A brief introduction to BA’s new synthesis of communism ...

From "Why Demarcations? Why Now?" Demarcations: A Journal of Communist Theory and Polemic

The first wave of socialist revolutions and societies began with the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871, the first attempt to overthrow and replace bourgeois rule. It took a leap with the October Revolution in Russia in 1917, and went further and took yet another leap with the Chinese revolution of 1949, in particular the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976. This first wave came to an end in 1976 with the overthrow of proletarian power and restoration of capitalist rule in China.

This first wave of socialist societies in the Soviet Union (1917-1956) and China (1949-1976) constituted an unprecedented and inspiring breakthrough in liberation for humanity. At the same time, and not surprisingly, this first wave was secondarily marked by shortcomings and mistakes; and while not the cause of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union and China, these shortcomings did nonetheless play a role in the defeats of these revolutions.

With the end of this first stage, communists have been confronted with the objective responsibility of scientifically summing up the lessons and legacy of these revolutions and the rich experience of exercising state power towards the transition to communism, in order to forge the theoretical framework for going forward.

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, has risen to that challenge and in the process qualitatively advanced communist theory. He has developed a theoretical framework for the new stage of communist revolutions, a new synthesis. This new synthesis is not a pasting-together of the "best of the previous experience" and the criticisms of these experiences. Rather, as Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, puts it, the new synthesis "builds on all that has gone before, theoretically and practically, drawing the positive and negative lessons from this, and raising this to a new, higher level of synthesis."

In terms of philosophy and method, the new synthesis establishes communism even more fully and firmly on a scientific foundation. It deepens understanding of the material basis for internationalism and why, in an ultimate and overall sense, the world arena is most decisive, even in terms of revolution in a particular country. On the character of the dictatorship of the proletariat, Avakian has brought forward a model of socialism as a vibrant and dynamic society – characterized by great ferment, dissent, experimentation, and initiative – that is also a revolutionary transition to communism. The new synthesis also comprehends a breakthrough in the strategic approach to revolution in today's world, in particular an orientation for making revolution in the imperialist countries such as the U.S.