Reflections on running with the Revolution Club

How Can We NOT Take Responsibility
for the Whole Thing?

July 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:


Get with the Revolution Club

Oakland April 14
Running with the Revolution Club, April 14.
Bay Area, CA.
Photo: Lonny Meyer

A professor once said to me, "I hate watching documentaries: they tell you how messed up the world is, and oftentimes how humans are causing those problems, but at the end of the film, there is no solution. They don't tell me how I can change things, or change myself, or help change others. They're all doom and gloom, with no hope or way to change things." Next year, I am planning to go to that professor and say, yes, human activity causes a slew of problems for the planet and other human beings, but there is a larger problem that we have to deal with –capitalism. And there actually is a solution… 

I was first introduced to the Revolution Club and the movement for revolution on my college campus. Some of the first things that struck me about the group were the passion expressed in talking about social issues, and the wide-range of issues it fought against. I was surprised that the Revolution Club members I met talked of stopping murder by the police, of stopping the enslavement and degradation of women, of stopping the demonization of immigrants, of stopping wars for empire, and of stopping the destruction of the planet. I could not believe they were taking on ALL of the major problems facing our society today; after all, so many single organizations fight against single problems, to no end. It also intrigued me that these individuals openly declared that they were communist. (I wondered, "What does communism have to do with all of these issues? How can they all be tied together?") All of these things combined increased my desire and willingness to explore and learn more about the background and goals of the Revolution Club.

As the year progressed, spring turned into summer. And occasional participation with the club turned into an everyday integration, cohesion, and unity as I participated in the Revolution Club Summer Project. A lot of the disparate elements began coming together. Some of my questions began to be answered, and my understanding of the answers began to deepen and to crystallize in my mind. The second slogan of the club, "Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution," became more than a rad slogan or a basic idea. We "Fight the Power" by protesting injustice and oppression, alongside of others who are doing the same (non-revolutionary communists included). We "Transform the People" by introducing them to and organizing them into the movement and to the leadership and work of Bob Avakian, by modeling a different culture, and by proclaiming the possibility and need for revolution. While each aspect of the slogan is important in its own right, they are anything but disconnected, and they are some of the key elements to making revolution itself! We are carrying out the strategy for revolution when we take our outrage to the streets, and when we discuss and spread theory, and when we lead people to understand the world more comprehensively and scientifically, as we also deepen our own understanding.

REVOLUTION AND RELIGION The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian
BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live
BAsics from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian

I have also become more certain that and passionate about WHY humanity needs revolution and communism (the first slogan of the club). People are suffering across the planet because of the vile and wretched system of capitalism-imperialism that we live under. On every continent, in every nation, in every city, and on every street someone or something has suffered (and continues to suffer) because of it, and it is totally unnecessary! The atrocities against the planet and the seven billion people who live on it should not continue a moment longer than it has to. This is why we must continue to hasten toward a situation in which we can make an actual revolution, one that tears down the system causing so much suffering at its very roots, and we have to do this as soon as possible. Communism is the system we must work towards because it will actually allow for healthy relations between people, the riddance of exploitation and oppression, and a positive relationship between humans and the environment.

In understanding why the world is in the state that it is in today, that it does not have to be this way, that there are things I can do and measures I can take to actually fight against the suffering I see and hear about, and actually ACTING on all of these things, I have also come to realize that it is both extremely difficult and extremely rewarding. Throughout the summer I encountered the particular difficulty of trying to deepen my own understanding of things by e.g., reading and discussing (there are so many things crying out to be read!), while also trying to organize other people into the movement, and make a radical impact on society as well (there are so many things that cry out to be done!). Despite the seeming discrepancy between time to engage more theory and time to act in the world, the theory I am grounded in has made acting much more meaningful. Moreover, just having an outlet to act and to channel my sadness and anger at the state of the world is extremely liberating! I am no longer faced by the thought that there is nothing that can be done about homelessness, about violence against women, or about police terror. There IS something that I (that each and every one of you) can do, and there is a solution to these seemingly disparate issues as well.

I have also experienced a lot of light-bulb-going-off, "ah-ha!" moments, as well as a lot of joy, as I began to engage Bob Avakian's work, and in particular BAsics and REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! (RNL) BAsics is a very accessible and versatile book: it lays things out very explicitly, and because of that it is a great tool to use for outreach, but that is not to say that you cannot have very lengthy discussions on single quotes. RNL, though difficult to sit through for six hours straight, was well worth it because it gave me a much clearer picture of why and how BA's method and approach to reality and revolution is so important and worthy of focus. The way he examined historical events and social issues (i.e., evidence for the destructive nature of capitalism) really demonstrated to me what it means to apply the scientific method to understand human society. The way he laid things out, on the one hand, made so much sense, while on the other hand there is also a lot of work that can and should go into understanding how he arrived at the conclusions he did arrive at.

Furthermore, as I learned about BA's leadership and saw it in action, and read about the important dynamic of leading and being led (in relation to the strategy for revolution), I have developed much more appreciation for both. It is crucial that the masses are led to understand the possibility and need for revolution and communism; otherwise, when a revolutionary situation arises (if that situation arises at all), there is the possibility that we miss the opportunity to go all out for revolution!

If we hate the world as it is today, and want to DO SOMETHING about it. If we understand the need to fight back against oppressive powers and forces. If we understand that the problem is capitalism and the solution is revolution – then we must ACT! We must be led, and we must lead. We must continue to strive to be scientific in our understanding of and approach to reality. And, we must give our ALL to trying to solve the problems of the revolution. There are seven billion people whose lives can be made exponentially better through revolution and communism – how, then, can we NOT take responsibility for the whole thing?


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REVOLUTION AND RELIGION The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian
BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live
BAsics from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian
Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)
WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism
You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation Its History and Our Future Interview with Raymond Lotta
The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need