Revolution #55, July 30, 2006
TO CLEAR UP SOME CONFUSION
Recently, an independent production company by the name of Proletariat Productions released a music CD, A Cryptic Gospel, by an artist called Ecclesiastes. This CD puts forward things that are very wrong, in terms of a vision of a different world and how to get there; it upholds and even extols things which are not only wrong but could be extremely harmful to serious efforts to resist the current course of the regime in power and to actually bring a better world into being. The people responsible for this CD also did things in the promotion and production of this CD which attempted to associate it with the organization World Can’t Wait and with the Revolutionary Communist Party; yet what is put forward in this CD is in basic opposition to the viewpoint and objectives of the Revolutionary Communist Party and to the goals and methods of World Can’t Wait, whose aim is to drive out the Bush regime through mass political action.
Lyrics on this CD appear to positively portray certain things which are by no means positive or helpful. This can in fact do real damage to the development of the kind of mass political resistance which is urgently needed to drive out the Bush regime and to create more favorable conditions for positive change in society, and the world. Of course, the lyrics of a music CD are a form of artistic expression, and as such should be considered “protected speech”; but especially in this day and time, people need to take care not to be naive, infantile and frankly stupid, and give a highly repressive state a potential opening for attacking progressive and revolutionary forces. But when people, including in the production of artistic works, do not exhibit the necessary care and concern in this regard, and, moreover, when they associate statements, artistic or otherwise, with others who emphatically disagree with their content and regard them as extremely harmful, then it becomes necessary, even while opposing repression by the state, to dissociate from those people who have acted in this kind of reckless and highly irresponsible way.
And this is what has happened. World Can’t Wait formally notified the people involved in this CD to cease and desist from associating with World Can’t Wait. World Can’t Wait will no doubt continue to make clear, to all who are interested in knowing the actual facts involved, why it has taken the steps it has taken in this regard, from the standpoint of its own principles and basis of unity. From the standpoint of our Party and its involvement, along with many others, in World Can’t Wait, we view things in this way: What is involved with regard to this CD, and those who have produced and promoted it, is not simply a matter of ideological differences—our Party works to build unity with and seeks to carry out, in a consistent way and on a principled basis, a process of unity-struggle-unity with many different people and organizations with which we have differences, in some cases fairly major differences, with regard to ideology and politics. For example, there are a diversity of people and forces who are involved in and associated with World Can’t Wait, and naturally there are differences, even significant differences, among them over a number of questions. But all of these people and forces are united around the basic position and aims of World Can’t Wait, which is embodied in its Call. It is unprincipled for any individual or group to portray their own particular positions as those of World Can’t Wait. Particularly where an individual, or a group, holds a position which is contrary to the basic aims, principles or methods of World Can’t Wait and its Call, they have a responsibility to take great care not to say, or even to suggest, that this is the position of World Can’t Wait, or to in any way associate World Can’t Wait as such with that position. If they do not take such care, and in fact act in a contrary manner, then it should be perfectly understandable why World Can’t Wait might find it necessary to dissociate itself from that position and even to sever ties with those putting forward that position in that kind of irresponsible way, as it has done in the case of the CD A Cryptic Gospel.
For their part, upon becoming aware of this CD, representatives of organizations associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party, in particular RCP Publications, publisher of Revolution newspaper, 3Q Productions (which produced the DVD of Bob Avakian’s speech Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About), as well as the bobavakian.net web site, issued a formal statement to the people involved in the production of the CD A Cryptic Gospel which indicated very clearly: “We want nothing whatsoever to do with this kind of thing, which is completely wrong and extremely harmful; and with people who are responsible for or would associate themselves with things of this kind; we will not be, we refuse to be, associated in any way. We do not want to be associated in any way with Proletariat Productions or anyone associated with that production company or the CD, A Cryptic Gospel. Nor do we want anyone associated with that production company…to be involved in any way with promoting or in any other way being involved with, anything having to do with the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, and its Chairman, Bob Avakian, such as the DVD, Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About and the newspaper Revolution.”
Once again, regarding the views of our Party and our strategic aims, we want to emphasize that there is a profound and fundamental difference between genuine revolution and the kinds of views that are found on this CD. The accompanying boxes—”Some Crucial Points of Revolutionary Orientation—In Opposition to Infantile Posturing and Distortions of Revolution,” along with the two excerpts from Bob Avakian’s recent talk “Why We’re in the Situation We’re In Today…And What to Do About It: A Thoroughly Rotten System and the Need for Revolution”—provide a good foundation for understanding what a genuine revolution is all about, and how it is diametrically opposed to the kinds of scenarios and values that are found on A Cryptic Gospel.
None of this is a game. These are extremely serious issues, in very serious times. While we are not at this time completely clear as to the thinking and motivation behind the creation and promotion of this CD, we are very clear as to the very harmful nature of its content.
Once again, we recognize that this CD is a form of artistic expression, and as such puts forward its viewpoint in a different way than a political manifesto. (For example, not every character in a novel or song expresses the viewpoint held by its author.) And we are firmly opposed to any efforts that might be undertaken by the ruling structures and institutions in this country, and in particular the openly and highly repressive Bush regime now in power, to seize on such forms of artistic expression as a pretext for further repression, against those who have produced and promoted this CD as well as against others, including our Party and organizations such as World Can’t Wait, which have made clear their very strong disagreements with this CD. We recognize the urgent need and great importance of uniting very broadly and of moving forward and not allowing ourselves to be distracted or derailed from building mass political resistance to the current regime and its crimes against humanity—and, from the strategic point of view of our Party, we grasp very firmly the need to unite broadly in building a revolutionary movement of masses of people to finally put an end to the system that continually brings forward the crimes and horrors that are finding such concentrated expression in this current regime. From this perspective, it is our hope that, if they are sincere in wanting to see an end to crimes and horrors that people in the U.S., and throughout the world, are subjected to under the current regime and the prevailing system, those responsible for this CD will recognize the harm this CD is actually doing and, frankly, the irresponsible way in which they have acted in producing and promoting this CD; that they will draw the appropriate lessons before further harm is done, and on this basis honestly work to repair the damage that has been done, and apply themselves to making a more positive and helpful contribution to the struggle for a better world.
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