Statement from the League of Revolutionaries for a New America

marco rodrigues machetero_ngola at
Tue Sep 25 22:00:36 MDT 2001

Statement from the League of Revolutionaries for a New America on the
Terrorist Attacks

The tragic events of September 11 stunned and saddened people across
America and much of the world. Our hearts go out to those who lost loved
ones in this attack, and we grieve for those who died. Every one of those
killed was someone's mother or father, or son or daughter.

We condemn this attack, as we condemn all forms of terrorism, no matter its
stated purpose or goal. None of those who were killed was responsible for
the policies or actions of any government, and the slaughter of American
workers will contribute nothing to the resolution of the terrible problems
faced by the oppressed people of the world.

Across the country, people are struggling with their grief, sadness and
anger. There is an understandable desire by many for revenge. The Bush
administration is taking advantage of this to try and rally people to
support what it calls "a sustained war against terrorism." Already the
Congress has passed legislation to give the president broad power to wage
war, and is moving to pass legislation that would sharply curtail our civil

But the real interests of the American people will not be served by war or
by surrendering democracy. War will not win justice for those who died, not
in the long run, and it will only invite more violence. In the long run,
war will not replace the one million jobs that have been lost in America
this year; it will not ease the suffering of the tens of millions of poor
in our country; it will not provide health care, or education or housing
for one person; indeed, it will take resources away from these things.

In the end, the American people's interests will be served only by building
a society that guarantees the well-being of every one of its members, and
which uses its power and resources to help end the poverty and injustice
that afflicts the great mass of humanity. America can be that country. But
whether America becomes a force for good or evil in the world depends on
the decisions we make in the days and years ahead.

Americans at bottom are a decent and noble people. The compassion and
generosity that most of us display at times of tragedy is proof of this.
Americans think of their country as a force for good in the world - a force
for democracy and freedom. And there are times and places when this is
exactly what America has been. But there have been times and places when
the actions of our government have resulted in oppression and poverty for
millions of people.

This in no way is to justify terrorism against Americans, or anyone else.
But we, the people, must make it our duty to take up our true
responsibility as members of society, to begin to understand the nature of
our society, and the nature of the era in which we live. We have to step
forward and take control of our country's destiny. Only then can we be sure
that our government's policies and our country's actions will reflect the
best interests of the people of America and the world. Only if the people
are making the decisions can we have both peace and prosperity.

We, the people, are at a crossroads, not only in the history of our
country, but of the world. The events of September 11 have changed
everything. On the one hand, the attacks have created an environment where
the people can be mobilized around a program of war, oppression and hatred,
a program that will ultimately be directed at the people of America, as
well. (Bush's "war on terrorism" will really be a war on the poor.)
But on
the other hand, these events have created an opportunity where people can
be educated about what is really causing the poverty and turmoil in the
world, and be rallied around a program to end it. Many Americans have
already indicated that they want peace, and that they have doubts about the
course Bush is charting.

Most of us, if we are not already poor, are just a paycheck away from
poverty. The interests of the majority of Americans lie with the poor, not
only of America, but of the whole world. This must be our guiding
principle. This is so because the poor - whether in New York City or in
Gaza - are forced to fight for a new kind of society. What is in essence
the program of the poor - a cooperative society that provides for every
member's well-being - must be America's program. We can build such a
society, such a world, because technology has given us the abundance to do
so. Every human being can have the necessities of life. Every nation can
prosper. We can reach out to the world in peace, and use our resources to
help end poverty everywhere, forever. If we use the interests of the poor
as our guide, we can truly be a force for freedom and democracy in the
world. It's up to us.

League of Revolutionaries for a New America
P.O. Box 477113
Chicago, IL 60647
league at

Background Information for the Statement

The Economic and Historical Context

Global Poverty

Today, our destiny is dictated by a handful of billionaires who own and
control the global economy. They are not all American, but they are led and
dominated by Americans. For most of humanity, the decisions of this class
of billionaire capitalists determine who will have jobs and income, and who
will go hungry. They decide who will live or die, who will be free or live
as a slave, who will have peace or war. Their goal is to turn the whole
world into a single, unified market where they can move money as they
choose, investing wherever it will turn the greatest profit. They are
accomplishing this by opening the borders of every country to global
capital. Among other things, this means opening countries to private
investment and "free trade," and forcing their governments to cut
spending, privatize public services, and put down any popular resistance to
these changes.

This is the process of globalization. It is being carried out by military
force, economic intimidation, or both. For the capitalists, it offers the
prospect of untold wealth. For most of the rest of us - those who must sell
their labor power in order to live - it means billions of people plunged
into a hitherto unknown poverty. This is true because capital is now free
to roam the world in search of the cheapest labor, so all workers are
competing with one another as never before. The inevitable result is the
lowering of living standards for all the workers and absolute poverty for

For the capitalists, globalization is a necessity. They are forced to
pursue the maximum possible profit. The spread of high technology
(computers and robots) into the economy has made globalization possible,
but, ironically, it is also destroying the market. The capitalists must
sell what is produced, yet the market is disappearing because fewer and
fewer people have any money. This is the source of the economic crisis that
confronts us today. The combination of labor-replacing high technology and
capitalism is creating a new, global class of poor, including in America.
Their ranks include the homeless, those on public aid, the temp worker, the
part-time and low-wage workers. The homeless "mole people" of New York
City, the unemployed of Russia, the subsistence farmers of southern Mexico
and the destitute Arab youths of the Gaza strip are all part of this new
class of poor. And they are all fighting for life as best they can.

The impact of capitalist globalization is clear. We live in a world with an
unprecedented polarity of wealth, where 447 billionaires control more
wealth than the poorest 2.75 billion people; where half of humanity lives
on less than two dollars a day; where one person in three doesn't have
enough food, and one billion are literally starving; where 20 percent of
the population, in the developed nations, consumes 86 percent of the
world's goods; and where children are living by begging or selling their

But high technology means capitalism can never meet the needs of the poor;
there simply will never again be enough jobs. This means that, historically
speaking, the poor are fighting for a new kind of society - one that
guarantees everyone's well-being, regardless of ability to pay. It means a
struggle to end capitalism and replace it with a cooperative society. The
world's poor are thus coming directly up against global capital in their
fight for life.

The Middle East and Islamic Fundamentalism

Because of its oil wealth and its strategic location, the Middle East has
been a particular focus of interest for US capital for at least half a
century. The global economy runs on oil, and historically the US
capitalists have used their domination of the Middle East - carried out
through support of Israel and through other means - to dominate the world
economy though control of the world's oil supply. US actions in the Middle
East - including support of Israel, the invasion of Iraq, economic
sanctions against Iraq, and most recently the stationing of troops in Saudi
Arabia, which contains Muslim holy sites - have infuriated the Arab
peoples. Many Americans clearly do not understand this.

The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and elsewhere in the
Muslim world is in part a reflection of the growing poverty resulting from
globalization, and in part a reflection of the culture and history of the
peoples involved. In the Islamic world, the form of struggle of the poor in
many cases has taken the form of Islamic fundamentalism.

As writer Michael Binyon has put it, the modern Islamic revival "has
coincided with a feeling of political powerlessness across much of the
Islamic world - a feeling that America dictates the agenda by which the
world lives and that Western assumptions now order the affairs of nations."
Many Muslims look back across what they see as centuries of struggle
between Islamic countries and encroaching Western Christian powers. Many
Muslims see these conflicts as wars waged not only in defense of territory,
but also of Islam. Muslims may often see Western values as "corrosive and
intrusive," and disrespectful of Muslim culture and values.

This history, combined with a crushing poverty that is attributed to US-led
globalization, has sparked a real hatred of the US in the poorest section
of the Muslim world. This does not mean that every poor Muslim is a
terrorist (or a fundamentalist), but that globalization and various US
policies have compelled the destitute to fight for their lives, and to see
the US as an enemy. Finally, it should be noted that more than one of the
terrorists are themselves creations of the US and other countries. The
terrorist whom Bush has labeled as the "prime suspect" in the attack,
bin Laden, was in fact armed and trained by the US Central Intelligence
Agency when he first began operating in Afghanistan.

Again, none of this is to justify terrorism, but to enhance our
understanding of the world so that we can do what is moral and necessary
under the circumstances.

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