A Reader Writes on "How a Socialist State Power Would Handle a Water Crisis Like Flint"

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

I feel that the last issue of Revolution/revcom.us (#426-427) had important beginnings that were different. Readers could get a sense from the combination of articles in this issue that this is the website and newspaper of a Party that is serious about leading a revolution and a revolutionary society and is working at applying BA’s vision for a whole new and radically different and better way the world could be—not just as a distant vision or nice idea but the way the world could be if we made a revolution in this country.

This is what we mean when we say on our website:

Get Organized for an Actual Revolution

Get Ready to Bring This System DOWN...

And Bring Something Much Better Into Being

Prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard—get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

In this light...

Do you know anyone else—any person or organization—that has managed to bring forth an actual PLAN for a radically different society, in all its dimensions, and a CONSTITUTION to codify all this? — A different world IS possible — Check out and order online the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

The article on Flint (“How a Socialist State Power Would Handle a Water Crisis Like Flint”) was a new thing. That was very heartening to see. Actually getting into what a new socialist state power could do and how it would address such emergencies. It is overall part of the effect that this issue has on you. Much of the argumentation and vision was important and compelling and it did a better job of promoting the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America than many other things where I feel it is just a link in an oft-repeated “urge to check it out.” While I don’t think we should be chopping the Constitution up to address every specific issue in an economist package, I do get irked when I feel the content of this is not being brought to bear.

I did have one question about how the content of this was gone at. The article was mainly “on Day One” we could be dealing with an emergency like this with whole new freedom and in a diametrically opposed way to the kind of society we live in now. But my question here: Were we thinking about and did the article give a vision of how the approach of solid core, and the maximum possible elasticity on that basis, would be applied? That is, were we proceeding from the stated solid core of the Constitution and that not just the Party but the government would be addressing such a crisis from the perspective of a revolutionary society trying to get to a communist society as stated in the preamble of the Constitution—which we could have quoted from directly?

The uprooting of the old inequalities are spelled out very compellingly in the article—but should we also be more taking the opportunity to give people a vision of what IS actually setting the terms in this new society? And I’m not sure that the article gives enough of a picture that there would also be a lot of controversy and struggle in how to go about this that would be part of the picture here. In the most recent work by BA (The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution, and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation), he makes the point that there will always be necessity—and not unlimited resources—and there would be forces in society who would be seizing on such an emergency to create chaos. I am not suggesting the article would go into this, but I was provoked to think about this after rereading the section of the new work by BA on the Constitution. People would have different ways to go about this (remembering BA’s examples that there will be debate over whether resources should be put to a health clinic or a library) and in this situation there would likely be different assessments and different solutions to this and high-stakes debate. There would very likely be different assessments and views of how to solve this problem from plumbers to urban planners and among the people affected. There would be the need for immediate solutions to a crisis, but also larger questions of how to rebuild with sustainable urban planning that is part of getting to a whole different kind of society than what you inherit right after the seizure of power. The future of a whole urban area and the well-being of the people are at stake. There would be struggle over how to deal with needed immediate fixes and underlying problems to sort out. Do you rebuild what’s already there (for example, do you need to replace the lead pipes that have been destroyed in an entire urban area, and how would you triage such repairs?)—or do you develop plans to rebuild the city with an entirely different kind of city than what existed?

The key thing here, of course, is that you have a whole different economic base and different relations that give you a totally different freedom to deal with this, and that does come through in the article (as does very strongly the need to unleash the conscious initiative of the masses). You don’t want to paint a utopian picture absent real struggle and the ferment that is actually very necessary to a scientific process aimed at transforming the whole legacy of imperialism that you have been left with. It’s not just basic people and intellectuals working together; it’s the necessary ferment and debate needed to get at the truth and the best way forward in a huge and devastating public health crisis. The environmental legacy of imperialism is going to be a big element of socialist transformation and necessity on a world scale.

In sum, what could have been stronger in the article was envisioning the ferment over which road to that is an important part of the new synthesis of Bob Avakian and the Constitution.

On another note, it was a blast to see the “Einstein proved” article which explained the magnitude of this development and provided further lessons on scientific method and approach—with relevance to theory running ahead of practice as a difference between scientific method and revisionism.



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