May Day 2004: Saluting Chairman Avakian

Revolutionary Worker #1241, May 23, 2004, posted at

The following are two of the toasts to Chairman Bob Avakian made at the revolutionary May Day celebration held at Revolution Books in New York City.

From Jana, Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade member:

First, I want to say that I am tremendously proud to be a follower of Chairman Bob Avakian!

And, if you want to get down with his leadership too, the RCYB is recruiting, come talk to us.

While there is a lot to say about him, much to learn from and to emulate from him and big reasons to defend him--you saw in the video that he has a lot to say about many things, he makes important analysis of the many different difficult questions confronting the people who want to change the world--I want to speak to just one aspect of this. But it is something that has been a hallmark of his for decades. And it is something that really stood out to me and moved me a great deal recently in studying and discussing his leadership and his recent series, "Reaching for the Heights and Flying Without a Safety Net."

He deals with many things in that series--but what stood out to me most is not just that he is leading us to take up new challenges, to master new responsibilities, to lead more and on a higher level, and to do all this without a safety net , without someone there to catch our mistakes, especially when the stakes for the people are very high (which they definitely are these days). So, not just all that--but that he has absolute confidence that we and the masses of people can take up the scientific approach embodied in that series and his leadership generally--master it and apply it and that, if we do so, humanity can reach the heights--and FLY!

To overturn this system, uproot and leave behind all the horrors of this system of global imperialism--where millions of families are torn apart and split across bloody borders, where whole villages and peoples are threatened with extinction in Africa and China due to diseases like AIDS that go untreated due to the profit- above-all-else way capitalism works, where children in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine have to watch their playmates get taken out by imperialist aggressors, where Black and Latino youth in this country are treated like suspects first and human beings later (if at all), and where billions of people all across this globe can survive only so long as they work to enrich the very class that keeps them in chains--Bob Avakian has absolute confidence that humanity can pull itself up out of the muck and mire of all this, make revolution, and leave it all behind so that all this oppression, degradation and exploitation becomes only so many specks fading in the distance as we soar higher and higher--finally achieving the heights of communism! Of a global community of freely associating human beings who live together in common and share in work and play and art and science for the common good of all.

And everything our Chairman does is based on his grasp of the real-world possibility of achieving all of this-- and everything he takes up is from that perspective. This is the path he is charting for us--and if we follow him, and only if we follow him, we too will see how humanity can fly, and together, with him leading--we will get there.

From a South Asian woman:

Like most of the urban middle class in this country, I feel myself pulled in many directions. Though every day I look around and see something that horrifies me, I have a lot of choices, and I can forget about the grinding oppression, the sexism, the racism, the poverty, the senseless, mind-numbing violence that terrorizes most of the world, the greed, the cynical commercialism, the lies we're told by our so-called leaders -- all this I can manage to forget more often than I like to admit. Not that I don't talk about the choices that I have and what they mean, and not that I don't realize that your privileges come at a cost, that they've been financed and subsidized by people who don't have the choices that I do, by people so tightly under the boot of imperialism that they don't have any room to breathe, by people in this country on whose backs American wealth and power have grown.

I know all this, but still, there is a part of me that wants to make it in this system. I want the nice apartment with the high ceilings and the hardwood floors, the book review in the New York Times,a life free of debt, a comfortable life for me and my loved ones. Sometimes I want this so badly that I forget how uncomfortable I am with the way things are. I forget how to set my sights higher, to a vision of a world without oppression, a world where all human beings are able to strive towards their highest aspirations, a world that truly celebrates humanity instead of bombarding us with misanthropic messages and images, a world, for instance, that does not treat the idea of nuclear annihilation, of mass extinction, as casually as this one does.

Being exposed to the writings and speeches of Bob Avakian have had a great impact on me in the last few months. I still have a long way to go, but I remember my truest hopes for a better world more consistently now. It fills me with relief that there is a leader, and a party, that is so serious, so conscientious about analyzing the world accurately, that doesn't just look for the easy answers but grapples with hard questions in a studied, scientific manner, and that is serious about truly putting power into the hands of the people. On the day of his talk, although I was awed by his intellect, his knowledge, his analysis, and his delivery, what most moved me was his deep love for humanity, for the people. Along with that there was an implicit trust in us, the audience. He made these very complicated issues accessible -- without watering them down. And though there were some things that went over my head, I felt inspired to try to understand it, to elevate my level of engagement with the ideas. More than any other experience in my life, this talk lifted the smokescreen and exposed the murderous foundations of this country and its bloodthirsty designs on the world today. It's difficult to hold on to illusions about what this country means, what it really stands for, after Bob Avakian breaks it down.