Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy (RCP Publications, 2008)
by Bob Avakian

Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy
Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy
(RCP Publications, 2008)
by Bob Avakian

Bob Avakian takes on the ideals of Jeffersonianism, and convincingly locates even its “loftiest aspirations” in social relations of exploitation and oppression—the social relations out of which those ideals grew, and which they served and continue to serve.  In doing so, he draws on a wide range of scholarly research and polemically takes on major contemporary defenders of Jeffersonian democracy.  Avakian demonstrates why and how these ideals of democracy co-existed with—and, indeed, arose on the basis of—the enslavement of Black people and the deep embedding of white supremacy into the body politic and ideological psyche of the U.S. But he goes further: not only showing why events turned out that way, but why those ideals themselves could only and can only generate and serve relations of exploitation and the division, and polarization, of people into antagonistic classes. . .into oppressor and oppressed.  Moreover, he convincingly points the way to a vision and future that is truly emancipatory—to a vision of freedom far more radical and thoroughgoing than anything imaginable within the constricted horizons of Jeffersonianism.  In doing this, Avakian includes a devastating critique of the “free marketplace of ideas,” contrasting it to a genuinely unfettered search for the truth—and he shows what kind of economic and political system would be necessary for that to flourish.

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