Current and Ex-Prisoners Write on Bob Avakian and on Science & Revolution... An Interview With Ardea Skybreak
September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
“I too have developed a habit of constantly pointing out contradictions in everything”
Some excerpts from:
Science and Revolution...
An Interview with Ardea Skybreak
Order the book here
Download the full interview in PDF format here
I know it’s been a long while since I’ve written in and shared what I’ve been learning from the material that has been sent to me. Everything has in fact been well received and I apologize for not writing sooner. Real men don’t make excuses, so I’m not gonna offer any... With all of that being said I have a request that I’m hoping you all can forefill. Will someone please tell Ardea Skybreak that I love her and give her a great big bear hug for me. About 3 or 4 days ago I got a copy of Science and Revolution in the mail, and since then, every time I read a few pages I get charged up. This is not my first time experiencing such excitement after reading material sent to me from P.R.L.F. [Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund], this piece Science and Revolution has basically recharged the excitement from past experiences.
It has been almost 4 yrs. since a friend of mine introduced me to the writings of Bob Avakian and his development of Revolutionary Communism. A few weeks back I received a letter in response to a letter that I had written to a different friend (not the same friend who introduced me to B.A.) and his exact words were, “The reason why I dig you is because I love the way you take everything and make it about everything.” I believe I was writing to him about Business Law or Business Management and about how the scientific approach used in those particular disciplines can be applied to all facets of life on the strength that it’s science. It’s not that I personally make “everything about everything,” it’s just that the methods used are applicable to all of reality.
So, just like Ardea Skybreak said of herself during the interview, I too have developed a habit of constantly pointing out contradictions in everything that I see. I am fucking contradiction crazy in here. Ha Ha Ha...
A while back I received a letter from P.R.L.F. asking about my daughter and what she’s been up to since you all last heard from her. Enclosed I am sending a news clipping of her marching in the streets in [a] protest [she organized] against police brutality. This all took place in July... She will be 18 yrs. old next month and she’ll be attending college in the fall. I will definitely be sharing this book Science and Revolution with her. As I develop my understanding of Dialectical Materialism it is of the utmost importance that she grows with me as well. I will write to you again later. Sorry for the delay.
“It’s imperative that this book get out far and wide, just like BAsics”
From an ex-prisoner in the Midwest
I was fortunate to be one of the few brothers that the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) was able to lay this work on before I was released from prison. The fact that I had already became firmly grounded in approaching everything scientifically due to my reading of The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism, I already foresee the impact that her book Science and Revolution will have simply because I know how accessible her books are to the general reader. Not everybody has developed the capacity to break down complex subjects for the average Joe or Jane to understand and be persuaded by. But that’s one of the hallmarks of Ardea Skybreak that stands her apart from many. I remember actually advocating the Theory of Evolution after reading her book as if I too had went to college to be an authority on the subject. From those debates and dialogues, I actually convinced a number of my friends and associates in accepting the scientific validity of Evolution and our origins—not out of blind faith, but by assessing the evidence-based conclusions that were readily apparent after careful review.
Before I got out of prison, I remember giving a friend of mine a copy of Science and Revolution and he and I spending hours debating the scientific method. Although he didn’t become a dialectical materialist per se, I observed his consciousness undergo radical leaps where he began to even understand the scientific method even down to its philosophical level. It wasn’t unusual to walk by and hear us debating what was objective reality and what wasn’t. This is within the midst of a culture primarily concerned about getting high every day in prison or kicking it about who got whopped in another cell house the day before. And that’s big! Because for some people philosophy is just some obscure discipline that has no application to everyday life. It was something that people like Socrates and Plato did or intellectuals did today to intellectually masturbate and sound smart. But I’m sure my friend no longer compartmentalizes philosophy in that detached, unscientific manner any longer now.
I’m going to bring this letter to a close, but I think it’s imperative that this book gets spread far and wide just like BAsics ... just like The New Jim Crow. All of these sorta trajectory changing books have their place in shaping the consciousness of the masses; there’s interdependence between them that enables people to break with their former ways of thinking, behaving, and what they come to see as necessary for radical change to come about. Together they have the capacity to bring clarity to the movement and transform it into the material force it needs to become one day. This is all a part of “hastening while awaiting” the objective conditions.
Inside, I’ve enclosed the amount of $5 to help raise funds, so that the brothers and sisters still behind the walls can get their own copy of Science and Revolution by Ardea Skybreak. I don’t have a lot since I just recently got out of prison myself, but I think it’s necessary to contribute in any way I can. I hope others will also match my donation with whatever they can as well. If I can, I’m sure many others are in a far better position financially to do even more.
Well... I’m going to close, but I’m glad to see the PRLF still doing the same it did for me, for others.
“What makes BA so important is that he’s out the gates now...”
From a prisoner in California:
Just a few quick words to acknowledge receipt of Science & Revolution. Just got it today... you already know I’m in love with anything by BA and Skybreak. I’m sure your party has many BA’s—in training—and Skybreaks being molded as we speak.
But what makes BA so important is that he’s out the gates now and not only do we not need to reinvent the wheel in that regard, any person who calls themselves “conscious,” “progressive” or “revolutionary” is in violation of their own codes if they aren’t students of BA simply and precisely because he’s put forward concrete, realistic, morally sound & scientific ideas & programs...
So too w/Skybreak and just like BA she’s too heavy & has done too much work for anyone who claims to be thinkers, laymen scientists or revolutionaries are full of shit if they are not grappling w/this stuff. I do understand tho’ what she means when she says BA is miles ahead of EVERYONE ELSE.
ANYWAYS—they’re doin’ Ali’s funeral today. Loved how the crowd honored him during the procession but was heartbroken to see how the dogs pushed people out the street and stopped them from getting close to the hearse when it got to his ol’ house. They really showed they serve no purpose other than to oppress, hold down or back, and they are not the people’s police & definitely not the police for blacks.
But like I said it just shows that they serve & can serve no purpose. No one should get paid to oppress or hold the people back. No one should get paid to make sure people can’t mourn or celebrate the life of someone they love.
That should never happen. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER...
Thanks for the book. I’m in it ASAP.
10 toes down & and fuck this system
“Realizing this will allow me to engage with those [middle] classes and present an argument they can comprehend”
Indiana, August 24, 2016
Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) Volunteers,
I finished Science and Revolution, the interview with Ardea Skybreak, last night. It was quite informative and thought provoking, especially in regards the middle strata. Not only is this an important work for the middle strata to read and study, it is a work we in the proletariat need to get into because it reveals the mindset of those in the middle strata. As a proletarian I have a lot of animosity toward those in the middle and upper classes, but after reading this interview I realize that some of those people may not be as intentionally ignorant or careless about the plight of the lower classes. Realizing this will allow me to engage with those upper classes and present an argument they can comprehend and perhaps relate better to, rather than me just telling them they are wrong. I can show them how they are wrong from their point of view. There is a lot more to be learned from this interview, but I just wanted to mention this aspect because it struck the loudest chord with me. I also want to relay my appreciation for your having sent it to me.
The interview mentioned two other works I would like to read, Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That? and Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, both by Bob Avakian. Is it possible you could send one or both of these?
Sincerely, A Comrade in the Struggle
We received these letters through the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) on the book Science and Revolution: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, an Interview with Ardea Skybreak.
These letters give a glimpse of the potential and transformative impact of this book, which needs to get out much more widely among all sections of society, to those incarcerated in its hellholes and ghettoized in its housing projects, to those standing up righteously against the injustices of this society such as the recent police murders and questioning why does this keep happening, to progressive artists and intelligentsia, youth and students, and the halls of academia.
Promoting this book and getting it widely known requires funds. Just among the prisoners alone, the demand is increasingly great, and funds are needed for subsidized copies.
One of the letters states, “Inside, I’ve enclosed the amount of $5 to help raise funds, so that the brothers and sisters still behind the walls can get their own copy of Science and Revolution by Ardea Skybreak. I don’t have a lot since I just recently got out of prison myself, but I think it’s necessary to contribute in any way I can. I hope others will also match my donation with whatever they can as well. If I can, I’m sure many others are in a far better position financially to do even more.”
Many others are, so let’s take up this challenge.
The BA Institute: thebobavakianinstitute.org
Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund: prlf.org
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.