Lessons from the National Tour's Revolution School

| revcom.us


This writing comes as a reflection on some experience at the recent Revolution School that was called for by the National Revolution Tour/Revolution Club in Chicago.

In one of the selections from the The Coming Civil War... compilation, Bob Avakian (BA) makes the observation that, “[O]nce Hitler consolidated power, it took a whole world war to bring him down, and then he was not brought down by any internal dynamics and struggle from within German society itself.”

This sobering insight is situated in the context of providing an overall orientation that we should not be determinist in relation to past historical experience and present challenges, along with further observations about the world situation being extremely unfavorable should another World War break out as a result of necessity and contention among the imperialists internationally, and stressing the urgent need for the movement for revolution to be actively seeking out the ways to repolarize society toward a situation that is increasingly positive for the revolution. For us, this means applying the strategy of “Hastening While Awaiting” as part of Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism (part of which is concentrated in the BAsics quote cited later).

Let’s just say it like it is: Trump is an American Hitler, even if this is a limited comparison and should not be interpreted in a vulgar “history is literally repeating itself exactly” sense. There are bountiful, hideous particularities and nuances for us to be attuned towards. But on one level this is a valid comparison that I believe we can assert as a basic analogy. And in another excerpt from a recent speech by Avakian, he brings forward the criticism of the German communists in the 1930s, whose approach was summed up in the slogan, “‘Nach Hitler, Uns,’ (meaning: ‘After Hitler, Us’).” BA then exposes how different representatives of other class outlooks are actively taking up and promoting that very same approach in this period of rising fascism in the U.S. (to say nothing of those who extend this to an “After Bourgeoisie, Us!” approach).

Again, for our part, we know better (or we should know better), and we must be absolutely determined not to repeat those same mistakes, and to instead struggle sharply with those who are leading the masses down that abysmal and fatal path. All this points to the principal task of this period: waging a political war against fascism by broadly uniting all who can be united to lead mass, sustained nonviolent protest to drive out the Trump/Pence regime, before it can fully consolidate power, as called for by RefuseFascism.org, and that for the revolutionary communists, we must do this on the basis not of “After Hitler, Us!” but of “REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!”

This necessity was presented to us in the midst of the Revolution School hosted by the National Revolution Tour, the aim of which was to imbue supporters of the revolution at various levels with a deeper understanding of the relation to (new communist) theory and practice, and—linked to that foundation—training us to work as a team of scientists that are constantly probing, investigating, experimenting with reality so as to not only understand it but most importantly to change it. From day one we had the orientation that, in relation to the aspect of deepening our understanding of theory, this is not something that is disconnected from what is going on “out there” in the objective world outside of our relative subjectivity. It is important to understand that in being “not disconnected,” this is to say that there is in fact contradiction here, and as such it could have very well turned into its opposite—we could have become disconnected with the objective world and “stuck in our plans.” Here is where leadership played the decisive role in preventing such an outcome.

On a day in which we had a certain schedule for study and outreach that was organized prior to these recent outrages, those who had been assuming a leadership role of this school opened up a struggle. It began with reading and discussion of BAsics 3:30:

Some Principles for Building a Movement for Revolution

At every point, we must be searching out the key concentrations of social contradictions and the methods and forms which can strengthen the political consciousness of the masses, as well as their fighting capacity and organization in carrying out political resistance against the crimes of this system; which can increasingly bring the necessity, and the possibility, of a radically different world to life for growing numbers of people; and which can strengthen the understanding and determination of the advanced, revolutionary-minded masses in particular to take up our strategic objectives not merely as far-off and essentially abstract goals (or ideals) but as things to be actively striven for and built toward.

The objective and orientation must be to carry out work which, together with the development of the objective situation, can transform the political terrain, so that the legitimacy of the established order, and the right and ability of the ruling class to rule, is called into question, in an acute and active sense, throughout society; so that resistance to this system becomes increasingly broad, deep and determined; so that the “pole” and the organized vanguard force of revolutionary communism is greatly strengthened; and so that, at the decisive time, this advanced force is able to lead the struggle of millions, and tens of millions, to make revolution.

BAsics 3:30, Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

With this we were posed with a challenge. What is essentially boiled down to was, “Look, there is outrage over this mass shooting that took place in El Paso, among broad sections of society and among ourselves. It erupted forth from the material basis for revolution (the 5 STOPS) and is an open expression of the white supremacist terror that is being unleashed by the fascist regime in power. This is a jolt in society: something that people are refusing to accept and something that the masses of people need to be led in seizing upon to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. Should we change our plans, go out there to act upon it, or do we surrender this to the Democrats or other forms of spontaneity?” Or to express in other terms: Are we, in this moment, going to have the approach of “After Hitler, Us” or rather... “REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!”

That challenge was readily accepted with little to no struggle from what I observed, while there was subsequently a good amount of contention regarding how to move to act on this way that is in line with our strategy (particularly in Part 2 of HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution). And we have seen how our “acting upon” this outrage manifested in us leading masses of people in shutting down Lakeshore Drive in protest two days later. That was a tremendously important action, and it would not have happened if we had “stuck to our agenda.” The other aspect of this, as a comrade pointed out to me, was that had we not made this pivot, we would actually be doing harm to the masses of people in failing to carry out our responsibilities as revolutionary communists. We must never, ever allow ourselves to offer up the masses upon the funeral pyre of spontaneity—these are truly life-or-death struggles for not only humanity itself but especially to those who uphold the banner of human emancipation and the tasks that flow from that.

Among the many, many lessons I learned at the Revolution School, this one has haunted my thoughts most prominently ever since. What other crises/outrages have we approached with, or even failed to recognize at all, succumbing to “After Hitler, Us”? The stakes at hand, should an American fascism fully consolidate its rule, have already been correctly assessed as an existential threat to humanity, and even then the horrors that would come about in that process could be far worse than those we are able to delineate at this time. So in fulfilling our principal task of driving out this regime, we’d better learn to master the dialectical relationship to our fundamental task of building a movement for revolution on the basis of method and approach of the new communism.

To briefly conclude and to encourage further study, all this is entirely inseparable from the task of carrying out the Cultural Revolution in the Revolutionary Communist Party, which those at all levels who have already been won over (or are beginning the process of raising their sights towards) an actual revolution should return to again and reflect upon.

$50,000 by the End of Labor Day Weekend

Donate $25, $50, $100, or another amount

You can also make this a monthly donation

Donations accepted here via PayPal and credit cards:

To Sustain and Donate by Mail:

Send Checks or Money Orders to:
    RCP Publications
    Box 3486 Merchandise Mart
    Chicago, IL 60654

Make checks payable to
"RCP Publications"
and mark them
“National Revolution Tour”


Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:

Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.