Revolution #245, September 11, 2011

Waking Up and Shaking Up the Campuses

A Beginning to Seize On, Time to Double-Down for Great Breakthroughs

It's been two weeks in some places—a bit more, and a bit less, in others—that the revolutionaries have been out on the campuses with the special issue of Revolution promoting the new book, BAsics, featuring quotations and short essays from Bob Avakian.

Among many of the teams that have been out, there is a palpable excitement. Knots of students engaging with quotes from BAsics together, around tables of revolutionaries. Dozens of students buying books after discussing a quote or two in their class. Students seeking out the revolutionaries to tell them they read what they got and want to know more. Professors welcoming revolutionaries into their offices, into their classrooms, or stopping by the tables themselves—many of them making clear, and seeming quite uplifted by the fact, that they've noticed how well the students are responding. Some snapshots of this experience—including creative ways of sparking off debate and exchanges—are available here, here, here, here, and here.

There is an undeniable openness on the campuses to Bob Avakian and his new vision of revolution and communism—his words are bringing to the surface and connecting deeply with the inchoate yearnings as well as more open and restless stirrings among students for a radically different and far better world. Further, as we've gotten out there, we've learned quite a bit about how to do even better at connecting Bob Avakian and his work, as concentrated in this special issue and even more so in BAsics.

Yet, what we are confronting—all of us, including this new generation of students—is a world full of horrors and a sick and dying planet. Every day this disease advances. Even where people are rising up, they don't know the way out. Bob Avakian has brought forward the revolutionary understanding and vision humanity needs to get out of this madness and he is providing the crucial leadership to get there. But people don't know this. It is urgent that his work and his leadership become a material force very soon.

In this light, it is not enough merely to have more very good engagements with students, or even to sell hundreds more copies of BAsics, nor simply to sign a lot of people up to get involved in some way. While all of those things are necessary parts of what we must do, even the best of our work thus far must be vaulted onto a whole different level and into a whole different framework. These good beginnings must be not only marshaled, but wrenched into a different dynamic, one where the movement for revolution and our leader, Bob Avakian, are becoming more and more widely known, engaged, and debated and where this movement and its leader are gaining an organized following.

In a sense, the door to the campuses has been pried opened an inch. Deep stirrings and powerful potential have been revealed. But whether this door gets pushed back closed by the press of people's lives and the weight of the soul-crushing routine of an imperialist order, or whether the door gets busted wide open with this revolution breaking through and breaking out... THIS DEPENDS ON YOU! Its time to double-down!

As of this writing, nearly all of the first run of 100,000 copies of the special issue of Revolution featuring BAsics for the campuses have gotten out into the hands of students nationwide. Ten thousand dollars is needed to print another 100,000 to really push this effort over the top.

Our plan is for everyone who can be mobilized to participate to spend the next week raising thousands of dollars, as well as getting out this current issue throughout society as many commemorate and reflect on the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks. This should include, but not be limited to, a very bold presence on the campuses where we've been taking out BAsics. All this will synergize with the efforts begun on the campuses as well as have a much needed impact more broadly in society.

After that, it's back to the campuses with BAsics on a whole greater level.


Giving money is one of the most meaningful ways to contribute to the movement for revolution. Asking people to give money is one of the most important ways of inviting people into this movement and enabling them to make a meaningful difference in its strength and its reach.

What is the key to raising money? Its quite simple: you must yourself really grasp that this money is necessary, that making a real leap in this work matters tremendously to the world's future. On that foundation, you must go out and ASK FOR IT! Talk to people about why the money is needed—how we have begun to have this impact on the campuses and how there is the potential to take this out all over the country, but not without the money to print more. Giving money is one specific and extremely significant way people can contribute.

One team taking out BAsics at a public university where many of the students struggle even to afford their course books went from raising around $2-$8 dollars a day from students to $100 in one day. What was the difference? They spent the whole day ASKING FOR MONEY from EVERYONE who walked past. Most students gave a dollar or some change. A couple of people gave $5. But this is just the beginning.

Think what this reflects—that close to 100 students in one day felt enough affinity for the revolution to reach into their pockets and give. Think about how donations concretely increase the revolution's capacity to reach back out to these students and others like them. And on yet another level, think about how creating a mass movement of support among these students deepens their partisanship and is an actual means of mass involvement in this movement for revolution!

This needs to go on at many levels.

Take this special issue to professors—whether they've known the revolution for a long time or whether this will be their first introduction. Let them leaf through it. Tell them how it is connecting, as well as what we are fighting to accomplish and then ASK THEM TO CONTRIBUTE. Ask for a specific amount—for some this will be $200, for others this will be much more, for some it might be less—but make sure it means something. Again, this is one of the most meaningful ways for them to contribute to growing this movement for revolution. When they give, this also almost always occasions a deeper engagement and partisanship.

Do the same with others. Whether you are a regular reader of this paper or whether this is your first time, as soon as you finish reading this call three people (or more) and ask them to meet up with you to take a look at this special issue. Ask them to contribute.

Raising money is not an onerous task to be undertaken in order to get back to the "real work" of making revolution. Raising money is one of the most important means of introducing new people to this revolution, of organizing people into it, of deepening their partisanship and engagement, and of significantly growing this revolution's reach and its strength!


At the end of Chapter 3 of BAsics, the following is included in the Statement on Strategy, "there is a place and a role, a need and a means, for thousands now and ultimately millions to contribute to building this movement for revolution, in many different ways, big and small—with ideas and with practical involvement, with support, and with questions and criticisms."

Every need of the revolution is also a means through which new people can take up and become involved in this revolution. One of the most critical examples of this is what's highlighted above: fundraising! It cannot be said too many times that this is one of the most critical, most meaningful, and most impactful way for people to come into this revolution from the very beginning.

But the same is true of every need of this revolution.

However, finding the ways for new people to meet those needs almost never fits neatly into the routines of those who've been at this for a while. And that is just fine! We are not going to really break this revolution onto the scene simply by doing more of the same—not even more of the best of what we've been doing—or simply adding more people into that. Not only do most new people not want to do things exactly as those who have been at this for a while, but what is required is leaping and vaulting onto a whole new level and framework. What is necessary is to find and forge the means to involve many new people in forging the means to do that—which really will be new!

In recent months, our website has reported on some beginning new ways that new people have stepped forward as they have been getting into and being challenged and moved through getting into BAsics. The key lesson to draw from this—and to apply in many new and creative ways—is the method of taking BAsics and everything it concentrates as a solid core and unleashing tremendous elasticity, creativity, and new forms on that basis.

One of the most urgent needs right now—one which is within the realm of the possible, but which cannot be achieved without really straining against and transforming the limits of what now exists—is to really break through in this next couple of weeks in waking up and shaking up the campuses. Achieving this—creating a situation where many thousands of students nationwide are involved in echelons of engagement with BA that are mutually reinforcing and with an increasingly organized and partisan and growing core—will make a very significant difference in leaping this revolution to a different level.

This is what everyone reading this can, and should, put themselves to—write in your experience and ideas, send in and raise money. Where people reading this can sit down together with others, pull together even in the midst of continuing to push way out. On the foundation of what is being accomplished and what is being learned, knit your brows, act as teams of scientists, and fight through on forging the means—together with everyone you are meeting—to vault this tremendous beginning experience to a level that really breaks through and breaks out.

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