by Bob Avakian
January 24, 2022
There is the story about how, in ancient Greece, a philosopher named Diogenes wandered over a wide territory, with a lantern to light his way, searching for one honest man. Today, I am searching for an honest liberal or progressive.
More specifically: Last year, I issued a challenge to Bill Maher, who continues to bray about how this is supposedly a great country. Here, I am issuing an updated version of this challenge, for all the liberals and progressives who say they care about justice and are seriously concerned about the situation and the future facing humanity, but still are clinging to the notion that there is something special—something especially good—about this country (even while they may admit that it “has many faults”); all those liberals and progressives who, in any case, say that this system we live under should be preserved while we work to overcome its “faults,” and that it is not necessary, and not a good idea, to overthrow this system and bring into being a radically different system. Here is the challenge.
Go to the website revcom.us and read the following:
This recent major work of mine:
SOMETHING TERRIBLE, OR SOMETHING TRULY EMANCIPATING: Profound Crisis, Deepening Divisions, The Looming Possibility Of Civil War—And The Revolution That Is Urgently Needed
The American Crime series
These papers by Raymond Lotta:
“The ‘Industrialization’ of Sexual Exploitation, Imperialist Globalization, and the Descent Into Hell”
“Imperialist Parasitism and Class‑Social Recomposition in the U.S. From the 1970s to Today: An Exploration of Trends and Changes”
And let me call your attention to this astounding, and horrific, fact:
Because of the way the world is dominated by this system of capitalism-imperialism, in the Third World (Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia) tens of millions of children die every decade from starvation and preventable disease.
To put this in an even larger perspective: Because of conditions ultimately rooted in and enforced by this system of capitalism-imperialism, just in the lifetime of someone 20 years old, the number of children in the Third World who have needlessly died from starvation and preventable disease is at least 100 million; and, for anyone 75 or older, that number is 350 million—greater than the entire population of this country!
So, here again, is the challenge: Seriously confronting the reality captured in the works and facts I have referred to here, try to make the case that this is a great country and great system, and see if you can explain why this system should be preserved, in any form. Or, failing that, acknowledge that it is true that we need an actual revolution to overthrow this whole system, and bring a radically different and much better system and world into being.
Do any of you have the integrity and concern for humanity to take up this challenge?
We shall see.