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A Message to the Revcoms and Everyone Else Yearning for a Better World

THIS Is A “Game-Changer”: The Bob Avakian Interviews

Part 3: Key Relationships: Getting the Dynamics Right

Editors’ note: recently received a valuable contribution from two readers on how to go out and turn the new interviews with Bob Avakian, BA, into the societal game-changers they can—and urgently need to—be. We are posting edited excerpts from this letter over a few weeks. We urge all our readers to write us with your thoughts on this and how we can meet this crucial goal, and your experience—positive and negative—in doing so.

Individual Clips and the Totality of the Interviews

It is very important to correctly grasp the relationship between individual clips, excerpts and portions of the BA interviews... and the totality of the interviews.

Individual clips and excerpts can play a very important role in introducing people to this leader, these interviews, and inspiring them to watch the whole thing.

In addition, there are many clips and excerpts that can play a particularly important role in terms of ideological struggle around major questions weighing on the basic masses or broader strata of people. There are many examples that come to mind, but a few that particularly come to mind are:

A) Different segments in which BA is speaking directly to/struggling with the oppressed masses who need to be the backbone of this revolution in a simultaneously deeply scientific, visceral and personal way to get out of the shit they are caught up in and get with this revolution.

B) The segment that opens Part 2 on Ukraine/American chauvinism (to shorthand here).

C) Segments polemicizing in a very frontal and sharp way against various manifestations of wokeness.

Again, those are just three important examples of many that could be highlighted here.

Go HERE for clips from the BA interviews.

So, that’s on the one hand—there is an important role for excerpts, segments, teasers, etc... and also a potentially important role for nationally coordinated efforts to promote certain segments. For instance, there might be certain weeks where forces in different parts of the country are working to promote certain clips and sending in reports to The RNL Show in real time or as close to that as possible of experiences, lessons, reactions and controversies, so that—once again—these different experiences in different places are connected with each other and linked to a coherent larger national picture and movement.

On the other hand, there is also an extremely important power, dynamism, breadth, momentum and magnetism to the totality of these interviews that is very important not to lose or inadvertently de-emphasize in the effort to highlight shorter excerpts.

Otherwise said: segments or excerpts of the interviews should supplement, not substitute for, leading people to watch the full set of three interviews.

There may be a spontaneity of (or a pull toward) compartmentalizing and separating the particular from the whole that may need to be guarded and struggled against here—including because it’s spontaneously “easier” to get people in this climate and culture to watch something shorter than something longer.

In my view, it’s not a problem if some people are initially watching individual excerpts or segments, but we definitely need to get a dynamic going where increasing numbers of people are watching and immersing themselves in the full sweep of these interviews.

Not Proceeding from What We “Know” We Can Do, but What We Can Potentially Unleash

To really make the breakthroughs we need to make from a starting point of small forces... in relation to projecting and promoting these interviews, and more generally—we need to be thinking not just in terms of what our existing forces can accomplish and who we can bring forward... rather, we need to think of what we can unleash those we are bringing forward to do and how those new forces can themselves accumulate forces for revolution.

Therefore, we need to be poised and geared towards working to quickly cohere the people who are initially drawn forward and attracted by these interviews. We need to have small groups that we are forging and leading initially who are discussing the interviews together and then are going out to broadly spread them and create their own watch parties/study and discussion groups and inviting many others to join them.

This way, we’re bringing in and cohering people around us; they are part of what we’re doing; and we’re unleashing them to go out and themselves bring forward newer people: they’re part of forces we’re accumulating but also part of accumulating forces themselves.

To be able to do this and have it stick...

Orient People to Understand and Refute the Bullshit by Going on the Offensive

There will be a need to orient newer people from the start about bullshit, slander, attacks, etc. that they are going to run into... why... what this represents... and the need for and radically simple ways to have backbone, moral clarity, principle, critical thinking, courage and integrity in the face of this rather than cowing or disappearing in the face of utter bullshit. And if people run into shit they’re confused by, ASK US and let’s talk about it instead of disappearing.

Very, very important: In regards to the above, there should be an approach of orienting on—and from—the OFFENSIVE. NOT the defensive.

A three-paragraph template/example of how to orient from the offensive, with strategic confidence and radical simplicity:

You may have a bunch of questions as you get into things. And that’s not only fine, it’s important. It means you’re taking things seriously and thinking critically. And you’re not expected to understand everything all at once, right away. But you also know enough based on what you just saw and heard to know some essential things about BA and these interviews, what this is, and what it’s not... You know enough to understand and begin envisioning the difference it would make if this person and these interviews got out to thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people and became a phenomenon in society that people were discussing, debating, and thinking deeply about.

“Now, when you go out and spread the word about this, you’re going to find that some people respond well and love these interviews and love BA, and some people run a bunch of bullshit and hate BA... and in both cases, it’s for the same simple reason: because BA is about everything you just saw in this interview, about completely breaking out of the confines and framework of the way the world is today and radically, fundamentally changing the world through making revolution... he’s about the emancipation not of one identity group, but all of humanity... and some people love this and are attracted by that vision, and some people hate it and feel threatened by it... It’s really as simple as that.

“So yeah, besides encountering people who are excited about these interviews and about BA, you’re going to run into people who hate this, who make snarky comments or personal attacks on BA or who say this is a cult. And that’s where you have to have some honesty, courage and integrity to think for yourself. You might have a bunch of questions, but you know those kind of nasty attacks are bullshit and have nothing to do with changing the world. You just saw these interviews [or a portion of it] yourself. Did this seem like a cult leader to you?!?! Did this seem like a robotic, dogmatic person who is trying to brainwash you? Or did it seem like a deeply scientific person, critical thinker and flat-out nice person with a strong sense of humor who has dedicated his whole life for decades to taking up big, complex questions as part of making revolution and transforming the entire world? Anybody who watches this interview honestly and is not completely steeped in prejudice knows it’s the second one. So you need to have the honesty and courage to tell the haters that they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about and that they’re spreading lies and poison that have nothing to do with changing the world and that you’re not fooled by them... and then come back and talk to us about the shit we ran into and we can get more into it.”

* In short: Orient people about the shit they’re going to run into, and do that, yes, by preparing them for what they are going to encounter and why and reinforcing that it is harmful lies and complete bullshit... but also, as a key part of that and even more fundamentally... orient people by bringing them back to, and leading them to anchor themselves in, what they just saw that is the polar opposite of the bullshit, lies and slander that they are going to hear...

This relates to Sunsara Taylor’s point in a recent episode of The RNL Show about how these interviews provide some of the most most powerful refutations of the lies and slanders, etc.

This also sets critically important terms about what is and isn’t understandable and acceptable...

Furthermore, this relates to simple and complex: You (including newer people) know enough to know why this needs to get out there in a huge way and the difference that could make... and that these lies and slanders are completely at odds with what you just saw and experienced... Now, if you have questions about WHY people say this kind of bullshit and where that comes from, we can get into that—the lines and wrong ways of thinking that people have about leadership, about communist leaders in particular...

But you don’t have to be able to answer every question to know that this needs to get out there and people slandering this are full of shit.

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