Revolution #177, September 27, 2009

Imagining a Better World

Dear Revolution,

I wanted to share the great experience I had in a discussion of Bob Avakian's Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It's All About with group of eight people (four of them youth). We watched several sections of the DVD: "They're selling postcards of the hanging," "What is capitalism?" "The dictatorship of the proletariat, and what it's for," and "Imagine... a new society—Healthcare, work, education, science, etc...."

Unanimously the favorite part was the "Imagine" section. One of the youth said that he really liked how Bob Avakian makes things really easy to understand and gives good examples to do that, and the "Imagine" section gives people a good sense of how the world would be under socialism. Another person added that even though he can imagine this happening most people can't, and was trying to understand why that is. He also brought out that the beginning part of the DVD lets people know how this country got to be in the position that it is in, "crushing other races and controlling them with terror." Someone, a regular reader of Revolution newspaper, expressed a lot of bitterness in how people are caught up with money, how it becomes the most important thing in people's lives and even when they have it they are still unsatisfied. Another person gave a really good summary of what he likes from the DVD—he got into the history of Black people in this country and how this capitalist system functions; he played a good role in the discussion, he was really unleashed and jumped into the discussion really grappling with what was being put forth.

We got into what was brought up earlier, about why is it that people have a difficult time imagining a better world. One person said that it is "part of the culture" and people just seem to adapt to it. One of the most vocal of the bunch said that this is what people know and they fear new things. People spoke about how people have been made to believe that this is the best of all possible worlds and they have been lied to about the history of communism, speaking to what the revolutions in Russia and China had meant for people in those countries but also for the people of the world, and now there is no socialist country. Someone asked “why are we going to still need money under socialism?”  This was off of the section when Avakian says that the money is not going to have pictures of slave masters but of the people's heroes. This was coming from a hatred of what this person sees money makes people do. We got into how socialism is a transition to communism and how in that socialist transition you inherit what you had in the capitalist society and the goal is to get to the 4 Alls. Money would not exist in the context as it does under capitalism, in these capitalist commodity relations, but there will still be the exchange of commodities—and there will be money—until humanity advances beyond socialism to communism where the system will be based on “to each according to their needs and from each according to their ability.” We read the part from the statement "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" that speaks to what kind of revolution this is about. This was also off of someone asking "who will decide what people need?" Someone else added that in socialism you are not just going to say "okay now everyone is equal." For example, a doctor would get paid more than a worker, but that is because of all that went into that person becoming a doctor.

Someone mentioned that people think that things have to be this way but with Revolution newspaper you learn how things actually work, you understand what type of revolution this is about and people transform in the process. People tripped out with the idea that now we have the advances to end the suffering of people but what is standing in the way is capitalism. Another person added that he had been unhappy with the way things are and had gone from place to place looking for answers, including two-three different churches, "even the people that have found god are unhappy." He said that when he lived in another country and had heard about what was going on in the world but had not given it much thought because he did not feel directly affected but people have "to wake up and find meaning for their life." A couple of people said that more people need to find meaning in life by being a part of this revolutionary movement and urged everyone there to hook up and spread the word about this revolution and this leader, Bob Avakian, because there is no one like him; you can give someone something to eat but tomorrow what are you going to do when they are hungry again, the masses need fundamental change. We also read the section in the new statement under "The Leadership We Have."

After the discussion one person said he had felt that he was missing motivation in his life but felt that this could be it. Another person bought a copy of the DVD to continue watching it and organize showings with their friends.

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