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Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor Invite and Recruit Students Across California into the Real Revolution

March 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Since early February, hundreds of students have gathered at seven campuses in California to hear Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor make the case for communist revolution and why they should dedicate their lives to revolution and the emancipation of humanity.

Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor at Berkeley High
Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor at Berkeley High School.

In a lively and compelling way, Dix and Taylor challenged students to confront the horrors of the world around them—murder by police of Black and Brown people, rampant violence and degradation of women, ugly wars for empire, mass deportation of immigrants, and catastrophic destruction of the environment—and revealed the roots of this in the system of capitalism-imperialism. They brought alive how Bob Avakian (BA) has, through decades of work, brought forward a new synthesis of communism that puts the process of making revolution and emancipating humanity on a consistently scientific foundation, and how this changes everything in terms of humanity's ability to finally put an end to the long dark night in which humanity has been divided into masters and slaves. And they brought alive how Bob Avakian is actively leading the process of making revolution right now as the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

Dix and Taylor opened up about their own lives, sharing how they first encountered the revolution and how BA's leadership—and sometimes BA himself—shaped their decisions to dedicate their lives to revolution and their development into communist leaders themselves.  They challenged assumptions, took people out of their comfort zones, lifted people's sights, welcomed questions from every angle, and invited many into a process of learning more as they join together with others to change the world towards revolution right now.

As soon as the presentations ended, hands shot up in the air. How will this revolution deal with the mounting environmental crisis, is it even possible—under any system—to meet the needs of all humanity without destroying the Earth's ecosystems? Even with revolution, how are you going to end racism and sexism, aren't those deeply embedded in people? How can you talk about science if so much of it hinges on one person? Aren't you promoting BA in a “cultish” way? In your new socialist society, who gets to decide policies and what voices get heard?  Will people have the freedom of religion?  Isn't Bernie Sanders better than the others—shouldn't we support him and why don't you? Are you afraid of death?  Is it really true that all porn is sexist? What are you doing today, and what should we do about all these things that are wrong right now? Is it really possible to defeat the armies of such a powerful empire? What about non-violence?  What about all the reactionary, fundamentalist white people with guns? What, exactly, is Bob Avakian's new synthesis? What do you mean by science? Don't we need better democracy? What about people who don't agree with communism, will you relocate them after the revolution? Don't you need the market to motivate people to stimulate innovation? These, and other important questions, were explored and works of BA and the website were promoted as ways to go deeper.

Six Resolutions

Students raised the lies they had been taught about how communist leaders had allegedly “killed millions.” Taylor and Dix set the record straight not only on the particular incidents being brought up, but also exposed the dishonesty of how the history of communist revolutions is taught in this society. They challenged students to dig into the truth themselves, to go to the website and to engage the lessons and approach that BA has forged through deeply wrestling with the actual history of communism—both the tremendous achievements as well as the very real shortcomings and errors—precisely so that we can do better and go further in the new stage of communist revolution which is urgently needed now.

At Berkeley High, there was particular interest from students in the readings that Dix and Taylor shared from Bob Avakian's memoir. BA came of age in the era of the Civil Rights movement, during which time he attended Berkeley High. While most of the questions posed by Berkeley High students in the large group focused on the communist revolution, in informal conversations almost every student said that what stood out to them most was BA's personal stories about growing up at Berkeley High. Several Black students noted, with a certain heaviness, that the kind of same kind of social segregation and tracking of Black students into different academic paths than white students that BA described from 50 years ago still goes on. They were drawn to the way BA took seriously the lives and experiences of his Black friends, and his honest acknowledgement of how much he learned from them and how this shaped his whole life.

At Stanford, one of the most elite campuses in the country, as well as among many of the graduate students who attended the Tour elsewhere, Taylor and Dix repeatedly drew from and called on people to get into both the new work from BA, The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for An Actual Revolution, And A Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation, and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) to more deeply address the big questions put on the table. The approach of Bob Avakian's new synthesis to the relations between a socialist state and the whole world revolution, the economic functioning and contradictions, questions of international trade, questions of how “out of the box” scientists or thinkers will have their ideas engaged and debated, why the Revolutionary Communist Party must continue to lead the new society but also why it must be challenged and the whole society led to be filled with great debates, ferment, and dissent in order to keep the whole thing advancing along the broad road to communism, and more was explored.  Some of these highly intellectual students suggested that having such a Party leading was “elitist.” Others argued that in the real world only an intellectual elite could really rule and that it was “utopian” to aim to break down the division between those who have been trained to work with ideas and the vast majority on this planet who have been locked out of this.

Taylor and Dix brought alive the “5 Stops,” five key horrific concentrations of this system which people must be mobilized to STOP: police murder of Black and Brown people, oppression of women, attacks on immigrants, capitalist destruction of the environment, and wars for empire.  The stakes confronting millions of people today on each of these faultines, as well as the connections between fighting these now and preparing for revolution, was put before students. Plans were discussed—and much more needs to be organized and mobilized—for a national student strike in April against police murder and terror.

After every program, Taylor, Dix, and members of the local or campus-based Revolution Clubs stuck around, wrestling with the highest aspirations and the biggest challenges in the thinking of the students. At two schools, groups were brought together within days to read together and discuss the first essay in BAsics, “Reform or Revolution—Questions of Morality, Questions of Orientation.” At other schools, meetings were pulled together and new recruits to the Revolution Club joined more experienced members in getting out on campus right away to spread the leadership of Bob Avakian and dive in deeper to studying it themselves.  Everywhere this tour has been, the atmosphere and a section of people have been deeply impacted and transformed in significant—if beginning—ways. People were introduced to and Revolution newspaper as the key organ to continue learning and acting together with others to make revolution.

There is much more to be learned from this, many new questions to be deeply engaged, and people to be organized to get much more deeply into the leadership of BA and to join in taking this out into the world at the same time as fighting to stop the many great crimes of this system. We will be covering more about these first stops—and future stops on this tour—in the pages of this website and newspaper.



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