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Thoughts from a Revcom:

Going Back to the Works by Bob Avakian and “Rare Time”

Editors’ note: The following paper was circulated by a revcom on the National Tour to Get Organized for an Actual Revolution. While originally written for discussion and debate among the Tour itself, we are sharing this provocative paper with our readers more generally to provoke thought. For an earlier paper addressing similar questions, see “Thoughts on Bob Avakian’s Analysis That This Is a Rare Time When Revolution Is Possible.

I feel that there is a big struggle in our movement, or one that needs to be sharply delineated, over the analysis from Bob Avakian, BA, that this is a “rare time,” and what that means, whether that analysis is real and corresponds to reality, and the question of whether this is what we need to bring to people as a part of transforming their thinking. 

I have heard our agitation a lot of times saying to the masses to look at their side, the fascists, how they’re preparing for a one-sided civil war against all those they hate, while our side is way too small and caught up in bullshit. This is very true, and people should confront this reality. But let’s contrast this with where BA starts and his scientific method for probing beneath what is immediately apparent, even as too many are not willing to see or confront this existential reality.

The correct understanding matters a tremendous deal. It has to do with what we are fighting for and how we are fighting at this time, and that means fighting with the masses in fighting the power, and fighting with the masses to transform their wrong ways of thinking and acting FOR REVOLUTION

What Is the Method That the Masses and Leadership Need?

Well, we need the scientific method and a scientific way of approaching things. But why? Why can’t you just look at things on the surface and take up an empirical method by using your senses like what you are able to see at any given time or even what you desire for things to be? Let’s go all the way back to Bob Avakian’s New Year’s Statement of 2021 where he said, 

To understand why we are confronted with the situation we are, it is necessary not merely to respond to—and in effect be whipped around by—what is happening on the surface at any given time, but to dig beneath the surface, to discover the underlying mainsprings and causes of things, and arrive at an understanding of the fundamental problem and the actual solution. This means coming to the scientific understanding that we are living under a system, and what that system actually is (the system of capitalism-imperialism); working to grasp the deeper relations and dynamics of this system and how this is setting the framework for how different sections of society spontaneously think and react to events in society and the world, and what is the possible way forward to transforming all of this in the interests of the masses of humanity and ultimately humanity as a whole. A crucial part of this is a scientific understanding of major changes, resulting from the very dynamics and functioning of this system, that have led to upheaval in society and have in significant ways fed this fascism: changes in the capitalist-imperialist economy and correspondingly in the social structure and “social composition” within this country, as well as internationally, which have undermined “traditional” forms of oppression without, however, leading to the ending of this oppression but establishing and enforcing it in new forms, while provoking what is truly a deranged, sadistic and often violent reaction on the part of the sectors of society who have identified their interests, and in effect their very being, with the traditional forms of oppression. 

This is a higher level of understanding and abstraction. It reflects and corresponds to reality both in its method and its application to the scientifically determined fact that we live under a dictatorship of the system of capitalism-imperialism, that through its armed machinery of destruction and violence on a worldwide scale with its foundation and mode of production rooted in exploitation and oppression, that through its workings and contradictory output has led to the rise of outright fascism in the Republican Party. It would be worth the effort to go back to read the asterisk points that follow this paragraph in the application of the scientific method to the situation that humanity faces today. 

What Does It Mean When We Say “This Is A Rare Time”?

In our study and wrangling discussions, we have talked about what “rare time” doesn’t mean or shouldn’t mean. We can recognize that “rare time” is not a gimmick, nor is it an exaggerated and alarmist thing to say. It was criticized correctly by a comrade that it shouldn’t mean we go out and struggle with masses that something terrible is coming and we had better make revolution. I think both the something terrible and we need a revolution are true, and I think she’s identifying for us that there is a connective tissue that is missing or spoken to in a wrong way. 

“Rare time” provides an opening and an opportunity. It’s not a mere clash of “something terrible” coming to people’s doorstep, and therefore because of that we need to make revolution. We need a revolution because of irreformability of the “5 STOPS” under this system. We need a revolution because by the workings of this system and its dynamics there is no real solution to any of those “STOPS,” and it has no resolution to what is being done to billions of people and the planet because of the very dynamics of that system and how it works; the mode of production is fundamental and is the foundation of that system. 

And here is an important point: The material basis, as identified by Marx, is there and has been there. The key fundamental contradiction between socialized production and private appropriation is still there. “Rare time” is not the basis but “it provides more of a basis for revolution to be possible.” And how is revolution possible? As BA has said, the material basis for revolution lies in the deep and defining contradictions of this system. However, this is one of those times that comes rarely and there is a finite amount of time for us to organize thousands of people in the next year (or within the span of months), and ultimately impact millions.

This country has always been a nightmare since its “founding.” It has inflicted more horror here and around the world “that would disgrace a nation of savages” as Frederick Douglass said. Today, this is even more so with the defeats that have happened to the genuinely socialist countries that were contending against capitalism-imperialism in the middle of the last century. Today, this system of capitalism-imperialism has expanded into a global system with its vast network of sweatshops in Bangladesh and Vietnam, and the mining of precious minerals by young children in Congo, “while capitalist activity in the capitalist‑imperialist ‘home countries’ is increasingly in the realm of finance and financial speculation, and the ‘high end’ of (not the production of the basic physical materials for) high tech, as well as the service sector and the commercial sphere (including the growing role of online marketing)” (New Year’s Statement, Bob Avakian). This puts the “seal of parasitism” upon the lives of billions of people, most of all women and children, in an ever more tightening death grip and further crushing the people whose conditions caused by this system force them into the exploitative conditions and exploitation of their work to continue to be congealed through the machinery of the system, like the slave working “from sun up to sun down.” Only now, they’re forced to work multiple jobs only to be forced out of work and forced into the shantytowns and cities. For masses of women and girls, they are forced into the “sex industry,” forced to be pimped out and having nothing but their bodies to sell as products to be used and abused, degraded and humiliated, and for even girls and boys growing up in this society, all of that is a part of and influences how they are raised and by which the dominant and backward social relations set the terms for the culture and everyday life.

Only through a real revolution, where the revolutionary fighting forces can fight and win in defeating the reactionary forces of the old order, abolishing its exploitative institutions and way of life and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat through the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, can humanity finally have a chance at conquering the world in the interests of that actual great majority and to win the emancipation of all of humanity.

Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America


Revolution doesn’t come spontaneously. The masses do not wake up thinking about revolution. Quite frankly, as BA said in the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution, “the masses don’t know shit and have their heads up their asses.” Does that mean revolution is not possible then? No. We have seen people jump out of their slumber and come out to fight against oppression throughout history and around the world through the “Beautiful Uprising” to the fight for abortion rights. Slave rebellions and revolts occurred under the system of slavery. 

Why we need a revolution and how we can really make revolution, a speech by Bob Avakian



This possibility [of revolution] may not be, and generally is not, immediately apparent, and on the contrary what is often more readily seen on the surface is the way in which, in the short term, the situation is worsening.

The point is that all this can only be correctly grasped, and acted on, with a consistently scientific method and approach.

One of the most important things that such a scientific method and approach makes clear is this: Revolutions are made possible, in the most fundamental sense, as a result of the intensification of the contradictions of the oppressive system, leading to crucial turning points, providing rare opportunities for major revolutionary advance, even potentially opening the way for the victory of the revolutionAnd the prospects for revolution hinge to a great extent on whether the conscious forces for this revolution not only carry out consistent revolutionary work and struggle, but more specifically whether they recognize—and on that basis act boldly and with scientifically grounded determination, to take full advantage of—these crucial turning points and all-too-rare opportunities.

REVOLUTION: MAJOR TURNING POINTS AND RARE OPPORTUNITIES. Or... Why did Lenin talk about World War 1 as a “stage manager” of revolution?... And why did Mao say, We should thank Japan for invading China? by Bob Avakian


“Let’s begin with this: In the most fundamental sense, communist revolutions do not come about simply as a result of the revolutionary work and struggle of the communists.”   

So without scientific leadership, all of the resistance waged will not go to revolution. We have seen time and time again how righteous uprisings lead back to building up the Black middle class or bringing in colored faces in high places. These struggles end up nowhere but in the memories re-visioned and processed through the everyday functioning and “business as usual.” Much of it gets proclaimed as “building a more perfect union” or what is concentrated in the 1619 Project in the belief that Black people have always been the arbiters and perfecters of justice and freedom, who are constantly pushing to realize the ideal goals of bourgeois democracy.

People should wrestle with the “George Jackson question”1 and “Steve King’s demented insight”2 along with BA’s additional point that now you have our youth pointing their guns at each other. What is the type of agitation needed to break the hold that this system has on people in the belief of the “permanent necessity of existing conditions” that “This is all there is to the world and all that can be accomplished for eternity and is actually is the best system that has existed” or the hold that this system has the youth fighting and killing each other and doing the work of the system of oppression and misery? What about all the backward sentiments that dominate too much of and come out of the mouths of the very masses who need to be part of this revolution?

All this requires a revolutionary force that shines a light on the deeper reality of what is happening, why, and where the interests of humanity lie. Why? And what are the stakes if we don’t? 

Why Revolution Is Possible Even in a Country Like This

There are many, many works to draw on from BA where he speaks to this critical contradiction of this system and the founding of this country. There is the important work of Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, which many people should readBut I will quote from Something Terrible, OR Something Truly Emancipating…:

There is some important historical experience to learn from—situations where a ruling class was no longer able to rule in the “normal way” that people had been conditioned to accept, and a real possibility arose of putting an end to the existing system, even one which had been so powerfully entrenched that such a profound change had long seemed impossible. This has happened especially when the ruling class, or a section of the ruling class, of that system no longer believes in, and more or less openly abandons, what had been the “cohering norms”—the regulating set of beliefs and processes—of that system.

Something Terrible Or Something Truly Emancipating


I am going to work a bit backwards from where BA starts in this article. First on the point of method: What is BA actually saying in this quote and why is it true? When you live in a country like this, a superpower, even if you are at the bottom of society, as bad as that is, there is another person or people in the world who is much more oppressed and have even more difficult conditions to live. When you live in a country like this, that feasts on other countries, forcing young children to toil and work at exploitative conditions,3 it’s very easy to forget and live for mere self. It’s easy to be empirical and just judge things upon what you see from the class position that was ultimately determined for you by the workings of the system. It’s not an outright caste system like in India but it still is a system based on class and exploitation.

There is a highly stratified and relative “privilege” to living in a country like this one, represented in the “lopsideness” of the world. But these things are not just merely economic. There are the social relations, which are the gender oppression and racism, the division between women and men. These things are very complex, but they’re all under the surface while at the same time it is all there for people to see. All that requires a scientific method and analysis to what is actually going on. What are the mainsprings and the driving forces? What is the main motion of things? It requires dialectical materialism, and it requires scientific leadership to get out of those conditions that keep the masses of people locked within a system of exploitation and oppression. In order to put an end to all of that you have to put an end to the system. In A Declaration, a Call to Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution, it is said that

A revolution means a force of millions, drawn from many different parts of society and organized for an all-out fight to overthrow this system and replace it with a radically different and much better economic and political system, a socialist system, based on meeting the needs of the people and carrying forward the fight for a communist world where there will finally be an end, everywhere, to the exploitation, oppression, and destruction of the environment that is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism. Anything less than this revolution will completely fail to deal with the root of all the problems or lead to the actual solution.

Who needs to be part of this?

[E]veryone who can’t stand this world the way it is ... who is sick and tired of so many people being treated as less than human ... who knows that the claim of “liberty and justice for all” is a cruel lie ... who is righteously enraged that injustice and inequality go on, and on, and on, despite false promises and honeyed words from people in power (or those seeking power) ... everyone who agonizes about where things are headed and the fact that to be young now means being denied a decent future, or any future at all ... everyone who has ever dreamed about something much better, or even wondered whether that is possible ... everyone who hungers for a world without oppression, exploitation, poverty, and destruction of the environment ... everyone who has the heart to fight for something that is really worth fighting for: You need to be part of this revolution.

And this is the time. But hasn’t it always been time? Hasn’t this system always been a horror? Hasn’t this claim of “liberty and justice” always been a cruel lie? Yes, but in THIS IS A RARE TIME WHEN REVOLUTION BECOMES POSSIBLE—WHY THAT IS SO, AND HOW TO SEIZE ON THIS RARE OPPORTUNITYBA said,

Even though “democracy, with liberty and justice for all” is a cruel lie, this lie has been crucial for the rulers of this country to keep things together under this system—and especially to keep people who are oppressed under this system believing in the possibility of making this system more just. This is why both ruling class parties generally agreed, for a long time, to work within the same framework for ruling this country—they agreed to accept the results of elections and bring about “the peaceful transfer of power” between the different representatives of this same system, whether Democrat or Republican. 

I believe this understanding is going to be very controversial right now. There is a dogmatic anti-scientific way that people have of perceiving things because it’s easier to explain and it’s easier to believe. It doesn’t take much work to say, “They’re all the same and this system has always been a horror,” like too many on “the Left” are saying. There is a lack of understanding of different class forces and their (not in a monolithic way) necessity, especially within the ruling class. Although the dictatorship of the capitalist class has been disguised, I think there is a point to the fact it has been disguised:

The system of political rule—the “democracy”—that has existed in this country is, and always has been, democracy on the terms of this system and those who rule it. This capitalist “democracy” is a cover, and a means, for what really rules in this country—the dictatorship of the capitalist class—its domination of political power and official (supposedly “legitimate”) force and violence, as when the police repeatedly murder especially Black, Brown, and Native American people. 


With changing conditions in this country, and in the world as a whole, over the time since the end of World War 2 (75 years ago), it has been necessary for the ruling class, in order to maintain “order and stability” in this country, to make certain concessions to the struggle against white supremacy, male supremacy, and some other oppressive relations, while at the same time insisting that this is all part of “creating a more perfect union” and “further perfecting the great democracy that has always existed in this country.” This has also been necessary in order for the rulers of this country to continue promoting it as “the leader of the free world,” which they say must remain the dominant power in the world—but which, in reality, is the most oppressive and destructive power, plundering masses of people as well as the earth.

But a section of the ruling capitalist class, represented by the Republican Party, has all along resisted even these partial concessions to the fight against oppression, and has become convinced that these changes have now gone too far, that they threaten to destroy what has held this country together and enabled it to dominate the world.

The Republicans have become a fascist party—a party based on open and aggressive white supremacy, male supremacy, and other oppressive relations—a party convinced that only it deserves to rule, moving to manipulate elections and suppress votes in order to gain and hold onto power, refusing to accept the outcome of elections it does not win, determined to gut and pervert “the rule of law,” trample on people’s rights, and adopt what amounts to an undisguised capitalist dictatorship, ready to use violence not only against masses of people but also against its rivals in the ruling class.

These Republicans have mobilized a significant section of people who believe, with an intense, irrational passion, that white supremacymale supremacy, and other oppressive relations (as well as unrestrained plunder of the environment) must be firmly upheld and enforced. They have been driven to a state of vicious insanity, embracing all kinds of lunatic conspiracy theories, along with a crazed Christian fundamentalism, as a response to the threat they see to their entitled (or “god-ordained”) position and their insistence that further concessions to the struggle against oppression will destroy what has “made America great.”

These divisions have already become deeply rooted in the major institutions of this country, including the military, and they will increasingly become sharper and burst out into the open, as things continue to sharpen up in society overall and within the ruling class.

These deep divisions, this intensifying conflict, cannot be overcome—all this cannot be “put back together”—on the terms, and in the way, that the country has, up to now, been held together under the rule of a more or less unified capitalist class.



The piece on “Rare Time” is worth going back to. Let me highlight a key work in organizing for revolution that has been overlooked, under-utilized and short-handed way too much of the time as a mere reference rather than as an actual living guide that I firmly believe should be regularly opened up, discussed, applied, and serve as a key measure of our work, especially in the Revolution Clubs, called Organizing for an Actual Revolution: 7 Key Points. Point 1 says to "Set forth, and explain, in the following basic terms, why this is a “rare time” when revolution becomes (more) possible, even in a powerful country like this:”

Brutal and murderous white supremacy, male supremacy, and other oppressive relations, the deepening crisis in society and the world overall, including the constant wars and the continuing destruction of the environment: all this cannot ultimately be resolved, in any positive way, within the confines of the system that rules in this country and dominates in the world as a whole—the system of capitalism-imperialism. Under the rule of this system, all this will only get worse. The deepening divisions within this country now, from top to bottom, mean that those who have ruled in this country for so long (the capitalist-imperialist ruling class) can no longer rule, as a “unified force,” in the “normal” way that people have been conditioned to accept—with a system of government that has an outer shell of “democracy” to cover over the fact that it is an actual capitalist dictatorship at its core, relying fundamentally on the armed force of the institutions of “official violence,” the police and the military. Because of big changes in this country and the world overall, one part of the ruling class, represented by the Republican Party, has become fascist: they no longer believe in or feel bound by what have been the “norms” of “democratic” capitalist rule in this country. And the other section of the ruling class, represented by the Democratic Party, has no real answer to this—except trying to maintain the “normal way” that the oppressive rule of this system has been enforced for hundreds of years, while the fascists are determined to tear up those “norms” and rule through more openly and aggressively oppressive means, without the traditional disguise of supposed “democracy for all.”

The crisis and deep divisions in society can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means, or radically emancipating revolutionary means. And this resolution could quite possibly happen, one way or the other, within the next few years. This rare situation, with the deepening and sharpening conflicts among the ruling powers, and in the society overall, provides a stronger basis and greater openings to break the hold of this system over masses of peopleIn a situation like this, things that have basically remained the same, for decades, can radically change in a very short period of time. This rare time must not be wasted—it must be seized on to have a real fighting chance to bring about a truly emancipating revolutionary resolution, and not be subjected to a terrible, reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive resolution.


Is this how we put forth to the masses, and each other, why this is a “rare time”? Or is “rare time” simply in quotation marks as if it’s just something to say, because really, this system has always been a horror and a nightmare for the masses of people, these fascists are loaded and loading themselves for a one-sided civil war, while “our side” is too caught up in bullshit and our forces are way too small? What the latter is essentially saying is, “They are preparing for civil war, and while we are not preparing for civil war, we need to be preparing for... well... civil war!” In Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating… BA correctly wrote, and I firmly believe we need to grasp and express this understanding when responding to questions of “Civil War and Revolution” to the same appropriately titled work in his five-part series Revolution: A Real Chance to Win:

Given the nature, objectives and actions of the fascists, there is the real possibility of actual civil war. But given the nature, objectives and actions of the “mainstream” section of the ruling class (as represented by the Democratic Party and media such as MSNBC, the New York Times and CNN), and given the current situation with those, from different parts of society, who tend to support, and politically tail behind, this “mainstream” section of the ruling class, it is possible that the fascists could achieve and consolidate power without a civil war, but with all the terrible consequences that would follow this fascist consolidation of power. Or, as emphasized in the “Declaration and Call,” in what would amount to a one-sided civil war, these fascists could carry out a slaughter of those they hate, including Black people and other people of color, “illegal immigrants,” “uppity women” and those who don’t conform to “traditional” sexual and gender relations and “norms.”

In any case, it is a deadly serious reality that these fascists are determined to crush—as violently as necessary—anyone and anything, anywhere in society, that stands in the way of implementing their horrific objectives.

This puts an exclamation point on what the “Declaration and Call” says immediately after this:

This situation needs to be radically changed, to where there are masses of people prepared to defeat these fascists and to do so as part of getting rid of this whole system, which has bred these fascists, along with all the other horrors it continually perpetrates....

This is not the time of the Civil War in the 1860s, when the goal of those fighting against injustice was to abolish slavery, and—in terms of who ruled society—the only possible positive outcome was the consolidation and strengthening of the rule of the rising capitalist class centered in the North. That time is now long gone. And this system of capitalism, which has developed into a system of worldwide exploitation and oppression, capitalism-imperialism, is long outmoded—long past its expiration date, long past any circumstances where it could play any positive role. The goal now must precisely be getting rid of this whole system of capitalism-imperialism

With all this, I am saying there is a way to understand and grasp and be about the scientifically determined fact that this is a rare time when revolution is more possible. Point 2 of the 7 Key Points says,

With the recognition of this rare time when revolution becomes (more) possible: wield the forces for revolution now to impact masses of people, in all parts of society—bringing to people the message of revolution, especially in short, powerful and popular forms, both online and “in real life”—setting forth why this revolution is necessary, and is possible, and how to be part of working to make it a reality. In hard-hitting, compelling ways, carry out ferocious struggle against ways of thinking that keep people chained to this system, winning growing numbers to break with all that, while also mobilizing masses of people to fight against injustices and outrages that are continually committed under this system and to stand up against the forces that perpetrate and enforce these injustices and outrages. Spread far and wide the inspiring vision of how much better life could be, for the great majority of people, if millions of people got behind this revolution and carried it through—making it possible to restructure all of society on a completely different foundation, with a radically different economic system (mode of production) and emancipating relations among people, as spelled out very concretely in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian. 


I was saying to a group of comrades recently, “There was a reason why we had to vote for Biden as a defeat to Trump [as a tactical move] in 2020... to buy some time.” What BA said in 2021 was correct:

The electoral defeat of the Trump/Pence regime only “buys some time”—both in relation to the imminent danger posed by the fascism this regime represents, and more fundamentally in terms of the potentially existential crisis humanity is increasingly facing as a consequence of being bound to the dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism. But, in essential terms, time is not on the side of the struggle for a better future for humanity.

Someone pointed out very correctly that that came out in 2021! How much time have we wasted? I don’t believe we have squandered the moment, but BA said, “This rare time must not be wasted, squandered, thrown away. Rather, revolution must be actively prepared for and vigorously, consistently worked for—now, and in an ongoing way—to build up the scientifically oriented and powerfully organized forces for, and to prepare the ground for, this revolution.”

Point #3 of the 7 Key Points says,

With “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating” as the basic guide, and utilizing the YouTube RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show and the website as key resources, organize people who are drawn to this to grapple with why an actual revolution is necessarywhat such a revolution involves, and what kind of society this is aiming for. Involve them in the process of building for revolution, in an organized way—in being part of carrying out point 2. Enable people in parts of the country where the revolution does not yet have an organized presence to link up with others and become part of this revolution. 

Again, how much are we doing this? How much of our work is based on that #3 that follows 1 and 2? In the BA Interviews, The RNL Show did show a section where BA talks about “rare time.” I thought it was spectacular and awe-inspiring and very scientific how we went about it. He brought a lot of “life” to the question of “now.” That is another tremendous resource as part of the whole of the BA Interviews we need to be “going into the ring” with.

In the last section of “Revolution: Major Turning Points and Rare Opportunities” that deserves returning to and what precedes this quote is also very important, BA wrote,

This, once more, requires resolutely “going against the tide” of spontaneous mass sentiments, including the stubborn tendency of many to remain stuck in the well-worn rut of relying on “the way things have always been,” even as that “way” is being profoundly disrupted and shattered by the intensifying, and even potentially existential, “earthquakes” erupting in this country and the world overall. As I have emphasized before, people—masses of people, in different parts of society—need to be shaken awake, through sharp, and at times fierce, struggle to get them to confront the very real horrors shaping up on the near horizon but also the real possibility for a revolutionary way forward out of this madness. This means breaking with the dominant relations and ways of thinking of this putrid system of capitalism-imperialism, including its quicksand trap of elections to choose between the Democrat and Republican representatives of the ruling class of this system.

The following, which I wrote years ago now, has greatly heightened and urgent meaning today:

Indeed, if and when conflicts among different sections of the ruling class reach the point where they are beginning to assume antagonistic proportions themselves, that is a sign of extremely deep and acute cracks and fissures in the entire established order; and such a situation must be seized by the oppressed not to side with one section of the bourgeoisie against another—thus helping the ruling class to “repair” the rupturing old order and reinforce its dictatorship, in one form or another—but instead to rise in revolutionary struggle to overthrow the rule of the bourgeoisie altogether.

Masses of people: all those who suffer so horribly in the “normal times” of living under the rule of this system of capitalism-imperialism...all those who hunger for a more just world and a future worth living in, but whose future will be something truly terrible if things are allowed to continue on the terms set by this system... Masses of people, in continually growing numbers, must be made aware of the meaning and implications of this rare time, including through fierce struggle as necessary to win them to raise their sights and recognize not only the necessity but the possibility to seize on this rare time to make revolution and wrench something really positive, yes something truly emancipating, out of this rare time.

With all of that, there is still so much to say, and I appreciate BA’s ability to concentrate so much in his works and to lead based on that scientific grounding that is so inspiring, that uplifts and challenges you to aspire to do the same, and as I have shown here, there are an awful lot of resources and works of his to draw from. More of that grappling with and drawing from among those who desire and want to fight for a radically different, truly emancipating future needs to happen! I urge everyone reading this to return to and read all of the 7 Key Points together, discuss, argue and struggle with each other.

We cannot afford not to do this. We cannot afford another wasted day or hour. BA didn’t say, “You know what? I’ve done all this work—I got this. All you need to do is make it operational and work out the logistics of making this happen”—NO! He tells that story in his memoir From Ike to Mao and Beyond of his throwing Das Kapital at the wall, cursing Marx but then picking it right back up. With all that we need to do, with all that cries out to be done, 90% of the work has been done by this leadership, but 90% of that work is yet to be done, studied deeply and applied, and that is something I’ve realized I need to struggle for and fight like hell for, even as, yes, to fight for the larger objectives and interests of humanity and to meet what cries out to be done in the most materialist way. 

Without theory, the correct theory and line, without the scientific method as it’s been further developed, recast and some of its secondary features ruptured with in the new communism, you are just going to be at the mercy of the terms set by this system and its armed might exercised through its dictatorship. The cohering norms of how this system has been ruled are being ripped apart—with one section openly abandoning and shredding those very norms that the other section of the ruling class is desperately clinging on to and trying to hold on to and to fight with. On top of that, there are the fascist thugs getting prepared and ready for a civil war, while the “woke” hustlers and petit bourgeois strata are fiercely fighting for their own, narrow interests rather than fighting for the interests of humanity. If you don’t have science and apply it, you will be whipped around by every other class force out there that is contending for power. What we call “the six paragraphs” found in the work Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity in Part 2, is extremely important to return to and grasp.

BA has made the scientific analysis that there is an opening here, if we seize on it, if we are able to advance the revolution through this. Things are going to go one way or another. That choice is up to us.

I will end with two quotes to speak about the leadership and about the analysis from Turning Points and Rare Opportunities and Something Terrible, OR Something Truly Emancipating, correspondingly:

There would have been no revolution in Russia then if the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, had not, first of all, maintained a principled stand in opposition to the war—going against the powerful tide of patriotic fervor at the beginning and for a good part of the war. Beyond that, there would have been no revolution in 1917 if Lenin had not provided decisive leadership in making the scientific analysis of the ways in which this war was greatly heightening the contradictions of the capitalist-imperialist system, overall and in a particularly acute way in Russiaor if the Bolsheviks had failed to apply this analysis and seize on the rare situation toward the end of the war when, as Lenin also put it, years and even decades of “normal times” became concentrated in months or even weeks of intensified contradictions and accelerated developments. (Emphasis in underlining added.)


To return to this crucial and urgent truth:

This is one of those rare times and circumstances when revolution becomes possible, not just because this system is always a horror, but because the crisis and deep divisions in society now can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means or radically emancipating revolutionary means.

There is a great challenge that must be met, and a tremendous amount of work and struggle that must be carried out, with scientifically grounded determination and boldness, in order to make possible the emancipating revolutionary resolution.

There is no guarantee of achieving all this, but there is a real possibility. And what we do—what all those who want to see a world and a future worth living in, where human beings everywhere can truly flourish in the fullness of their humanity—what we all do can make a tremendous difference in what the outcome of all this will be.

There is the possibility, there is the challenge.

Dare to become part of the forces for this historic revolution. Dare to work resolutely to make this a reality. Dare to struggle, dare to win. (Emphasis in underlining added.)




1. In Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating: Profound Crisis, Deepening Divisions, The Looming Possibility Of Civil War—And The Revolution That Is Urgently Needed. A Necessary Foundation, A Basic Roadmap For This Revolution, Bob Avakian wrote:[W]inning basic people, and in particular the youth, to revolution also requires making further critical breakthroughs in what I have called the “George Jackson question”—the problem sharply posed by George Jackson, a prisoner who became a militant revolutionary associated with the Black Panther Party during the upsurge of the 1960s, and who grappled deeply with the question of revolutionary possibility, before he was assassinated by the authorities. To a slave who does not expect to live beyond tomorrow, Jackson said, the idea of gradual change, and revolution in some far-off future, has no meaning and no appeal. [back]

2.  This refers to what BA discussed in Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating…: In Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, I pointed to the characterization of the current polarization by the fascist former Republican congressman Steve King—that there is a lot of talk about another civil war, and one side (the fascist side) is heavily armed (with 8 trillion bullets) while the other (“woke”) side can’t decide which bathroom to use. Even as this involves some real distortion, and definite slander against trans people, there is a demented insight, and too much of the truth, in this observation by that fascist King. And, if this polarization remains essentially unchanged, it will have even worse implications, as things develop and further intensify.  [back]

3. We can zoom in on what exploitation really is that has changed a lot of my thinking in the follow-up article to “Exploitation: What It Is, How to Put an End to It” by BA called “Putting an End to Exploitation, and All Oppression,” where he said,

The essence of exploitation is not that people are compelled to work hard. Nor is it simply that they produce a surplus through unpaid labor. It is that they are compelled to do this under conditions that are oppressive and alienating: because those they work for have the power of life and death over them, in one form or another... because they have no say in what the purpose of their labor is, nor how the wealth they create is used, and for whose benefit... and because the appropriation, by exploiters, of the wealth that is created strengthens the position of those exploiters over those who are forced to work for them. 

It is that they are compelled to do this under conditions that are oppressive and alienating.” Before I had thought about exploitation as exploitation of surplus where the unpaid work goes to the capitalists, but BA went deeper than that to the alienation of labor and the “power of life and death” over the people. [back]

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