The Kavanaugh Emergency

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 We Don’t Need to “Save ‘Our’ Court”–We DO Need to Resist & Stop Kavanaugh, STOP a Fascist America and Get Organized for an Actual Revolution!

The past week has witnessed Senate hearings over the most monumental Supreme Court nomination in decades. In a matter of weeks, the Supreme Court could have not just a “conservative majority,” but a solidly pro-fascist majority that is a pliant tool in the Trump/Pence regime’s drive to “Make America WHITE Again,” to impose Christian fascist theocracy, to completely deregulate and accelerate the destruction of our planet, and to eviscerate civil rights and civil liberties. Christian fascist ghouls, America-First warmongers, and racists everywhere are absolutely giddy.

A Nominee to Drag America Back to Trump’s Retrograde Vision of “Greatness”

Brett Kavanaugh is a stone-cold originalist. Originalism is a theory of law which holds that any “right” that is not explicitly written in the Constitution or in a ratified amendment, and which is not “rooted into the traditions and conscience of our people,” simply does not exist. But what were the rights written into the Constitution? The right to hold Black people in chattel slavery, of husbands to rape their wives, of white settlers to exterminate Native peoples, and more. And while there have been amendments since then that have restricted and overturned some of these atrocities, the “traditions and conscience” of America have been an unbroken chain of racist lynchings (whether by KKK or by police), of epidemic violence against and denial of reproductive rights to women, of destruction and poisoning of the environment, of draconian repression against political dissidents and revolutionaries, of xenophobic racism, of anti-LGBTQ bigotry, and many more violations of the fundamental rights of the people.

Concretely, this legal theory has been used as a cudgel for decades now—starting in earnest during the Supreme Court headed by William Rehnquist, Kavanaugh’s “first judicial hero”—to reverse and/or gut the whole direction the Supreme Court had taken in the 1960s and ’70s, during the era when rights were being expanded to Black people, to women, and to many others. Kavanaugh explicitly celebrated Rehnquist’s dissent (disagreement) in the Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion (Roe v. Wade) as well as Rehnquist’s successes in drastically expanding the ability of the police and prosecutors to use illegally obtained evidence in the courts to convict and imprison people accused of crimes. And Kavanaugh’s own record shows extreme hostility to women’s right to abortion and even birth control, to the separation of church and state, to environmental regulations, to attempts to curtail racism and discrimination, to torture victims, and much, much more.

The Democrats “Resist,” but on Ruling Class Terms

Many leading Democrats are genuinely alarmed at the way Kavanaugh would turn the highest court into a tool in Trump’s drive to rip up the social compact and legitimating norms that have held this country together for generations. They are also alarmed about how Trump’s court-packing could “lock in” Republi-fascist rule no matter what—both by eviscerating voting rights, cementing gerrymandering, etc. and through the fact that a majority fascist Supreme Court will give these Republi-fascists veto power for the next 30 years over any social legislation even if the Democrats somehow gain a majority in one or both houses of Congress.

Because of this, the hearing has been marked at times by an unusual level of open defiance from Democrats. Through their questions and invited experts, they have dragged into the open Kavanaugh’s hostility to the rights of women, LGBTQ people, Black people, and others; his likely role in George W. Bush’s crimes against humanity; and his shocking views that the president is above the law.

However, it is important to note that these Democrats have saved their real fire for more procedural complaints, like the fact that Republicans kept much of Kavanaugh’s record sealed.

Kamala Harris, for example, interrupted the fascist Republican Chuck Grassley to ask that he postpone the hearings to allow time to review newly released documents. Dick Durbin appealed directly to Kavanaugh to postpone his own hearings, again to be able to review documents. Cory Booker likened himself to Spartacus, the leader of a historic slave revolt, and expressed willingness to endure censure or even be kicked out of the Senate for reading into the record a document that had been sealed from the public.

While it is a fascist maneuver by the Republicans to keep so much of Kavanaugh’s record secret, focusing on this obscures the bald-face reality that Kavanaugh’s views are already well known. It further obscures the fact that these Democrats, even as they raise a hue and cry, more fundamentally are participating in and legitimizing the approval of this completely illegitimate, pro-fascist judge.

In fact, even as they put on their show of opposition, they bent over backwards to demonstrate their civility towards the fascists. Diane Feinstein, before asking a single question of Kavanaugh, apologized to him for the protesters who kept courageously disrupting. Cory Booker, even as he challenged the process, praised Grassley for showing the “patience of Job.”

Contrast this to the way Republicans blocked not just Merrick Garland, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee—refusing to even meet with him or give him a hearing for over a year—but also dozens of other federal judges nominated by Obama. Because of their efforts, when Trump assumed the presidency he had not just an empty Supreme Court seat to fill, but also 107 other judgeships. By contrast, Reagan had 35 judgeships to fill and Obama had 54. And, quiet as it’s been kept, just last week, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer personally fast-tracked 15 more of Trump’s fascist federal judges for approval!

Still, while it is essential to recognize and call out the objectively collaborationist dynamic of the Democrats’ “resistance,” it is also a fact that even this very narrowly constrained opposition—together with the major ruling class challenges to Trump, including everything concentrated in McCain’s funeral and the anonymous op-ed from a high-level White House official—is contributing to arousing a fighting spirit of people across this country who yearn to see this nightmare ended.

The Righteous Anger of the People—Which Way Will It Go?

More than 200 people have been arrested for courageously disrupting the hearings and/or occupying senators’ offices—and each reflects and represents the simmering anger of countless others who are watching in horror and anguish across the country. These righteous disrupters have yelled out about the women who will die from illegal abortions, about the disabled who will lose their health care and possibly their lives, about the rights of Black people and Native people, and more. This anger is righteous and extremely positive. At the same time, even more frequently people have cried out to senators to “save our courts” and “save our democracy.” This reveals dangerous illusions that, if not diverted, will not lead to good results.

The Supreme Court Is Not “Our Court” and the U.S. Is Not “Our Democracy”

The cold truth is that the Supreme Court is NOT “our court” and the system that rules over us is NOT “our democracy.” Rather, as Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has put it, “The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.” (BAsics 1:3) As Avakian expounds much more fully in his pamphlet, Constitution, Law, and Rights—in capitalist society and in the future socialist society, the Supreme Court of the United States is exactly one of the political structures that enforces the system of capitalism-imperialism. The truth of this can be seen, for example, in the reality that even before Supreme Court “Justice” Anthony Kennedy resigned and Kavanaugh was appointed, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim Ban; presided over a regime of white supremacist mass incarceration and police terror; allowed restrictions so severe and multitudinous that abortion rights now hang by a thread; protected the “right” of a Christian fascist baker to deny services to a gay couple; dramatically restricted labor rights; and much more. Real change in the interests of the people cannot be won by relying on these ruling class institutions.

To be clear: The Court may at times reflect a ruling class consensus to make certain concessions, often in response to struggle from below; but the foundational economic and social relations of capitalism-imperialism remain in place and the purpose of the concessions themselves is to protect and expand those relations.

A Time to FIGHT—and to Get Organized for an Actual Revolution

All this does not mean that nothing can be done. To the contrary, now is a time to fight, to unite with and unleash an even greater spirit of defiance and outpouring of furious refusal—and to lift our sights as we do.

More than anything else, this dangerous moment—with its fight between outright fascists and the more “mainstream imperialists” grouped around the Democratic Party—reveals the absolute worthlessness and outmoded nature of the system of capitalism-imperialism. It reveals the truth that the interests of those who rule over us are not the interests of the people. It reveals the need for an actual revolution that overthrows this system, sweeps aside its laws and institutions of repression, and implements a radically different system rooted in a radically different mode of production and with radically different social relations, values, and ways of relating to the rest of the world. This is what is concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian—a far better, liberating society that is geared towards meeting people’s fundamental needs, overcoming all exploitation and oppression, and doing this together with people all over the world even as the rights of the individual and rule of law are protected in far stronger and qualitatively different ways than they are now.

Rather than pleading with or picking sides between the different factions of those who rule over us, the people need to take advantage of this sharp contention at the top to break through with our interests—to make real advances in propagating the need for, getting organized for, and fighting the power in ways that contribute to an actual revolution. How to do this, and to what aim, is laid out in this pamphlet.

Unite All Who Can Be United to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime

A decisive and very urgent part of this now is fighting to mobilize all who can be united—including many who are not yet convinced of the need for revolution but who recognize the emergency being faced in the Trump/Pence regime right now—to step outside the official channels of the system that rules over us and truly resist. To raise the demand—THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!—and build organization and strength to get in position to launch sustained, mass, independent political protests that start with many thousands and grow to millions and do not stop (day after day, night after night) until the whole regime has been driven from power. As correctly insists, only the people can stop a fascist America—what each of us does in these fraught days will truly matter.


In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

Sunsara Taylor is a writer for Revolution newspaper, initiator of StopPatriarchy, and a co-initiator of RefuseFascism. She has written on the rise of theocracy, wars and repression in the U.S., led in building resistance to these crimes, and contributed to the movement for revolution to put an end to all this. She takes as her foundation the new synthesis on revolution and communism developed by Bob Avakian.




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