Revolution #247, October 9, 2011
A Call to Our Readers
Subscribe To and Sustain Revolution Newspaper
This is a call to our readers to subscribe to and sustain Revolution newspaper... and to take part in building a movement of sustainers for Revolution.
Right now, we need: many more sustainers of Revolution from people with all different means... and 100 new monthly sustainers of $50-$100 or more. Today, October 6, we are beginning a concerted three-week drive to qualitatively expand the network of sustainers and financial support for Revolution.
People across this country are stirring. Tens of thousands of people who've felt the heavy weight of the way things are, who have only dreamed of real freedom and what that might look like, are resisting and beginning to lift their sights. From the streets of New York to cities and campuses across the country, to the maximum security cells in California's infamous SHUs, there are outbreaks of protest and struggle. Tens of thousands of people are stepping out and standing up to Occupy Wall Street, to demonstrate outrage at the legal lynching of Troy Davis, to protest police brutality, the torture of prisoners and the destruction of the environment. People are protesting the ongoing U.S. wars; there are new stirrings among students. And in all this, people are asking big questions and searching for real answers... and many people are open to radically new and different ways of looking at things.
Revolution is not only reporting on all these events, it is bringing into these struggles communist analysis, politics and philosophy. Revolution newspaper is essential to reach into and bring the real revolution to those who are refusing to accept things the way they are. It is essential to fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution. It fills people with an irresistible desire to resist—but more, it gives people the means to think and act together, toward an objective they can more and more clearly identify as a radical and truly liberating alternative—toward revolution and communism. It enables them to recognize where different programs will lead and brings them the leadership which is so sorely needed to really break through the bounds of the way things are and advance towards that future.
Key to all this, the paper brings the work of Bob Avakian to many thousands. This newspaper is the critical hub and pivot in building the movement for revolution that is taking shape around what BA is bringing forward. And it needs to reach, especially now, exponentially more people. Already thousands nationwide have received and read the special BAsics edition of this newspaper. Debates and intense discussion have jumped off as quotes from Bob Avakian challenged the dominant culture and ways of thinking. People's yearnings for a radically different world are finding air to breathe. Today, in the midst of these outbreaks of struggle, the current issue featuring responses to BAsics 3:16, "An Appeal to Those the System Has Cast Off" (BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian) and tens of thousands of the special BAsics edition need to be massively distributed. And we should be meeting and engaging with people as we jump into the fray, challenging everyone to wrangle with just what kind of change is necessary, possible and desirable.
We must think big and be very creative in finding many ways to continue the engagement and developing the pathways for people to join in this movement for revolution. As a very important part of this, people should now be urged to read, subscribe to—and financially support—Revolution newspaper. Ongoing financial support is urgently needed for this newspaper to continue to publish—and to expand its reach.
Pivotal Role of Revolution
This is a time when the necessity for the growth in readership and financial support for Revolution newspaper stands out all the more starkly. Here is how the Revolutionary Communist Party's statement, "On the Strategy for Revolution," describes the indispensable role of Revolution:
"This [newspaper] plays a pivotal role in carrying out our strategy. Through publishing works of Bob Avakian, and through many different articles, interviews, letters, graphics, and other features, Revolution enables people to really understand and act to radically change the world....It gives people a living picture and scientific analysis of what is going on in the world, and why....It exposes the true nature of this system, and shows how major events in society and the world are concentrations of the basic contradictions of this oppressive and putrid system....It brings alive the need and possibility for revolution and a whole new society and world....It heightens the ability of growing numbers of people, in all parts of this country, to act politically in a unified way, and to wrestle with and help find solutions to the problems of our movement, on the basis of a growing revolutionary consciousness....It is the key instrument in developing an organized political network, among the most oppressed and other sections of the people, which can have a growing impact on the political scene and the society (and the world) as a whole, building up the forces of revolution and influencing ever broader numbers of people....It provides a foundation and a means for extending the 'reach' of the revolutionary movement and building up bases for this movement—in neighborhoods, where people work and go to school, and wherever people come together—and especially where they resist and rebel against this system."
The truth of the matter is, we cannot make revolution without this newspaper. Revolution newspaper is the foundation, guideline, and organizational scaffolding for the movement we are building for revolution. When people engage with the work of Bob Avakian, and when they read this paper over a period of time, their views about the world—and the possibility of a far better future and the ways to get there change. Revolution plays a crucial role in building up—and linking up—the forces for revolution and influencing ever broader numbers of people. It enables people to act together to change the world. As you read the current issue of Revolution with the responses of prisoners and students and others to BAsics 3:16, think about the impact that the lifeline of Revolution—and especially the work of BA—has had on these individuals. Think about how their understanding of the revolution we are making changes—and how their contributions to this revolution are blossoming. The movement for revolution is being born. These are shoots of what can—and will—happen throughout society when cores of people read and look to this paper to understand the world, the ways and means to change it—and the future it is possible to bring into being.
But the reality is that this newspaper can't play this crucial role without a solid and growing base of financial support. This newspaper must meet its overhead expenses each month; it must support reporters, translation work, and more. And it must expand its reach, including by completing the process of transforming the revcom.us website so that it can reach people hungry for its content around the entire U.S. and all over the world. This kind of financial support does not yet exist—and it is an urgent need.
Fundraising should not be viewed as a burdensome or onerous task which puts the cash nexus between you and friends and others we rightly respect. Just the opposite. It is, in reality, an opportunity to discuss, debate and work with all kinds of people. It is an opportunity to build long-term ties and relationships, to give people a very concrete and important way they can be part of the movement for revolution. As the article from a reader put it, "When we raise funds for these specific projects, we also build the movement for revolution. We are giving people a way—a very important way—to be part of this movement. We are organizing people, now, to be part of changing the whole world."
Nor does sustaining Revolution mean that people must agree with the need for revolution and the role of this newspaper in achieving this goal. Already, the people who do support and sustain this paper do so with different levels of unity—but all with appreciation for the unique role of this newspaper. We should forthrightly discuss what is put forward in the statement on strategy with people. And take four or five issues to people... let them look these over and read the articles... get the sweep of what this paper addresses over a period of time. And then, on that basis, allow people the space and openings to contribute regularly for their own reasons, coming from their own concerns and views. Let people know of the real need that must be fulfilled and then ask them whether they think that this voice needs to be strengthened in society, and where they might fit into that.
Everyone who reads Revolution should become a sustainer. And there are many more people in society who are just encountering this movement for revolution for the first time who can and should subscribe and sustain right away. People from all corners of society, with different means, and with different levels of agreement—can make a difference. Sustaining is an important task for circles and groups organized around the paper—including developing ways to collect money every month and turn it in. A half dozen people who live in the projects each contributing a few dollars a month. Or a group of people holding a monthly fundraiser (a potluck, car wash, and more). Professionals, academics, or artists contributing $100 or $50 a month. Teachers and students taking up monthly collections among their colleagues. These and many other creative forms of sustaining Revolution newspaper must be unleashed all over the place. It is a challenge—and it should be a lot of fun! Regularly contributing to this newspaper, and often at great sacrifice, is precious to our movement. Not only will this guarantee the continued publication of this paper, but it will build up a strong financial and political base for Revolution and actually can contribute to fostering a broader culture of radical opposition. And this is an extremely important part of accumulating forces for revolution.
Subscriptions can be sent to RCP Publications (P.O. Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654), ordered online... or arrangements can be made with your local Revolution distributor or Revolution Books (if there is one in your area) to get your copy each week. It will be important to make arrangements as well to turn in your monthly sustainer... through your local distributor or bookstore, or directly to RCP Publications with a money order or check (please note that this is a sustainer). Contributions can also be made online at revcom.us
And we want to hear from you! Send in lots of correspondence and ideas and suggestions, testimonials about why people are donating (to any or all of the projects), and share positive and negative lessons. When you are out in the world, taking this fund drive out broadly to people on campuses and in neighborhoods, take pictures! And send them to Revolution.
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.