“Creative, ‘Connecting,’ Timely and Compelling”
A reflection on Episode 39 of The RNL Show

Letter from a member of the National Revolution Tour

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As always, The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show was great, but I thought this episode (#39) was a particularly creative, “connecting,” timely, and compelling show, and I wanted to share some of the reasons why I thought this was so. It is well worth watching more than once!

1. Starting with Andy Zee’s comments and commentary—one of the formulations that “stuck with” me—“this is a big deal.” I think the first time he said it was that there is a way out of all of this thru revolution “and that is a big deal.” Then again he said it in relationship to having a roadmap out (i.e., a strategy to make revolution) developed by Bob Avakian (BA) and “this is a big deal.” Then a 3rd time again in relationship to having a way out of all the horrors perpetrated daily by the system of capitalism-imperialism and “this is a big deal.” This all served to really take you back to the fact that it is “a really big deal” and we can’t take all of this for granted. He also managed to put the full content of the 4 Alls1—which can seem very abstract and distant—in very popular language. His bit on “greedy corporations” being the problem was very funny and very pointed! And when he described the “cesspool,” all of the bullshit on the internet would leave humanity in, he brought in the harm of revenge and recriminations which I thought again was very pointed and relevant, implicitly contrasting that to what kind of world we actually would want to live in.

2. Then BA’s clip from Revolution—Nothing Less! talk on the basic youth and prisoners. In addition to really appreciating how BA’s heart and commitment really come through in this excerpt, there’s a lot to reflect on in terms of BA’s method. I thought a lot about this on a long walk this morning. When BA identifies obstacles, he doesn’t see them as reasons something can’t be done but rather as problems to solve, contradictions we can work on to transform them. This point of method is echoed in Bob Avakian for the Liberation of Black People and the Emancipation of All Humanity: “And when you run into new problems or setbacks, you have to go more deeply into this, rather than putting it aside and giving up.” Also in his New Year’s statement: “All this strongly points, once again, to the need not simply to ‘face reality’ but to consistently apply the principle that science matters and truth matters....” He is really struggling for people to work, with him, on actually solving these problems, not just recognizing them—although that is important as well. In this clip he goes at the question of the youth, how objectively they have no future in this society. The truth of this is not dependent on whether they are thinking about revolution right now or not. Objectively, they have no future under this system, but in the revolution they do. And BA teases apart the contradictions among the people, in this case the Black and Brown youth, on the street and in prison. He enables you to see the potential there, including in their thinking, and what actions they have taken and how those repeated impulses toward unity are smashed again and again by the authorities of the system. Being able to see that enables us to go to work on bringing this strategically critical base of people forward to become followers of BA.

3. The whole section on “Bob Avakian for the Liberation of Black People and the Emancipation of All Humanity” was on a whole other level and a “socialist new thing,” as we used to say. The intro Andy Zee gave, bringing in the quote from BAsics 3:19,2 the inspiration the struggle of Black people in this country has been for the people around the world (last year’s uprising against police murder of Black people as well as the liberation struggles of the 1960s), and the important scholarship that has been done, but that none of this fundamentally answers where this all comes from and how to end it, and BA has done the work on both counts. “And that’s a really big deal.” The video was beautiful, moving, compelling, truly amazing! It taught history, internationalism, determination to dedicate one’s life to ending the suffering of the oppressed people of the world, and objectively a call for others who are moved by this to do the same, all concentrated in this leader, Bob Avakian, who you really get a sense of as a person and a revolutionary leader. This article, and this video, are real positive factors we need to figure out how to get out far and wide.

4. Joe Veale’s interview. I think I have heard most of it before, but particularly in combination with the “Bob Avakian for the Liberation of Black People and the Emancipation of All Humanity,” this was so powerful, really ripping away any petty identity politics, really seeing BA as the leader he was even in the mid-’60s working with the Black Panther Party, the impact of his work starting with the Red Papers3 on those who were seriously looking for how to end this, not build up their career as an “activist” or something like that. Interesting that Joe echoed something very similar to what Michelle4 said, that Joe had gone through the experience of being in the Black Panther Party and BA understood it better than he did! And how passionate BA was about Free Huey! and communism.

5. The RefuseFascism.org forum was really good—the emphasis on public opinion, the mass trials, the different perspectives, the different solutions proffered, and the fact that this all can be brought together in a forum like this, that there is enough unity to strengthen the movement to drive out the fascist regime, even though there are big differences, which can and will be aired. I noticed a number of lively and really thoughtful comments in the chat when it was airing live, so I think others appreciated it quite a bit as well.


1. The 4 Alls—a formulation by the Chinese communists based on a conception by Marx which says: “the dictatorship of the proletariat is the transition to the abolition of all class distinctions, of all the production relations on which those class distinctions rest, of all the social relations that correspond to those production relations, and the revolutionization of all the ideas that correspond to those social relations.” Quoted from the section “The 4 Alls” in The New Communism by Bob Avakian. He goes on to break them down, and I would recommend people take a look at this section to understand this fundamental principle more deeply. [back]

2. “There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn’t fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression [of Black people]. There’s never gonna be a revolution in this country, and there never should be, that doesn’t make that one key foundation of what it’s all about.”
BAsics 3:19 [back]

3. The Red Papers was the theoretical journal of the Revolutionary Union, precursor of the Revolutionary Communist Party. [back]

4. Michelle is a member of the Revolution Club who spoke in this episode of The RNL Show. [back]

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BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

“You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics.”

Order the book HERE
Download the book in ePub format HERE



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