Getting Our Heads Around Organizing Thousands ... and Thoughts on Building the Revolution Clubs

From a member of the Revolution Club

| Revolution Newspaper |


There are some things that have come up in the process of building the movement for revolution that I think may still be holding us back and are worth drawing some attention to.

One big thing is getting our heads around the kind of process that is involved in thousands getting “organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution.” (From HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution [HWCW]) In a recent letter on called “Initial Thoughts on the Revolution Club…,” one of the things it says is, “Spreading and acting on the basis of the Points of Attention for the Revolution, the clubs have to go through the world as people living and embodying the values of the future world we’re fighting to bring into being. This too is a pole of attraction to the revolution for many. The clubs should be open to everyone who agrees to the Points of Attention, working and struggling with and learning from people, and not thinking everyone, or most people, will go ‘from zero to sixty.’ The clubs must embody a way of organizing and working with people that is gone into in the ‘Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution’ piece from earlier this summer.”

The process discussed there, and in the “Commitment... Process” piece should not be taken as an “add-on” to what kind of work we are already doing. I think this involves breaking down, breaking with, and re-conceiving a lot of “how we do things” which tends to involve a lot of one-on-one work with people, and a lot of trying to develop and prepare people before they are involved in and given responsibility for working on the revolution. We need to be involving people and enabling them to take responsibility for the revolution AS they are learning and developing their understanding and ability to lead and take more responsibility, and we all should involve people in forging new ways that people can learn and develop above all in collective ways and as part of the process. How we do at this will also bear on whether or not we are building a movement and developing leaders for an actual revolution.

And the part that says “The clubs should be open to everyone who agrees to the Points of Attention, working and struggling with and learning from people, and not thinking everyone, or most people, will go ‘from zero to sixty’” indicates that these Points of Attention (POAs) need to be much more broadly used to give coherence and organization to a broad revolutionary movement, as opposed to just being the things you have to agree to once you’ve learned what you need to know to be able to begin taking part in the revolution.

I know I’ve been part of different approaches to building the clubs either with no process or coherence, or else an arduous process akin to a few college courses. Instead of this, for example, recently some of us were talking about how to bring into the club a number of people who got to see BA speak over the summer before we said to ourselves, “What are we gonna do with people that he didn’t just do with them and better? Let’s just talk to them and ask if they are ready to live by and fight for the POAs and if they get the basics of that and agree to it, that’s the point.” And this experience ended up showing how impactful it is for people to make that commitment and dedication in front of others when they were officially acknowledged. And then people will have to continue to struggle over how to follow through on that responsibility (I mean, who doesn’t have to keep doing that?) Doing regular ceremonies with groups of people welcomed into the club together with masses checking out the revolution has an affect all the way through, too, as it can also create a standard among the masses who are not yet ready to make that commitment but who can be part of broader support networks who are also able to hold people to those POAs who are representing for the revolution.

The New Film

This gets to another point about the upcoming film of Bob Avakian’s talk Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. I really think with what is said about it in the piece “Take This Film and Change Everything” that this film can play a key role in giving people the basic grounding in the “whys” and “hows” of revolution that can enable many people to take this up and step into the process. With the role this can play in relation to organizing the thousands, as well as influencing the millions, in mind, I think it is worth the clubs to have more crackling over how we build for the upcoming preview screenings and the online launch the next month, as well as sharing advanced experiences and the hardest obstacles. I know, for example, that where I am there is some promising potential of someone who was able to see the talk from BA live seeking to find ways to organize their own showings among circles of people who we are not normally in touch with. We know someone else who no longer lives close by and asked if there was a club near him he could join, so we are trying to set up working with him to pull some people together and send a club member out there to watch the film with them.

People should be coming to expect not ONLY to hear something great that will affect them, but we need to find ways so that people are getting a basic sense of the role this film can play in changing everything. (I saw that there is now another piece up on who should see this film and what this will do, very directly speaks to this and more!)

The Problem and the Solution

This relates to a last point that in everything we are doing, everyone working on the revolution together from brand new to more experienced, from heavily-involved to beginning involvement, everyone should in basic ways be let in on what are the problems of the revolution and how what we are doing now is part of going to work on them. Everyone who was lucky enough to be at the talks that BA gave this summer (that will be this new film) could learn a lot from how he modeled doing this throughout the speech and the Q&As that followed, bringing people in to working together on making revolution. The film, when it comes out, and HWCW are great tools for this, and they need to be worked with so everyone involved can contribute their thinking as well as practical involvement toward solving these problems.

Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for Revolution

To round out the picture, I also want to point out that none of what we are doing is off to the side of major battles going in throughout society. As that “Initial Thoughts” piece says, “Fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution is a key part of the strategy for revolution. In carrying out such a radical strategy for such a radical goal, the clubs must of necessity be the most radical, convention-breaking, not-playing-by-the-rules thing out there—and must bring forward masses to defend them when they are attacked for being that.” The film of BA’s talk, and HWCW also, give a lot of guidance for how to understand the “5 Stops” and how to enter into struggle around these “Stops” as part of building up the forces for revolution.

What I just wanted to say here is that here, too, we need to involve people not just in coming to protests or actions of various kinds, but also in questions like: How do we build up the authority of the revolution and its leadership? Where can we unite with others and where do we need to struggle? How do people learn to evaluate different organized forces, programs, culture and values—according to how it relates to the revolution we need to end all oppression? How do we carry all this out and defeat the attempts to crush the revolution and its leadership? Here, too, on, there is a lot of up-to-date guidance on the various police attacks and charges facing the clubs all over the country. And here, too, we have to learn how people are involved in working on these problems as part of the whole process.

“Revolutions are made by the bold. On the basis of the solid core foundation of the works of BA and other key documents of the new communism, and the guidance that must be up every week and every day at, the clubs must dare to storm the heavens—and dare to make mistakes in the process.” (From “Initial thoughts...”)


Trailer for

Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

A speech by Bob Avakian

Spread this trailer today. Let people know they have a chance to be among the first to see this speech.

Then join the movement to put this before all of society, toward the online premiere October 19.

Points of Attention for the Revolution

The Revolution Club upholds, lives by and fights for the following principles:

1 We base ourselves on and strive to represent the highest interests of humanity: revolution and communism. We do not tolerate using the revolution for personal gain.

2 We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or “jokes” about people’s gender or sexual orientation.

3 We fight for a world without borders, and for equality among different peoples, cultures and languages. We do not tolerate insults, “jokes” or derogatory names about a person’s race, nationality, or language.

4 We stand with the most oppressed and never lose sight of their potential to emancipate humanity—nor of our responsibility to lead them to do that. We work to win people of all backgrounds to take part in the revolution, and do not tolerate revenge among the people.

5 We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.

6 We are going for an actual overthrow of this system and a whole better way beyond the destructive, vicious conflicts of today between the people. Because we are serious, at this stage we do not initiate violence and we oppose all violence against the people and among the people.

How Can We Win? How Can We Really Make Revolution?


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