"More On 'Jolts'"

July 24, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


To the editors:

I want to respond to the article on "jolts" recently posted on revcom.us ["There is a Jolt!  What Is Our Responsibility NOW?"]. The article focused attention just where it needs to be: on how today's intense juncture around Trayvon Martin should be understood—and acted on—from the framework of the Party's strategy for revolution.  I won't try to repeat all the valuable points in that letter; what follows are a few notes in response to this piece, and to further reflecting on the Party's statement "On the Strategy for Revolution."

  • In times like these, as the strategy statement stresses, there is the possibility to make LEAPS, not just incremental advances, in accumulating forces for revolution.  There are millions now agonizing over some of the largest questions of what kind of society do we live in, and whether anything else is possible.  Are we aiming to speak to those millions?  And as we do this, are we bringing forward thousands to actively play a role in all this?  Some of the correspondence in Issue 311 spoke of people coming forward to join the BA Everywhere van tours on the spot, or to rally around the revolutionary slogans and stance in different demonstrations, etc.  This is good; but is this the most we can aim for?  Should we be satisfied?  Or does it tell us something about the potential that has to be fought to be realized, to actually make extraordinary advances in forging that force of thousands to reach and influence millions more, preparing for the days "when there is a revolutionary situation, [and] those thousands can be a backbone and pivotal force in winning millions to revolution and organizing them in the struggle to carry the revolution through?"
  • These are not situations in which we just "sprinkle our revolutionary ideas" into the mix and see what happens.  (Actually, we should never do that, but especially not now!)  The revolutionary line has to be fought for.  And, especially in times like these, there is not only a burning need to get out there with revolutionary agitation to polarize and repeatedly re-polarize the situation, there is the extraordinary possibility to do this almost literally everywhere—on buses or trains, in coffee shops or barber shops, on playgrounds or movie theaters or farmers' markets, etc.  This agitation is guided in Revolution newspaper and revcom.us, and this is how people should go at things: NOT letting the ruling class "move the agenda" to something else, but really going back to and drawing out the lessons of what happened in that courtroom and beyond, and vividly connecting it to the deep roots of the oppression of Black people as a people in this society, showing the bankruptcy of any other solution but revolution in that context, and calling on people to get with this revolution.  Right now is a time for hitting hard and keeping things very concrete, and taking on all comers in that context.  The whole first hour of Bob Avakian's Revolution–Nothing Less! is an excellent model in this (as is the speech as a whole).
  • Nobody can predict, in these times, what situation may become a flashpoint where people feel compelled to fight the power.  Right now, people are not in a mood to tolerate a lot of the unjust and outrageous suppression that they are normally forced to endure.  People are not in a mood to have their right to express themselves shut down on things like the outrageous verdict on Trayvon Martin.  But pigs are pigs, and they will often move right ahead anyway and try to do this.  Moreover, there are many, many situations which don't on the surface have to do with Trayvon Martin, but in which the pigs behave in an outrageous way.  Sometimes things that seem normal and something that people may not like but feel they just have to go along with suddenly come to seem—in a situation like today—absolutely intolerable.  Any such situation could develop quickly and without warning, and in such situations people demand and need leadership in preventing such unjust suppression and repression from going down.  And in periods like today, there is a heightened importance to, and potential for, forms like the people's neighborhood patrols, which stand up against the illegitimate and unjust exercise of authority by the existing forces of repression.

In all such cases, fighting the power demands tactical leadership.  People may feel compelled to act from our agitation, but there has to be leadership on HOW to act.  Other forces will rush in from their own viewpoint, often to lead things in a wrong direction and sometimes even to prevent masses of people from standing up.  Things like this should not be allowed to go down.  Everything will be led by one line or another, one world outlook or another, and which line leads determines everything. 

  • We have to keep the whole world in mind.  There are other important contradictions unfolding and other important struggles already underway—some of these will intensify and other things we can't anticipate will pop up, positive and negative.  We have to seek out connections and synergies, forging links between struggles and showing the connections between all of this and the need for—and possibility of—revolution.
  • During this whole period, we have to be spreading the word that there IS a Party with the line, the leadership, and the strategy that could lead a revolution, when conditions change, if the groundwork has been laid—including the groundwork of building up this Party.  To quote the statement on strategy:

    The more our Party's revolutionary viewpoint and strategy is spread and gains influence throughout society...the more that people come to understand and agree with what the Party is all about, and join its ranks on that basis...the more the Party's "reach" extends to every corner of the country...the greater its organizational strength and its ability to withstand and to lead people forward in the face of government repression aimed at crushing resistance and killing off revolution—the more the basis for revolution will be prepared and the more favorable the chance of winning.

This has to be posed as an active question to people—how will they, in the words of the strategy statement, "support and strengthen our Party as the overall leadership of this revolution," which is the absolutely necessary instrument to lead the masses to make revolution.  Without such a party, there is no way for masses of people to scientifically know and transform the world toward human emancipation; only with such an instrument does that become possible.

  • Right now we especially need to build on the tremendous potential synergy with the campaign to get BA Everywhere—that is, to raise big money to promote and popularize the work of Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA—amidst all the searching sparked by this verdict.  To draw from the strategy statement, especially in times like now we must "spread the knowledge and influence of his pathbreaking leadership, and defend and protect this rare and precious leader."  The evidence of the heightened potential for this critical work in a time like today can be seen, again, in the pages of this week's newspaper—but to repeat an earlier question, is what we have done the most we can aim for?  Or, rather, does it tell us something about the potential for breakthroughs on a whole other scale that we have to fight to realize?
  • Finally, but in many senses the hinge and pivot of it all, read and promote revcom.us.

The challenge is on each of us, and on our movement as a whole: to cast off, to rupture with, the habits of thinking and action conditioned by too many years of so-called "normal times" and to rise to what the situation demands.

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