Letter from a reader:

Reflecting on Bob Avakian’s Speech “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible”

December 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


There are many ways to watch this speech and many dimensions to appreciate—but after November 18—as we do the rigorous work to scientifically step back and sum up what it is we are trying to accomplish, what it is we are encountering and how we learn from an intense year of fighting to win millions of people to the need to drive out this regime—it is worth re-watching the speech Bob Avakian (BA) made this October and learning from the method he approached this talk with.

Specifically there is a difference between more positivist approaches to summation—that is to say summation done very much from within the terms of how we did at this or that aspect of our work or within the terms as they are presented by the “resistance,” or the maneuvers of the Trump regime; we need to step back all the way to the reality of the situation we are working to transform, including in its deeper underlying dimensions.

“People always were and always will be the foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit in politics until they learn to discover the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. The supporters of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realize that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is maintained by the forces of some ruling classes.” (Lenin, as quoted and referenced in The New Communism by BA)

The way people look at things is a reflection—not in a mechanical one-to-one sense, but in a fundamental sense it is a reflection—of the position and inclinations of some social group or some class of people in society. Spontaneously people look at what is to be done about the current—or any—situation and try to rearrange things or reality within the existing framework of how society is organized and how things are done. But “how things are done” is dominated by “the forces of some ruling classes” and the inclination to stay in these terms are also shaped and reinforced by the relative position of people within that framework.

Now look back at this speech―including the question recently asked at an event sponsored by The Bob Avakian Institute on where BA begins this speech—and how this analysis is rooted in the whole history of the country and the country’s role in the world: the history of classes and class society and the specific and peculiar history of the forging and formation of the U.S. on a foundation of white supremacy and the direct links and connections from the Confederacy to the fascists of today—or the GTF (Great Tautological Fallacy) and the widely held cohering national mythology of American exceptionalism.

Communists are going to work on this situation and these contradictions—vexing ones given we are dealing with what is fighting to remain the world’s sole superpower and a large middle class that has benefitted from this, with some sections of these strata responding to changes and the undermining of their position in the imperialist world economy and losing what was a traditional way of life by looking to and taking up a fascist resolution to this, while others are horrified and repulsed by everything Trumpian and who welcome the ways of life enriched by world migrations and integration, the changes in the position of women, the throwing into the air of traditional gender roles and the increasing role of science and the scientific method to understanding and being in the world, but who are also looking to maintain the comforts and stability living in the West bring.

Avakian is not looking at this with world-weary, determinist “realism” but with an approach of seeing these as contradictions rooted in an underlying reality—a reality that is in motion and going through convulsive change—and a recognition that the stability people are going to great lengths of self-deceit to maintain—is also coming to an end and where abrupt changes that people tend to see as “it couldn’t happen here” can happen very quickly. These are contradictions that can be worked on—and must be—but the freedom in this necessity is not clear without a method that digs down into the foundations of the underlying reality.

If you look back at this speech you can see BA approaching this not with determinist realism, cynical realpolitik, or tailing the outlook of the middle classes but struggling with people (in this speech he speaks to different sections of the people) with strategic confidence, with a lot of heart and compassion, and very wide arms. And that is BA applying the new synthesis he has been the architect of—putting the living science of communism back on its scientific foundations.

This speech is an application of Enriched What Is to Be Done-ism—worked with and described by BA in “Unresolved Contradictions and Driving Forces for Revolution”:

What is involved in “Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism” is sharply and scientifically exposing the system, bringing to light the causes and reasons for the oppression that different sections of the people suffer and the outrages that masses of people detest; showing, in a living way, how all this is rooted in and has as its source the system of capitalism-imperialism, which perpetuates and enforces this on a daily basis and in horrific dimensions; illustrating, through the application of a scientific, dialectical materialist method, how different sections of the people tend to respond to different events in society and the world, and how this relates to their position within the overall production and social relations; bringing forward and setting before all, and boldly struggling for, our revolutionary and communist orientation and convictions; and mobilizing people, yes, to fight back against oppression but to do so on the basis and with the orientation and aim of building a movement for revolution, toward the goal of sweeping aside the capitalist-imperialist system, bringing into being a new, socialist system and continuing to advance, together with people struggling throughout the world, toward the final goal of communism; and setting before the masses of people not only the goals of the revolution and the basic strategy for making revolution, as embodied in the line and policies of the party, but also the problems of making revolution, involving growing numbers of the masses in grappling with and helping to resolve these contradictions in the direction of revolution and communism.

While this particular speech by BA is not principally aimed at what the last part of the sentence above speaks to, i.e. getting into the goals and strategy of the revolution per se, it definitely aims to involve growing numbers of masses in grappling with helping to resolve the contradictions involved in driving out the Trump/Pence regime. I think if we are understanding and learning from this method—including comparing and contrasting how we’ve understood and made use of this talk—it should be possible for people to make much better use of this—seeing the decisive difference that this talk can continue to make and taking initiative to get this out to many more people in the immediate period. Having discussions and engagement about this, encouraging many people who are not communists to be grappling with the analysis and method and popularizing this among their own milieus.

Taking this out boldly and creatively will greatly increase our ability to unite very broadly. Based on this kind of engagement and putting the real problems of the revolution before people we should be better able to work with all kinds of people in solving the problems of the revolution—including right now working on what it must take to win people to the necessity and possibility of driving this fascist regime from power—and the better world it would contribute to.




Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.