Opinion: In Defense of a Phrase

Comrade Redbeard

“Death to America!” Three little words, riddled with so much power. For many residents of the United States, this phrase may conjure up images of pain, destruction, and fear, punctuated perhaps by crowds in Iran and other “dangerous” [read: nonwhite] countries chanting and burning flags. To them, these are the watchwords of brainwashed, bloodthirsty mobs, driven to an irrational hatred of a fundamentally decent country, if not the greatest to grace the planet. After a lifetime of exposure to a highly advanced corporate and state propaganda apparatus, which has succeeded in producing one of the most hyper-nationalistic populations on Earth, this should come as no surprise. But what does the phrase “death to America!” actually mean, to a revolutionary?

Before we answer this, we must remember that all great Communists, all true revolutionaries, are motivated first and foremost by a profound sense of love. This is not a sentimental love. This is not a passing love. This is not a commercial love. Nor does it mean a revolutionary cannot or should not be driven by righteous anger at oppressors and oppression. But in the end, our love for the people, for justice, for freedom, happiness, peace and the land is the main motivator. What was it that Che Guevara said? “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.” And he was exactly right. So how is it that a revolutionary guided by a great feeling of love could wish death upon Amerika?

Amerika must end so that millions upon millions of people inside US borders and billions more around the world can live. We have to recognize, and patiently explain to those who haven’t grasped this yet, that true freedom, democracy, and justice cannot be achieved as long as the United States, the most dangerous and powerful empire in history, a tireless enemy of all people fighting for liberation and a better future, exists. It will do anything and everything it can to smash revolutionary movements, or even modest reforms that challenge its supremacy and profits, and those of its minions and mercenaries. It will take the entire planet down with it if we allow it. These are the stakes.

Death to Amerika does not mean that all people in the United States should be wiped out. Rather, it means that the US Empire must fall, the US ruling class (the capitalist class) and those that serve them must be forcefully driven from power, and all colonized nations and people trapped in the Star Spangled Prison House must have the chance for self-determination. The curse that is Amerika, its mental and material foundations, must be banished from the earth once and for all. We must do this because we love humanity.

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