Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Share |posted by Sunsara Taylor at 4:10 PM | 1 comments
Sunday, January 16, 2005
NO to the Monsters’ Ball
by Sunsara Taylor
Revolutionary Worker #1265, January 23, 2005, posted at rwor.org
To the thousands taking to the streets, in the face of the hyper-militarized and blood-soaked inaugural monster’s ball...
To the folks who’ve hung a big NO in their windows, to those who are turning their backs on the President, who are finding the ways to act together with co-workers, family and friends...
To the people of conscience who have offered their collective renown, wisdom and resolve, in the new Not In Our Name Statement of Conscience. (The statement and list of signatories are available online at nion.us)
To the rebel youth...the disgruntled Democrats...the believers in the rule of law...those who are beaten bloody by the law....the people of faith not rooted in vengeance and Judgement... the scientists and artists who seek the truth... the "uppity" women and proud gays and lesbians...the millions behind prison walls...the millions more struggling as they fall through the tattered "safety net"...those who do so much work but are treated like invisibles... the atheists and secularists who know that only witch-trials and slaughter-fests result from religious rule... the people of color who find themselves confronting the old Jim Crow system in a new millennium...the dreamers from the ’60s who are reawakening...the Muslims, South Asians and Arabs who have been disappeared and terrorized... and the other six billion human inhabitants on this earth...
We are at a crossroads in the history of our planet.
The coronation this week of George Dubya Bush marks more than the gloating return of a man who invaded foreign lands on the basis of bald-faced lies, who snatched up U.S. citizens without due process on the basis of "Trust me, he’s a bad guy," and who brought Christian fascist dogma into the highest echelons of power.
This inauguration marks more than the flagrant disregard for the will of the people—which was NOT allowed to be expressed in this last election. It reveals more than the utter failure of Kerry and the Democratic Party to mount any kind of real opposition, to call Bush out for his towering crimes, or to even call out his lies.
In 2005, in spite of all the tremendous resources and technological advances, the unparalleled wealth of knowledge and communications, and the creativity of billions on our planet, the re-inauguration of Bush marks a big leap towards the consolidation of a Christian fascist regime in the most powerful empire in the world.
In the last generation there have been huge changes in the world economy and power relations, through globalization and the emergence of the United States as the sole superpower. In the context of these changes, Christian fascists have emerged as the force calling the shots in the Republican Party that now dominates ruling class politics in the U.S. In the Bush White House powerful neo-conservatives, who worship the gods of power and profit, have made a strategy of bringing forward Christian fascist forces within the ruling class and throughout the educational and government institutions and the military—and manipulating millions of religious people with lies and reactionary theology.
Domestically, the Christian fascists preach that America’s woes flow from turning its back on Jesus—and they forcefully reassert "traditional values" like patriarchy, racism, hatred of gays, my-country-right-or-wrong patriotism, and anti-scientific know nothing-ism—all wrapped up in the myth that Christians are being victimized in the USA.
Meanwhile, those within the ruling class who are opposed to this Christian fascist ideology—but who share imperial ambitions for U.S. domination in the world—have been unable to come up with a comprehensive program in opposition to the Bush gang. And every day finds the Democrats caving in on crucial matters such as a woman’s right to choose—while the very concepts of political rights and critical thought are being systematically threatened.
The situation is very serious. But reality has a way of asserting itself—and it is a reality that this grasping, predatory empire is not in the interests of the vast majority on the planet—or the majority in the U.S. itself. And it is just possible that the maddening contradictions of this system will give rise to society-wide crises which can bring about an opening for revolution—a revolution to overthrow the present order and to move past this whole brutal epoch in human history.
This is a time to think big—a time to think of radical, revolutionary changes.
The recent statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party asks: "Which vision will prevail: that of George W. Bush? Or of Bob Avakian?"
RCP Chairman Bob Avakian’s creative re-envisioning of socialism and communism is challenging many long-held assumptions and providing a real-life, viable alternative to the future of Dark Ages superstitions and religious warfare on a heightened and globalized scale being rammed forward by Bush. Because Bob Avakian is rooted in the understanding that an entirely different world is possible—where the creativity and energies and resources of billions are unleashed in a world where the drive for profit and empire will be things of the past—he is not mired in the suffocating terms of political debate that have put so many progressive and radical people on the defensive, or on the margins. His voice and approach is essential to a resistance that refuses to be bound within the accepted and narrowing terms of opposition, a resistance that is serious about defeating the whole Bush direction.
The Christian fascists claim to act on a superior morality. But there is nothing redeeming about a morality rooted in a literal and reactionary interpretation of the Bible, with its glorification of religious wars and plunder, its sanctification of slavery and enforced servitude, its detailed instructions for stoning non-virgin brides and systematic rape of the conquered, its judgment and wrath against gay people, and its rationale that those who are sick or suffering or subjugated are so due to their own sins and that there is virtue in enduring the injustices of this world.
There is no need for us to go back to the moral codes of the Dark Ages of hundreds of years ago.
The basis exists for a morality which flows from and appreciates the diversity of experience and humanity that is on our planet. That treasures the lives of people from every corner of the globe as much as our own. That does not accept that millions should survive by picking through the dumps of the same corporations that drove them from their land in the first place throughout the third world. A morality that unleashes the critical and inquisitive spirit, fosters the development of science and technology, puts the ability to know about the world in ever-more people’s hands, and gives the exploited and oppressed the ability to utilize scientific advances to address epidemics and disasters and alleviate grueling conditions of labor.
A morality that unbinds human creativity and imagination, bringing forward and celebrating music and art that moves and challenges us, causing us to see and think differently, and to continuously encounter each other and the natural world anew and unencumbered by past presumptions. A morality that strives for equality among men and women, between different nationalities, and between people of all sexualities—but which, on the basis of this, ultimately seeks to transcend the need to divide the world into these restrictive categories at all.
This will be a complex process, but it is a road that we must embark on. This does not mean homogenizing human experience, but liberating the diversity of cultures and peoples from all the deep and longstanding oppressive divisions that scar our planet. Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party have much to contribute to forging this morality and navigating to a future that the majority of human beings on this planet, and in this country, would truly be excited and invigorated to live in—but this is a journey we must embark on together.
If we are to learn anything from the complex web of human history, it is that hesitation now—allowing our resistance to stay within the usual or the approved channels, waiting for someone else to do something, trying to just eke by within the mounting madness—will only bring ruin to the people and the psyche of the world.
Now is a time to ask ourselves, did we mean it the first time we encountered injustice and swore we would never grow to accept it? When we marched against racism, male supremacy, globalization or unjust wars? When we pursued study and science in the interest of learning about and solving the many problems confronting our world?
Will all this just be buried in the history told in the future about the dark shadow cast on the planet by the Reign of George Dubya? Or will we bring it all to bear, take it all higher, and win a victory for the children of the world and their children and their children—so that some day they can look back in true wonder at how human beings ever lived in such a brutal way.
Those in the streets are brave and they are right! Those who are saying NO are right! Those who have Turned Their Backs on Bush are right!
But things cannot go back to "normal" after this. The Christian fascists are stepping things up and are serious about locking in their horrible future, crushing and isolating anyone who would contest them. In these coming days and months there will be a test of wills and a test of strength, and our side will need each other and need to be discussing and debating the way forward and the way out in this escalating and urgent, but protracted, fight for the future.
Now is the time to reach out to millions more who are deeply sick at heart, who are agonizing and wanting for a way to do something . Now is a time for new alliances, courageous acts, and the building of communities and organization of a new resistance that can withstand, and advance through, the heightening repression, the raging "culture wars," and the more looming international wars. To dive into the rising storms, recognizing that the monstrous forces that are posing tremendous dangers are also stirring up the basis for society to be wrenched in a different direction.
Let us not waste a single day or a single potential ally. The battle for the future is ON! Let us fight to win.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Onlinehttp://rwor.orgWrite: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497
Share |posted by Sunsara Taylor at 5:29 PM | 0 comments
Thursday, January 13, 2005
The preaching is getting worse. Forever, maybe longer, subway preachers have roamed from car to car, warning of brimstone and hellfire, admonishing commuters to get to know Jesus, and sometimes handing out their little palm cards geared towards the hurting and the fearful.
More and more these days they have added something to their shtick, speaking to current events, often with an overtly political bent.
This morning a woman came in preaching the America was chosen by God and had better not forsake him. She had a litany of concerns about how religion is being banished from public life in this country (the irony of her screaming this in public was obviously lost on her) including a claim that George Bush is not going to swear in on the Bible when inaugurated.
I ready to say something when she started preaching about America being blessed and the rest of the world needing the light that America can cast on it. I was going to tell her how outrageous that is and talk about all the crimes the US has commit around the world. But I had no idea she would find the words to sanctify the suffering caused by the Tsunami. The Tsunami victims were apparently killed because they worship cows, sell kids for sex for $35, and have rejected the book of the bible.
Before I knew it I was yelling, and flushed with emotion. I told her that I had never heard of a more cruel, more cold-hearted, more hateful, vengeful, and ugly version of religion to justify the pain of millions and the death of so many tens of thousands. That if her god caused all that he was indeed and awful god, not an awesome god. In fact, the suffering was in large part caused by the fact that the people affected couldn't get the warnings that SCIENCE had provided. Science, that is under attack right now by her hateful version of Christianity. And that kids in those countries weren't being sold for sex because people didn't believe in Jesus - that didn't save all those little Catholic kids from the priests - but because her “god blessed” America and other imperialist powers had so exploited and impoverished these countries for so long that people were reduced to that for survival.
A man on the train had been speaking in agreement with me as I went, and when I was done he could tell I was shaking and told me that I said what needed to be said. He had been agreeing with me as I spoke, but now he pointed out to me that I had actually driven her from the train.
Every day almost thousands of us listen to this preaching in silence. Every time I have ever spoken up against it there have been people who thank me, some who start going at it as well. One time a woman got up out of her seat after I spoke and told the guy, who was preaching that people get AIDS because of their sins of being gay, that he better get off at the next stop. He did, because it was clear that she was not just asking.
I think it would be a very good thing if more people did this. Not just telling preachers to shut up, but challenging what it is they are saying, pointing to the real causes of the problems they are speaking about and pointing out how their brand of religion (not to condemn all religion) is actually standing in the way of solving those very problems. I always also throw in that I don't believe in any god - because I don't.
btw, here's a piece worth reading about the Tsunami for real:
Share |posted by Sunsara Taylor at 3:06 PM | 3 comments