Letter from a Reader

On Challenges Posed by the New Year: Thoughts on "The Mass initiatives and Their Relation to Our Strategic Objectives"

December 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


In going back over the article “The Mass Initiatives and Their Relation to Our Strategic Objectives,” and thinking about the moment we are in, one dimension of BA’s leadership that stood out to me is the way in which he actually leads the Party in not only making “essentially correct theoretical abstractions,” but also wielding those to develop “the strategy, program, and policies, necessary to radically transform the world through revolution toward the final aim of communism”—to quote BAsics 6:7. This whole piece is very striking in its pinpointing of key “faultlines” of the system, its discussion of the importance of fighting those outrages, its analysis of how these horrors affect the masses so long as they are not challenged, some key questions that arise in taking up these struggles, and—as the basic foundation of the whole piece, which is continually returned to—how taking up these questions must be oriented in the context of the final goal of communist revolution and the emancipation of humanity. (The timeliness of the addendum at the end, given the course of events since it was written and the overall role played by our Party in those events, also stands out as very spot-on leadership as well!)

In thinking about this, and the challenges posed by the new year, I not only want to re-call this entire article to people’s attention, I want to recommend the particular section on how people like Sunsara Taylor, or Andy Zee, or Carl Dix, or Raymond Lotta, represent for the revolution and communism out in the world. The principles in this section actually give important orientation and guidance for everyone in or taking leadership from and supporting the Party in “getting right” both in more deeply grasping themselves and then explaining to people, in a down-to-earth way, the content and importance of BA’s leadership.

Of course, the entire quote that I referenced earlier from BAsics [6:7] goes on to emphasize the role of leadership in leading others to “take up and act on–and to themselves take initiative in wielding– the outlook and method, and the strategy, program, and policies, necessary to radically transform the world through revolution toward the final aim of communism, and through this process to continually enable others one is leading to themselves increasingly develop their ability to do all this. This is the essence of communist leadership.” This too comes through in this section of “The Mass initiatives and Their Relation to Our Strategic Objectives”—and in BA’s leadership overall. It is a model to which every revolutionary should aspire—now, more than ever.

A reader

* * * * *


A point on how people with the responsibility of representing publicly for our Party and its line present themselves vis-à-vis BA. We do not want "preliminary mantras" (or "mantras" of any kind) "in praise of BA." We are not, and we should not come off as if we were, some kind of religious cult which has to begin everything we say by praising our "god." What we want, what we need, is to bring out in a living way where we are coming from. The point is that we have a Party that stands on the basis of certain fundamental things. We should present this well. We should, in essential terms, put this forward: We have a Party that bases itself on communism as it's been brought forward to a new synthesis by BA, a Party that is led by BA. We should do this in a living way, as opposed to religious-like "mantras."

This should not be difficult at all. This should just be presented naturally—in a matter of fact, and at the same time compelling, way. It should be put forward boldly, and with the essential substance—and if people don't like that... boxing gloves—ideological struggle. But we should not come off as if there is, or there has to be, some kind of religious "mantra" involved. We shouldn't let petit bourgeois ways of thinking, with their prejudice against leaders, or at least communist leaders in particular, set the terms for what we do. But we also shouldn't actually turn into a cult, and tactically we should take into account how things affect people.

Where is all this proceeding from and where does it all have to go? How do you convey that, and not something else—how do you present that in the best way—given the particularity of the audience and the particularity of the circumstance? There needs to be a further leap in terms of how this is presented, with substance, in a living and compelling way—not only by a few people but by our people as whole.

If we are talking about someone like Sunsara Taylor, or Andy Zee, or Carl Dix, or Raymond Lotta, for example, what's the correct synthesis? People should get a living sense that these people are coming from a certain place—with substance, and liveliness—they are not at all a bunch of automatons. If our people clearly come through as basing themselves on a developed line, the new synthesis, and the leadership of BA, and at the same time it comes through that they are lively and creative people, and so on—that's what we need. Here are people basing themselves on this line and leadership and, wow, they can really think on their feet and have a lot to say—that's what should come through, that's what's gonna build up the whole thing.

Both of these things have to come through very prominently: 1, people are coming from the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of BA—that's the foundation; and 2, what they have to say and the way they present it is very provocative and illuminating—they don't fit the stereotype of a dogmatic communist, they're not cultists, etc., but people who are lively, creative and critical thinkers, with a scientific method and approach. And, in an overall way, it should come through that one flows from the other (that 2 flows from 1) in a fundamental sense. That is the right synthesis—there shouldn't be even a hint of defensiveness in all this, but there does need to be the right synthesis—and that will help drive people to the mainstays.

It should come across: The essential reason this person (an ST, AZ, CD, RL, etc.) is cool is because they've come to this understanding and orientation, this communism; it has a specific content in the world today and they're part of or related to a Party that has as its basis the new synthesis of communism and the leadership that's provided by BA. This embodies a synthesis of two things, which should be mutually reinforcing, in a positive way: the particular person with their own experiences, positive qualities, their own way of going after things, as one aspect, which is real; and the foundation and leadership that gives this the character that it has in its most fundamental aspect.


From "The Mass Initiatives and Their Relation to Our Strategic Objectives," by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Read the entire piece here.

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