Food for Thought on the Žižek-Lotta Debate

February 17, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


On April 15 in New York City, Slavoj Žižek and Raymond Lotta will engage in a great debate “on the history and prospects of communist revolution.” At its heart, this is a debate between the world as it is and the radically different world represented and made possible by Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism.


Slavoj Žižek on Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA:

“... for all their talk of the ‘new synthesis,’ there is no theoretical substance: It doesn’t do the work. They always have the answers: no questions, only answers... “ (from interview in Platypus Review 42, December 2011-January 2012)

Bob Avakian, from an interview by a younger-generation revolutionary conducted in early 2012, What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism

“... what is represented by communism—and specifically the new synthesis of communism—is actually scientifically analogous to that. [In the passage right before this, Avakian compares the attacks on him for putting forward the new synthesis to “the days when religious superstition weighed even more heavily and was less challenged in the world—when people would make a scientific breakthrough and they’d be accused of being witches, or accused of engaging in devil worship and dark magic, and so on.”—Revolution.] It is the way forward. It is not some magic solution. It’s a scientific approach to forging the way forward. It has answered—or spoken in a significant way to—some real problems. At the same time, it has posed new questions, identified new contradictions that have to be confronted, which weren’t seen as clearly before. And it’s an ongoing process of discovering, confronting and transforming different aspects of reality that have to be transformed, in order to achieve the emancipation of humanity. That’s what it is. That’s why we put it forward. And that’s why we struggle to let people know about it and to win them to engage it seriously—and, yes, to take it up—because that’s exactly what it embodies and represents. It is analogous to a way to deal with a very serious epidemic. There is an epidemic in which the mass of humanity is suffering terribly, as constituted under this capitalist-imperialist system, and there is a way forward—not a magic wand to wave to solve all problems, but a means for forging a way forward on a higher level than before, as a result of this new synthesis that’s been brought forward.”

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