by Bob Avakian
EDITORS' NOTE: The series, "The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era," is available online at revcom.us and in pamphlet form from RCP Publications. This article has been edited for publication and footnotes have been added.
The Democratic Party is after all a party of the ruling class, it is a party of the capitalist system. At the same time, the Republican Party, especially now, is the party of openly and aggressively benefiting the rich and further impoverishing people—benefiting the rich and driving down the poor. It is the party, openly and aggressively, of white supremacy. Let’s not forget, these people are opposed to affirmative action, these are the people who brought you The Bell Curve. (This refers to a book published during the 1990s which claimed, based on phony science and faulty methods, to show that there are unchangeable, genetically based differences which account for inequalities, including the supposed mental superiority of people of European descent as compared with people of African descent. The studies, statistics, methods and approaches cited in this book have been soundly refuted, both before and after the publication of this book, but the book was nevertheless promoted and treated as serious scholarship within many mainstream institutions, including media, and in particular it became part of the ideological arsenal of "conservatives" in arguing against things like affirmative action and more generally concessionary social programs whose stated purpose was to help overcome social inequalities.)
It is not a matter of gimmicks when we point to what these people represent—their stands in support of the death penalty, unleashing the police without restraint, and so on. Again, it’s not that the Democratic Party is not for these things—there are real reasons why I (and others) have referred to the Democrats at times as "Republi-crats." But the Republicans are the party of openly and aggressively doing this—imprisoning more people, unleashing the police against more people, impoverishing more people, attacking people’s rights more—all openly and aggressively. That’s why it is correct, and not hype, to refer to them as Republi-fascists.
As I have said a number of times: These reactionaries should not even be allowed to use "conservative" to describe themselves. We should say, "Conservative, my ass, these people are Nazis."
And, again, what they are all about definitely includes open white supremacy. What does it mean when you look at the fact that all the "Dixiecrats" have become Republicans? ("Dixiecrats" refers to the bourgeois politicians in the south who, after Reconstruction was ended in 1877, openly stood for segregation and white supremacy and were part of the Democratic Party, representing its "southern wing." Since the time that the government, particularly through the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, was forced to make concessions to the civil rights struggle and pass certain laws and policies outlawing outright segregation and open discrimination, many of these types of southern politicians have, over the past several decades, moved from the Democratic to the Republican Party.)
But, again, the fact is that the Democrats support most of this program. They do have a different "cohering logic" than the Christian Fascist and overall Nazi-type logic which is increasingly dominant in the Republican Party. And they do have differences over some policies, such as taxes and social security. But, despite very real and sometimes sharp differences, when you get down to it, what the Republicans are doing is, to a large degree, agreed on by the Democrats as well — including such crucial things as the war in Iraq and the broader war for empire carried out under the banner of "war against terrorism." And what the Democrats may not agree with, they overwhelmingly go along with in any case. Witness, for example, the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as the new Attorney General— after it was well established that he played a key part in formulating the defense of torture by the government and the position that the president can act contrary to international law, and U.S. law for that matter. The Democrats caved in on this, just as they did with the appointment of that other fascist, Ashcroft, as Bush’s first Attorney General. Why? Because the Democrats are the representatives of the same system, and fundamentally for that reason they cannot offer any real alternative. I spoke to this in "The "Pyramid of Power"1 and it is something we need to keep going back to and deepening people’s understanding of, in order to enable people to see the need to break out of this whole framework of mainstream bourgeois politics in order to bring about a real alternative.
1. Bob Avakian, "The Pyramid of Power and the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down," RW/OR #1269. Also available online at revcom.us.