Raymond Lotta Tours Southern California:

New eBook on The Truth about the Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation

Apri 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

In early April, Raymond Lotta was invited to speak at several southern California campuses just as his new eBook was being released. He pointed out that the title, You Don't Know What You Think You "Know" About....The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future, is itself an intended provocation.

With two brown bag lunches—one at UCLA and one at UC Riverside—and combined classes at Cal State Pomona, some half dozen professors and 140 students heard his presentation. Sixty people attended an evening program at Revolution Books LA.

Speaking to a Great Need

The REAL History of Communist Revolution

NEW—eBook from Insight Press, available at Amazon.com and other retailers. Order information at Insight-Press.com.

A Unique Resource:

  • Expanded and extensively footnoted revcom.us interview with Raymond Lotta
  • Essays on “how do we know the truth?”
  • Illustrated Timeline: The REAL History of Communist Revolution

Lotta's new eBook fills a great void in the world—a pressing need for people to learn about and engage the true history of the first wave of communist revolutions in the 20th century. Especially as there are important stirrings and protests against oppression, whether in Egypt, Brazil, or Occupy in the U.S., including among college students. There is renewed questioning and searching for answers about a world of grotesque inequality, accelerating environmental devastation, unspeakable degradation and abuse of women, pervasive racial profiling and mass incarceration of Black and Latino people in the U.S.

But the one solution that can change all this hell for humanity is the one that people routinely reject out of hand—the basis and need for communist revolution. It's been ruled off the agenda and instead filled by seeming alternatives to the way things are, like "leaderlessness," "radical democracy," "utopia," that actually do not lead to anything truly transformative and emancipatory.

This new eBook (and the tour) is a timely challenge to open people's thinking on why and how the world does not have to be like this, and why and how only genuine communist revolutions—past and future—can emancipate all of humanity from the intolerable capitalist-imperialist world.

Lotta spoke to why the theme of his talk and getting out the eBook far and wide matters and is urgent. The fact that hundreds of millions in the Soviet Union and China set out to build radically liberating societies—and indeed achieved great things even with real problems, shortcomings, and errors—is very relevant to the fight for a better future.

He emphasized how this first wave of communist revolution with its learning curve taking us to where we are today with the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian—provides the basis to both evaluate these revolutions and to go further and do better in a new stage of communist revolution. The stakes are high. This is about the need and basis to put an end to the horrors of global capitalism—through revolution.

Lotta challenged people: Anyone who cares about the world has a serious responsibility to dig into this and to get it out and debated in society. During the tour, Lotta called on the audiences to weigh this possibility in considering what their lives should be about. As one of the leaflets building for the tour put it: "If what Lotta is saying about the history and future of communist revolution is true—and he does back up his arguments that it is—then everything changes as to what is possible for humanity."

After hearing and speaking with Lotta, one student told us that she had been feeling angry all the time about the world around her, but it made a big difference to know things don't have to be like this as these previous revolutions revealed, and as she encounters BA's works and the movement for revolution the RCP is building.

Revolutions That Shook and Changed the World

Students like her have never encountered a factual, scientific, and truthful historical presentation of the first wave of communist revolution. The eBook and tour give a vivid picture of the real people who took part in these revolutions—from the Paris Commune (1871), to the revolution in Russia led by Lenin (1917-1956), to the revolution in China led by Mao Zedong (1949-1976). Lotta spoke about China's Cultural Revolution and how it was a breakthrough in human emancipation.

On the tour, Lotta spoke about what socialism and communism really are, about how these first socialist revolutions carried out by hundreds of millions changed history. They took initial but momentous steps out of the long nightmare of thousands of years of oppressive and exploitive societies in human history. There are inspiring examples of how the lives of women dramatically improved as gender roles were revolutionized, and the steps taken towards ending the oppression of minority nationalities in the Russian and Chinese revolutions.

He talked about these kinds of amazing real-life achievements they made but also the weaknesses—some serious errors, in theory and practice in this first stage of communist revolutions—and how Avakian's new synthesis of communism provides the pathways to do better in the next wave of these revolutions.

He pointed out that these revolutions are systematically misrepresented and lied about in the media and in so-called scholarly studies, and how the conventional wisdom is that they were disasters and failures. People are kept totally ignorant of what happened, why people rose up in revolution, what the leadership of these revolutions set out to do, the problems they ran into, and the mistakes they made. It was revealing that at one program attended by over 100 undergrads, when Lotta asked how many had heard of the Red Guards in China's Cultural Revolution, not a single hand went up! (The Red Guards were the revolutionary youth who helped spark the Cultural Revolution in 1966, popularizing Mao Zedong's thought and calling on people to challenge those officials in the Communist Party and others in authority acting like overlords and taking society in a conservative, bourgeois direction.)

Getting the Truth Out and Stirring Debate

During the tour, Lotta engaged in all kinds of ways with people. His eBook also poses a challenge to professors, including those from the 1960s. Many intellectuals and artists who did know better about the real experiences of these revolutions have been influenced or intimidated by a flood of anti-communism, e.g. personal memoirs lifted out of any sense of the larger world and societal context. Many scholars have become silenced or even bought into lies about that revolutionary chapter of history. This is extremely harmful and is something the eBook can powerfully contest and change.

At different stops on the tour, there was initial discussion about how people, including students, are trained to think in this society—the lack of critical thinking—about real world problems that give rise to revolutions, about the biggest questions confronting humanity, of how to understand and change the world. For example, in contrast to mind-numbing capitalist consumerist and self-absorbed culture in this society and people taught to passively vote—the Cultural Revolution in China unleashed the youth and the whole society to think about, debate, and act on "serve the people" and break down barriers between mental and manual labor, the position of women in society, and inequalities between cities and rural areas.

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the RCP is written with the future in mind. It is intended to set forth a basic model, and fundamental principles and guidelines, for the nature and functioning of a vastly different society and government than now exists: the New Socialist Republic in North America, a socialist state which would embody, institutionalize and promote radically different relations and values among people; a socialist state whose final and fundamental aim would be to achieve, together with the revolutionary struggle throughout the world, the emancipation of humanity as a whole and the opening of a whole new epoch in human history–communism–with the final abolition of all exploitative and oppressive relations among human beings and the destructive antagonistic conflicts to which these relations give rise.

Read the entire Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the RCP at revcom.us/rcp.

Woven into the speeches and Q&As was a sense that we ARE building a movement for revolution with the vanguard Party as its leading core. It was opening up big discussions and big debates, with an inviting atmosphere for everyone to feel at ease posing questions or comments, and being shown how there is a place and a role for them right now, at whatever level of involvement, in the revolution. A thread was the importance of the BA Everywhere campaign as the leading edge of the whole ensemble of revolutionary work.

Importantly, throughout the tour, Lotta brought people into the vision and plan for a better future as concretized in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North American (Draft Proposal) that is based on the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian. How would the new socialist state be a base area for the world revolution? How could we build a planned and sustainable economy that protects the environment?

The diverse audiences expressed appreciation for the Q&As and Raymond Lotta's eagerness to really dig into things deeply with people—from mainstream economic theory to sociology... from why Cuba is not a socialist country to consumerism and how people's minds get fucked with, and lives get fucked up, by the system... to why vanguard leadership is so essential to changing the world. There was a lot of discussion stirred about whether "you can do good in a bad world," as the system tells people, or have to confront the real need for revolution.

Off the tour, a blog was set up on one campus, a dialogue that Lotta plans to join. It has already gotten a number of thoughtful posts from students with follow-up comments and questions such as this:

"This revolutionary movement is something to be taken seriously, yet so many people choose to disinterest themselves from it. They feel that they can help society, and more specifically their local community, in a more practical and efficient way by being good citizens and raising their children to be good people. Some say that a huge revolutionary movement is such an abstract idea that it's unlikely to even happen, so they would rather do as much 'good' in their smaller communities. What can be said to defend the communist movement and revolution in this way?"

Real Potential on Campuses

In an initial way the tour revealed that, right now, there is a real need and much potential to get out onto the campuses more widely and deeply, building the movement for revolution. The theoretical and ideological struggle focused on in the title and content of the You Don't Know What You Think You "Know" About....The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future provides a tremendous resource.

I urge everyone to get their hands on it, study it, write reviews on Amazon.com about it, spread it and organize discussions of it. Begin now to plan for campus tours in the fall, including applying for funding early. Learning from the just-completed tour, you begin to see the potential to transform the thinking of many, many people, FOR revolution—especially on the campuses but also in society more broadly.


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