Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, The New Communism. In addition to excerpts already posted on revcom.us, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both revcom.us and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. A prepublication copy is available on line at revcom.us.
This excerpt comes from the section titled "I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science."
To put this in a concentrated way, what is embodied in this new synthesis is a further revolution in human thought—a further revolution which proceeds from the fundamental scientific basis of communism, since its founding by Marx (together with Engels), and is, in an overall sense, within the same fundamental framework, but at the same time involves a qualitative leap in the development of communism. Of course, as I have stressed many times, there will remain the ongoing need, as there is with all sciences, to continue to learn more and further develop communism, through the dialectical back-and-forth between work in the theoretical realm and further developments in the world, including the development of a revolutionary struggle whose ultimate aim is a communist world. But what is crucial to grasp at this point is the reality that the new synthesis represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this. This new synthesis has, most decisively, established communism on a firmer and more consistent scientific basis.
So today, two things are true. First: Humanity, the masses of oppressed humanity, and ultimately humanity as a whole, really does need revolution and communism. Only through the revolution leading to communism, and the ultimate achievement of a communist world without exploitation and oppression, can all these horrors that people are subjected to in their billions around the globe actually be brought to an end, and can there be the basis for the environment to be dealt with in a way that doesn’t further destroy the potential for human life. So that’s fundamental. This is a fundamental truth: Only if there are people who actually are communists and are struggling to lead people on the road of making communist revolution—only to the degree that that is happening is there a way out of this madness and is there a means for finally ending the long night to which humanity has been subjected for millennia and millennia. That’s one thing that’s true.
The other thing that’s true is this: The new synthesis of communism, in terms of method and approach to understanding and transforming human society, and the application of this method and approach to crucial contradictions and problems of revolution, represents a decisive qualitative leap in the development of the science of communism.
In 1975, it was objectively true that if you were not with Mao and not taking up what Mao had brought forward, you were not a communist.
In 2015, it is objectively true that if you are not with the new synthesis and the leadership that has brought this forward, you can call yourself whatever you want, but you are not a communist, you are not taking up and applying the scientific understanding the masses of people in the world need to get free and to emancipate humanity.
All this speaks to the importance of this new synthesis of communism, and why people should care.
And, from this, the importance of a revolutionary communist vanguard really basing itself on, consistently applying, and contributing to the further development of, this new synthesis should clearly stand out. There is an urgent need for this new synthesis to be taken up, broadly, in this society and in the world as a whole: everywhere people are questioning why things are the way they are, and whether a different world is possible; everywhere people are talking about “revolution” but have no real understanding of what revolution means, no scientific approach to analyzing and dealing with what they are up against and what needs to be done; everywhere people are rising up in rebellion but are hemmed in, let down and left to the mercy of murderous oppressors, or misled onto paths which only reinforce, often with barbaric brutality, the enslaving chains of tradition; everywhere people need a way out of their desperate conditions, but do not see the source of their suffering and the path forward out of the darkness.
Introduction and Orientation
Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit
Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science
Materialism vs. Idealism
Through Which Mode of Production
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism
The New Synthesis of Communism
The Basis for Revolution
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense
Self and a “Consumerist” Approach to Ideas
What Is Your Life Going to Be About?—Raising People’s Sights
Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism:
A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation
The “4 Alls”
Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System—And a Transition to Communism
Abundance, Revolution, and the Advance to Communism—A Dialectical Materialist Understanding
The Importance of the “Parachute Point”—Even Now, and Even More With An Actual Revolution
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—
Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core
Emancipators of Humanity
Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution
One Overall Strategic Approach
Hastening While Awaiting
Forces For Revolution
Separation of the Communist Movement from the Labor Movement, Driving Forces for Revolution
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat
Youth, Students and the Intelligentsia
Struggling Against Petit Bourgeois Modes of Thinking, While Maintaining the Correct Strategic Orientation
The “Two Maximizings”
The “5 Stops”
The Two Mainstays
Returning to "On the Possibility of Revolution"
Internationalism and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way
Popularizing the Strategy
Part IV. The Leadership We Need
The Decisive Role of Leadership
A Leading Core of Intellectuals—and the Contradictions Bound Up with This
Another Kind of “Pyramid”
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP
The Need for Communists to Be Communists
A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That
Strengthening the Party—Qualitatively as well as Quantitatively
Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the “Ohio”
Statesmen, and Strategic Commanders
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the “Art” of Leadership
Working Back from “On the Possibility”—
Another Application of “Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core”
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion
Selected List of Works Cited
About the Author