Great Objectives and Grand Strategy

Seizing Power...Advancing to Communism:

Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize, Maintaining a Living Link

By Bob Avakian

Revolutionary Worker #1138, February 10, 2002, posted at

The RW is currently running this series of excerpts from an unpublished work by RCP Chairman Bob Avakian, "Great Objectives and Grand Strategy." Although written over a year ago, this work--and these excerpts in particular--contain much that is very relevant to the current crisis and war. This is the 12th in this series.

It is important to continue to return to the profound truth that "without power all is illusion"--and to the questions we have raised in dialectical relation to that: What is the purpose and objective in seizing and exercising power? How--for whom and by whom, and ultimately for what--is this power exercised? What is the ultimate goal--what is the kind of society, and world, we are aiming for?

As we have emphasized before, a crucial aspect of all this is the dialectical relation between our ultimate goal of communism and where we are at in the process --in the struggle toward that goal--at any given time. This is important in terms of developing and applying our basic strategic approach and our tactics at any given point in this process ("knowing where we are in the game," to recall a phrase I have used before) and it is a matter of the most profound principle having to do with our final aim and making sure that our work and actions at every point are fundamentally consistent with and are serving the advance toward that final aim.

This relation, this link which has to be maintained, and must not be severed, between where we are and what we are doing at any given point and the final aim of the struggle, is something that was not only spoken to in Preaching From a Pulpit of Bones but was gone into fairly extensively and emphasized strongly in the polemic vs. K. Venu*, and I found it helpful to go back and read that polemic in this connection. There, in response to Venu's statement that the interests of the proletariat at any given time are very relative, while communism remains as the ultimate goal, the point was made that if you present it in that way, it opens the door to pragmatism and opportunism, because almost anything that is done can be said to be somehow connected to the final aim of communism.

There has to be a real and living link between whatever you are doing at any given time--and the objectives and forms of struggle then--and the final goal. There has to be a fundamental identity between these things, even while they are not identical in the mechanical sense. In other words, you can't try to implement communism before the basis has been created for that, worldwide; even during the socialist transition, you can't just "leap over stages" and try to implement communism on a voluntarist basis. But there has to be a dialectical link between where things are at, at any given point, and the final aim of communism. It is not enough for communism to be merely a "propaganda point"--something that is "thrown in" as an abstract goal--and if you reduce it to that, and sever the living link between the struggle at a given point and the final aim of communism, then you have gutted the final aim of all meaning and you have cut your line and actions loose from the path leading to that final aim.

So it is important to continually pay attention to how this applies--even now--even before the overthrow of the capitalist system and the establishment of socialism, including how it applies to internal Party life and struggle as well as to the relations between the Party and the broader masses.

This also has to do with the United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat (UFuLP) and its strategic basis and objectives, and why this strategic orientation must be applied not only before the seizure of power, and in building up the basis to go for the seizure of power, but also after power has been seized and consolidated, all the way through the socialist transition to communism, worldwide.

This principle--concerning the need for a living link (an identity in the dialectical sense) between where we are, at any given stage in the process, and the final aim--also has to do with internationalism. It is bound up with why the outlook and stand of the proletariat must be internationalist, why our fundamental point of departure must be, as Lenin put it, not "my country" but "my contribution to the international revolution of the proletariat." To raise the struggle, even an advanced revolutionary struggle, in a particular country above the world revolution as a whole is in fact to sever the link between that struggle and the final aim of communism; and, conversely, proceeding from the interests of the international proletariat above all, even with regard to carrying forward the struggle within a particular country, is crucial to maintaining that link and to continuing the advance toward the achievement of communism, which can only be realized on a world scale.

* The polemic vs. K. Venu refers to "Democracy: More Than Ever We Can and Must Do Better Than That," which was published in A World To Win, March 1992. This polemic was written by Bob Avakian in response to "On Proletarian Democracy," which (as explained in A World To Win) was "a draft document published in December 1990, written under the leadership of K. Venu, secretary of the now dissolved All-India Leading Committee of the Central Reorganization Committee, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)." The K. Venu document was also published in the March 1992 issue of A World to Win.

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