Will our skills be put in the service of ourselves or our people, keeping the world fundamentally as it is, or will it serve the revolution and the interests of humanity?

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This is an op-ed that was sent in to the Daily Bruin, student newspaper at the University of California, Los Angeles, by Tala Deloria, a member of the Revolution Club, student at UCLA, and one of the #UCLA 5.

I’ve been in this institution for 6 years. Now that my journey is coming to an end, I face many of the same anxieties (excitement?) my peers and those in previous generations faced about the uncertainty of the future and our place within it. The basic question is the same: what am I going to do with my life?

Some of us have it more figured out than others. Some of us feel like we lack agency in determining the outcome given the perilous nature of being outside of the “norm” of whiteness, maleness, heterosexuality, etc. Some of us wonder if the question is even worth asking given the looming doom of climate change. For some it’s all the above.

I came to this institution with a lot of illusions about why I got here and what I was going to do with the opportunity. I was never explicitly gung-ho about the American dream, but I thought that I was special because I “made it” when many of those around me fell by the wayside. I recognized institutional oppression but only in the liberal sense where I saw “my people” as “lacking equal opportunity.” I was set on advancing my career to give back to my community. I was going to be a stockbroker... and I ended up a revolutionary communist.

That didn’t happen overnight. It was a process where the things I learned in the classroom came together with my engagement with Bob Avakian’s works and with protesting and organizing with other revolutionaries. I learned about the real brutal history of this country and came to yearn for a world without America. I got a glimpse of what it’s like to live under the boot of this system and its merciless police. I cried every time we had to bury another Black youth and I felt that beautiful, electric rage of people fighting back politically in the streets. I came to understand the deeper dynamics of why the world is the way it is. All of this changed me. I read and debated. I challenged others and they challenged me.

Through this process I grew a fighting spirit as I felt the intolerability and unnecessariness of living this way, and I came to understand we have two choices: either we live with the world as it is, with all the horror that means for humanity, or we make revolution to overthrow the system that’s at the root of this and build something radically better on its ashes.

For years I walked through this place with a deep sense of alienation because I saw too much serenity and apathy in response to this chaotic, violent world. People without a way out dig their noses in what is, especially at an elite institution like this. Many of us are just looking to pursue our own advancement, or maybe trying to help “our people,” however we may define that, or maybe getting funneled into one reformist program or another. All of which amounts to us settling into the world as it is and accepting this as the best we can do. I don’t mean to knock Doctors without Borders or any other good-hearted attempt at changing the world, but...

My journey began years before Trump. Before Charlottesville, before the Muslim Ban, before #MeToo, before we felt the looming threat of nuclear apocalypse, of “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” even before we were told we have 10 years to save the planet. Now we look at the world we have inherited, with fascism consolidating throughout the world, with the horrors accelerating, and the choices pose themselves even more sharply.

Revolution IS our only way out, and we have a real shot to win. So for those who refuse to believe there is no alternative to the world as it is, here’s a question for you, with all the skills you’ve accumulated in this place: will this be put in the service of ourselves or our people, keeping the world fundamentally as it is, or will it serve the revolution and the interests of humanity?

The road is not easy. The stakes are nothing less than the future of the 7 billion people on this planet, and I know there are questions about violence, and how the new society will be run, about the strategy to do this, and about whether we can really defeat this imperialist giant. Don’t set these questions on the shelf. Come hear the argument for revolution you won’t get anywhere else at the speaking event Monday, May 20th: “You Think You’re Woke but... You’re Sleepwalking Through a Nightmare. This system can’t be reformed it must be overthrown,” 7 pm, Haines 118 and bring your questions. Let’s unite, debate, challenge each other. Then make your choice.


Tala Deloria and Lenny Wolff talk about The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour, and about the May 20 speaking event at UCLA on The Michael Slate Show


“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 »


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