Radically Simple Plans for getting the Special Issue of Revolution Out on Campuses
December 5, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
We encourage readers to continue to write on the special issue of Revolution with their thoughts and ideas for taking it out.
Letter from a Reader
I want to share some initial thinking—including on radically simple campus plans—around the recent special issue of Revolution newspaper, #323, November 24, 2013, "You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About ... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future."
First, a quick word of appreciation. I have been carefully reading and studying the interview with Raymond Lotta and am learning a lot from HOW he goes at the questions from the interviewers—not only picturing in the abstract, but also feeling transported to and "living in" the social reality confronted and changed by the past revolutions and socialist societies—all of which contributes to the sweep of this experience, and is approached from a scientific 'macro' vantage point of what these revolutions faced, what they were trying to accomplish and transform, and how they went about doing it, guided by what leading conceptions, method and approach.
I feel this gives a very living—and scientific—sense of these revolutions, their theoretical breakthroughs and what they accomplished against great odds, and where and how they fell short ... and while truly momentous and breathtaking, the need to and how we can do better and go further the next time around. I also particularly appreciated the sharp contrasts with societies ruled by the very people who relentlessly slander and spread lies about the communist experience, with all its problems and shortcomings, truly a "far better world."
Second, my basic thinking was that even as campuses wind down the fall semester and precious few days are left on the academic calendar, we should take a big stack of these special issues, go to the campuses and as we approach and talk to folks about the massive multi-faceted fundraising campaign to get BA Everywhere. We should get this issue in the hands of professors, graduate and undergraduate students, administrators and others. We should also get this issue to everyone who over the last decade has raised any questions and/or objections about these experiences of communist revolution in the Soviet Union and China—whether sincere and wanting to learn, or informed by the pervasive slander, or as is so often the case, just ignorantly and uncritically parroting "conventional wisdom," or otherwise.
This does not require a whole "production" involving hours of preparation but individuals and groupings can do this rather simply - and quickly - at times of their convenience—with a basic, friendly but challenging, approach informed by the title, because the vast majority of intellectuals today, including and especially on these campuses ... Don't Know What They think they know about... this experience. Distributing this issue is not—and should not be—"antagonistic" but it does challenge what and how folks think ... and this particular question is high-stakes, having everything to do with whether this is the "best of all possible worlds" or a radically different and far better world is possible—and what is the "... REAL path to emancipation" as the title so eloquently states.
Given these stakes, for people of conscience, and/or agonizing in some aspect about the state of the planet and humanity, the challenge can be put to people on the moral and intellectual responsibility—and courage—to follow through on their convictions, to learn—for themselves, and with the right method—what is true and what is not, how to correctly and scientifically view and assess these first attempts of humanity to consciously free itself. As it says in the important sidebar article in the same issue "But How Do We Know Who's Telling the Truth About Communism", "you definitely don't decide what's true... by looking at "what most people think" which unfortunately is the dominant criteria today.
Get the issue to people on the campuses, referencing, tell them to read it over the winter break, and you want to hear their thoughts, either over the break or when school reopens. This special issue can be transformative in changing the thinking of blocs of people on this question—and part of opening the lids on and changing the discourse on what kind of society and change is desirable and possible.
Third, and briefly in closing, it is important to realize, in the real world, the positive dynamic with the fundraising this is, and for BA Everywhere—because these questions on the past communist revolutions addressed in the main interview generally arise rather quickly in any serious engagement with what BA represents and has advanced in the new synthesis of communism—and the kind of atmosphere, ferment and process this special issue can potentially unleash in different scenes and among people, the thinking it transforms, and new pathways it creates and opens up to raise the kind of funds needed to project BA Everywhere.
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