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Raymond Lotta Talk Provokes Spirited Discussion

Bringing the New Communism to Berklee College of Music

On April 25, Raymond Lotta spoke at Berklee College of Music in Boston on “The New Communist Revolution So Badly Needed… vs. the Anti-Communist Brainwash You’re Getting.” The college is a major music education institution noted for its serious approach to jazz, rock, and other popular idioms—and attracts creative and independent minded students. 

Two freshmen students organized the event. They had discovered Bob Avakian (BA), the new communism, and Raymond Lotta's “setting the record straight” project about the first wave of communist revolution through meeting some Boston revcom supporters on the street. Then they dived deeply into The two students were eager to open up discussion on campus about the past and future of communist revolution. They designed flyers and posted announcements, and set up a new campus socialist club to facilitate getting a room. 

With little lead time but taking a lot of initiative, they were able to draw a diverse audience of some 20 people that included students and several faculty members from Berklee, a graduating senior from nearby Emerson College (where a Gaza encampment had just been set up), and some community people. 

The New Communist Revolution So Badly Needed... and the Anti-Communist Brainwash

Lotta began his presentation with a snapshot of the catastrophic state of a world that cries out for the new communist revolution. He illustrated how the anti-communist brainwash seeps into every pore of intellectual, political, and cultural life—keeping people ideologically locked into this system, capitalism-imperialism, in ways you're not even aware of. Lotta gave examples from popular culture (like the Netflix series 3 Body Problem) as well as from supposedly state of the art “scholarship” on communism that traffics in outrageous lies and distortions. 

Lotta gave special focus to getting at the truth of the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, a “second revolution” within socialist society, led by Mao Zedong. He spoke to the Cultural Revolution's actual objectives to prevent the restoration of capitalism and further revolutionize society—and to do this through methods and means that would not only enable the masses of people to raise their understanding of the contradictions and challenges involved in getting to a communist world without exploitation and oppression... BUT ALSO to transform their own thinking, to break with old ideas and customs that reinforce self-first, privilege, and passivity. 

Raymond spoke about the incredibly liberatory changes brought about in education, science, the arts, health care, and new forms of governance and management. And he got into the Cultural Revolution's shortcomings and problems, some quite serious—and how the new communism developed by Bob Avakian, learning from but going beyond this experience, provides a whole new framework for making truly emancipating revolution in today's world. 

Wide-Ranging and Provocative Questions

The audience was deeply engaged with the talk. Just about everyone stayed for the Q&A, and people raised extremely thoughtful questions that led to some rich back and forth. It is perhaps a barometer of the times that most of the questions and comments focused on issues of making and sustaining revolution: 

*How does one prevent the dictatorship of the proletariat from becoming a fascist dictatorship?

*What is the role in socialist society of certain types of movements, like queer liberation, that might not have achieved their goals of equality in today's society? 

*What are the different means of spreading world revolution from a new socialist country guided by the new communism?

*If the new society must defend itself, how does it prevent its army from becoming like the army of this society?

*What were some of the experiences of the Chinese revolution, particularly the Cultural Revolution, in addressing environmental issues—and how would we be doing this today?

In the course of the discussion, Raymond got into how BA has identified the contradiction between defending the new socialist state and promoting the world revolution, and how the socialist state must first and foremost be a base area for spreading the world revolution. He pointed to and gave examples of problems in approach of the first socialist states, putting defense of the socialist state first. In illustrating different forms of material and ideological support for advancing world revolution, Raymond gave a lively example of how, in the spirit of internationalism during the Cultural Revolution, Mao initiated a major, fast-track medical effort to develop a new treatment for malaria to aid the Vietnamese liberation fighters in the jungles taking on U.S. imperialism. 

Raymond introduced the audience to the Points of Attention for the Revcom Corps for the Emancipation of Humanity, which were read aloud. These Points show what the revolution stands for and give people a living sense of the new society that the revolution aims to bring into being—and how we live and struggle today in building this revolution. 

Raymond also got into the ways in which, as BA has put it, “unresolved contradictions” (like the full emancipation of women and the question raised about gender-nonconforming people) can be “driving forces” to advance the revolution in socialist society. The student who had asked about queer liberation said they “really appreciated being able to have this kind of open conversation about an issue so personal to me.” 

One of the professors at the program writes on environmental issues—and Raymond elaborated on Maoist China's initial but profoundly important efforts to incorporate environmental protection and repair into socialist planning. And then spoke of the leap in understanding and approach represented by the new communism and the principles of socialist sustainable development.

As people were leaving, the two student organizers, excited by the evening, announced that Raymond's talk was the first of more such events to come. And one of them commented that he “could see better why we need the new communism.” More programs on campuses like this one are sorely needed.

Book Cover-You Don't Know What You Think You "Know" About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation



We call on professors, departments, student organizations and others to sponsor formal talks by Raymond Lotta; to host debates; to bring him into classrooms and brown-bag lunches.

For more information and to set up speaking engagements, contact:, 212.691.3345.

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From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War. 

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

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