"Holy Shit!"

Three Thoughts on the Dialogue

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


To revcom.us:

When I first heard news of the Dialogue between Bob Avakian (BA) and Cornel West (CW), I had three major thoughts.

First, I thought, "Holy shit, it's a really huge deal that BA is speaking in public! This hasn't happened, in this way, in a very long time, and there is both tremendous positive potential and very serious stakes to this... This is truly an extraordinary and exciting opportunity!"

The fact that BA is speaking publicly and the prospect of more than 1,000 people seeing him do so, with the Dialogue having even much broader societal reverberations/impact, really has the ability to be a game-changer and to effect a leap in terms of the societal influence and organized strength of the movement for revolution and the campaign within that to make BA much more broadly known to people... while at the same time, there is real risk involved here and there are people who would like nothing more to seize on this opportunity to do real harm to BA, so we better get busy making leaps in building a wall around him. The sentence in the article "Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian" stuck in my mind: "We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly." As did the whole explanation of why this is so.*

Second, the fact that BA and CW are having a public dialogue, and the whole rich, deep back- and-forth between this revolutionary communist leader and this revolutionary Christian and radical intellectual—full of unity, struggle, mutual warmth, and appreciation—the exchange between the two speakers can really inspire the hell out of people, awaken them to big questions, and challenge and transform the way people are thinking.

Third, the fact that BA and CW are having a dialogue on these particular huge questions confronting humanity and bound up with the future of humanity—revolution and religion—is a really big deal that can really inspire/challenge people's thinking and transform the terms around huge questions.

All three of these factors are related to the major, game-changing societal impact this Dialogue can have...

A further thought: The fact that CW, with his intellectual integrity, moral courage, and love for the masses, is having a public dialogue with BA makes a big statement that Bob Avakian is someone people had better find out about... if we're not recognizing that, I think we're missing something big.

And, a question: Having said all that, and in thinking about how people are approaching this thus far, I wonder whether Point 1—"Holy shit, BA is speaking in public... do we realize what a huge fucking deal this is?!?!"—is getting the adequate recognition, attention, and projection it deserves.

A revolutionary

* From the article "Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian": " BA is not only the leader of the revolution, he is also a best friend to the masses of people.  He is a leader who has done decades of work in the realm of theory to bring forward the scientific method, strategy and vision needed to make revolution and bring into being a radically new world where all the horrors that humanity suffers unnecessarily would be no more. He is continuing to develop the advanced scientific method that he has forged, and apply that method to all of the big questions and obstacles confronting the revolution. He is able to break down all of this down for people, without even slightly watering it down, in a way that everyone can understand, take up, and be inspired by. He has taken on the daily responsibility of leading a party and a movement to make revolution right here in the most powerful imperialist country in the world. He has dedicated his life to the emancipation of humanity. And, through all of this, he maintains a deep, visceral connection to and feeling for the masses of people who most desperately need this revolution." [back]

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