Revolution #245, September 11, 2011
Taking BAsics Out to Business Majors
We received this correspondence:
Our local Revolution Books store was invited to sell course books to students in two classes in a business college. While business was a major for all of them, they minored in history, and these two classes took up the civil rights movement of the '60s. We were invited to speak about BAsics, something the professor has supported in the past. Joining me was a young intellectual who is a student in this school who is volunteering at Revolution Books. His input in the discussion was very important to taking up and answering the questions we got from the classes and shaking up and waking up his fellow students.
"How are we going to get involved in making revolution when they have us so strapped and just trying to survive? We aren't able to think straight since we have no time to think, period." Another student piped in saying, "It seems to me that it is only when something major happens that we all pay attention to things not right in front of us, and even then we are told what to think and how to react to it. How can we think outside the box if all of our information is given to us by the very people who want to maintain the status quo?" "It seems to me," a young Latina student said, "that either we are going to all act at once to stop this madness you described from those quotes you read or we are all going to go down the tubes together."
This last point of "all or nothing" was made by students in each of the two classes. A white woman said, "I just feel overwhelmed by the enormity of what we are facing. People, good people who would like to live in a different world just feel powerless." I made the point from one of the correspondences the paper received that is actually taken from Bob Avakian about if you knew of a doctor who had a cure for a disease that was plaguing a whole city, wouldn't you do everything you can to find that doctor and get that medicine? I held up BAsics and said, "Here is the cure. You want to talk about morality and communism? It's in here. You want to talk about strategy for revolution? It's in here. You want to talk about how to analyze this world and this murderous system that is killing tens of thousands of children every day? It's in here." 7 out of 40 students bought the book and gave donations toward the special issue. One woman said, "I don't know if [BA] is the doctor and medicine, but based on what is in this paper and what you read I want to see what he's saying." I read the first two quotes in chapter 1.
The professor in each class asked me to ask the class two questions I asked in classes of his a year ago. The two questions are "How many students here were asked 'what do you want to be' when you grow up?" In both classes everyone raised their hand. The second question was "How many of you were ever asked 'what kind of world do you want to live in?'" For both classes only one person raised his hand. I asked this one student the context. He said that his dad wanted him to care about the world around him, "the poverty, the wars," and asked what he was going to do about it when he grew up. In the class there was a noted envy for this student for the kind of character his dad has and I told him be sure you get BAsics and make sure your dad sees it and comes down to Revolution Books with you. One student said in this line of comments he would like to see a more modified and moral capitalism and rejected communism, and this is where my young friend jumped in. He said that it wasn't possible or in the nature of this system of everything and everybody being commodified to be moral. "You can't turn this system into something it isn't."
Now this college is not a priority in terms of saturation we are doing in this city, but my young friend and I sure had a good time and learned that even business majors are sensing some need for fundamental change and are willing to give Bob Avakian a hearing. In both classes we raised $23 in donations besides the 7 BAsics sold, and everyone got a copy of the paper and some wanted to be enlisted in this right away. One student who works for an independent TV station wants to invite a speaker who can speak on this BAsics. We need to hook that up.
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