Celebrating BA Everywhere

September 2, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Remarks from Sunsara Taylor at a celebration in New York City of a summer of taking out "BA Everywhere—Imagine the Difference It Could Make," and big plans to take the work and leadership of Bob Avakian—a real revolutionary alternative to capitalism—out even further into society. These remarks were made following the viewing of a segment of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION – NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live on August 31st


That was BA—the leader of the revolution and the man who has, through many decades of rigorous and tireless work, developed a new synthesis of revolution and communism so that it really is possible in the world today to make revolution, to lift the beast of capitalism-imperialism off the backs of humanity, and to bring into being a socialist society, fighting and contributing to a world where all of humanity is truly emancipated and can fully flourish—that is, genuine communism.

We gather at a time of great peril, tremendous suffering, and great dangers. Just this summer, we have witnessed the vicious and murderous verdict in the George Zimmerman trial—giving a green light to racist vigilantes and police to murder our youth if they are Black or brown, resurrecting and whipping up that deep current in American political life and culture of open and genocidal white supremacy, and reinforcing the whole crushing reality of mass incarceration. Many, in their anger and anguish, have lamented that this really is no different than the murder of Emmett Till some 50+ years ago... or even all that different from the enslavement of Black people for hundreds of years before that. And they are right. So, what is there to celebrate?

Just this summer, we have seen major assaults on women's right to abortion, laws which will close 37 out of 42 abortion clinics in Texas, laws designed to close down the only clinics left in Mississippi and North Dakota, terror and stalking rained down on abortion providers, stigma and hardship piling up on women who seek this right. Abortion is necessary for women to be free; forced motherhood is female enslavement. Yet, women are being slammed back towards the days before Roe v. Wade, when 8,000 women a year died from botched abortions, where all women lived under the terror of having their lives foreclosed by children they didn't want. This, pushing women back into the position they held for centuries—that of breeders of children and property of men. So, what is there to celebrate?

We gather at a time when every day, new studies tell us that the destruction of the environment is happening more rapidly, with bigger repercussions and greater stakes than even the worst predictions had understood. The destruction of the environment, the drilling in the oceans, the fracking of the earth, the poisoning of the water, the melting of the glaciers, all this is happening at an increased pace—even as the denial of this problem and the attacks on science itself are also getting worse. So, what is there to celebrate?

And we gather at a time when the drums of war are beating once again, with the U.S. poised to launch a military attack on Syria any minute—and all this coming on top of the drones and the troops stationed and still carrying out crimes against humanity throughout the Middle East and North Africa. All this after a decade of war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and generations before that of wars and coups and plunder that the U.S. has carried out around the globe. So, what is there to celebrate?

Well, I will tell you.

As opposed to 300 years ago, 150 years ago, or even 50 years ago—today,we actually have what we need to really put an end to this madness. Not just to fight back, not just to complain, not just to tune out or drop out or seek some little space in the corner while all this horror continues. Today, we have the leadership to make the revolution we need. Today, because of the work of BA over decades, the tireless and rigorous work of sifting through the great accomplishments of previous revolutions as well as their shortcomings, of bringing this together with what has been learned and brought forward by others in many other spheres, there is a new synthesis of communism. There is a viable and desirable alternative to the existing world order with all its unending suffering and destruction and degradation and ways it drags people themselves down.

That is something to celebrate!

As you have seen in this film, there is a strategy for making and WINNING a revolution in a country like this—for the masses in their millions to be led to go up against and to defeat the armed enforcers of the old order with all of their might, the most destructive machinery of death and destruction known in history in order to bring into being a new, revolutionary society and state—just think about how tremendously significant that is!

That is something to celebrate!

As you have gotten a taste of this through the excerpt from his memoir [From Ike to Mao and Beyond] and from the segments you have just watched, this is a leader who has given all of his heart, all of his understanding and commitment and creativity and intellectual capacity to the masses of people and to the cause of really breaking through to emancipate humanity. And through this, he not only has forged answers and is actively leading a Party to take up and carry out this strategy; he has set an example to many others of a whole different morality and method and approach to understanding and changing this world.

That is something to celebrate!

As everyone here should dig much more deeply into—he has developed in new and world-historic ways the framework and understanding for how to lead a new revolutionary society so that it is at one and the same time a world that meets the needs of humanity, that serves and advances the world revolution, that prioritizes repairing and caring for the environment, while at the same time bringing forward the most radical transformations in the relations between people—overcoming the long legacy of white supremacy and national oppression, unleashing the ongoing and deepening struggle against every remnant of the oppression of women and the restrictive notions of gender themselves, bringing everyone who has been locked out of the realm of working with ideas and the arts and sciences—and, at the same time, unleashing widespread debate, ferment, and dissent that breaks out in many directions. On the foundation of BA's new synthesis, how this will be concretely carried out starting day one and going forward after a successful revolution is laid out in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)—and all this is something to celebrate!

The truth is, this is what humanity needs more than anything else. All the suffering, all the heartache and heartbreak caused by people's lives cut short or lived in unspeakable hardship and suffering, or from all the ways that this system sets people against each other and gets into the thinking and morality of the people themselves so that they hurt and degrade themselves and each other—all this is completely unnecessary. Further, as BA himself has put it so powerfully, "Those this system has cast off, those it has treated as less than human, can be the backbone and driving force of a fight not only to end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression, and emancipate all of humanity."

This, and the leadership to make this so, is something to celebrate!

Still, some will hear all this and still get discouraged. They say, "Nice idea, but people are too fucked up." Or people won't even let themselves think about this new synthesis of communism and all its liberatory potential because they think no one else will be into it. I heard this from a woman in North Dakota; after getting into this a bit, I asked her what she thought and she said, "I can't talk about communism, no one is going to listen to me if I do that." She wouldn't even let herself evaluate whether this is true or not because she was so preoccupied with what everyone else will think.

But this is wrong. As BA has put it, "What people think is part of objective reality, but objective reality is not determined by what people think." And both parts of that are very true and very important.

The fact is, BA's new synthesis represents the way out of this madness whether or not anyone agrees with it or even if most people right now aren't even thinking about it. It objectively corresponds to, it correctly diagnoses how the great suffering that I have been describing is rooted in the system of capitalism-imperialism and the kind of revolution that is objectively needed to dig all this up and overcome it once and for all. If you go through the full talk, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live, or through BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, or through the rest of BA's body of work, which you can find large parts of at revcom.us—you begin to see this. And, just as a scientific approach proved that it was true that the earth went around the sun even when most people still believed that the sun went around the earth, a truly scientific approach will demonstrate that this new synthesis of revolution and communism is what is objectively needed and possible to emancipate humanity. So, regardless of what anyone else thinks just now, this is a tremendous thing and it is truly something to celebrate.

But it's also important to return to the first part of that quote, that what people think is part of objective reality. This thinking of people is also important, because it is the main part of reality that we are fighting to transform—in order to bring people to understand and act on what they are currently ignorant of or even opposed to.

This is what we are doing with the campaign to raise big money to get BA known everywhere, or BA Everywhere—Imagine the Difference It Could Make!

We are actively and aggressively working to transform this situation—so that more and more people who have been lifting their heads to struggle, who so desperately and urgently want change, or those who have kept their heads down because until now they've never seen a possibility for that struggle to go anywhere good, come to understand and relate to and take up the way out of all this madness.

We are doing this through the pages of Revolution newspaper and on the website revcom.us. We have done this through two major van tours which took off from several major cities around the country this summer—connecting people up with BA in the ghettos as well as to some more well-off suburbs and vacation areas. We have done this through showings of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live, in theaters and libraries, on street corners and cafes, in living rooms and homeless shelters and campuses, which thousands of people have watched all or parts of this year. We have taken BA and his Three Strikes quote into the outpourings around Trayvon Martin and at the March on Washington, where thousands have taken them up. We have brought together hundreds of people from all walks of life to contribute funds—and to join in raising funds—to make all of this possible. In the process we have spread BA to thousands and thousands more, and brought together and forged communities that are taking up and grappling with his work and taking part in changing the world.

All this, too, is something to celebrate.

And because the work BA has done and is doing, and the life that he has led and is leading, deals so deeply with the biggest and most pressing problems humanity is facing—questions about human nature, religion, philosophy, science, the arts, as well as politics and revolution and human emancipation—people can relate to this and get into it and be part of spreading it on many different levels.

We have seen this in the artists who see a place for themselves in this revolutionary process and in the revolutionary society—engaging with his concept of solid core with a lot of elasticity. We have seen this in the high school student who explained that after watching BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! she went from thinking that people were just all messed up to seeing that it is a system and the relations between people that this system fosters that keeps people doing each other wrong.

We have seen this in the folks, including Black folks and others on the bottom of society, who get excited that BA is taking on the enslaving role of religion. We see it in the way that some folks, including very oppressed folks, walk off after hearing BA challenge their religious beliefs—knowing this is bringing them something very challenging, something that will continue to circulate in their minds. And we see this in the engagement between folks of the religious tradition—like Cornel West and others—who share a commitment to the wretched of the earth and are willing to go back and forth over where all this comes from and where it must go.

We see this in the way that conversations get serious when people learn that there really is a strategy for revolution and they want to know more.

We see this—and I saw this a lot this summer as I traveled the country with the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride—in the broad smiles and new conversations that open up when people first hear BA's quote about how you cannot break all the chains but one, about the need to fully liberate women and for women to be a driving force in this revolution.

We have seen the way that people's thinking expands, their sights are raised, their deepest questions come out, and new, even bigger questions and ideas get opened up for the first time when they encounter BA. We have seen how not just individuals, but whole groups of people and communities of people start to think about and relate in different ways with each other, and see different things as possible when BA is in the mix.

And we have seen, over and over again, how those who have engaged BA, especially those who engage him and Revolution/revcom.us regularly, act differently and more defiantly and with greater direction and with greater influence when things do sharpen up and struggle breaks out—around the kinds of outrages we have seen this summer, around Trayvon, around abortion, around the environment, wars, and the horrific treatment of immigrants. And we have seen how, in the midst of these struggles, people are especially hungry for and open to BA and everything he represents and how this can help people take things further in the direction they need to go.

All this—and much, much more that still must be summed up and learned from, popularized, and built off of from this summer—is a glimpse of the difference BA Everywhere can make.

And all this is something to celebrate.

Further, I say it is right to celebrate because we are here today with each other, all of us people who refuse to accept that this is the best of all possible worlds, with others who share a commitment—whether it has been deepened over years or whether this is your first time at an event like this—to doing our part to open up a whole new and far better world. Such company and community is worth celebrating. As is the fact that celebrations like this are happening in cities around the country—and we are part of something together with all of them, something that carries the hopes of humanity everywhere.

And, finally, I call for celebration because we have big plans to build on all of this and to take it even further. To draw in the many hundreds we met over the summer, to find ways to involve everyone—big and small—to bring BA and the whole world that he opens up to many thousands, tens of thousands, and millions more. The BA Everywhere local committee has big plans—for a showing of REVOLUTION— NOTHING LESS! up here in Harlem at the Maysles Cinema on September 29, out in New Jersey soon, and other big plans. Check with the BA Everywhere table for the full calendar and to get involved. Find out about and join with big plans to bring this to the campuses, starting this Tuesday and continuing from there. There is something that everyone here can do—whether you have an hour a week or whether you can throw in for days at a time, or something in between. All of us have ideas and understanding to contribute, all of us can get into the content of this more deeply ourselves and share and spread what we are thinking about, all of us know how to reach somebody, or could be part of a team together with others taking this into places we've never been.

At a time when humanity so urgently cries out for fundamental, truly radical, actually revolutionary change—at a time when so many are struggling in the dark and taking up "solutions" that only land them back in the same situation they were yearning to break free from, at a time when the contradictions and crimes of this system are mounting every day with great cost for humanity, let us truly celebrate BA, the revolutionary leader, let us celebrate the campaign to raise big funds to get BA Everywhere and the huge difference this can make, and let us celebrate this gathering as we share in each other's company, step back and more deeply appreciate the truly liberating and uplifting campaign we have come together around, and as we make plans to take this forward and further—and not stop until all of humanity is free.

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