Revolution #62, September 24, 2006
Taking the 7 Talks to the Proletariat and Building for October 5
The recent correspondence on taking out Bob Avakian’s 7 Talks, especially into proletarian communities, was very important (see Revolution #60 and #61 for articles on this). One thing that comes through: there is nothing else like this speaking to the how-to-live-and-die questions that are on people’s minds.
These talks open up, from many different angles, the nature of this system and the need for revolution—and this came through in the correspondence. The correspondence also showed the ways in which these talks—especially, but not only, “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”—can enable people to see the importance of acting on October 5.
Think about it. If the proletariat were to really represent on the 5th—if organized contingents from the most exploited and oppressed sections of society manifested as part of demonstrations of tens of thousands in the major cities—then this could have a powerful effect on the whole message of the 5th. It would add a crucial element to the whole political equation and trajectory that could come out of that day. It would open up the thinking of millions of people from all walks of society as to what is really possible, and it would mean a lot to the real chances of reversing the whole direction that the Bush Regime has been taking the world (and this country)…and opening up the road to a truly better future, including the real possibility of revolution.
And it would mean a hell of a lot for people all over the world to see the oppressed in this country, as well as people from other walks of life, standing up for the world and the fate of the planet, and saying that this whole Bush agenda—from Katrina to the wars, from the outlawing of immigrants to the burning up of the environment, from the torture and repression to the Christian Fascist attacks on women and gay people—must HALT! Don’t underestimate how deeply this could affect people—it was very common during the 1970s and 80s, and even today, for travelers in other countries to talk to people and learn that they were powerfully affected and inspired by the Black liberation struggle of the 1960s and early 70s. Let's get that same thing going now, when the stakes are even higher.
You could see the embryos of what we need in last year’s November 2 demonstration, in the effect that the students coming out from proletarian high schools had, or in the powerful impact of the banner from Watts on the marchers in Los Angeles. But those were, again—like last November’s demonstration itself—still embryonic. This time around, we need this in another dimension. Banners from communities, workplaces, and high schools need to be flying. Contingents and drum corps from areas need to be marching.
A question: can revolutionaries and activists in other cities learn from and apply the experience laid out in Joe Veale’s letter last week, both engaging people with the 7 Talks and bringing them together? Can this go a step further and help contribute to forming up October 5 committees based in these communities? The participation of progressive clergy, people from unions and immigrants’ rights organizations, and other people who live and/or work in the oppressed communities was an important strength of the September 7 meetings. Revolutionary communists need to recognize this important positive development and join with those folks, as well as other activists from World Can’t Wait and many others who could potentially be won to it, and struggle to take things further. The broader these committees, and the broader the movement of particular organizations (unions, religious congregations, etc.) taking up October 5 on their own, the more space it creates for everybody to step out.
“We don’t need religion, we need revolution. We don’t need to ‘get right with God,’ we need to get rid of this system.”
Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
Such committees could take responsibility for helping to get October 5 posters, stickers, and flyers out broadly into the community. They could help spark a movement of banner-signings from particular communities, workplaces (or day labor pickup spots), unions or immigrants’ rights organizations, anti-repression organizations (including October 22 chapters), etc. and spread a sense that people will be out there representing on the 5th, and that everyone needs to be part of that. Block parties, or “lightning speak-outs” where a dozen people gather with a banner and a boom box and boxes of posters and flyers, could get a whole different kind of political ferment going. These committees can work with progressive journalists and radio personalities to get the word out. Within this effort, the revolutionaries could promote the 7 Talks, joining with people to listen to and discuss them, and relating them to the questions raised and the challenges encountered as they all work together to build for the 5th. These talks could also serve to develop the dialogue with progressive people who espouse other ideologies (progressive religious people, for example), as we learn from and struggle with each other in the course of working together. And, of course, Revolution newspaper should also be in that mix, keeping people up on every key development in the world and the movement, from a communist perspective.
And what about the schools? Revolutionaries should definitely take up the lessons from the letter the week before on using sections of the first talk with classes. There are sympathetic teachers who would make room for this and students who would fight for it—including those who took good stands last year, when students came under attack, or others coming forward this year, who could be won to engaging with the talks and sponsoring such things in their class. This, too, could and should spark efforts around October 5, or favorably enter into such efforts where they are already under way. Revolutionaries, along with others who see the need to get these talks out there as part of the atmosphere, should come to those classes equipped with both the 7 Talks (including copies for people to listen to and spread), as well as lots of World Can’t Wait literature and posters.
Of course, the 7 Talks are not the same as World Can’t Wait, and people shouldn’t be confused about that. World Can’t Wait takes in many people and an increasing number of organizations; they hold and promote different ideas and programs on what needs to be done to change society, but they are all united around driving out the Bush Regime. That diversity and that unity help give this initiative a great potential strength, and people should understand that. At the same time, the 7 talks open up people’s horizons in a way that nothing else can, going deeply into the need for communist revolution. The letters already published show this, and it’ll be important to continue to take these talks out very boldly. The more people there are who get into the talks and who even get acquainted with them, the stronger will be the core and the broader the front.
There needs to be organization built, of different kinds, throughout this. There’s the October 5 committees discussed above. But there’s also a need for circles and networks around Revolution (and for the circulation of Revolution to grow), and for people being worked with to become communists. The DVD of Bob Avakian’s speech Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About will be the crucial glue in this work of consolidation, and that too should be spread in this period.
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