Revolution #146, October 26, 2008

Get Bob Avakian’s Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy Out Broadly Into Society

We’re entering the final weeks of this highly charged election season. Even while the Obama candidacy is reinforcing deadly illusions and drawing people into supporting this new face for the American empire, there is at the same time a certain opening as millions of people are being drawn into political life with the hope of real change.

We need to be out in the midst of this with Bob Avakian’s new book, Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy—injecting it into the mix of this highly contradictory political ferment and struggling for people to engage with this provocative book. No one else speaks to the political realities of this system the way Bob Avakian does in this book!

Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy needs to get out broadly into many streams of political and academic life: campuses, high schools, progressive movements, the legal community and intellectuals, and among the oppressed people in this country, opening up debate about the real nature of this system and the need for communist revolution. The profoundly wrong view that the full realization of this country’s democratic ideals should be at the heart of the struggle of people for a better world runs very deep in this country among all sections of the people.

How many people need to read and engage with this analysis?! How much difference can it make for people broadly to begin to really confront what it means that the material foundation of these very ideals of democracy rest on the back-breaking and soul-stealing labor and enslavement of millions of Black people and on the continued exploitation today of millions upon millions working in slave-like conditions here and around the world?

Broadly and boldly challenging the material and philosophical underpinnings of this system is a critical component of building a revolutionary communist movement.

This book needs to get out in a big way in the major universities of this country. Organize outings to visit law schools and key academic departments—political science, history, African American studies, and others. This is both a very scholarly and a very radical work which challenges the foundations of political thought in this country—something that professors and teaching assistants should be engaging with, debating among themselves, and including in their curriculum. Talk to them about organizing salons and opening up their classroom to a presentation and discussion of the book.  Set up a table on campus and get this book out widely among the students.

This book needs to get out in the high schools as well, challenging the lies and official narrative about the history of this country and its great democratic traditions that are being crammed down students’ throats. Talk to high school teachers you know and ask them to open up their classroom for a presentation and discussion.

Get the book out at academic and professional conferences. In one area a workshop on Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy was organized at a conference of progressive teachers.

At the same time this should be accompanied by efforts to get this book into bookstores and libraries everywhere. Organize a crew to get out to campus bookstores, bookstores which serve the Black community and other progressive and alternative bookstores. Talk to the librarians and get them excited about this book and the unique perspective it brings.  This could lead to discussions and forums on the book being organized at libraries; this can be an important way to reach particularly into the communities of the oppressed or an avenue to set up a book club to explore the issues raised by this book.

As we continue to take out and engage all kinds of people around the special issue of Revolution, “The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need,” many will also want to learn about and dig into this book.

Revolution Books throughout the country are holding discussions of Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, and spinning off from this, discussions should be organized among gatherings of people from all classes and different kinds of communities.

Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy is an important new addition to “the toolkit,” the collection of Bob Avakian’s works, and should be part of what we’re taking out when we sell the paper and when we engage with people about all that he is bringing to a scientific understanding of society and of communist revolution.

A promotional flier is now available to be downloaded and reproduced from the website. This flier should go up all over the campuses and in bookstores and cafes and places where people shop and gather.

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