Revolution Online, November 2, 2008
Programs On “Making Revolution” A Major Success
Go Forward Off The Programs – All Out This Week!
On October 26, two major programs on “Making Revolution in the U.S.A.” were held in New York and Los Angeles. A total of over 600 people came out and engaged deeply over the possibility of making revolution in the U.S., and the correct strategy for doing so. The intensity and the enthusiasm were palpable through the hour-long speeches. Dozens of hands were still waving fiercely when the question and answer part of the program had to conclude, and the informal period of mingling afterward was similarly animated and intense and challenging, later spilling into area restaurants and more than a few night-long discussions. In all, the turnout was very diverse, the response very engaged, and the potential for a revolutionary movement at this time very much evident.
Indeed, the programs once more showed, beyond doubt, that there is a base in society that wants to get into revolution and the questions associated with it, and that will respond positively to a full-out, unvarnished presentation of the Party’s revolutionary line; the challenge now, on all revolutionaries, is to build on this and take it further.
The urgent task now is immediate followup with everyone who came, and involving them in the revolutionary movement. The speakers at the program did a good job of showing how “everything we are doing is part of making revolution,” and some in the audience remarked later how this “put it all together for them”—and this spirit and orientation must be maintained throughout this followup with people. This followup has to be done with all the intensity and calm confidence of the program itself, not letting things drift or failing to take initiative, while understanding that people will have different and diverse ways of contributing.
The next issue of the paper will feature an article on major transformations that will be going on with this paper in the next period—fitting the newspaper more fully to play its necessary role as the “hub and pivot” of the revolutionary movement in many dimensions. This issue will be important to get to everyone who came to these programs. But even before then, there is urgent and immediate followup work to carry out NOW with those who came to the program.
In particular, the revolutionary movement must be fully present in the next week around the elections. Millions of people have been drawn into political life through this election, and it is likely that whatever happens with the election there will be people in the streets on Tuesday night—either celebrating an Obama victory, or protesting what would very likely be a stolen election if McCain should win. We won’t repeat everything we said in our article “The Morning After the Elections and The Change We Really Need: What Are YOU Gonna Do Now?,” or in the letter from a reader we printed last week on-line “The Elections—And Being Ready For Anything.” In short, revolutionaries have plenty to say to people—and we will be posting more analysis and agitation here at revcom.us pretty much every day right now.
But the point of this article is the need to immediately reach out to people who came to these programs with this paper and other materials, and enlist them in taking this out as part of building a revolutionary movement. This means concretely that we have to “sign people up” to take part in all the Party’s plans for building the movement of revolution. Part of this means bringing people into the vibrant centers of the revolutionary movement, like the bookstores. But it also means that we have to take the revolution (the revolutionary movement) to the people—to neighborhoods, schools and campuses, and other key areas where masses are to be found and in particular where they congregate—and to do this on a consistent basis, while also “stretching a line” continually to other concentrations of masses and struggles that they are involved in.
Here too, there are two elements: on the one hand, getting new people to be part of going into the neighborhoods and schools, in forays or mobilizations which are vibrant and convey a sense of the spirit of defiance and the élan of the revolutionary movement, that is, a revolutionary spirit reflecting a firm strategic confidence; on the other hand, working with them to get into the networks and social scenes of which they are part, and helping them to bring the revolution there. Many people may not immediately want to go out on these forays but may want to contribute in other ways and may have important ties into various networks. They too should be part of this whole effort. Teachers and professors, for instance, played an important role in letting revolutionaries speak to their classes before the recent programs—and this ended up drawing significant numbers of students. So we should learn from that and all be seeking out creative ways to involve everyone in the work of making revolution, on whatever level or whatever way they can enter into. We should consistently stay in touch with all these people, learning from everything that jumps off when they take out materials from the Party, including how to better speak to the questions and controversies they run into. The newspaper, the Party’s Constitution, the DVD of Bob Avakian’s speech Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible and What It’s All About and other works of Bob Avakian are a great resource of the revolution. One task that should NOT wait until next week is winning as many people as possible to sustain the paper on a monthly basis.
A further important dimension of “followup” concerns people who have been working with the Party and who, off the recent programs, are grappling with their commitment on a deeper level. Here too the ways must be provided that enable them to engage more deeply with the line and strategy of the Party put forward at these programs, and through the entire recent period—beginning, in a sense, with the publication on May 1 of Revolution and Communism: A Foundation and Strategic Orientation, and continuing through the publication of the Party’s Constitution, the new Manifesto Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, the special issue of the newspaper on “The Oppression of Black People, the Crimes of This System, and the Revolution We Need,” and Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy.
A Whole Week of Intense Revolutionary Political Activity
Right now, there is tremendous importance to getting out on Tuesday night with the issue of the paper with the elections editorial just referred to and the special issue of the newspaper on the oppression of Black people referred to above. It will also be important—and a very good time!—to get out the pamphlet Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, by Bob Avakian. Again, there will be people who came to the programs on October 26 who will want to go out with the Party; and there will also be people who came who know about a range of election night parties and other activities, who will want to “take the Party with them” to these events. But everyone should have these essential materials to take with them.
By Thursday morning, the Party will issue a statement on the elections, available at this site. And Thursday night there should be meetings at bookstores and other venues which are widely built for and at which this statement should be discussed. Revolution Clubs should strongly consider calling meetings in particular neighborhoods or schools, particularly where important efforts were carried out to build for the recent programs.
Plans should be made that will maximize the impact of this statement, along with the other key materials from the Party. This could mean a combination of really saturating a few particular neighborhoods or schools; getting it into key media outlets (we will also try to post a recorded version of the statement as soon as possible for use on radio); as well as getting it out very broadly. It should also be a goal of all plans to maximize the activity of the whole revolutionary network around this in different ways—for example, it will be of strategic importance for certain potential hubs of revolution like community centers, churches, small stores, etc. to take these and begin to get established as places where people can find revolutionary ideas and the thinking of the Party; or if teachers, or clergy, or media people host speakers from the Party, or sympathetic to the Party, to talk in their classes about the elections. Again: there should be a whole range of different kinds of activity, as multi-leveled and multi-layered as society itself, affording all sort of entries for those who want to contribute to making revolution. And of course, at the center should be these well-thought-out forays, with organization and élan. All this should fully flower over the coming weekend of November 8-9.
In all of this weekend activity, in addition to the statement on elections, the special issue on the oppression of Black people, along with the pamphlet Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy and the DVD of Bob Avakian’s speech Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible and What It’s All About—should all be getting out very broadly. (Playing excerpts of the DVD on portable DVD players should be an important element of this activity.)
In doing this—in distributing the newspaper, the Party statement and other literature and in an all-around sense—we need to be leading with “we need a revolution” and “we are building a movement for revolution”—and then getting into all kinds of questions, both questions regarding “topical events” as well as questions relating to the contradictions involved in actually making revolution and building a revolutionary movement, from that perspective and on that foundation (that “we need a revolution” and “we are building a movement for revolution”).
Again, stay tuned: there are big changes coming both in the world and in the revolutionary movement. And to repeat: next week’s issue will get deeply into a whole further conceptualization of the role of this newspaper as the hub and pivot of an expanding revolutionary movement.
Till then—connect with the new people who came out and let’s go change the world!
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