On Bob Avakian: Far-Sighted Revolutionary Leadership vs. Gutter-Level Wrecking and Disregard for the Truth

by Sunsara Taylor | August 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Elsewhere, the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP) has spoken to the outright capitulationism and destructiveness of the group that claims to be “Texans for Reproductive Justice.” Here, I will only expand on one particularly egregious element of their attack. These haters, and those associated with them, have lashed out at Bob Avakian (BA), Chairman of the RCP, for drawing an analogy between the way postcards that white people used to make of lynchings of Black people concentrated so much about white supremacy and the systematic terror and oppression of Black people, and the way that today’s ever more violent and degrading pornography concentrates so much about male supremacy and the systematic terror and oppression of women. The haters claim that BA is making light of, and “appropriating,” the oppression of Black people. They further claim that BA is acting as some sort of puritanical “bedroom police.”

The RCP has already made the point that all you have to do is read what it is that BA has actually said to see how outrageous and wrong this accusation is.

But, here I must add: It is simply a fact that one of the most striking things about Bob Avakian, both as a revolutionary leader and in his whole personal development—from his childhood friends, to his early and close involvement with the Black Panther Party, to his development as a revolutionary, and later the most radical revolutionary communist on the planet1 —is the profound role that the influence of Black people and the Black liberation struggle had on shaping him, as well as his ever-deepening commitment to and leadership in the fight to end the long centuries of oppression of Black people. Anyone who engages his work seriously... actually, anyone who even dips into his work—from the timeline of his political activism and revolutionary leadership, to the videos of his talks,2 to BAsics, to his countless works over the years—cannot help but be struck by this. Anyone who looks at the timeline, for instance, can see how he fought in the key struggles of the late 1960s and 1970s, including in defense of the Black Panther Party, and how he went on to found the Revolutionary Communist Party with the insistence that “There’s never gonna be a revolution in this country, and there never should be, that doesn’t make [fully unleashing and giving expression to the deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression of Black people] one key foundation of what it’s all about.” (BAsics 3:19) That these people who insist on brandishing the pro-slavery Texas flag could make these charges against BA demonstrates their utter lack of principle and fundamental disregard for the truth.

It is also simply a fact that one of the great hallmarks of BA over many decades has been his insistence that, “You cannot break all the chains except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can’t say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half.” (BAsics 3:22)

In fact, Bob Avakian has consistently broken new ground on this question—including with regard to sexual liberation, morality, and the forging of radically new social relations that are both free of oppression as well as filled with ease of mind and space—and how all this is bound up with and interdependent with the all-around fight to make revolution and carry that forward to a truly emancipated world. As part of this, he has scientifically interrogated the whole history of the communist movement—including our Party—on this question, going deeply into both its strengths and shortcomings, as part of breaking this new ground. All this can be seen—and should be gotten into by all who are sincere—in the new compendium which pulls together his decades-long work on this, Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution.

These haters have not succeeded in “exposing BA.” Instead, by striking out at, grossly distorting, and seeking to tear down BA, a revolutionary leader who has given his entire life and made no small amount of sacrifice to not only stay on the revolutionary road, but to advance that road and keep others advancing, these haters have exposed only how their deep investment in keeping the world as it is—while simultaneously posturing as people who care about the oppressed—has led them to abandon all principle and all regard for the truth.

1. To get a fuller picture of this, see Bob Avakian's memoir: From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist. [back]

2. Check out the DVD BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live—the film of his powerful 6+ hour talk given in 2012. [back]

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