Opening Up Debate About Reform vs. Revolution in Extreme Times... The Need to Really Organize for Revolution



The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour has been “disturbing the air” with revolution—at community colleges, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), on local radio and nationally, with an important interview on The Young Turks, now viewed by hundreds of thousands.

We have made important advances in appreciating and representing both the sharpness and the whole of what we need to be stepping with, impacting broadly with the reality that this system can’t be reformed and must be overthrown, up against the reformist dead ends and mental shackles... and organizing people on that basis. The simplicity of the approach captured by 5-2-6, the 5 Stops, the 2 choices that these horrors continue on and on or we MAKE revolution, and the 6 Points of Attention, has been helpful with messaging and very attractive and accessible broadly. 

We are also learning more about the need and potential for a genuine societal debate about reform vs. revolution. Because of the extreme acuteness in the situation, many people are deeply agonizing, but have never heard a radical revolutionary answer and want to hear this and discuss and debate it, with us and with each other. Posed sharply before us now: work to do, and real problems to solve with those who have stepped forward, on how people get organized – in particular into Revolution Clubs on the basis of the Six Points of Attention for the Revolution.

Word of the Tour reached hundreds of thousands of people through an interview by Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks with Andy Zee, a member of the Tour and also spokesperson for Revolution Books and co-initiator of Refuse Fascism. The sharpness of message and content—exchanges and struggle between Zee and Uygur on whether revolution is needed, whether Trump is a product of the system or outside it—was provocative and polarizing. Within a few days, over 200,000 people watched this excerpted clip online, further intrigued by the title provided by the show, “The End of Trump.”

More than a few supported the idea of revolution in the comments section, some giving thumbs up to Zee’s comments, with many arguing that revolution goes too far, that we should work to reform the system, but also seeing the limits of what’s being done in response to Trump. Concern about Trump was more widely felt and expressed. At the same time, indicating this touched a nerve: Alex Jones, a fascist provocateur with a wide broadcast audience and backing from powerful forces, hosted 20 minutes of what could only be called a semi-lunatic rant including slander and misinformation, attacking this exchange, and both Uygur and Zee. In the face of such attacks, it is critical to advance the goals of the revolution, bringing forward new forces and defending those who represent for the revolution and lead.

At UCLA and community colleges throughout the city, along with the 5-2-6, we’ve made announcements in classrooms and cafeterias, challenging people to come debate and discuss the question of reform vs. revolution, centered around this quote from Bob Avakian (BA):

There is nothing more unrealistic than the idea of reforming this system into something that would come anywhere near being in the interests of the great majority of people and ultimately of humanity as a whole. 

Centered around this and other quotes from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, we’ve had several mass debates where students have been struggling with each other over reform and revolution, bringing in the actual history of the U.S., and the horrors that billions on the planet suffer from because of this system: the brutal exploitation, the wars for empire, destruction of the planet, and now, deep concern about the looming loss of the right to abortion. There’s been polarization and beginning transformation with people stepping into debate who by the end have said, “I’m arguing for things I didn’t even know I thought.” 

On Saturday, Part II of the film of BA’s speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, will be shown near where Nipsey Hussle was killed, in South Central LA, being built city-wide, including the colleges. On Monday, May 20, there is an event of the Tour at UCLA titled “You Think You’re Woke, But You’re Sleepwalking Through a Nightmare… This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!” which is being built for throughout the city as part of the Tour. All these represent the metaphorical “crossing of the tracks” where people from the neighborhoods of the oppressed and community colleges come to and join with those from an elite campus, to engage and interact with the tour, and vice versa.

Promoting this was an interview that aired on The Michael Slate Show with Lenny Wolff and Tala Deloria. Telling her story of transforming her thinking and life journey, from wanting to be a stockbroker to becoming a revolutionary, Deloria, a student at UCLA and a member of the Tour, was compelling on choices confronting young people and why she made the choice she did. In conjunction with Wolff, who cast these choices in a wider sweep and also told his own story, they posed questions that touched the soul in an almost “existential” dimension, what is one’s life to be, when a radically different world is urgently necessary and possible, and what those choices and journeys look like.

We have put to people from the beginning the fact that they are needed NOW to build this revolution—up against all the other programs and bullshit that fall way short of what’s needed... to change the whole political atmosphere in society, as part of getting closer to the time we can actually make revolution. And that they need to be part of solving the problems of the revolution, wielding what we do have in terms of the strategy for revolution, the leadership in BA, and a concrete plan for how society can be organized after we make revolution. We have begun to more frontally put forth the need for people who agree with the Points of Attention to join the Revolution Clubs.

Over these last few weeks, many people have begun to turn their faces to revolution, with small bunches of people seriously considering joining the Revolution Club. There is urgent work before us, and problems to solve: How do we forge Revolution Clubs on a different footing and of a new type which are envisioned in Bob Avakian’s speech from last summer: Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution? How do we cohere the people who have been provoked, challenged and inspired by the National Tour into a force—up against all the bullshit and dead ends in society, even as people are sorting out what they think... and inspiring and attracting others in an overall collective process? How is this whole national movement for revolution led through the digital web presence: the website, integrated with social media?

These are the discussions we have been having, formally and informally, among ourselves and increasingly with those stepping forward. This is what needs to be grappled with as we further develop the plan for a real breakthrough in impacting society with revolution and accumulating forces for revolution with the plan for the June 8/9 weekend: a Weekend of Revolution, to put revolution on the map in LA... reverberating to, impacting and inspiring people nationwide.

These are problems all of us are needed to be part of going to work on. Write to us at with your own questions, reflections and experiences. To give this grappling and process the necessary context, here is an excerpt from BA’s speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution:

Spreading the word, particularly as this is done together with others in a planned, systematic way, can be an important step in joining the organized ranks of the revolution and taking part in the process of building the revolution. A crucial next step in making this revolution real is that, “Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution.” Getting organized into the ranks of the revolution means acting together with others in a unified way, as an organized force, guided by the strategic plan and leadership for the revolution, building the revolution among broader masses of people, while also getting deeper into the principles, methods, and goals of this revolution, the basics of which are concentrated in the “Points of Attention for the Revolution.” A key form of revolutionary organization are the Revolution Clubs, which live by, propagate, and fight for the “Points of Attention.” The core of the Revolution Clubs are people deeply committed to revolution who closely follow the leadership of the Revolutionary Communist Party, which has the basis, in the new communism, to provide overall leadership for the revolution; but the Revolution Clubs also need to reach out to and involve growing numbers of people who are new to the revolution. The Revolution Clubs are a means through which “people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party.”

Networks of people, working together to spread the word about and organize people into the revolution, need to be built, and expanded, in all parts of the country—and linked together. In areas where the Party and the Revolution Clubs have not yet established an organized presence, or in circumstances where people have not yet come into direct contact with this organized presence of the revolution but have become aware of the core principles and goals of the revolution, they should reach out to and involve others they can draw forward around those core principles and goals; they should link up with the central leadership of the revolution for assistance and direction in organizing a Revolution Club among the people they are bringing into the revolution, on the basis of the “Points of Attention for the Revolution,” which are included in the pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN, and are posted at A crucial “connecting link” in all this is the Party’s website and newspaper Revolution, which “sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution.” In everything we do, it needs to be clearly kept in mind, and boldly put forward to people, that, whatever part of the country we are in, and whatever the size of our forces at any given time, we are doing all this as part of a national movement, together with people in other parts of the country, aiming to impact all of society and building a revolution to overthrow the whole system, with the whole world in mind.


“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Read about the Tour stepping up and stepping out »

Andy Zee interviewed by The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur about organizing for an actual revolution, and the urgency of driving out the Trump/Pence fascist regime

Tala Deloria and Lenny Wolff talk about The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour on The Michael Slate Show

Debate at UCLA on "America Was Never Great"


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