Two Views...

October 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

I was in a group discussing getting out there and selling tickets to the upcoming Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West. A newer person raised this question:

“What kind of a revolution are you talking about? Is this a ‘fighting-in-the-streets’ kind of revolution, or what? And do you have to be an atheist to be part of this?”

Someone else answered that the revolution that BA and the Party is talking about does in fact require millions of people to meet and defeat the instruments of violent repression. It requires that the institutions of reactionary violence that back up and enforce the present system be dismantled – and that a new state power, serving the people, be built. And that this can only be done once millions of people can be won to this, as conditions change, and then are led to go all-out to make revolution and get rid of this system.

It was very good that that this comrade brought this understanding into the discussion, but I thought I’d add something. “Cornel West also considers himself a revolutionary. Without trying to speak for Cornel, he might characterize himself as believing in a revolution along the lines of Martin Luther King.

“As far as atheism, everybody—believer and non-believer alike—can and will be part of this revolution ‘when the deal goes down.’ But here too there are differences—Cornel West holds that religious belief is an essential element of revolution; BA argues that such belief ultimately acts as a fetter on people confronting reality in the straight-up way in which it must be confronted in order to achieve the fundamental change we need.

“What’s going to be unique about this Dialogue is that you’ll have the foremost spokespersons for each view up on the stage getting deeply into all this. People will have the chance to hear each of these people get into that topic—‘revolution and religion’—from their own viewpoints. Where they overlap and unite, and where they differ and struggle.”

Afterward, I asked the woman who raised this what kind of change she thought was needed.

She smiled. “Radical change.” And then we got into where and how to get these tickets sold.

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