Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Nelson Peery

When Economic Change is the Foundation For Social Injustice, A Revolution is Inevitable

First Published: The People’s Tribune (Online Edition), Vol. 20, No. 2, May 17, 1993.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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CHICAGO – [The following are excerpts from an address by veteran revolutionary Nelson Peery to the founding convention of the National Organizing Committee.]

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.... A revolution is coming in America. It is not created by the revolutionaries. It is coming from the changes in production brought about by replacing workers with robots. It is coming from the capitalist who utilized them to increase his profits.

We revolutionaries do not create revolutions. We recognize and embrace them. This revolution is coming out of our past – not simply from injustice, but from profound, deep changes in the economy. Profound changes that are producing a new, growing, destitute class that cannot exist within the old order. When economic change becomes the foundation for social injustice, a revolution is inevitable. In history, injustice is tolerable when it is connected to jobs and the basics of life. When that job and those basics are taken from us, and the injustice remains and grows, then we turn from protest to revolution.

The role of the revolutionary is to organize this motion, to give it direction – to give it heart for the battle – to enthuse it, to unleash its militancy.

How do we accomplish this?

By relying on what is actually happening – rather than what we want. The days of local activity gaining anything are over. The most intelligent, the most dedicated – the leading fighters – know they must struggle against a national enemy with a national organization and a national press to keep all parts of the struggle informed and connected.

We are creating such a national organization and have developed such a press.

Our task is to contact, to convince and to bring together the scattered fighters across this mighty land by bringing together their most determined representatives.

....The most important thing I’ve learned in a half century of struggle for a new and decent world is this: A revolutionary must be a dreamer. Revolutionaries must not simply fight against injustice – they must be capable of enthusing the people. This cannot be done without passing on to them visions of a different and better world.

.... Yes, Comrades, fight! For fight we must! But also dream. For it is of such stuff that revolutions are made.

Comrades! Are we capable of such dreams? Yes! And yes, can we visualize an America where robotics make possible the material conditions and the leisure time to complete the transition to full and happy human beings? Can we visualize an America and a world free from ethnic strife and racism? Can we visualize with Walt Whitman the birth of the most splendid race the sun has ever shone upon? Can we visualize a peaceful, happy world? Yes!

Can we create these things? Yes!

We say to friend and foe alike, yes! Yes we can! Yes we will! Our time has come!