“We Need a Culture of Revolt Against This Revolting Culture!”

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a Revolution Club member in NYC

Look, we need a radically different kind of world, one where the culture actually lifts us up, challenges us, inspires us, enriches our hearts and minds, and fosters a whole different kind of morality, where human beings treat each other with mutual respect. Radically different from what exists today, in the main at least, with so much revolting shit: all this degradation and straight-up dehumanization of women in music and the ever more vicious pornography; all this “get mine” and “get money” bullshit mixed together with this American chauvinism... all of this resting on a foundation of the blood and bones of exploited and oppressed people of the world.

On the night of May 6, 2016, the NYC Revolution Club hosted an open mic night entitled “Future People Open Mic” with the theme of “Rebellion.” We built for it with the poem on this page. This open mic was part of fighting for that radically different ethos, or as Bob Avakian has put it, “a culture of radical opposition,” as a necessary part of building a movement for revolution. Without a real liberating culture, drawing from real-world experience, while at the same time inspiring people to imagine a world beyond what is, we will never make a revolution, and get to a communist world without all forms of exploitation and oppression. At the same time, we need to give space to people who do not necessarily agree with the need for revolution and communism, but want to contribute their artistic expressions to the movement, and work together with revolutionaries, and others, who do want a different kind of world.

The night itself put forward a vision of “future people” in an important and beginning way, really representing what is out there in society, with the youth especially, but at the same time pointing to a whole other way. A young Black student performed a poem rejecting all the ways men are trained in this society to “be a man.” A young woman, who mobilized her church congregation for Rise Up October, performed a song/poem about her own process of learning to love herself, becoming a critical thinker, and rejecting the ways women are taught to hate themselves. Two high school youths performed poems combining love with scientific terminology, which was so sweet and clever! An ex-prisoner, who spent more than half of his life in prison and came out a revolutionary, shared some personal experience and read a poem which reflected his thirst for knowledge of past revolutions, and his deep appreciation for Bob Avakian. A Revolution Club member performed an original piece called “Ahmed Muhammad,” about the youth who was arrested for building a clock. Overall, the theme of “Rebellion” was expressed in many thoughtful and diverse ways throughout the evening.

Revolution Club at Rise Up October

Get with the Revolution Club  here


The night ended with another Revolution Club member reading two quotes by Bob Avakian on art and culture from BAsics (which appear on this page). One of the quotes gave a vision of the kind of liberating culture we could have in a revolutionary society, in contrast to today’s putrid one; and the other quote more emphasized the need to build today a culture of revolt and get it way out there in society, as part of building a movement for revolution. The club member challenged people to get more into this, to get with the Revolution Club, to be those “Future People” starting today.

The whole open mic experience, with people coming together on the basis of opposing this putrid culture and opening up, mixing it up, and embracing each other’s differences while getting exposed to a whole revolutionary outlook, marked a very important beginning. We need more!


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