Revolution#120, February 17, 2008

A Matter of Basic Orientation
-- a Message from the Revolutionary Communist Party

“I heard you, you booed.”

Bob Dylan, back in the day, responding with dismissive sarcasm to those at a concert who screamed at him for “going electric,” rather than remaining within the orthodox confines of “folk music.”


Some people have nothing better to do than to try to tear down those who are seeking to bring something radically different and new into being.

The sole purpose of our Party is to lead the masses of people in realizing their highest and most fundamental interests, to make revolution and to contribute to the cause of communism throughout the world—to be emancipators of humanity. For this reason, the focus of our attention and efforts is, and will remain, on systematically putting forward and carrying out—among the basic masses who are objectively in the most desperate need of revolution, and among all other sections of the people—the most advanced understanding we have of revolution and communism, as both a political strategy and program and as a living scientific theory, particularly as this is embodied in the line of our Party and the body of work and method and approach of our Chairman, Bob Avakian.

But in this country today there are some people who have sunk to the point where they can do nothing more than act as “parasitic critics” in relation to our revolutionary role and work—having themselves nothing positive to offer in terms of achieving a radical alternative to the monstrous system we live under, having no defining or unifying mission other than seeking to sabotage our efforts to bring such a radical alternative into being.

Of course, there are people who have honest differences with our outlook and objectives—and that is one thing. Our orientation in that case is to welcome and to seek out dialogue and principled struggle over these differences. But it is quite another thing when what is involved are completely dishonest and unprincipled attacks, including crude distortions of our views, aims, and methods. We recognize that the more we carry forward with our revolutionary work, and the more we make advances on the revolutionary road, the more we will be subjected to such attacks, not only from open reactionaries but also from some others who may call themselves progressive, or in some cases even claim to be “communist,” but who apparently can’t stand the fact that we are determined to actually be, and to carry out our responsibilities as, a revolutionary communist vanguard party, and not to degenerate into yet another revisionist (phony communist) knife in the back of the oppressed. We expect such attacks from those who have rejected—or who have in reality abandoned—the goal of radically remaking the world, and so feel compelled to try to tear down our Party, since we continue to act on the scientifically based understanding that such a radical transformation of the world is not only necessary but possible.

We recognize that our Party is seen as an obstacle by some who fear that their own narrow aims and petty concerns will be exposed and undermined by the reality that we have refused to give up on the goal of revolution, that we are—not only in name but in fact—continuing to approach everything from the point of view of how to finally make revolution and really advance toward a communist world, rather than accepting the world as it is and seeking, at most, to bring about some paltry reforms within the confines of the existing system—a system of horrors for the masses of people in this country and the overwhelming majority of humanity. Even—or we should say especially—when this bowing down to the “existing realities” is done in the guise of (and as a grotesque distortion of) “communism,” or in the name of “the masses” and in the form of tailing the masses, it amounts to nothing less than accommodation—and in fact abject capitulation—to imperialism, with all its horrors, and to betrayal of the masses of people upon whom those horrors are visited.

In keeping with our basic principles and methods, we will examine and seek to draw whatever lessons can be learned from even the most unprincipled opportunist attacks. In some cases, we may respond to such an attack—particularly where we believe it can serve as a useful “teacher by negative example,” and refuting it will enable people to get a sharper and deeper sense of the correct, revolutionary and communist, ideological and political line, in opposition to opportunist lines of various kinds, and to understand more clearly where these opposing lines will lead and with what consequences for the masses of people. But we will not allow such attacks to deter us or divert us from our fundamental purposes and aims, nor do we believe that it is necessary to answer every such attack in order to clarify what is, in reality, the line and the work of our Party. Those who are genuinely interested in learning about our Party are more than welcome, and indeed are encouraged, to read Revolution and other publications of our Party, to dig into the body of work of Bob Avakian, to attend public presentations and discussions of our line, and in general to engage with our Party and its viewpoint, aims, and practice.

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