From Colombia, South America, October 14

How the Life of Comrade X Inspired us...

October 16, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following is a translation of "Cómo la vida del Camarada X nos inspiró…".

I remember it was around 1991 when I was 17 and went to college. I got involved in the student movement and felt very attracted to the radical politics of the Maoists, the Red Guards, the youth group built by the Revolutionary Communist Group. A few months later one of these young revolutionaries invited me to read the Cuadernos Rojos—in the first issues they published chapter by chapter the book The Science of Revolution, by Lenny Wolff. During the holidays I devoured them... literally. I was delighted by the scientific clarity explaining how the world worked.

Around 1992, I began to actively participate in the movement for education to serve the people, led by the Red Guards. I was a sympathizer of the Maoists. From the beginning I was very attracted to their scientific explanations for the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and China, and the supposed "death of communism," something very hotly debated at that time. I began to understand what was really socialism and communism, and the need for communist revolution.

It was around that time that comrade responsible for the core of supporters where I was located handed me the pamphlet "Down for Revolution, an Interview with Comrade X." It moved me deeply. The first thing that struck me was the description of how the system rammed him into jail in his childhood, and that filled me with visceral hatred for the system. At that time I drew the connection with what I had lived very closely in my town, the massacres of young people by the far-right "Mano Negra" [Black Hand] and drew the connection to the disappearances of young people that were going on at that time in Bogota (where I had just arrived) by police-related groups.

It helped me to understand prisons as instruments of class rule and part of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie against the people. But what surprised me most was knowing that in the midst of the filth of the prison where the worst that the system can do to people is concentrated, people like Comrade Clyde rose up and fought to get out of the filth and become communists, fighters for the emancipation of humanity. That got me thinking: Sure, hell, YOU CAN transform the most oppressed masses into revolutionaries, they themselves can get into revolutionary theory and practice in the struggle for communism, with the force of a truly communist leadership. That interview helped me understand that to become a communist is not to become a big shot, the toughest among everybody, gangster-style, but to scientifically understand the world and fight selflessly to free all humanity.

Another thing that I started to learn is the importance of self-criticism, and that a key leap to become a communist is knowing how to practice it and how it has a lot to do with overcoming the bourgeois world view and especially individualism. Also on the crucial role of criticism to develop a vanguard communist party, to develop the collectivity, the party spirit. However, dealing with such learning was not easy, and I remember years later, re-reading the interview helped me understand some very sharp and harsh criticisms I was receiving from a leading comrade on the economist work I was developing. Learning from Comrade X helped me be open to accepting and understanding the criticism that they were making of me.

I remember Comrade X with much love, and despite not knowing him personally, he was someone who impacted my life and played a role in the process that led me to revolutionary communism. I feel a deep sorrow for this great loss, but also his life inspired me to more fully get into this and learn from him, to dare to lead, to dare to scale the heights and fly without a safety net, an ideological struggle we are today waging here in Colombia, and in which Comrade X is present. Today I'm reading about his life, I'm going back to read the interview, and I'm learning a lot from this great comrade, especially his spirit and approach to help and give all to develop the collectivity, the chain of knowledge and the chain of command of the party. And much more... like right now with the need to get myself more into communist theory...

A — October 14, 2014

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.