We Need REVOLUTION, Nothing Less!
ELECTIONS Under This System Will NEVER Transform Anything!
This May 1st, the worldwide day of revolutionary celebration of the exploited and oppressed and of all those who oppose oppression and exploitation, comes in the midst of a situation in which the world is literally on fire:
Russia’s criminal invasion of Ukraine has seriously raised the possibility of a direct blowup between Russia and the U.S. and its NATO allies that could easily lead to a nuclear holocaust across the planet;
The threat of more war becomes more heated, from Central Asia to the Middle East, with intervening powers rivaling Russia, who are responsible for crimes no less vile such as in Yemen;
The waves of refugees who flee for their lives on almost every continent, due to hunger, “natural” disasters, war, etc., continue to grow along with all kinds of racism and xenophobia;
Everywhere, from Brazil to Poland, from the Philippines to Italy, the fascists are advancing, conquering or further consolidating power even if they temporarily suffer setbacks as in the United States;
The destruction of the environment, which also threatens the very extinction of humanity, continues to intensify;
The degradation, dehumanization and patriarchal subjugation of women continues unchecked, and hits rights such as abortion in the United States (although there have been certain advances such as the decriminalization of abortion in Colombia and Argentina).
In Colombia, where all these phenomena have repercussions, in the midst of more massacres, forced displacement, impoverishment, unemployment, criminalization of young people, and the moral and intellectual degradation of the people, this May 1st also comes in the midst of the most savage electoral contest in a long time, with each side wielding an arsenal of “solutions” that solve nothing.
This May 1st it is more necessary than ever to point out the cause and the solution: These horrors are all products of a system—the capitalist-imperialist system. The interests of the ruling classes are very different from the interests of the masses and are fundamentally opposed to them. In Colombia and throughout the world, the people must act, even if today the uphill that we must climb seems and is steeper. We cannot but welcome the synthesis by revolutionary communists from the United States to Turkey, from Iran to Mexico and Colombia, derived from the leadership of Bob Avakian: We cannot accept this situation or their future, it’s time to get organized for an actual revolution! We need to OVERTHROW this system, not vote for it! It is this system, not humanity, that needs to become extinct!
No to a US-NATO War with Russia! No to World War 3!
This is not rhetoric. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world faces the real danger of a world war that could escalate into a nuclear conflagration. This war is not about contention between (Russian) “authoritarianism” against “democracy” in Ukraine (where Nazi-fascism does have A LOT of political weight, which served as a pretext for Putin) receiving “solidarity support” of the European Union and the United States. This is an inter-imperialist war in which the United States and its allies in NATO intervene through proxies. The interests of the masses in the countries involved, and of humanity as a whole, are in fundamental opposition to the interests of the imperialists on both sides of this conflict. The global impact of the war in Ukraine, including ideologically, clearly shows that the world arena today is more determinant of the internal situation of each individual country than in all of history. And, of course, the corresponding need for internationalism: Putting “the whole world first.”
Elections Under This System Will NEVER Transform Anything!
The outbreak a year ago, on 28-A [April 28], of the righteous people’s anger that had been repressed for so long, has largely characterized, for better and for worse, the current electoral campaign that had its first round with the parliamentary elections in mid-March and which will have one or two more rounds with the presidential elections in May/June. For the first time in decades, a “progressive” candidate, Gustavo Petro, has a real chance of defeating the most openly Establishment candidate (and with fascistic inclinations), Federico (“Fico”) Gutiérrez, with a third party in “discord,” Sergio Fajardo, who will have to get on the bandwagon of one of the former candidates, most likely (and happily) Gutiérrez.
A good part of the traditional left and of the young people who were born into political life in the various outbreaks since the end of 2019 (and who are the hardest hit by growing unemployment and at best can get work in the overwhelming informal sector), put their hopes for change in the “progressive-ism” of Petro who, like many of his colleagues, makes every effort not to “scare the bourgeoisie,” taking every opportunity to remind the ruling classes that they are part of the system, which they neither want to, nor can, seriously change.
As revolutionary leader and thinker Bob Avakian points out: “Elections: are controlled by the bourgeoisie; are not the means through which basic decisions are made in any case; and are really for the primary purpose of legitimizing the system and the policies and actions of the ruling class, giving them the mantle of a ‘popular mandate,’ and of channeling, confining, and controlling the political activity of the masses of people.” [Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That?]
It is necessary to understand that “elections in this society are controlled by the capitalist ruling class. This ruling class dominates and controls the economy and on that basis it dominates and controls political power. Regardless of who is elected to office, this ruling class keeps its control of the state—the police and armed forces, the government bureaucracies, the courts and the rest of the legal machinery (the ‘injustice system’). Elections are used by the ruling class to trick those they rule over. At most, elections give the oppressed the ‘choice’ of selecting which group of oppressors will rob and torment them!” [Cold Truth, Liberating Truth]
In these societies, there is a ruling class that has interests which are very different (and opposed) to the interests of the masses. This ruling class exercises a dictatorship (a monopoly of political power backed by a monopoly of armed force), and those who at any given time are administering that dictatorship will continue to carry out the policies they are determined to carry out, even in the face of strong popular opposition, unless and until the broader interests of the ruling class demand that a particular policy be modified or abandoned… or until the ruling class is overthrown.
“Elections do not provide an avenue for the realization of the desire of masses of people to see these policies and actions of the government change—although mass political resistance can, under certain circumstances, make an important contribution to forcing changes in government policy, especially if this takes place in a larger context where these policies … among other things, are leading to heightened divisions within the ruling class itself.” [Bob Avakian, Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy]
Those who pin their hopes on the “center” or on the “progressives” have been deceived, and many have deceived themselves. Those liberals and progressives (with and without quotes) are part of the same system as the fascist extreme right, and think within the same framework as they do. The leaders of these “alternative” parties and movements have time and again made it clear that they are not going to challenge Uribe [former Colombian president] and the far right in any significant way. To those who avoid confronting this reality, because it seems very risky to them, that there are no guarantees, that many things in their lives must change, so they try to take a safer path… they will not be able to evade their responsibility before the new generations. Furthermore, as the Indian writer Arundhati Roy points out: “Those who have tried to transform the system through elections have ended up being transformed by it.”
Yes, the polarization right now is harmful. But we have a choice: Accept it, fighting for the mirage of a gradual change that each passing day shows its disastrous character; “or act to change it, to repolarize for revolution, to bring something truly emancipatory forward out of the looming horror.” [revcom.us]
We Need an Actual REVOLUTION, and Nothing Less Than That!
Bob Avakian has emphasized a resounding truth: Humanity can no longer allow the imperialists, on whatever side, to continue to rule the world and fight over who will dominate in this situation, with the very real and terrible threat this poses to the future and very existence of humanity. There is a hard but basic truth: For the masses of people, and ultimately for humanity as a whole, there is no future, or any future worth living, under this system. But there is a path to a world and a future worth living for, worth fighting for right now: a revolution—an actual revolution, and not wasting time with one or another tweak which leaves the system intact and in power while a few benefit.
A revolution involves a force of millions of people organized for an all-out struggle 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 fighting for a communist world where at last there is an end, everywhere, to the exploitation, the oppression, and the destruction of the environment that are woven into this system. Anything less than this revolution will not deal with the root of all problems nor will it lead to the real solution. And this revolution is internationalist, which means that it is fighting together with people from all over the world to end exploitation and oppression all over the planet. The current situation is that the conditions do not yet exist that will make a revolution possible soon to get rid of this system. Right now, to respond to immediate needs, it is necessary to ORGANIZE in the real movement for an actual revolution, the fundamental solution to the horrors in the world caused by this system and that forthwith opposes them with massive resistance.
This is the only real way there can be an end to the degradation, dehumanization and patriarchal subjugation of women and all oppression based on gender or sexual orientation; to the impoverishment, unemployment and moral and intellectual degradation of the people; an end to the war against the people, the massacres, the forced displacement and the criminalization of the youth; an end to discrimination and oppression of indigenous and black peoples and to all kinds of racism and xenophobia; an end to the stifling and persecution of dissent and critical and scientific thought, and the promotion of all kinds of superstition; an end to the degradation and destruction of the environment; an end to the domination by imperialism, food dependency and wars for empire…
We need a real revolution, an actual revolution, a revolution that has nothing to do with the inclinations of the traditional “left” (armed or not armed), nor with Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea that have never been socialist, nor with capitalist-imperialist Russia and China (which ceased to be socialist and revolutionary in the 1950s in Russia and in the 1970s in China).
And May 1st is a day on which we also fight against the narrow ways of thinking (the suffocation and persecution of dissent and critical and scientific thinking, and the promotion of all kinds of superstition) that keep us locked in suffering from the so-called “solutions” that do not solve anything.
We Do Not Accept Their Future, It’s Time to Organize for an Actual Revolution!
We Need to OVERTHROW This System, Not Vote for It!