by Bob Avakian
It’s time to put an end to this!
Confronted with the mass outpouring of righteous outrage sparked by the murder of George Floyd, Trump praises the police, slanders Floyd and the protesters, and threatens and unleashes violent repression. Anyone with a heart opposes and denounces Trump’s actions. But what people also need to recognize, and defeat, are the more deceptive, insidious moves of the “mainstream” section of the ruling class (represented by institutions like the Democratic Party and media like CNN) to kill off more “softly” the rising tide of mass protest and rebellion and prevent people from getting to the root of the problem and pursuing the actual solution.
To help combat this, it is important to identify the basics of their well-worn “four-step method” to “pacify,” “domesticate”—and misdirect into meaningless channels—the mass outpourings of outrage that erupt when crimes of this system, such as police terror and murder, become sharply exposed. So here it is:
Number One: Slander the person killed by police if possible—paint them as a criminal and imply that they did something to provoke the violence by police—but if that won’t get over, and it’s too risky and might backfire and give rise to more outrage, talk about what a “tragedy” this latest murder by police is, express sympathy for the victim (and the family of the victim), and say “we need a ‘conversation’” about the problem. Act as if it is just now coming to light what a terrible, systemic problem institutionalized racism, police brutality and murder actually is. If it cannot be avoided, charge the murdering pigs with a crime (but, if possible, make the charge less than the actual monstrous crime committed, and charge as few pigs as possible).
Number Two: If the protests seem to be getting “out of hand,” in a way that might cause the authorities to “lose control,” bring in the “firemen” (and women) to “pacify” the protesters by preaching to them about being “respectful” and “respectable.” Give media coverage to the mass outpouring of outrage but go on and on about “good protest” vs. “bad protest”—denouncing supposed “outside agitators” who are “hijacking” the “legitimate” protest and “thugs” who are spoiling the “peaceful expression of a grievance.” Criticize some of the violence of the police (and other armed forces of the system) in attacking the protests, when this becomes too blatant to ignore, but keep repeating the mantra about “good protest” vs. “bad protest.”
Number Three: Build up bourgeois and petty bourgeois forces and opportunists who will keep things as much as possible on the terms of the system—who do not call out the system for what it is (a system of exploitation and oppression whose name is capitalism-imperialism) and who do not call for ending this system but instead advocate reforms within this system that are meaningless or impossible (or both). Call for commissions to “study” the problem and advocate “changes” that are largely cosmetic and in any case will do nothing to stop the ongoing terror and murder by police. Preach about how protest is good but, to bring about change, “the energy” has to be channeled into voting—for representatives of the very same system that perpetrates these outrages and will keep on doing so!
Number Four: Once (they hope!) the mass outpouring of protest and rebellion has been “pacified,” “domesticated,” and misdirected into “harmless” channels, do nothing meaningful to address the situation that gave rise to the mass outpouring of outrage. Find a way to let the murdering pigs off, if possible—or, if it might be too dangerous (might once again light the spark to mass outrage) to let them off completely, have the punishment be as light as possible. Work to have any discussion about the problems with the police be cast in terms of “how to improve relations between the police and the communities they ‘serve’”—instead of the reality that the police “serve and protect” the system that rules over the people and enforce the oppression that is built into this system.
Be prepared to repeat all this when, once again, the outrage at the continuing crimes of this system boils over and this outrage needs to be killed off, with “kindness” as well as brutal repression.
THIS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO GO DOWN ONCE AGAIN! It must not be accepted that terms of how to wage the struggle against the monstrous crimes of this system will be dictated by those who represent this very same system!
How the struggle against oppression must be waged should be determined by a scientific analysis of what is the cause of the oppression, what is required to finally put an end to this, and what are necessary means of struggle that flow from that scientific analysis. This leads to the conclusion that what is required is REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!—and the struggle against all the ways in which this system oppresses, degrades, exploits and plunders people, and the environment, must be waged with a determination to build toward the revolution that will sweep away this system, and bring a much better system into being, laying the foundation and providing the means for moving beyond all the unnecessary suffering, and the madness and destruction, that this system of capitalism-imperialism imposes on the masses of humanity, and ultimately on humanity as a whole.