Revolution #228, April 3, 2011
Additional Prisoner Letters (Online Only)
I'm currently in one of the three Security Housing Units (SHU) in California. I can't imagine any deeper, darker, or more desolate pits in the U.S. than these (SHU). Everyday I'm circulating the light of Revolution and other illuminating literature by Bob Avakian the PRLF and Revolution Book stores have provided me among the captives I can reach and communicate with. The SHU "just so happens" to be where they isolate and slam down the most progressive, revolutionary, intelligent and indomitable elements of the prison population. ... the first question I'm asked before the wrangling and unity-struggle-unity begins is so common that I've begun to make bets with my cellies: "Who is Bob Avakian?" (Here I'm referring to those who are not already familiar with the RCP). In response to this inquiry, I've adopted a updated version of the line Eldridge Cleaver used to describe the identity and significance of Mao in the 60s to you Bob Avakian. I reply, "Bob Avakian is the baddest motherfucker on the planet earth! He is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. He has re-envisioned the whole idea of communist revolution by summing up the weaknesses and shortcomings and, more importantly, the great achievements and advances of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the revolutionary movement internationally. He knows the way out of all this shit and into a completely new society and world. If you have any desire to be free and to liberate humanity and change the world into a place we got a shot at surviving in and will actually enjoy living in, then learn about him and what he's reppin." I state this with complete confidence, and it's refreshing and invigorating to introduce yet another to this leader who is so genuinely committed to the people. Sadly though, over 500 years of imperialism, colonialism, oppression, degradation, murderous brutality and betrayal, and the very real and all too present history and culture of white supremacy is expressed so poignantly and succinctly in their very next question: "Oh yeah? Dog that's straight! But what IS Bob Avakian?" Most cats get the impression from his writings that he's Black or Latino, or even Asian. They're astonished to learn that Bob Avakian is white. Almost automatically Avakian's ethnicity acts to disqualify him as a revolutionary in the minds of even a lot of revolutionary minded individuals. So let me get into some of my thoughts on Bob Avakian's credentials as a communist leader....
What must we all need to be raising is the reality that the "right" nationality does not qualify and should not sanctify revolutionary leadership, because even if a particular man or woman with an ample amount of melanin comes to the fore, his/her leadership will ultimately serve to sap the initiative of or misguide or even destroy the mass movement or revolution if the LINE is wrong. The correct line is the principle aspect of the contradiction between communist revolutionary leadership and the basic masses, and only by following whoever has the right line can we accomplish our world historic mission.
I'm a 23-year-old "Blaxican" from San Jose, CA and there are those who seriously wonder why I be running around extolling this white dude I don't even know personally and who doesn't know I exist. Well, it's simple really. First, I know what I need to know about Bob Avakian and I respect and admire him on that basis. Second, he does know me, for I am one amongst the masses and he knows the masses very intimately. Third, I wanna be free to live my own life, not suffer and die to enrich a few muthafuckers, not when we're at the stage where it's entirely unnecessary. We can't invest our ambitions into leaders who don't know the way to bring them to fulfillment. And we definitely can't wait around expecting some "savior" to emerge who fits the finely calibrated criteria—racially, socio-economically, sexually, culturally, etc.—then launch the revolutionary struggle behind that person. We can't wait for someone deemed with leadership potential now to start investigating and analyzing everything necessary to develop line and when they "got it!" rally the masses into action. Not only can "we" not wait, "THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT!" And in all actuality the masses will not wait. Like Avakian says all the time, communist revolutionaries must be leading the masses to where these interests truly lie, infusing their spontaneity with class consciousness, MLM and communist morality, not trailing behind them or sitting the sidelines cheering them on and seeing how far they'll take it "this time" or fatalistically anticipating their failure. Rather, we gotta be right there in the thick of the masses in their resistance, soles on the pavement, amidst the broken glass and wreckage and smoke, squarely facing the armor clad defenders of our oppression and exploitation, roaring a resounding "NO MORE."
Sunday, May 1st, 05
I'm just glad I know which way the revolution is. Because the way I see it, revolution is my only hope. I'm a 22-year-old Mexican and Black male. I've been held captive for almost eight years now in CYA and CDC. The last grade I completed of school was the 7th. I've accumulated a dozen "violent felonies" trying to live as long as I have, inside and outside prison. Fortunately, I'll be released in a coupla years. If it hadn't been for discovering MLM and the support and inspiration Chairman Avakian and the RCP have provided, I don't know what the fuck I'd do with my life once they release me from their clutches, except fall back into the same mode of hustlin' and jackin' or trying to gain an advantage over my fellow proletarians for the crumbs we snatch from each other trying to survive and feed ourselves. ...
...I asked you for Mao's Red Book, but I am going to have put that off. I am learning more from Bob Avakian's literature. I kind of use his works as a commentary for understanding Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, and Mao especially Mao. I was talking with this prisoner on the yard about slavery and the Civil War. And he listened to me and he told me that I had a lot of knowledge and that stimulated my ego, but later on I started feeling a little guilty, because I was reading Chairman Avakian's work.
When I talk about what Avakian says other prisoners listen to me and they take me serious. They think I am some kind of intellectual, and I am not. Tomorrow morning I am going to tell them the truth. ...
As you can see, I am just one of over 2 million prisoners locked down within the belly of the beast. Yet, I refuse to allow myself to be crushed by these harsh and brutal conditions.
Obviously, I am no stranger to struggle and hardship. I grew up in just one of the many, many slums in Chicago. I ended up in prison by the age of 13...I'm 30 now. I have been raised by cold steel and concrete which I do not wear as a Scar of Honor but as an indictment against a system that has been built on genocide and slavery, and has continued to insist on throwing away its "undesirables" generation after generation.
However, let me be clear, I am in search of the truth and not pity. My struggle is linked with the struggle of millions across the globe.
Of course I am not where I need to be or should be in terms of applying the science of M-L-M and making a complete rupture with the dead hand of the past—a rupture that was and is harder than I ever imagined. Nonetheless, I still consider myself a humble, yet outspoken and conscious student of Bob Avakian.
From my own personal experience, I can honestly say that Bob Avakian and the RCP is a leadership that maintains its revolutionary form and objective and in no way promotes ignorance and blind obedience. This is definitely a leadership we are in dire need of.
When I first became acquainted with Bob Avakian and the RCP (by way of the Revolution newspaper then known as the Revolutionary Worker) and had begun to grapple with and understand the science of revolution, it was a truly liberating experience for me. The best way I can explain it, is when Toto pulled back the curtain on the great wizard of Oz and exposed him for the fraud that he was. See, once you are armed with the truth you can no longer carry around the suitcase of lies that we have been given by the powers that be.
The thing about what I have been able to study of Bob Avakian is I not only see the chairman of RCP in his writings but I see a genuine revolutionary. I remember reading his memoir "From Ike to Mao" and I seen of all the people he struggled with over the years and many setbacks and targeting by the police as well as the feds, where many have fell off out of exhaustion, police harassment or incorrect political line Avakian has remained firm in his struggle for the people, and this article that came out in issue 170 it said how Avakian has given his heart for these struggles and how he's studied and developed scientific theory for making revolution. But something this article does not say is that Avakian didn't have to take the revolutionary road, the strenuous trek to struggle with the oppressed. Avakian grew up with a father who was a lawyer and then a judge, he was going to premed school and could have easily stood in school, got the plush doctor job, the corvette, the model wife and lived high up in the suburbs tucked away safely free from the "crime ridden" areas, street people and "criminal elements" basically the downtrodden and castoffs. But he chose to struggle with the people, those who grew up in dramatically different living conditions, and so he was in turn harassed with the people, jailed with the people, and he continues with the people. So there are lots of contributions Avakian has made to the International movement but this is what stood out to me as someone I should and have looked into more deeply.
[From a woman prisoner]
Dear RCP Volunteers
Hello my name is YYY and I would like to say a couple of things. I love the fact that you have decided to ask me to make a report on your paper. It makes me feel like I am contributing to the revolution...
...Why I feel that revolution is needed is mainly because of what Chairman Avakian was saying in the Ruminations & Wranglings series in Revolution newspaper. I want a meaningful purpose in my life. I want to be that revolutionary sister that leaves a qualitative influence on people's lives. I want the masses to give a damn about each other and the planet they live on. I want people to see that it is not any gods that shape our lives but that the masses have proven time and again that they are the makers of history. Which also means that it has been them this whole time and not some deity. Man has created deities in his image and ideology. Fighting for a communist revolution gives the worth back to those deemed worthless by this system. Fighting for a communist revolution can also put love in your spirit. It puts hope in your tears. I want to be there when we achieve state power in the USA.
The RCP, USA is the only party that I know of that wants to take revolution all of the way. What I think that means is that once they win the RCP will have state power and immediately exercise the dictatorship of the proletariate over the remaning bougosie forces. The RCP and its Chairman Avakian has been the only political party that I know of that does sharp agitation against Obama, the torchure crime warlords of the bush administration, religion, pro-choice, Christian fascist and that can analyze our current situation of what this capitalist imperialist system is doing to the USA & the world and why it must be completely overthrown leaving all of it institutions to dust. The RCP, USA also boldly uses the science of Marx, Lenin and Mao which what I also think is the reason why they are able to be on the revolutionary road in the first place.
With having MLM as a foundation of science. That is why Bob Avakian is able to decifer the history of the main components of the revolutionary communist movement. Having MLM under your belt is being a true revolutionary communist leader. That is where I want to be. I think that seeing how the RCP, USA has taken up MLM and they have stayed on the revolutionary communist road and even seeing how Avakian has continued to reach out to the people any way that he can engage the masses and answer their questions about what this is all for proves to me that the RCP, USA has the leadership.
I would of typed up this report but my unit's printer is out of ink.
...The importance of Revolution newspaper and PRLF books to the prison struggle as tools for increasing and spreading revolutionary consciousness can't be overstated. Like Cornel West, I say this not because I fully agree with everything that Bob Avakian teaches, but because Bob Avakian's revolutionary teachings and theory challenges me to think on the highest level of logic and reasoning, keeps my analytical mind strong, and my discriminating eye sharp, and lets me know at a minimum when diverse political viewpoints, orientations and actions deviate from basic revolutionary principles and course. Moreover, I think Bob Avakian's "New Synthesis" and his "Unite all who can be united under the leadership of the Proletariate" conceptions are necessary and good improvements on Marxist-Leninist theory and particularly insofar as they apply to waging revolution successfully in the United Snakes Empire.
The campaign entitled, "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" launched with Revolution Issue #170 is long overdue. But I am very happy to finally see a revolutionary organization in the United Snakes shift into second gear and step up the revolutionary movement to the next level by initiating and conducting a major nationwide revolutionary counter-offensive operation designed to aggressively and substantially push and spread revolution throughout every major segment of society. I fully support this campaign insofar as it seeks to mobilize the masses for revolution and to liberate oppressed nations and peoples from the scourges of racism, capitalism, imperialism and sexism, and other forms of oppression. I call on all true revolutionaries of every persuasion, whether communist, cultural, religious, economic or some other kind of revolutionary, to join forces with the Revolutionary Communist Party USA on common grounds and to support this campaign and the revolution in every constructive way possible....
July 25, 2009
"The Leadership We Have"
As we say in our way "WE GOTTA GIVE PROPS...WHERE PROPS IS DUE." To be clear and straight-forward, I consider myself to in fact be a "leader," and am aware of the reality that OTHERS of the LUMPEN CLASS, etc. ARE quite qualified and/or cadre material as well. Yet, this recognition of such leadership qualities does NOT hardly act to preclude me from acknowledging most explicitly that my 25 years of carefully engaging Bob Avakian's "body of works," has contributed substantially toward my own political and ideo-philosophical development and indeed has helped me clarify certain vital questions generally.
To put it plainly, I've long ago concluded that the Chairman of the RCP—Bob Avakian - "IS THE SHIT," i.e., a principled caring revolutionary man with extraordinary vision and grasp of political reality. His assessments are brilliantly on point and most valid. The lines in which he illuminates effectively operates to allow US to follow a sagacious strategic orientation, ideas, approach and scientific method which CAN "SHAKE THE EARTH," so WE can "GET THE PARTY STARTED," and put the "LIGHTS OUT" on an epoch of capitalist-imperialist BARBARITY that "NEED NOT BE," i.e. MUST go the way of the dinosaurs.
Put away your racial complexes, egos, and intellectual masturbation and grasp the FACT that Bob Avakian IS an exceptional leader whom the world MUST come to STUDY and KNOW. Malcolm X said it best when he said we MUST free ourselves and build socialism "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!" No, we shall NOT always be in total accord with the Chairman (as with any other individual), yet the process of critique and healthy debate is the KEY to resolve our differences and ever evolve in consciousness along the way for the desperate sake of BUILDING A BETTER WORLD...
Dare to Struggle
Dare to Win!
A New Afrikan Communist Immortal Black Guard
Sept 7, 2009
Greetings from the Belly of the Beast:
...As one who understands the nature of this beast, I know that Revolution will not (and has never been) an overnight event. We are locked in a protracted struggle to rebirth the minds of the people to see that the World can be better. There is only one leader I see that has been out educating and practicing as an example the way that will lead to that Revolution, and that's Bob Avakian. His name should be known to the World. True leadership is a must to any organized form of resistance or Nation building. The enemy understands this well. Just check out the history of how the U.S. has dealt with other leaders in the past (and present). They seek to take the head first, because its believed that if you destroy the head, the body will die. J. Edgar Hoover practiced this tactic well when dealing with Black resistance during his reign as the F.B.I. chief commander. So why should we promote Bob's leadership, because he is sincere and his motives for a better world for all people. By promoting Bob, we are promoting a better idea than the one the enemy currently promotes. What does the enemy currently promote? Greed and Blood shed. So stand up, and continue to promote Bob Avakian. Because when people look into his history and ideas for a better tomorrow, they too will come to understand that its only "one way". Revolution
Nov. 5, 2009
(I)t was refreshing to learn that the Revolutionary Communist Party was a new comer in the mid-70's which vocally denounced the conservatism of the old Communist Party, as well as the Soviet Union, and China after the 1976 revisionist coup. Again, I think that's a mark of great leadership when one goes against the tide of pragmatism, so to speak. While many progressive parties of the era just accepted the official line of the Soviets and the revisionist Chinese regime after 1976, Bob Avakian didn't. And I believe that was a significant turning point of how the Revolutionary Communist Party was able to reassume a more correct revolutionary line. I recognized this the most clearly when the Revolutionary Communist Party was confronting its first significant challenge within its own Party, in regards to the "Menshevik faction," who not only was determined to push an economist/reformist approach to the struggle, but also supported the 1976 revisionist coup as it turned China down the road of capitalism. By focusing on the Cardinal Questions, he was able to bring to light two important factors. The first being that the "Menshevik faction" was in fact betraying everything the Party stood for and was taking the Party down a dead end road of accommodationism. Secondly, the way he approached that divisive issue, it allowed the rank and file in the Party to concretely see how China was betraying its socialist agenda, and in fact, heading down the road of capitalism. Once the "Menshevik faction" agreed to those Cardinal Questions, their reformist position was destined to be defeated.
Furthermore, I like how once this was finally resolved in the Party itself, he brought the awareness out to the general public. His patient approach, by going through the proper channels in the Party, before bringing this all out to the public was very principally done, I believe.
Above all, however what I admire most about his life's story and leadership is his tenacity and fortitude to maintain the struggle despite the three decades he's been in the trenches. As Cornel West mentioned in his book review, he's definitely a marathon runner in the freedom struggle.
His reflections about his friend who went into cancer research to find a cure for cancer years ago, even though a cure still hasn't been found after all these years, is a poignant reminder of what it means to be committed to any struggle. I agree with Bob Avakian. I don't believe that his friend has wasted all those years just because we haven't found a cure for cancer yet. In the same way, I don't believe Bob Avakian has wasted three decades of his life just because we still haven't been able to transform America on a revolutionary socialist footing. I think that with the tenacity in both fields, we will one day find a cure for cancer and live within a revolutionary socialist America as well. I'm confident of that, even if Bob Avakian for some reason doesn't live to see our mundane "Promise Land". I think with his revolutionary leadership, he will always be looked as a significant figure in making such a future possible—especially once we succeed in this endeavor.
I think that Bob Avakian said it best when he said that
"If you have had a chance to see the world as it really is, there are profoundly different roads you can take with your life. You can just get into the dog-eat-dog, and most likely get swallowed up by that while trying to get ahead in it. You can put your snout into the trough and try to scarf up as much as you can, while scrambling desperately to get more than others. Or you can try to do something that would change the whole direction of society and the whole way the world is. When you put those things alongside each other, which one has any meaning, which one really contributes to anything worthwhile?
November 3, 2009
Dear Revolutionary Comrades,
As Chairman Avakian explains, it's the system that's at fault and needs to be replaced; the capitalist-imperialist system that's a thoroughly rotten and self-perpetuating rigged game that ultimately contaminates and pollutes everything it touches.
As I've come to understand, hating individual players within this corrupt system is a distraction and, in fact, counter-productive: prison guards, police officers, fat-cat capitalist CEOs—all the people we love to hate—are, after all, merely products of this system. They love their spouses and children and treat their pets as members of the family (as indeed they should!). These people—as all people—are not inherently evil, but are mere products of this profoundly evil environmental system. It's the system that must be crushed if the mass of humanity is ever to be truly liberated. Expecting a different dealer to give us a fair hand, when the entire game is crooked, is worse than naïve—it's criminally stupid!
As Avakian puts it: "People have great difficulty rupturing with the notion that the only possible avenue for changing the course of things is to get sucked once again into the dynamics of bourgeois (capitalist-imperialist) politics—which are set up to serve, and can only serve, the interests of the ruling class, and which have not and do not provide the means and channels through which changes in the interests of the people can be brought about." (Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, page 35)
As Comrade Avakian observes elsewhere, the prevailing or accepted wisdom during an era is that which supports the current power structure. In this sense, Avakian is ahead of his time. Though relatively obscure in the present era (and we communists must focus on making this less so!), I have no doubt a future people will recognize the man and his works for the profoundly liberating influence they are. Read Chairman Avakian's works; then read them again, slowly. You're in for a real treat!
On a personal note: After having spent the past three years really reading and studying communist theory, Revolution newspaper and Chairman Avakian's works (all generously provided by donations to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund!), in addition to other progressive publications and periodicals, I have come to better understand the hidden dynamics at work on the world stage. And, most importantly, I have developed the knowledge to see thru many of the lies and gross distortions perpetrated by this evil system. I am a changed man: I am a revolutionary communist and am prepared to "represent" with my life if need be.
YOURS FOR THE REVOLUTION!
...Bob Avakian, books have a lot of meaning to me. I'm African American, and everything I read prior to Bob Avakian, was afro centric in thought. My scholarship was reduced and limited to black people and our struggles. Bob Avakian, and what he teached changed my perspective on all of that. It's more than a black and white thing with me now. I see the commonalities that black and white share now: poverty, increasing un-employment, joblessness, foreclosures, etc I see that now then the differences. Capitalism and bourgeois democracy is my foe not white people. My ideology used to be democratic reform, now its communism.
Feb 10, 2010
As I continue to languish away in just one of the many "barracoons" that have been systematically laced across this country, I continue to engage & grapple with the revolutionary works of Bob Avakian.
Bob Avakian has put & continues to put many of things in perspective for me. This great leader continues to challenge & inspire me to acquire & apply a revolutionary scientific outlook & method. I now understand & realize that my struggle is not one of a "personal" struggle, but is linked with millions & millions of people across the globe.
At the same time, I want people to understand that my revolutionary transformation did not occur in a "religious awakening" sense, nor is it complete by any stretch of the imagination. This liberating transformation has occurred & is occurring by way of intense struggle under some of the most brutal & harshest conditions one can endure within this society.
For many years, I was bound & chained to the walls of ignorance. However, thanks to the revolutionary leadership of Bob Avakian, the RCP, as well as the collective of individuals who make such a leadership even possible & effective, I have since been provided with the tools to shatter these chains from deep within the bowels of the beast. I now enthusiastically accept the responsibility of helping others do the same.
If possible, please provide me with the following:
- Away With All Gods!
- Communism & Jeffersonian Democracy
- The Science of Revolution
- The Science of Evolution
Take care & always stay strong!
(by Pelican Bay prisoner at height of the ban of Revolution in California prisons)
I will share all I've learned studying your newspaper and other works of Avakian for the past ten years, this only solidifies my understanding of Imperialist America and its many facets of repression. This targeting and censorship (to take a dialectical materialist approach) of my subscription instills the strength and pride of being in the hall of many past prison revolutionary's who have also faced repression for their break with lumpen behavior. For this I have not only gotten my subscription censored but also labeled a gang member and locked in California's supermax known as the Security housing unit (shu) indefinitely but I will use the rest of my time here (7 yrs) to sharpen my line and help others understand why they are in prison as well.
To Bob Avakian or To Whom It May Concern:
I was sent by PRLF the book "Away With All Gods!", by Bob Avakian, a couple days ago (well almost a week) and finished it today. Wow! What a good book. What an excellent and good book! Had I had this book years ago, and had I even known about revolution and Bob Avakian years ago, I truly believe that my life would've been a lot different (and I wouldn't be in prison today). For years I struggled with the biblical applications that I was being ingrained with...
Feb 11, 2010
I remember a few years ago, when I was locked down in Pontiac's Segregation Unit, I found myself engaged in a lively discussion, as well as a heated debate with other prisoners about the actual truths of the science of evolution. At that time, my understanding of the science of evolution was very limited to the point of being almost non-existent as a result of the material conditions I was born into, as well as the quality of my formal education. Like so many, I grew up in just one of the many burnt out slums of Chicago, only going as far as the 7th grade in school.
Anyway, the prison chaplain must of heard about our discussion/debate through the grapevine & took it as his personal mission to distribute a box filled with a book entitled "Darwin Under the Microscope". It is obvious that the authors of this particular book are educated & well versed in the field of biology & aim to use their education for the purpose of carrying out the Christian Fascist agenda in a subtle, yet "sophisticated" sounding kind of a way. It is no wonder that a book like this only targets the basic masses who have been systematically denied the opportunity to struggle in the realm of ideas. During the course of all this, I was only armed with Darwin's book "The Origin of Species"—a complicated & technical read for any beginner—which I was not able to fully grasp nor understand, let along capable of breaking down to others.
All of this was a defining moment for me. I became determined & driven to turn this concrete cell that has broken & destroyed so many many lives into a classroom. I began to immerse myself in the revolutionary works of Bob Avakian & Ardea Skybreak, which has & continues to put so much in perspective for me.
As a result, the chains of tradition were not only fully shattered, but I have since acquired a more correct understanding of reality, & find myself fully capable of breaking down the science of revolution/evolution, as I've come to understand it, to others in a living, fun, yet serious way.
Once again, I just want to emphasize that my transformation came amid intense struggle under some of the most brutal & harshest conditions one can endure within this society. There is no shortcut. The path is torturous, yet so liberating, fun & at times frustrating.
As the above example illustrates, I have been in constant battle with the various reactionary fundamentalist prison ministries, particularly the ones fully backed by Christian Fascism, that have been given total access to our minds for many years now. Only this time, thanks to Bob Avakian & everybody involved, I'm more than prepared!
I would like to start this letter off with a quote from Ardea Skybreak's lively & exciting book "The Science of Evolution": "realizing that things can change is not quite the same thing as knowing how things can change, that is, on what basis changes can occur."
For me, this quote is deep on so many levels of a scientific nature. It not only speaks to the truth of evolution, but it also speaks to the importance of the revolutionary leadership of Bob Avakian & the RCP, as well as the initiative of us, the masses, to engage & grapple with this great & necessary leadership while struggling to acquire & apply a revolutionary scientific outlook & method so that we are capable of scientifically understanding & acting on "how the material basis for dramatically new social change can be found right within the existing mode of production & class divisions of society, & how social systems can be transformed through class struggle."
May 14, 2010
...Keep me posted on, what's happening with the Pelican Bay situation. I see that the party intends on fighting this all the way. As I mentioned previously, I don't mind lending my help in order to make that possible, so I hope you get a lot of donations soon behind what I had to say. I wanted to make sure I put the clearest picture behind why its so important, that the party continues to have full access to the brothers and sisters behind these walls. I can't tell you how much that has evolved my understanding just this year. I know if I'm evolving at a faster pace now, I'm sure others are too.
The Revolution recently reprinted a talk that Chairman Bob Avakian held in 2003 about "The essence of Communist Leadership and Bring Forward New Leaders." I think within that talk he summed it up quite concisely when he stated:
Leadership is responsible to the masses of people, here and all over the world. Leadership is something that has to be brought forward on the basis of people developing the ability, and being helped to develop the ability, to actually lead for real, to actually apply the revolutionary ideology and scientific methods to solve the real contradictions you're up against. (Revolution, May 16, 2010, p. 5).
I think that, in essence, is what makes Chairman Bob Avakian a great communist leader of our time, and will be required of all future leaders that become a part of this generation's communist leadership. But what's most important, is that those individuals whom are most capable of raising the consciousness of the masses, must never forget, that communism isn't some elitist fraternity club of intellectuals who just want to intellectually masturbate; it's an organ by which we are changing and further changing ourselves, society, and most important, the world—the latter being our highest objective....
On behalf of all my fellow Pelicans, we thank you for not forgetting about us and giving up.
Thanks for also sending me that RCP, USA Constitution booklet. I've already read it, and I'm going to share it with others. I wouldn't mind being put on the list for that pocket book of quotations from B.A. as well. It would go well with my little red book of Mao's quotations. I think that's real cool that's being done and that people are wearing t-shirts with what looks like his face. I'm no expert, but it only seems fitting. He appears to be the one who has picked up the torch and carried on from where Mao left off. ... Anyway, that's just my opinion. I'll do my part in spreading his name around over here. Every little bit counts toward making him a household name—even though none of us here are actually home....
Respectfully in Struggle,
[From death row at San Quentin:]
July 14, 2010
Greetings in solidarity,
To begin, I would like to thank all of you there at RCP Publications for doing an excellent job with your newsletter. Since I have been receiving them, my eyes have opened up in a new and much clearer way. See, I am here at this shithole of a plantation known as San Quentin. The eyesore of society and a place of utter despair. My ass has been here on the row since 2006 and let me tell you, things continue to get worse & worse. If it was not for the teachings of our brother Bob Avakian, my ass would be just as pitiful and brainwashed as these cowards here with me are. See, they have fallen short of the goal and have given up on who they are as human beings.
It is obvious that this capitalist country is truly fucked up. Look at what happened to killer cop Johannes Meserle. The pig was caught dead bang murdering our late young brother Oscar Grant in cold blood. Then the jury comes back with the lowest conviction term possible?? Involuntary manslaughter?? Four to six years in prison?? Which prison?? Some PC ass joint to where he can lay out on the main yard and toast his ass cheeks??
What exactly is it going to take for the people in society to WAKE! UP!!!?? This is why I agree with when Avakian says that we need to rise up in revolution and take control of our country, people and societies. I use my own words to describe what I am learning from his teachings, but you know what I am saying. This country has for the most part, lost its way!! How can people continue to follow the blind when they themselves are just as blind, and all of them together fall in a hole?? I wish that I could explain in better words how I feel.
I am not much educated when it comes to this revolution that I have been reading about but am looking for more books to read. Which is why I have contacted you. You sent me the book entitled "COMMUNISM AND THE JEFFERSONIAN DEMOCRACY" and want to read more. There are two books that I would like to request from your publications. Keep in mind that I am indigent and we are not allowed to work for a pay number slot here on death row. The Jeffersonian Democracy book is making its way around to the more deserving brothers here with me. My circle consists of seven of us, me making the eighth. We are alone in this struggle when it comes to being here at San Quentin's infamous East Block, death row, but we are growing stronger each day. With the help of your literature we are beginning to grow and our hearts grow stronger. We thank you for your help. Here are the two books that we would like to read:
- Away With All Gods, by Bob Avakian
- Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage (Manifesto) ... by Bob Avakian
Rest assured that soon will Mr. Avakian have influenced many more here on death row. We thank you again.
One thing I like most about the Revolutionary Communist Party under Bob Avakian's leadership, is that our generation has a true communist vanguard party, which I know is totally dedicated to making socialism a material reality in this country—in our lifetime (hastening, while awaiting). Most of the vanguard parties throughout the proletarian movement and history in America—if not all—were either immature in their political line, weren't true dialectical and historical materialist (or didn't consistently apply it), spoke of revolution yet approached it as if it would only occur in some indefinite future, amongst other inadequacies in leadership. But one thing I've come to greatly respect about the Revolutionary Communist Party, is that it has learned from the mistakes of the past and now rests all the more on a concrete scientific basis like no other party before it. That's why I'm so optimistic and excited about the coming mass social movement, that's being hastened right now. This time we're not going to make the same mistake as the '60s and '70s. I think we're living right now in the most exciting time, not only in American history, but world history.
We truly are the authors and editors of our greater tomorrows. I truly believe we're at a pivotal point, not only in the proletarian movement and its history, but in the history of our species. Yes, our species! Shit can't continue as it is, without bringing mass ruin, destruction, and even a possible mass extinction to our species. The only hope the human species has, is the proletarian movement. The 21st century—I'm convinced—will be decided by how much this movement develops, expands, and is ultimately successful on a global scale.
November 28, Sunday, 2010
...I particularly liked how Chairman Avakian's new synthesis, particularly the principle of the "solid core with a lot of elasticity," was given broad expression to throughout this whole document. Instead of perpetrating the same erroneous mistakes of past Communist vanguard parties and states, one walks away from this Constitution with a reassured confidence and belief in genuine communist leadership. After I read all ninety-one pages, it made me proud and hopeful to know that there's at least one Communist Party in existence, which has approached communism as an evolving science, capable of learning from its past mistakes, while upholding the most positive features of proletarian revolution throughout its history. For that reason, I must salute Chairman Bob Avakian’s leadership for that.
November 30, 2010
Dear PRLF Volunteer(s),
... I am a leading and co-founding member of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party—Prison Chapter... We clearly see the RCP, USA as allies in the struggle to build a socialist Amerika and feel that Chairman Bob Avakian is the most advanced theorist on the U.S. Left. We also are M-L-M'ist. Our principal base right now is within the prisons....
I just finished reading issue 222 of the newspaper and came across a short article under the "toughest questions" entitled "your name scares away millions...". The writer in said article discusses the marketing strategy of the Republicans and the GOP and its corporate sponsors. He/she goes on to say how the Republican party don't call themselves the "Radical Fascist Party" even though he/she feels this name best represents them. But the writer says that the Republicans use "Patriotic" or "American" words in promoting the Tea Party to sound "safe" and "appealing". This writer goes on to say how the RCP's "name" brings on "frightening" images of atheism, Siberia, etc. The heart of this writer's article seems to promote the idea that if the RCP changed its name to what the writer believes is a more "patriotic" sounding name it would bring more people to the "meeting hall" to hear RCP's message because, as it stands this writer says RCP's name "scares away millions."
For lack of a better word, this is what I call bullshit. First, I must say only the Imperialist ideology needs to formulate a ruse to entrap the people, to swindle and bamboozle the masses to do anything and it does this in numerous ways here in America, from getting the people to engage in the ballot box promising "change" to taking the country to unjustified wars, to the criminalization of a generation, etc, etc. We live under a Dictatorship of Capitalism and are tricked with more of this "safe" and "patriotic" sounding lingo to believe it is a Democracy as the above stated writer describes as more "appealing." This whole idea of trying to sound more "American" to "co opt" the right is not what Communism is about, this sounds like opportunism to me.
What the writer doesn't grasp is communism isn't about lying or tricking the people to come hear the message and ideas. To the contrary, I would say it is truth that will bring the people to the Communist flame like a moth to light, it is precisely for this reason that RCP upholds the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" as stated in its literature, this is to let the people know the truth that yes, a dictatorship of the proletariat is necessary and goes on to explain why its necessary so the people understand not only what is going to take place but why. Unlike the current US ruling class which takes a page from this writers playbook and keeps the truth from the people that there is not a Dictatorship of Capital in America and uses "appealing" language claiming democracy exists in America, or maybe this writer takes a page from the Imperialists playbook?? The entire Imperalist agenda is based on lies, smoke and mirrors, how else can one percent rule 99% of any population? This is why it works so hard to combat Socialism where it begins to sprout roots because Communists will always work in the interests of the people and bring truth to the masses in all areas.
Another reason this writer is incorrect in his "advice" (if one can call it that) is that you don't change your message, name, platform, etc to appease anybody for the same reason Revolutionaries shouldn't join mass organization or single issue groups. I.E. "Save the Whales" or such groups just to reach more people, or to get more people to listen to your message or somehow slowly attempt to sprinkle a little communist ideas in such groups as in order for a Communist to get with one of these groups one would have to water down ones politics and this is not benefiting no one, although it is good to have a united front with many groups on different issues, when it comes down to it the only way to build Communism is by being a Communist, the only way to support the Revolution is by being a Revolutionary!
The backbone of a Revolution on these shores will be amongst the oppressed nationalities, especially those millions languishing in prisons Nationwide and so the idea that speaking "American" or "Patriotic" to those of us who have been hunted down most our lives as if we were the prey in a safari is not going to bring us to no "meeting hall" but speaking the cold truth, the liberating truth as Avakian says will!
Lastly I got to say that what name scares away millions is the name America, when people the world over hear the name "America" from children in Palestine to the jungles of Chiapas to the villages of Africa to the Barrios and projects here in the US, when we hear America it conjures up scenes of war, nuclear bombs, Hiroshima, Abu Grahaib, Predator Drone attacks, colonization, Genocide, and Stolen Land. When prisoners hear the name America we visualize a gulag empire that creates slave labor and torture chambers and devised a new Jim Crow system that has criminalized millions of poor Latinos and blacks who are the Revolutionary backbone. Because of this name America, millions are terrorized in prisons nationwide, we are starting to hear of US soldiers spending two or three years in a war zone and getting "post traumatic stress disorder". This is what they call the effects of two or three years in a war zone, so what do they call being born and raised for decades in a war zone of state terror? They call it "America".
The current economic crisis shows the masses that capitalism is a broken idea and is "withering away" as Lenin stated, this has only highlighted the need for something else, another economic path to save of the people. Only a communist approach will ensure true equality, healthcare for all, jobs for all, no military occupation or unwanted wars that are unjustified, ending the war on poor people and criminalization of millions, all of society would benefit in a socialist state and anyone who researches past Socialist states and sees the higher living standard it brought would flock to a group seeking these same ideals. For a group to have a communist name is speaking truth of what it is fighting for rather than attempting to trick the masses. The RCP lets its aims be known with its name declaring in all honesty what it is seeking for the people without the slightest hint of dishonesty. It is for this reason that I have gravitated toward learning more about the RCP because of its bold name and iron clad determination to reach a better world amidst the current parasitical muck. Continue Onward to Victory!
With a clenched fist
To begin this missive, I would like to thank you for all of the literature that you have been sending me. I finished "AWAY WITH ALL GODS" and was very impressed at how our comrade Avakian broke it down. One of the most amazing things was HOW he presented each religion. How he explained and shown how structured religion itself is nothing but a form of oppression. We are all aware of the atrocities the masses had to endure during the Inquisition as well as other forms of torture toward those who refused to conform mentally to their way of thinking. This is happening right now as I write this to you. We have been hit with one form of slavery after another and the book itself opened my eyes up. I was a Muslim for several years only to find that I was no longer feeling the so-called freedom one should feel practicing what they believe. Everything Mr. Avakian said is nothing but true.
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