Sunsara's Speech at World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime's evening panel discussion
This is the text of the talk I gave at the weekend national conference of The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime during their evening panel. I was one of five people who, from different perspectives, were asked to talk about why we took up The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime, how we see that being accomplished, and what we would like to see in place of this regime. Others on the panel included Karen Bradley of the Democracy Cell Project, Jim Oberg of The World Can't Wait Portland Chapter and a retired engineer, and a high school student from Stonington, CT name Pat. The presentations were followed by question and answers and very interesting discussion. I expect that more of these talks will be posted soon at worldcantwait.org.
I am very pleased that we are having this discussion tonight, because what we have begun to do is truly extraordinary. We launched a movement to drive out a regime Harold Pinter has rightly called, “more dangerous than Nazi Germany because of the range and depth of its activities and intentions worldwide.” And in doing so, we have brought together beginning alliances that will be needed to do the only thing which is commensurate to the order of the day - to drive the Bush regime from power.
As it says in our Call, if we speak the truth they will try to silence us, if we act they will try to stop us. We have begun to see attempts to stop and silence us, and as we grow the die hard proponents of the Bush regime even more viciously and desperately lash out - both openly and in underhanded ways to divide and stop us.
So, it is very important that we do get into what motivates us from different perspectives to take this up, to learn from each other, to explore our differences but most importantly to strengthen our unity and commonality of purpose.
To get into this, I’ll begin by saying that Nazi Germany wasn’t always Nazi Germany. There was a process by which that society developed – the Nazis were genocidal before they commit genocide. The crime the German people committed was that they refused to face up to and mobilize to stop those horrors when they were being spelled out before them – instead they learned to accept each day new outrages just a degree or more worse than the day before.
So, let me ask you, who in this room would have thought just a few years that torture would be being openly legitimized? For real, who thought we’d be witnessing debates on national television – not by discredited marginal figures – but by today’s Nazis, major mouthpieces of the regime and the media over how much torture should be acceptable or under what circumstances?
Who would’ve thought that in the face of the biggest natural disaster in US history, that 100,000 Black people would not only be abandoned for five days without food or water, but that federal troops would stop them at gunpoint from leaving and stop aid coming in, and when the government finally did come in, some of them straight from Iraq, it was with talk of turning New Orleans into a “little Somalia?”
I could take my whole time here and several days just getting into shocking example after shocking example. But the more disturbing point is that these things are no longer shocking to most people – they are fast learning to accept them all those “Your governments” in the beginning of the Call.
Yes, this and much more is happening here – and it is more dangerous than Nazi Germany. To see this all you have to do is open your eyes and look around and peel away the foggy glasses of acceptance and accommodation and wake the fuck up.
Here we are in 2005 with the most advanced technology that has ever existed – including nuclear weapons, and that they are controlled by a regime with a figurehead – Bush – who calls them “nuke-u-lar” and doesn’t even acknowledge the most widely established foundational fact of evolution?
And it would be worse than criminal for us to allow the people of this country to continue to dismiss major figures with influence and power in this regime who openly advocate executing abortion providers, or float out genocidal notions of aborting all Black babies, or equate homosexuality with beastiality.
How is it that we are seriously looking at a situation which, if left unchallenged will end up in a high tech Dark Ages? To put it another way, why does the Bush Program, the right wing fascist program have so much initiative over the “liberal” agenda? What are the underlying causes driving these shifts?
To answer this, which I can only touch on extremely briefly here, it is necessary to pull back the lens a bit.
In the last generation, this world has undergone huge, sweeping and unprecedented and dramatic changes. Through the intense process of imperialist globalization we have witnessed the most massive migrations of people – and of capital and resources and industry and armies and ideas that has ever taken place. This has literally ripped up hundreds of years of people’s ways of life, for the first time in history, more than half of humanity now lives in or around cities – all of this creates profound instability.
There have also been huge geo-political changes with the collapse of the SU, leaving the
All of this has had reverberations within the
In this new era of leaner and meaner and ever more mobile and highly competitive capitalism, there is no longer the economic basis or necessity for New Deal consensus, which is a big part of why even before Bush,
I mean, really consider what Clinton did – from slashing social services, by giving up the moral high ground by implying there is something wrong with abortion by declaring it should be rare (when in fact, they should be well-done!), mouthing the words of tolerance but actually allowing the fostering of a movement that is vehemently anti-gay, tightening the noose around communities of Black and other oppressed peoples – with the prison populations so escalating that more Black men were thrown in jail percentage wise than there were Black Africans in prison during Apartheid and massively militarizing the US/Mexican border – all the while tightening the economic grip of the US over Mexico through NAFTA which only further compels people to leave their homelands there and risk crossing the border desperate for work and survival.
But to those grouped around Bush, this wasn’t and isn’t enough. They went after
They are responding to these big economic changes, but also to the huge cultural shifts – like those brought about, (and rightly so!!), through the struggles of the 60’s. For instance, breaking many women out of traditional roles, or establishing the idea that the
The question for the rulers of this country has been acutely posed: how to hold together a society that has forces that are spinning apart from the center? Especially, how are you going to hold this together as you launch a war without end, against the will of the people?
The world is profoundly different than it ever has been before and it is going forward, one way or another. This is why the extremeness of this Bush program is coming to the fore right now and why it is not going to subside. The Christian Fascist base in particular, which does, have a coherent --- if 9th century --- ideology behind which it is attempting to organize society, providing people certainty and an outlet for resentment and anger.
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The WCW Call says “that there is not going to be some magical ‘pendulum swing.’” Bob Avakian recently wrote: “Part of the dynamic at play . . . is the fact that the center and the ‘arc’ of the pendulum continues to be moved further and further to the right.” Witness: Senator Chuck Schumer on why the Democrats are running a right to life candidate for Senator in
And, let’s be honest, 400 cities passed resolutions against the Patriot Act. And, most Democrats just voted with the Republicans to extend it and to make it even worse that it was.
There is not going to be a savoir from the Democratic Party.
Look, this regime must go; it’s program stopped. But, the underlying causes are deep and systemic. I hope that as we work and struggle together, and as we approach a situation where this hated regime is on the run, that people in this movement will not want any government that would do any of the things that are concentrated in the “your governments.”
And more, that many will look deep into the heart of this system, come to understand it, and see that we need a revolution to end a setup where the wealth created by the people of the whole world is controlled by a handful of imperialists, where the fate of the people and planet is subordinated to the relentless drive for profit, and where the machinery of the state, its armies, courts and police are used to enforce that order.
What do I want to see come out of this whole process? I would like to see a situation emerge where a revolutionary people can develop, where millions of people see the possibility of a whole new way society could be organized, and are willing to fight for it, and where a situation develops where it is actually possible to launch a revolution that has a shot at succeeding. Will such a situation develop out of this mix? It is a possibility and this would be a future worth struggling for.
The Chairman of the RCP, Bob Avakian, has developed the understanding and vision of a socialist society that people would really want to live in. Drawing from and building on the liberating experience of the first socialist revolutions, he has envisioned a new society and a radically new kind of state that not only meets people’s material needs – providing decent housing, food, health care, all the basic necessities… but, one where the whole of society is engaged in uprooting all forms of oppression: of different nationalities and races, a society where women will truly be full participants and leaders. Most of all, this will be a socialism where increasingly the masses of people take up all spheres of social and political life --- from the affairs of state to mastering art & culture. The people will be politically conscious and mobilized to prevent old or new exploiters and oppressive relations from re-emerging. It will be a lively and engaging society filled with debate and dissent and wrestling with all these questions to enable the people to gain mastery over the arenas from which they had previously been locked out of. And, this will be a revolutionary society on a mission to struggle for communism where oppressive classes have been eliminated throughout the entire world.
I encourage you to learn more about this re-envisioning of communism by Bob Avakian, check out his writings, go to www.bobavakian.net. You should get, read and distribute Revolution newspaper every week.
WMD’s are not the only thing you’ve been lied to about. Check out the Revolution.
None of this --- from a new society to country that doesn’t engage in any of the policies described by the “Your Government’s” is possible unless this Bush Regime is driven from power. And when we do that, it will be a great victory which all of us will celebrate together.
My hope is that I have provoked everyone to think more and deepened our understanding of why the Bush regime is being driven to such extremes. Also, by now I think it is probably clear to you that I am convinced that the Democrats will never do anything to fundamentally challenge this direction and represent the interests of the people.
But, if you still hope for something good to come from the Democrats, you must come to grips with the reality that this will never happen unless there is a massive upsurge from below demand the World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime.
In this context, the Democratic Party will have to calculate what position it will take, not simply in relationship to the terms set by the Bush camp, but also of an increasingly organized and politically forceful movement that is demanding the regime step down. Only when there is the real danger of losing the allegiance of the people would we possibly see an impeachment process in this (or the next) congress gain legs.
Our movement must affect all sections of society - calling forward and activating those who are disaffected, but still paralyzed, forcing the fence-sitters to pick a side – are you with the torturers, the liars, the Christian Ayatollahs? Or are you with this growing organized movement to drive this regime out? For the loyal Bush supporters, this will confront them, many for the first time, with the full horrors of what they are supporting, peeling away some of his base and causing others to question.
And for the Bush camp and their die-hard supporters, they will have to confront the fact of being de-legitimized – in the eyes not just of thousands or even tens of thousands, but in the eyes of millions. Where, every new lie, every new policy, every new outrage becomes a basis on which we bring forward and win even more to join us in this effort to drive him out.
Think of how this political force – which we began to bring into being on November 2nd, a real and significant beginning, but one with shortcomings which must rapidly and systematically be worked at and overcome – as it becomes much more widely known by every section of society, debated, and grows will change the whole political equation in society.
Especially on the State of the Union – in a national action in our different cities and towns, bringing the noise when the world-class liar opens his mouth and drowning him out, and coming right back again just a few days later in a concentrated and unified massive show of force ---- delivering a verdict on his regime through bringing a significant outpouring into DC to say, Step Down! And Take Your Whole Program With You! All together, from our different perspectives, this is what lies before us to be done – the world can’t wait. Let’s be realistic, and demand the impossible.