so long, can no longer do so in the “normal” way that people have been conditioned to accept.

A revolutionary people in the millions and millions, with their “allegiance” to this system broken, and their determination to fight for a more just society greater than their fear of the violent repression of this system.

An organized revolutionary force—made up of continually growing numbers of people, from among the most oppressed but also from many other parts of society—a force which is grounded in, and is working systematically to apply, the most scientific approach to building for and then carrying out revolution, and which is increasingly looked to by masses of people to lead them to bring about the radical change that is urgently needed.

2. These factors for revolution obviously do not exist right now, but this is one of the rare times when these factors for revolution could be brought into being.

A basic reason why this is true is that there are now very great divisions within the ruling class of the country, and in the country as a whole—and, more than that:

These divisions among the ruling powers, and in the larger society, cannot be resolved within the framework that has existed, and has held things together, for nearly 150 years, since shortly after the end of the Civil War which led to the abolition of slavery—they cannot be resolved on the basis of the capitalist “democracy” that has been the “normal” means of capitalist rule (dictatorship) for so long.

Something radically different is going to replace the framework that has existed for all this time—and as the “Declaration and Call” sharply points out:

the crisis and deep divisions in society now can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means or radically emancipating revolutionary means.

3. Here are basic reasons why things have gotten to this point.

Even though “democracy, with liberty and justice for all” is a cruel lie, this lie has been crucial for the rulers of this country to keep things together under this system—and especially to keep people who are oppressed under this system believing in the possibility of making this system more just. This is why both ruling class parties generally agreed, for a long time, to work within the same framework for ruling this country—they agreed to accept the results of elections and bring about “the peaceful transfer of power” between the different representatives of this same system, whether Democrat or Republican.

With changing conditions in this country, and in the world as a whole, over the time since the end of World War 2 (75 years ago), it has been necessary for the ruling class, in order to maintain “order and stability” in this country, to make certain concessions to the struggle against white supremacy, male supremacy, and some other oppressive relations, while at the same time insisting that this is all part of “creating a more perfect union” and “further perfecting the great democracy that has always existed in this country.” This has also been necessary in order for the rulers of this country to continue promoting it as “the leader of the free world,” which they say must remain the dominant power in the world—but which, in reality, is the most oppressive and destructive power, plundering masses of people as well as the earth.

But a section of the ruling capitalist class, represented by the Republican Party, has all along resisted even these partial concessions to the fight against oppression, and has become convinced that these changes have now gone too far, that they threaten to destroy what has held this country together and enabled it to dominate the world.

The Republicans have become a fascist party—a party based on open and aggressive white supremacy, male supremacy, and other oppressive relations—a party convinced that only it deserves to rule, moving to manipulate elections and suppress votes in order to gain and hold onto power, refusing to accept the outcome of elections it does not win, determined to gut and pervert “the rule of law,” trample on people’s rights, and adopt what amounts to an undisguised capitalist dictatorship, ready to use violence not only against masses of people but also against its rivals in the ruling class.

These Republicans have mobilized a significant section of people who believe, with an intense, irrational passion, that white supremacy, male supremacy, and other oppressive relations (as well as unrestrained plunder of the environment) must be firmly upheld and enforced. They have been driven to a state of vicious insanity, embracing all kinds of lunatic conspiracy theories, along with a crazed Christian fundamentalism, as a response to the threat they see to their entitled (or “god-ordained”) position and their insistence that further concessions to the struggle against oppression will destroy what has “made America great.”

These divisions have already become deeply rooted in the major institutions of this country, including the military, and they will increasingly become sharper and burst out into the open, as things continue to sharpen up in society overall and within the ruling class.

These deep divisions, this intensifying conflict, cannot be overcome—all this cannot be “put back together”—on the terms, and in the way, that the country has, up to now, been held together under the rule of a more or less unified capitalist class.

4. The Republicans have certain significant advantages over the Democrats in this conflict.

The Democrats are committed to “playing by the rules” and “relying on the norms” of “democratic” capitalist dictatorship, while the Republicans are moving to tear up those norms and rule through an open, undisguised capitalist dictatorship.

The peculiar nature of this country—with its history of genocide, slavery, and continuing white supremacy, and repeated “compromises” that have given disproportionate power (power greater than what is represented by their populations) to southern states of the former Confederacy, and other states with significant rural populations of “conservative-leaning” people—this is another advantage that the fascist Republicans have.

If this battle remains on the terms of this system, not only will there be horrific consequences overall, but this could very likely lead to a triumph for the Republican fascists, which would accentuate and accelerate the looming disaster, for humanity as a whole.

But things do not have to—and must not—remain on the terms of this system.

WHAT MUST BE DONE TO SEIZE ON THIS RARE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE REVOLUTION

1. As pointed out in A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution, we have seen the potential for this revolution in the massive uprisings of people, in this country and in countries around the world, against institutionalized racism and police terror, and in the outpouring in many countries against the oppression and degradation of women.

But this potential for revolution must be transformed into the reality of an actual revolution, by carrying out the necessary work and struggle to make masses of people aware of the urgent need for, and the real possibility for, revolution—and to organize them as a conscious and determined force for this revolution.

2. In order to seize on the rare opportunity to make revolution, the situation we face must be recognized for what it actually is: People need to raise their heads and broaden their sights, look beyond what is immediately around them, break with illusions and phony “solutions,” and take up the scientific method of the new communism to get a basic understanding, and keep on deepening the understanding, of what is actually going on, what are the very heavy stakes in all this, and what are not only the very negative but also the very positive possibilities for radical change that exist within all this.

In particular, this means getting together with the revcoms—and growing numbers of people who are drawn to what this revolution is all about—to seriously get into A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution and get with the revolution it is calling for.

3. This rare situation, with the deepening and sharpening conflicts among the ruling powers, and in the society overall, provides a stronger basis and greater openings to break the hold of this system over masses of people.

It is extremely important to deeply understand this:

As this situation develops, and the ruling class is more and more unable to rule in the old way, society and daily life for masses of people, from different parts of society, can become increasingly unsettled and chaotic, with frequent “disruptions” of the “normal” way things have been.

And as “the normal way” society has been ruled is failing to hold things together—and society is increasingly being ripped apart—this can shake people’s belief that “the way things have always been” is the only way things can be. It can make people more open to questioning—in a real sense it can force people to question—the way things have been, and whether they have to stay that way. And this is all the more likely to happen if the revolutionary forces are out among the people shining a light on the deeper reality of what is happening, and why, and bringing out that there IS an alternative to living this way.

The “Declaration and Call” makes the very important point that the divisions and conflicts among the ruling powers (and in society as a whole) have

ripped big holes in the camouflage of this system, further exposing its real nature and the lie that this is “the greatest country in the world,” the “shining light of freedom” and “leader of the free world.”

It is the responsibility of everyone who recognizes the profound need for revolution—and the rare possibility in a time like this to actually make revolution—to wage a tireless, and at times fierce, struggle to win more and more people to make a radical rupture with the confining and degrading terms of this system, and to take up, and act on, the revolutionary orientation and motivation that is put forward in the “Declaration and Call.”

Instead of “staying in your lane,” and “going for self,” while this system is moving to even more decisively crush any hope for a world worth living in, people need to be looking at the bigger picture, focusing on the greater interests of humanity and the possibility for a far better world—and acting to make this a reality.

Instead of finding excuses to go along with the way things have been, standing apart from (or even bad-mouthing) the revolution, people need to get with this revolution, and not throw away the rare opportunity to be part of bringing something much better into being.

Instead of lashing out with individual acts of frustration, or attempts to take on this system with small, isolated forces that have no chance of succeeding, people need to pour their anger, and their hatred for injustice, into building a movement of millions that could have a real chance to defeat this system and make a real revolution.

Instead of fighting and killing each other, what people need to be doing now is uniting to defend each other—opposing all unjust violence, not launching attacks on anyone but at the same time not allowing the police or “civilian” fascist thugs to wantonly brutalize and murder people. And people need to do this as part of building up the forces for revolution.

Instead of snarking and sniping at each other, and being divided by “identities,” people should be working to unite everyone, from every part of society, who can be united in the fight against oppression and injustice, with the goal of putting an end to this system that is the source of this oppression and injustice.

Instead of being a tail on the Democratic donkey—with its attempt to keep this monstrous system going, and to deal with the growing fascist danger, by relying on the “normal procedures” of this system and doomed efforts to “heal the divisions” that are deepening every day—people need to work for the revolution that is urgently needed, and deal with the fascist danger as part of doing that.

Here is another very important point from the “Declaration and Call”:

These days there is a lot of talk about another civil war, especially from fascists, in government and the broader society, who think they could just carry out a one-sided slaughter of those they hate, including Black people and other people of color, “illegal immigrants,” “uppity women” and those who don’t conform to “traditional” sexual and gender relations and “norms.” This situation needs to be radically changed, to where there are masses of people prepared to defeat these fascists and to do so as part of getting rid of this whole system, which has bred these fascists, along with all the other horrors it continually perpetrates.

What we need is “repolarization for revolution”—making real revolution an active and increasingly powerful force of first thousands, and then millions, of people organized to work for and win more and more people to this revolution—radically changing the “terrain” on which the revolution will be fought.

4. Acting on the scientific basis, and the scientifically-grounded strategic approach for revolution, which has been developed with the new communism, we need to work tirelessly to build up the organized forces for, create the best possible conditions for, and then carry out the revolution that is so urgently needed.

As emphasized in A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution:

Organizing people into this revolution means reaching out to all sorts of people—not just where there are protests and rebellions against oppression and injustice, but everywhere throughout society—spreading the word about revolution and getting people together (in real life and online) to grapple with why an actual revolution is necessary, what such a revolution involves, and what kind of society this is aiming for. This will enable people who are new to the revolution to themselves become organizers for this revolution and to recruit more and more people to do the same.

And:

On this basis, and through the growing ranks of the revolution acting together as an increasingly powerful force, it will be possible to attract and organize the necessary numbers, and build up the necessary strength, to be in the position to do what needs to be done.

As the revolutionary forces grow in numbers and organized strength, fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution, they will be able to attract even greater numbers to their ranks and increasingly influence the society as a whole, winning over more people from different parts of society and changing, in a more positive way, the terms on which things in society are understood and struggled over. This will provide even more favorable grounds for exposing the real nature of this system and what is really involved with the divisions within the ruling class, and making clear that the interests of the masses of oppressed and justice-loving people everywhere are in direct and fundamental opposition to this whole system.

The revolutionary forces, through the impact of their growing strength, can create a situation where it becomes increasingly difficult for the ruling powers, deeply divided as they are, to rely on their institutions of organized violence to act in a unified way to put down the righteous rising of the people, and where every move they make to crush this rising leads to further outrage among the people, with more joining the ranks of the revolution, and the ruling institutions themselves further torn by internal divisions. The strength of this revolution, especially as it grows from thousands to millions, can exert increasing influence so that, within key institutions of the organized power and violence of this system, more and more of their ranks—many of whom are drawn from among the most oppressed in society—are won to identify with, and refuse to be part of unjustly attacking and suppressing, the masses of people who are fighting to put an end to injustice and oppression.

5. All this will create the most favorable conditions to carry out the strategic approach that has been developed for fighting to win an actual revolution—the all-out struggle for power in society as a whole. (This strategic approach is put forward in the statement On The Possibility Of Revolution, and is further elaborated in my speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, as well as the article A Real Revolution—A Real Chance To Win, Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution—all of which are available at revcom.us.)

CONCLUSION

There is the basis to seize on the rare possibility to make revolution, even in a powerful country like this—there can be a real chance to win—IF, among growing numbers of people who cannot stand to live any longer under this people-killing, spirit-suffocating system, there is the scientifically-grounded understanding, determination and daring to make this a reality.

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Also referred to in this article:

Commodities & Capitalism—And The Terrible Consequences Of This System
by Bob Avakian

On The Possibility Of Revolution

A Real Revolution—A Real Chance To Win
Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution

by Bob Avakian

 

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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:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/from-people-who-lost-loved-ones-to-violence-on-the-streets-en.html

From People Who Lost Loved Ones to Violence on the Streets:

"We call on everyone who wants to end this madness to donate to the National Revolution Tour"

| revcom.us

 

We have felt the pain of having lost loved ones to the violence of the streets. We live with the weight of this loss every day. We are filled with anguish every time we hear news of someone else gunned down due to this insanity. But unlike so many who blame the youth for what they are caught up in or despair that this can never change, we know that it doesn't have to be this way.

We know the truth of what Bob Avakian (BA) says that one of the monstrous crimes of this system is “the way this system messes people up and gets them thinking and acting in messed up ways—and especially how this system denies the youth a decent future, forcibly confines so many in miserable conditions and gets them caught up in fighting and killing each other.”

BA has forged a way out of this madness, through revolution. And there are people actively working NOW to make that real on the National Revolution Tour at the heart of a strategy “to bring forth and organize a revolutionary force of thousands, and then millions, from many different parts of society—and especially youth whose anger, frustration and desperation to make a mark in this world and be respected needs to be, and can be, transformed into determination to put an end to this system and to bring a radically different and much better world into being—to become emancipators of humanity.”

We call on everyone who wants to end this madness to donate to this tour.

Signed,

Hank Brown, Roosevelt Burrell, Gloria Pinex, John Packard

PS. You can listen to BA read this entire piece, “Weapons of Oppression and the Heart to Fight to End Oppression.”

"WEAPONS OF OPPRESSION, AND THE HEART TO FIGHT TO END OPPRESSION"

revcom.us · Weapons Of Oppression, And The Heart To Fight To END Oppression, by Bob Avakian

Read it here.

DONATE to the revolution... DONATE to the future!

Read more

 

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

 

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

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

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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

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

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

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

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/rnl-show-episode-61-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Episode 61 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show!

NEW Statement from Bob Avakian;
on the Life of Comrade Mobile;
& the Abortion Rights Emergency

 

Host Andy Zee announces the publication of a *NEW* piece: "From Bob Avakian—Revolutionary Leader, Author of the New Communism: THIS IS A RARE TIME WHEN REVOLUTION BECOMES POSSIBLE—WHY THAT IS SO, AND HOW TO SEIZE ON THIS RARE OPPORTUNITY." Then, learn about the inspiring life of Willie "Mobile" Shaw from Watts, Los Angeles, and the lessons for today; the importance of financially supporting the Revolution Tour in this crucial time; and the emergency facing abortion rights and the all-around oppression of women.

* In this episode, host Andy Zee announces the publication of a *NEW* piece:

From Bob Avakian—Revolutionary Leader, Author of the New Communism:

THIS IS A RARE TIME WHEN REVOLUTION BECOMES POSSIBLE—WHY THAT IS SO, AND HOW TO SEIZE ON THIS RARE OPPORTUNITY

Andy says this new piece “is a masterwork of synthesis that, like a machete, carves through all the complexity of what humanity faces, and, like a laser, it cuts to the heart of and illuminates the opening for revolution that exists now, an opening that will not last forever...”

* Co-host Sunsara Taylor interviews Joe Veale, revcom and former member of the Black Panther Party, about his 2005 tribute to Willie “Mobile” Shaw, a comrade who grew up in Watts, Los Angeles and became an emancipator of humanity and a follower of Bob Avakian after meeting the revolution. Joe Veale discusses the profound lessons Mobile’s life holds for today. 

* Annie Day and Michelle Xai, members of the National Revolution Tour in conversation with Sunsara Taylor on the importance of financially sustaining the movement for revolution. And they call on everyone to tune in to the National Fundraising Livestream on Sunday, July 18, 3pm PT / 6pm ET.

* As the chains that hold women down tighten at the same time as the possibility to END this oppression of women becomes even more possible, we bring you: 

Bob Avakian on “A World of Rape & Sexual Assault,” an excerpt from his 2003 speech, REVOLUTION: WHY IT’S NECESSARY, WHY IT’S POSSIBLE, WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT.

And an important interview Sunsara Taylor did with Derenda Hancock, who is on the frontlines defending the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, in Jackson... on all the hurdles and obstacles that women who seek a safe abortion face... and the state of abortion rights nationwide.

 

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

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/708/july-14-international-emergency-campaign-update-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Editors Note:  We received the following from the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners

July 14 International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners Update:

$11,875 raised – Donate to reach $15,000. NY Review of Books publication date August 1

COVID outbreak endangers courageous Iranian women political prisoners – they need our full support NOW!

New Signers to Emergency Appeal include Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Judith Butler, Cornel West and others

Developments this week have made publication of the Emergency Appeal to Free Iran's Political Prisoners even more impactful – and even more urgent!

First, there’s been a COVID outbreak in the women’s wing of Evin Prison greatly endangering the lives of the many courageous political prisoners incarcerated there, including Nahid Taghavi.  So these political prisoners – and all of Iran’s political prisoners need our full support now! 

Second, in the past week, prominent figures joined our outstanding list of signers in endorsing the Campaign’s Emergency Appeal and add significantly to its power and impact.  They include  Professor Noam Chomsky, activist and public intellectual Cornel West, courageous whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, UC Berkeley professor and author Judith Butler, professor and Citizen Ambassador of the Free Rohingya Coalition ‍Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University of Toronto Professor Shahrzad Mojab and others.  

So now is the time to donate generously and help raise the remaining $3,125 needed to publish "The Lives of Iran’s Political Prisoners Hang in the Balance—We Must ACT Now" as a full page ad in the New York Review of Books, which reaches a large, critical, international audience of writers, artists, intellectuals and thinking, caring people. 

So let’s raise the last $3,125 and cross the finish line:  publishing the Emergency Appeal will boldly put the issue of Iran’s political prisoners in the public square, increase the pressure on Iran’s Islamic Republic to free them, and give heart to the prisoners, their loved ones, and millions of Iranians. 

DONATE GENEROUSLY NOW,
ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DONATE

"If I’m arrested, do not remain silent — make as much noise as possible! "

—Labor activist, political prisoner, Mehran Raoof,
to his supporters

"When a social activist is in detention, the silence of the wider community provides the conditions for his or her repression, and he or she may be left at risk of harsh interrogation, forced confessions and torture."

—Mehri Jafari, a lawyer based in the United Kingdom and
member of the campaign in support of Mehran Raouf.

 

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: