In 2013 BA Everywhere
Imagine the Difference It Could Make
January 6, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
This year, as horror upon horror pile up all over the world... as the web of life itself comes under increasing and unceasing stress... a different voice, posing a real alternative—a real revolution—can and must ring out.
With new films and interviews and other new work... with bus tours of veteran revolutionaries and brand-new fighters continuing to take this all over the country... from the alienated campuses to the locked-down prisons to the communities of the oppressed... the words and work of the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian can and must hit with an impact like never before.
It is up to you to make it happen.
ANNOUNCING new work from Bob Avakian
Michael Slate interviews
This five-part interview will begin airing on KPFK (Los Angeles) January 11, 10 a.m. Pacific Time. In this wide-ranging interview, Avakian argues why nothing short of revolution will deal with the howling problems in the world; he provides deep analysis on the recent election as well as the illusion behind elections under this system; he speaks to the lies told about the history of communism; the real potential for revolution in this country and the strategy for that revolution; what the goal of this revolution is and, in particular, what the breakthroughs are that are concentrated in the new synthesis of communism that BA has brought forward. He also talks with passion and science about what has kept him on the revolutionary road for decades now despite great sacrifice and at great personal risk.
Film of a new talk
by BA to debut in February 2013
This six-and-a-half hour speech given in the fall of 2012 is a clarion call to confront the depth of horrors perpetrated by this system and to settle for nothing less than real revolution in today’s world. In it, he gets into the source of the horrors and the vision and strategy for making revolution, when conditions come into being to make that possible... and he lays out the emancipatory goal for this revolution, speaking sharply to the role people themselves—including those most locked to the bottom of this system—can and must play in this revolution, and the role of communist leadership in enabling this. This talk will take you on a journey, what many who were able to see it live called a “transformative experience.”
At a time of great upheaval in the world, with economies collapsing, new imperial wars threatened, repeated natural disasters that lead to major social disasters... and at a time when millions are lifting their heads and seeking answers—these new works represent a major historic and timely intervention by Bob Avakian, the leader of a new stage of communist revolution. In these works Avakian speaks the sharp and deep truth this system works overtime to keep hidden.
These new works, along with the interview Cornel West conducted with BA in 2012 and the extensive interview conducted by a younger-generation revolutionary, A. Brooks, What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism (in addition to BA’s whole body of work, much of which can be found at revcom.us), provide a concentration of the leadership we have for the revolution we need. They are a summoning to be part of making revolution, to confront the brutal reality we face, to get underneath why things are the way they are... and to get with the scientific potential, strategy, and leadership for a whole different way the world could be. They are a deepening of the science of revolution when nothing is more needed in the world today.
The World Is a Horror—But It Doesn’t Have to Be.
To Find Out Why and How It Could Be
Radically Different—and Radically Better—
Check Out Bob Avakian
The world is a horror for the majority of people—because of the system of capitalism-imperialism, not because of human nature. It doesn’t have to be this way... a radically different world is possible, where people can come together in common cause, lifting their heads fully and straightening their backs. But bringing that world into being requires a revolution. Such a revolution is possible—and in particular because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experiences of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience—there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry the struggle toward that goal. We ARE BUILDING a movement for this revolution, which provides a way to begin working on that now. But way too few people have even heard about BA! BA Everywhere is aimed at changing that on a grand scale—pulling together a nationwide movement to raise big funds to bring BA’s voice and vision directly to millions of people.
In 2012, a movement was born to raise big money to get Bob Avakian’s vision and works into every corner of society—involving thousands of people across the country in a multitude of ways, reaching out into the urban ghettoes and barrios coast to coast, the Deep South, college campuses, inside the prison walls, and beyond. But this was just the beginning—it has to truly reach everywhere, changing the whole social atmosphere and culture of society; many thousands, hundreds of thousands, and eventually millions of people becoming actively aware of the works and vision for a whole new society and world brought forward by BA; breaking open great debate and wrangling over truly big questions about the nature of the present system (capitalism-imperialism), a concrete and worked out vision of an alternative way of organizing society that really would benefit the vast majority of people, concentrated in the new synthesis of communism developed by BA, and the strategy for revolution to get there.
This could make all the difference, radically changing what people think is tolerable about the world today and what is possible for a whole new, better world.
But it won’t happen without you—without your financial support, ideas, and participation.
In 2013, imagine BA’s voice on the airwaves, in print, in theaters, heard in the barber shops and bodegas, played on campus quads and in living rooms across the country.
Imagine people coming together for listening parties—first of the Cornel West interview with Bob Avakian, and then the longer Michael Slate interview. A movement of people across the country tuning in together... listening and debating what they hear. Playing excerpts in classes, informal gatherings, and organized sessions... blasting the interviews from campus and community radio stations.
Imagine a national debut in February of the major new talk given in the fall of 2012. BA speaking to the greatest and most urgent need of our times, in a timely way—with fire, passion, urgency, humor, and science. It is a journey that anyone and everyone who is looking for answers needs to take. Imagine the national debut happening simultaneously in key theatrical venues across the country—this would be a societal “happening.”
Funds raised from all kinds of people to make this possible—a national fundraising weekend in January with yard sales, car washes, food sales, arts and crafts sales, penny drives... as well as people of more means giving larger sums. Imagine the unity forged with blocks of tickets for people in the projects purchased by people in the middle strata. And the engagement fostered with this cross section of people experiencing and discussing the talk together.
Meanwhile, this whole movement crackling with the deeper debate and ferment fostered through engaging the extensive interview with A. Brooks, a younger-generation revolutionary—What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism. Discussions late into the night about the strategy for revolution, the process of “fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution,” the relationship between science and morality, the scientific method needed to know and change the world in the most radical ways possible.
“The disparity between the haves and have-nots, the degradation of earth, the oppression and exploitation of the poor, people of color, women, and all beings is thoroughly unacceptable. The capitalist-imperialist system that has created and perpetuates this disparity and oppression and the horrors of it must be dismantled. Those of us who are called to name and change this situation will need to participate in appreciative engagement with all who share our cause. Bob Avakian models for us how we can weave multiple perspectives to this struggle and invites us to live bravely and boldly to bring about the world we know can be.” —a Unitarian Universalist minister, ecofeminist, and animal rights activist discussing the Cornel West interview with Bob Avakian
“I... received a small note saying that one wanted to know what I felt about the interview between Brooks/B.A. I Love It!! I’ve definitely made this interview a point for reference... For me, the more I study, the more my confidence builds up about engaging in debates with others. Just recently I received a letter from a friend of mine who’s doing time a different prison. We’ve been dialoguing through the mail for years now, so quite naturally Im going to introduce him to B.A. and the New Synthesis of Communism, and the movement we are building.” —a prisoner in the Midwest
“I want to tell you that I listened to the Bob Avakian tape with Cornel West. What struck me most was Avakian’s direct and clear analysis, which seems, at once, to be both obvious and rare! It’s like a good poem: Avakian makes you see the world that you know—because you live in it every day—in a way you never clarified for yourself. You are lost in the fog of the capitalist bullshit, the fog of spin and lies. I found myself saying, Of course! Ah, that’s what I knew all along, but I never had the courage and the clean thinking to recognize or articulate the simple facts...” —an attorney on the West Coast
Order the e-book at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or itunes. Or the book: $10 plus $3.98 shipping/ handling/tax. Send money orders or checks to RCP Publications, PO Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, Il 60654.
inside the prison walls
Over 2.4 million people are imprisoned in this country, over half of them Black and Latino—cast off, degraded and demeaned, systematically stripped of their rights and their humanity. In the midst of this, a growing number of prisoners have taken up BAsics as a lifeline. Prisoners have been passing BAsics and other works by BA hand to hand, holding discussion groups, writing to Revolution newspaper and deeply engaging BA’s work, wrangling with the biggest questions of making revolution, and speaking out about the need to emancipate all humanity.
In 2013 this has to spread, with many thousands of dollars raised to not only fill all the prisoner requests for BAsics and other revolutionary literature, but to spread the word throughout the prison population and society. Imagine if the voices from those inside and the impact of BA’s work on them were reverberating throughout society. Think of the inspiration that this can spark about the potential for those on the bottom to make revolution, and the unity forged among people who this system works overtime to keep divided.
“I want to urge everybody out there to get their hands on this book [BAsics] and to help get it into the hands of others, not just prisoners, but into the hands of youth who are in danger of becoming prisoners themselves... Help them unlock their potential and give them a sense of purpose that doesn’t involve killing each other. Give them an alternative to the criminal lifestyle that doesn’t involve conforming to this horrid system. That is what they need, that is what they ache for. They want to rebel, they just have to be introduced to the correct way to do so. Put them on the path to becoming communists...” – from a California prisoner
debating two futures
The new synthesis of communism brought forward by BA has been concretized in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), a sweeping and concrete vision and program that provides an inspiring and living sense of a socialist state and society with the goal of communism. In 2012, debates were held at college campuses, and this Constitution was taken out in the midst of those fighting the power and lifting their heads to ask the biggest questions of what kind of world is really possible.
April 15, 2013 has now been set as the date for a debate between Raymond Lotta, who advocates for BA’s new synthesis, and Slavoj Žižek, well-known philosopher and cultural critic, on the theme of “the history and prospects for communist revolution.” This is a major opportunity to break open mass debate among students and many others who don’t like the way the world is but have never heard a real, really radical argument for the viability and desirability of revolution.
a whole different culture
BA Everywhere has pulsed with the participation of student poets and rappers to professional musicians... from the parks and street corners to the theaters and jazz clubs.
In 2013, imagine this taking off to a whole new level. BA Everywhere open mics fostering a “culture of revolt against this revolting culture,” theatrical readings of letters from prisoners engaging BA’s voice, and the BA film project going to a major new level including new ways of documenting the special connection between Avakian and the voices of those cast to the bottom of society engaging the biggest questions of the revolution. Think of the people inspired and the new kinds of culture and cultural scenes that can begin to emerge modeling and projecting a different way to think, feel, and be. Stay tuned for more on the release of the film about a very special event held in spring 2011, On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World.
“Basic as the voice, the words, the simple yet inexplicable thoughts of Bob Avakian, who may have the blueprint, the recipe, the undeniable common sense socialist solution necessary for our ever growing global community to make real change.” — reg E. gaines, poet and playwright
hitting the ground with BAsics Bus Tours
“No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.” —BAsics 1:13
“Just imagine a room full of sweaty, mosquito-bitten… social scientists trying to change the world—that’s what we went through in this BAsics Bus Tour. On the road 24/7 with this movement for revolution and with what Bob Avakian is all about, and it’s just been mind-blowing to see the potential that exists out in the world... When people see the seriousness of this, when they see that it’s not just another person telling you how fucked up the world is, but we have a strategy for making a revolution, and when we link that up with people, we see their potential—people want leadership.” —young Latino BAsics Bus Tour volunteer
“When I got into [BAsics] last night, it was like I could not put it down because I was like, wow. I never even thought that it could be this way... He’s opening our understanding to the way it is, where other people are afraid to speak because it’ll put their life on the line, and this man put his life on the line for everybody to know the truth. And he just told it just how it is. How can we make that change if we don’t know the basics?” —Virginia, Sanford, Florida
Three BAsics Bus Tours took place in 2012: through California; from Atlanta, Georgia, to Sanford, Florida (where Trayvon Martin was killed); and through the urban hellholes of New York City and surrounding areas. These tours brought the campaign to those who catch the most hell every day under this system and found a deep resonance. Multinational, multigenerational crews of volunteers connected BA’s voice directly to the people through spreading BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, showings of BA’s talk Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, and more. Across the country, people contributed to the tours and followed them online.
In 2013 these will reach further—stirring things up on college campuses and hard-hit communities, and connecting the two.
a movement bubbling from below
"There is nothing more unrealistic than the idea of reforming this system into something that would come anywhere near being in the interests of the great majority of people and ultimately of humanity as a whole." – BAsics 3:2
The vibrant backbone of all this has been the grassroots movements begun to spread BA's work throughout society, and raise funds to do so. Thousands have participated in the distribution of BAsics quote cards... planting a radically different pole in society, in ways that allow people to step into this from wherever they are. Through this, BA's work has been linked up with people fighting the power in the aftermath of police shootings in New York, Anaheim, Houston, Cleveland, and more... BAsics and quotes from BAsics were distributed at music festivals, college campuses, librarian conferences, and more... families of victims of police murder have marched with a BA Everywhere contingent in the annual Bud Billiken Day parade through the South Side of Chicago. Last spring, graduating high school students wore BAsics 1:13 buttons on their graduation gowns. People across the country have sent responses to the BAsics quotes—engaging BA's work and through this, engaging each other. Many thousands have watched BA video clips online on a range of burning questions.
Thousands have contributed funds and their efforts to raise funds—through penny drives, bake sales, participating in potlucks, and asking their friends and family.
In 2013, imagine all this on an even greater scale, when people from different walks of life and different perspectives come TOGETHER to wrangle deeply over these things in all different kinds of places and all different kinds of scenes. Each month, a different quote from BAsics or other BA works is printed on palm cards—BAsics 3:2 was the quote for November/December 2012. Imagine the movement to spread the BAsics quote of the month further and farther—connecting people across the country, breaking the isolation so many feel, and impacting millions. Imagine the connections made when people with more means match funds collected from efforts in a housing project... the unity that gets forged and the walls broken down. Imagine this on an even greater scale, as it takes place in the midst of—and provides a framework and context for—all the efforts being launched to fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution, whether against mass incarceration, or against pornography and patriarchy, or against other outrages, and at other sites of resistance the movement for revolution will relate to.
A whole ensemble of things—a creative, compelling mix of the different elements of this campaign, and a whole package of fighting for a different and far better world—will come through to people.
"...we easily fall into the thinking that there isn't really anything we can do. When in reality it is just not so. There is SO MUCH that we can do! Even if you leave only 25 palm cards in the neighborhood deli, salon, mechanic…anywhere! And even if out of those 25 people who take them only half of them do more research and then maybe they go out one day and distribute more. All the little things count. BAsics is a great little book for waiting rooms like the car wash/mechanic, hair or nail salon, tattoo shop… And it's a great book to bring out when hanging with friends. All the little things count."—a young woman on distributing BAsics palm cards
What’s been brought forward so far—through the energy and determination of all those who’ve participated, the generosity of those who have contributed in all kinds of ways, and the people on the ground who’ve stepped up to be part of this—is the embodiment of what BA himself has said is represented in the new synthesis of communism that he has developed: “hope and daring on a solid, scientific foundation.”
This is only the beginning. With powerful new work from BA himself driving it forward... raising big funds to project his voice and work into every corner of society... IMAGINE the difference it could make!
Effecting a radical and fundamental change in the social and political atmosphere of the whole country by projecting the whole BA vision and framework into all corners of society where it does not yet exist, or is still too little known, and getting all sorts of people to engage and wrestle with it—is what this massive fundraising campaign is all about. You can love and agree with most of what BA has to say, or you can disagree with a lot of it, or you can just feel like you don’t know enough yet to be sure one way or another, even as you find yourself drawn in and attracted by different elements... but if you are a decent, thinking person, a person with a conscience, someone who just can’t go along with the notion that it’s acceptable for great social injustices to repeatedly be tolerated or swept under the rug, then this campaign is for you.
Because if we succeed with this—if we collectively raise enough money to make it concretely possible to project the whole BA vision and project into all corners of society and to introduce him and what he is bringing forward to millions who are not yet familiar with his works and vision; if the framework he is bringing forward and advocating for becomes increasingly debated and wrangled over by thousands and by millions of people from all walks of life; if, together, we manage to accomplish this, this will actually make a very big difference.
The whole social and political culture will “breathe” more freely, people will wrangle passionately over “big questions” concerning the direction of society (like knowing that much of the future of humanity hangs in the balance) and the times will once again resonate with big dreams for fundamental change and the emancipation of humanity.
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