February 22, 2020
In the recent impeachment trial of Donald Trump, the Democratic Party prosecutors (“House Managers”) made a very compelling—indeed irrefutable—case, on the terms on which they were seeking to remove Trump. And the Republican Senators who ignored the facts and the truth, and the principles of the Constitution they had sworn to uphold, and refused to convict Trump in this impeachment trial, have been roundly, and rightly, condemned, particularly by “liberals” (and some others as well). But let’s look at how the Democrats, and “liberals” who have followed in their wake, have not only ignored profound truths but have spread monstrous lies.
Adam Schiff, the most eloquent of the “House Managers,” positively invoked Ronald Reagan, speaking of the USA as “a shining city on the hill,” when in reality this is a country founded on slavery and genocide, which has continued to viciously exploit and oppress people—and to carry out murderous invasions and coups, while ravaging the environment—with terrible consequences for the masses of people, in every part of the world. And, throughout the impeachment hearings in the House and then the Senate trial, Schiff and other Democrats made a point of praising witnesses who have been part of the U.S. military, repeatedly referring to William Taylor as a “hero” for his “service” in the U.S. army in Vietnam. There was, and there is, nothing “heroic” about the U.S. military. On the contrary, it is—without the slightest exaggeration—a machinery of massive, and unspeakable, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and its actions in Vietnam constitute a systematic concentration of this, with a level of destructiveness and depravity that is almost unfathomable:
the slaughter of millions of Vietnamese civilians, with incessant bombing and shelling, including of schools, hospitals, dams and other crucial infrastructure, and widespread use of napalm, white phosphorous, Agent Orange, and millions of anti-personnel weapons, burning to death and maiming huge numbers of children and others;
ruining the livelihood of millions of Vietnamese—destroying large parts of the soil and livestock so essential for the people in rural Vietnam;
torture of people held as prisoners—including large numbers of civilians—male, female, old and young, including the very young;
mutilating the bodies and wearing as “trophies” body parts of Vietnamese killed;
mass rape of Vietnamese women and girls.
All this, and more, by the U.S. military and its “heroic” soldiers.
Previously, I have challenged “liberals” in particular to seriously engage the “American Crime” series on revcom.us, which chronicles and outlines many of the most horrific crimes of the U.S. ruling class, going back to the beginning of this country and right up to the present, carried out under Republican and Democratic administrations. Included within that series is the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, in which U.S. soldiers wantonly murdered over 500 civilians, almost all of them old people, non-combatant women and children. And it is a well-documented fact that this massacre was not some kind of exception, or aberration, but represented the essential approach and means of the American war machine in Vietnam, fueled ideologically by a perverse, poisonous combination of ignorant, irrational anti-communism, American chauvinism, and grotesque racism and misogyny which regarded and treated the Vietnamese people as subhuman “gooks” and “slopes,” and females the lowest of all.
Nothing good will ever come from denying or ignoring these essential truths about this country and its role in the world, or by limiting oneself to condemning the blatant lies of Trump and his fellow fascists in the Republican Party while excusing, or even taking up, the profound lies of Democratic Party defenders and apologists of this monstrous system of capitalism-imperialism.
Here is another provocative but simple and basic truth:
It is very common to hear communism denounced as “totalitarian,” but the fact is that there is no such thing as totalitarianism. And there has never been a society—in Russia, China, or anywhere else—that corresponds to what is asserted by Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism, the seminal work and “Bible” of “anti-totalitarians.”
As I have extensively analyzed, “totalitarianism” is a thoroughly unscientific— or, really, anti-scientific—“theory” which has been concocted and promoted by intellectual apologists of this system of perpetual atrocity (this system of capitalism-imperialism) and which serves to distract from and rationalize this system’s ongoing massive crimes against humanity and to foster irrational opposition to revolution and especially communist revolution.* That anyone could take this “theory” seriously—and that this “theory” is widely treated as some kind of “sacred wisdom”—is a bitter testament to the willful desire on the part of far too many, including far too many self-professed “liberals,” to accommodate themselves to this capitalist-imperialist system, which rests on the ruthless exploitation of billions of people around the world, including hundreds of millions of children, enforced through brutal repression and massive destructive violence.
What is required in regard to the historical experience of communism, and its relation to human emancipation, is a scientific method and approach. As pointed out in the article “Fascist Distortion And The Response Of The New Communism” (recently posted on revcom.us):
while the overall experience of socialist societies on the road to communism has been definitely positive and inspiring, secondarily there have been, in this historical experience, real problems and errors, some actually grievous, and in the works of Bob Avakian, over four decades, there is a critical scientific examination of the actual history of the communist movement— its great achievements as well as, secondarily but significantly, its serious errors and severe setbacks….This scientific study, along with serious engagement with and drawing lessons from many other important spheres of human endeavor, has precisely led to the synthesis that is embodied in the new communism. And, yes, this new communism does enable those who take it up, and apply it as the living scientific method it is, to do even better.
* In the book Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That?, Bob Avakian has thoroughly refuted and exposed the anti-scientific character of the “theory” of “totalitarianism” and demonstrated that its primary use has been precisely to promote irrational anti-communism.