The New BA Film on Campus

“OK, Who Wants to Choose Leaving the World as It Is?”



From members of the Revolution Club, NYC

Recently the Revolution Club spoke in two classes at a local community college. We were invited by a professor who is also supportive of the National Revolution Tour. In both classes we watched a 30-minute excerpt from Bob Avakian’s (BA) speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. The excerpt titled “5 STOPS” identifies five deep and defining contradictions which cannot be resolved in the interests of humanity under this system. It makes a powerfully scientific and substantive case for why we say that the system of capitalism-imperialism cannot be reformed, and instead it must be overthrown at the soonest possible time. The excerpt of the speech set sharp terms with the students by posing that in reality there are only two choices: We either live with the horrors of this society... or we make revolution. And the Revolution Club members who led this summed up and fought to keep bringing it back to those terms and not something else. (In the past there would be strong tendencies towards having long discussions or to feel like you have to answer every question in full, versus going back to and leading others to understand what the real and fundamental terms of things really are.) This was something that the Revolution Club identified as a shortcoming in the first class and worked to transform in the second class, which contributed to things becoming much more contentious, much more of a struggle, and set much more clear dividing lines in which students had to pick a side and fight for that side.

One student said this country has intervened in the affairs of so many other countries that it could never do the right thing; another student said the system could not be fixed because it’s all about money and profit and it’s all about wanting more and more. Others asked:  What is your definition of socialism?... If I work hard, shouldn’t I get more for that? How would you motivate people under socialism?... Socialism would never work in America because America was conceived valuing private property and socialism fails to understand human nature: people are inherently greedy and self-centered... After the system is overthrown, will you replace it with the dictatorship of the proletariat or will it be more of a democratic society?... What is your group going to do differently so that the socialism you are talking about is not short-lived like the previous experience?... Launching a revolution can’t happen now, so what would need to happen for it to be prime-time for revolution?

While the Revolution Club did very well in speaking to these questions, they mainly challenged people to go to the source, making the case for students to dig deep into the work that Bob Avakian has done on these huge questions and in particular highlighting the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which sets forth a visionary and concrete plan for a radically different and better world, and the pamphlet from the Revolutionary Communist Party Central Committee, HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.

Students were engaged, provoked, and challenged to think critically. It was important for the Rev Club to keep coming back to the main arguments BA makes in the “5 STOPS” excerpt on the unreformability of this system and the need to overthrow it. At one point a student said they liked what the Revolution Club had put forward but the problem was that people were unaware of all of this, people don’t know much, they don’t know what NAFTA, socialism, communism is. As was done throughout the presentation (especially the second class), the question was posed right back: Are you therefore arguing that nothing can be done and therefore accept and learn to live with the world as it is? Putting back the question to people and putting it back on them to make the argument was in part how we went at this differently than in previous experiences. At some point during the second class everyone was asked to raise their hands if they wanted to choose the first option (keep on living with the horrors of this system). No one raised their hand. And then before posing to students to raise their hands for the second option (make revolution), a student interjected and said it was too extreme to say there are only “two choices,” that there is another choice and that’s to develop the system, keep building it, make it better. Again the challenge was posed to explain how, to show the evidence for this (in opposition to the evidence from the “5 STOPS” that the system cannot be reformed)... which the student was not able to do. The Revolution Club got into BA’s analysis from the speech on what is the material basis for making revolution in a country like the U.S. and pointing to the leadership, strategy, and plan for doing this.

Through all of this there was the challenge and invitation posed to join the movement for revolution and in particular to support the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. A number of students came up to ask about the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, some taking pictures of the front cover so they could remember the name and download it later. Students came up to sign up and ask more about the National Revolution Tour.




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