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News :: Organizing
The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era
06 Apr 2005
Just to be clear, I didn't choose this title lightly or facetiously, but in all seriousness. In speaking to "a coming civil war" I am "drawing inspiration" from Newt Gingrich (the prominent Republican politician who was formerly the Speaker of the House of Representatives), who has made the observation that what's happening now in the electoral arena and the broader things that it reflects in U.S. society is analogous to what was going on in the U.S. in the 1840s and the 1850s, and that this isn't something that will—I'm paraphrasing, but this is the essence—this isn't something that will go away. It will only be decided when one side or the other wins out.
The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era
by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Revolutionary Worker #1274, April 10, 2005, posted at rwor.org

EDITORS' NOTE: This is part of a series of excerpts on various subjects—drawn from conversations and discussions, as well as more formal talks, by Bob Avakian—which we will be running in this newspaper over the next period of time. This has been edited for publication and footnotes have been added.
Just to be clear, I didn't choose this title lightly or facetiously, but in all seriousness. In speaking to "a coming civil war" I am "drawing inspiration" from Newt Gingrich (the prominent Republican politician who was formerly the Speaker of the House of Representatives), who has made the observation that what's happening now in the electoral arena and the broader things that it reflects in U.S. society is analogous to what was going on in the U.S. in the 1840s and the 1850s, and that this isn't something that will—I'm paraphrasing, but this is the essence—this isn't something that will go away. It will only be decided when one side or the other wins out. While, obviously, we don't take at face value things that representatives of the ruling class say, we do have to think seriously about this, and I do think that this reflects—through the prism of Gingrich's own point of view, it does reflect a very profound reality. We can look at the alignment in society now and see very profound polarization—without reducing things to how things fall out in bourgeois elections, which are shaped by the bourgeoisie after all, and by the very real conflicts within the bourgeoisie. This is shaped not simply through manipulation on the part of some unified bourgeoisie, but by real conflicts within the bourgeoisie—conflicts that do, more or less, correspond to what was said in the piece on "The Pyramid of Power"1 in terms of what is represented by the Republicans on the one hand, and the Democrats on the other.

So there is something about that Newt Gingrich statement, there is something about the alignment that you can see, there is something about what was represented in the New York Times Magazine article by Ron Suskind2, with its representation of the polarization between "reality-based" and "faith- based" communities—which, once again, in and of itself and in the way that it's expressed, represents the conflicts seen through the eyes of, and more or less proceeding from the standpoint of, the capitalist ruling class itself, but nevertheless does speak to something very real in U.S. society at this point.

You really do have two fundamentally opposed forces in society, in potential; and I'll speak to how we can't leave the alignment and the polarization as it is now—for many different reasons and in many different dimensions and on many different levels it has to be transformed. But you can see that (even while many people are not fully aware of this yet, though many are becoming more fully aware of it) there are two camps in antagonistic conflict with each other. Out of this can arise different kinds of resolutions, representing different interests, and ultimately different classes, going to wholly different places in terms of the future of society and the world.

We have spoken philosophically, drawing from Mao, about how "irreconcilable" is not a correct philosophical concept because the opposite would be "reconcilable," and Mao pointed out that there are no reconcilable contradictions. But nonetheless [ BA laughs ], leaving that aside, these really are irreconcilable world views and fundamentally irreconcilable views on what society ought to be based on and what it ought to be like.

There is something very profound and important going on here, even though—and this is another fundamental reason why there is a need for repolarization—the pole of the revolutionary proletariat, and the forces gravitating to it, are at this present time woefully small, nowhere near as large and powerful as they need to be. That has to change—and that's where we come in. But it is interesting, the comment by this guy Hertzberg from The New Yorker —to the effect that two bad things are going to happen because of the Bush re-election: One, all the terrible stuff Bush and company are going to do; and two, this is going to lead to, or provide an opening for, the revival (if you'll pardon the expression) of the radical left. So what people like that are recognizing, we should not fail to recognize—and seize on.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTES:

1Bob Avakian, "The Pyramid of Power and the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down," RW No. 1237 (April 25, 2004).

[Return to article]

2"Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush," The New York Times Magazine (October 17, 2004).

[Return to article]


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Elites try to mobilize us against each other, as usual
06 Apr 2005
We are kept hyped-up and divided against each other because elites believe we are "stupid" and "incapable". But not only do they not know how to fix their own cars (!)--and thus prove *their 'stupidity', their humanity* in other areas--but people who uncritically align themselves with these people seem to forget that we are all born as equals. And via our programming and our conditioning, we are put onto *tracks* (you've heard of "tracking" in school, it's the same kind of thing). And some of us are allowed to gain what is called "privileged* status and then we can (and are encouraged) to look at everyone else and say that we are "better" than others.

And the mainline media reinforce this attitude, this bigoted attitude, with constant news that doesn't supply context to behaviors. It just keeps us hyped-up!

The author said: "You really do have two fundamentally opposed forces in society, in potential; and I'll speak to how we can't leave the alignment and the polarization as it is now—for many different reasons and in many different dimensions and on many different levels it has to be transformed. But you can see that (even while many people are not fully aware of this yet, though many are becoming more fully aware of it) there are two camps in antagonistic conflict with each other."

As Noam Chomsky would agree, these "two main camps" are comprised of elites. Elites who make it their business to manipulate and control the mass population to carry out their interests.

Whichever group is allowed to even come up onto the stage of the "reputable" is going to serve the interests and be within the values of elite interests. Look at Nader. Even he, a marginal *liberal* was not even ALLOWED to come onto that stage in the last few elections. That's how controlled the stage is. That's how controlled this society is.

If people really want to avoid civil war, we're going to have to escape from the ways in which we are systematically divided against each other, and see each other as similar, only coming into things via a wide array of paths. Paths which are largely controlled by elites who are subordinate to the state and its owners.

It's like Chomsky says about media professionals. You don't even get funded, you don't even get encouraged, and you definitely don't get backed, if you get to be known for challenging things in any meaningful way! Take a read of:

www.zmag.org/chomsky/ni/ni-c01-s05.html (and the next section after that)

So we're going to have to evolve from this state of affairs if we want to avoid civil war, or anything like it.

Take a read or listen to this article, for starters and understand the game:

la.indymedia.org/news/2005/04/124753.php
why is this ariticle viewed as a troll posting?
06 Apr 2005
I just posted a response that takes on the author's content. So I don't get what are you indymedia volunteers are trying to do. Are you saying that the article doesn't fit in with your ideas of what an article should be about, or are you saying that it is a right-wing thing of some sort?
Re: The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era
07 Apr 2005
The please don't feed the trolls notice now appears in every article posted--we built it into the layout. It doesn't refer to this article in particular.
Re: The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era
08 Apr 2005
I believe that the government is indeed running roughshod over the poor more and more blatently.. but I don't think the organizational model to use in response is any kind of Marxist-Leninist group ... or any group that has "Democratic Centralism" as part of their structure.

Liberty must be preserved even in a revolution.