by Bob Avakian
September 4, 2023
The representatives of the system that rules in this country are, and always have been, full of blatant hypocrisy and glaring contradiction. And so are others who slander—or simply refuse to seriously engage—communism, and in particular the new communism.
Just a few striking examples:
* The “founding fathers” of this country (and, yes they were “fathers”—men) proclaimed, in their Declaration of Independence, that “all men are created equal.” Yet many of these founding fathers—including the author of that Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson—were slave-owners. And four of the first five presidents of this “United States of America” were slave-owners.
* These “founding fathers” led a War of Independence, declaring their determination to break free of the tyranny of the English monarchy, and they adopted as a fundamental principle their opposition to monarchies. Yet their political descendants today continually slobber over the British Royal Family, and all its ridiculous, pompous ceremony. This is a seemingly trivial but actually telling illustration of the fact that this system of capitalism-imperialism is profoundly outmoded—long past its expiration date, long past the time when it could be a positive force in the world.
* Powerful political functionaries of this system, such as Joe Biden, repeatedly declare that this country has, since its founding, been a shining beacon of freedom for the world, and that today it is engaged in a world historic struggle of democracy vs. “autocracy.” Yet this country murderously oppresses people at home and has repeatedly installed and continues to support murderously oppressive regimes all over the world. In the words of the former slave and determined abolitionist Frederick Douglass, “for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival”—words which were spoken in 1852 but powerfully express the truth about this country, right down to today. This is another illustration of the fact that the guiding principle of Biden, and the rest, is not devotion to “democracy” but whatever they think advances the interests of U.S. capitalist imperialism, with all its horrific oppression and terrible destruction, of the environment and of people throughout the world.
* In the dominant media serving this system, communists are continually slandered as worshipping a LEADER as an essentially religious icon. Yet these same media praise, in the most solemn terms, the Catholic Pope—who, according to official Catholic doctrine, is declared infallible (always right, not even capable of being wrong) in matters of faith and morals. Imagine if we declared that leaders of the communist movement are, as a result of the position they occupy, infallible in matters of politics and ideology!
* We revolutionary communists, who actually base ourselves on a scientific method and approach to understanding and transforming reality—the new communism—are all too commonly dismissed as a “cult,” with myself as the “cult leader.” Yet, along with this ridiculous slander, there is the fact that the rulers of this country, and others who uphold the same basic positions, would never condemn Christianity as a cult, when it could legitimately be considered as such. Christianity’s exalted leader, Jesus, demanded the devotion of his followers in terms that we revolutionary communists would never apply:
Whoever loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. (From the Bible, Matthew 10: 37-39)
* Recently I wrote an article speaking to the reason why it would not do any good, but instead real harm, to debate Robert F. Kennedy Jr and his anti-scientific lunacy about vaccines (and other subjects); and why, on the other hand it is important to seriously engage many unconventional ideas and theories, including the new communism (“Robert F. Kennedy Jr… Quackery and Conspiracy… Unconventional Ideas and a Scientific Approach—To Debate or Not to Debate, That Is a Question of Principle and Method”). Yet the problem remains that far too many who claim to believe in the importance of airing and debating opposing viewpoints about important questions, especially when it is possible to do so in a rational framework, violate their own proclaimed principles and adopt shoddy methods in refusing to seriously engage the new communism, and instead stubbornly cling to the position that was crudely expressed in this response by an academic to my article: “RFK may be a quack, but so is anyone who calls himself a communist”—a statement which ironically provides a striking example of exactly the smug, unthinking dismissal of communism that is all too common, among academics and others.
Blatant hypocrisy, glaring contradiction.
As I wrote in that article:
Perhaps, along with the influence of the widely propagated disinformation about communism, one of the reasons why some people refuse engagement on this subject is because they know that they don’t actually have any substantial knowledge about communism and they lack a sound basis for their negative judgment about it. And some seem to have at least an inchoate sense (and fear) that such engagement will force them to give up what seem to be comforting prejudices—that serious engagement about communism will demonstrate precisely that the widely held, “everybody knows” judgment that communism has been a horror will be shown to be a vicious slander fundamentally out of keeping with reality; and that the new communism, in its indictment of this system of capitalism-imperialism and its vision, both sweeping and concrete, for a radically different and better world, represents something profoundly positive, something truly emancipating, that needs to be actively and urgently taken up and applied in the world.
For many people, this requires facing seemingly inconvenient but actually liberating truths—and “moving out of one’s comfort zone.” Does it have to be said that this is not a legitimate reason or justification for a failure, or refusal, to seriously engage the new communism? Falling back on “flat earth” negative verdicts about communism, without serious engagement, particularly of the new communism, will not make such verdicts valid. It will not eliminate, but will contribute to perpetuating, the great harm done by such invalid verdicts. It will not erase the reality that, on the one hand, under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism—with its enforcement of horrific relations of exploitation and oppression, its accelerating destruction of the environment and its heightening danger of nuclear war—humanity is being dragged toward real disaster; and, on the other hand, that the new communism represents the only way out of this madness, toward a world and a future worthy of human beings and giving expression to humanity’s highest aspirations.*
* This article (“Robert F. Kennedy Jr… Quackery and Conspiracy… Unconventional Ideas and a Scientific Approach—To Debate or Not to Debate, That Is a Question of Principle and Method”) is available at revcom.us. [back]