Let’s start here: The system that we live under brings oppression, exploitation, misery and suffering to literally billions of people across the planet—and entire groups of people—every day.
Can anyone who honestly examines the world in any depth really deny this with any substance?
To do anything remotely meaningful about the horrors rained down on humanity, we need to get rid of the capitalist-imperialist system responsible for these horrors. We need a real revolution. Yes, an actual revolution. An overthrow of the existing system, a defeat and dismantling of its repressive institutions, and the replacement of that system with a radically different and infinitely better system, society, world and future.
What we emphatically don’t need is to try in vain to make this monster of a system ever so slightly less horrific while still leaving that system in place to do all of its damage and inflict all of its horror... or, even worse, for individuals and groups of people to pursue a better position within this system, trying to “get theirs” in one way or another and earn a greater share of its money, influence and spoils.
These are two completely opposed pathways: Revolution... versus reform. Getting out of this nightmare of a system by sweeping it away once and for all... versus trying to get in on it.
For more than 50 years, Bob Avakian (BA) has been carving, further developing and leading the pathway of real revolution.
In the radical and revolutionary upsurge of the late 1960s and early 1970s, BA worked closely and struggled with the Black Panthers. Yes, those Black Panthers. In the decades since then, he has gone much further and deeper on the revolutionary road, forging and continuing to develop the scientific method, the strategy, the vision and the leadership necessary to actually make a real revolution and continue that revolution towards the emancipation of all of humanity.
BA continues to tackle the biggest questions and problems standing in the way of bringing forward the millions of people needed to carry out and carry through this revolution. He has not only envisioned but written an actual Constitution for the system and society to replace this one—a socialist society on the road to a communist world and future, free of all exploitation and oppression.
That is what BA, every day of his life, and everything he does is all about.
This should be celebrated and embraced with open arms by anyone who truly can’t stand the world the way it is and hungers for an end to all of the horrific and completely unnecessary ways that humanity suffers.
But there are people and forces out there who instead complain: “We don’t want to hear about BA! Why do you have to talk so much about him?” Even worse and more disgusting are those who actively spread lies, slander and distortions about BA.
All these haters are straight up telling on themselves.
Whatever pose they might strike and however they might dress it up, here’s what these people are truly saying:
“I really don’t want an actual revolution. I’m scared of a real revolution. It makes me uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, I don’t even want to hear about a real revolution. I’m not even willing to consider a real revolution. I want to get in on this system, not get rid of it. When you really get down to it, I don’t actually think the world is that bad as it is!”
Think about it for a second: If you consider everything that was just summarized about what BA stands for in the world and what he is all about... why the hell else would someone not want to hear about him?
If someone is really about making an actual revolution... or even if they have simply not closed themselves off to considering an actual revolution... if they are sincerely agonizing about the state of the world and truly interested in learning about why it is the way it is and what can be done to radically change it... what would possibly be their objection to hearing from someone who has answers to these questions?
Seriously! What are we talking about here?
Oh, they don’t want to hear about a revolution because the person leading it happens to be an old white guy?
That shit is weak! All that means is that they care more about what a person looks like than they do about that person’s ideas and about actually getting free.
Or maybe they refuse to hear about communism, or communist leaders?
Wow, how original and outside-the-box! That just means they desperately want to cling to their prejudices and to what they’ve been told about communism by this system’s powers-that-be, media and educational system. And that they aren’t even willing to open their minds, think critically and learn for themselves.
How fucking conformist can you get?
Now, some of these haters might act enlightened. They might act radical. They might act militant. Some of them might even tell you they’re for revolution.
But what do they mean by revolution?
Are they talking about actually overthrowing this system and replacing it with a radically different one?
Or are they just... talking?
Do they want out of this system, or do they want in on it?
What is their strategy for overthrowing this system?
What is their vision for the future system and society?
Have they done 50 years of work on these questions?
See, this isn’t about sectarian squabbling; it’s not a matter of “our group is better than your group.” It’s about getting to the root of why humanity keeps suffering horribly year after year, decade after decade, century after century, and what needs to be done to put an end to that.
It’s about what it means when someone works and sacrifices tirelessly and dedicates their life to forging answers to these questions and creating the basis for a far brighter future where humanity is finally able to overcome thousands of years of exploitation and oppression and live lives worthy of human beings... and then these haters who haven’t done shit by comparison—and in many cases haven’t done shit, period—come along and prey on people’s prejudices to attack that person, declare him out of bounds and stand in the way of the masses of people connecting with his leadership.
No. That can’t stand anymore. For real. The stakes for the future of humanity are too important to tolerate any more of this.
If people, including you who are reading this, have informed questions about or honest, principled disagreement with the content of BA’s work based on actually reading, watching, or listening to that work rather than going by “what you heard” or “what somebody told you,” then by all means let’s get into it. Let’s discuss, debate, and ideologically struggle over that. Such discussion, debate and principled ideological struggle can play a vital role in the overall process of getting free.
But the snark, slander, personal attacks, lies, hate and dismissal directed against BA needs to stop now. So, too, does the willingness of far too many people in our society who should know far better to accept, tolerate and be influenced by all of this bullshit.
It’s past time for good people coming from many different perspectives and levels of agreement with BA to think critically, learn for themselves and go to the source... instead of going by “what they heard” from “someone” or “read somewhere”—and to fight for that approach to be the prevailing standard among decent people who yearn for a better world...
Further, these decent people must unite in sharply calling out, struggling against and allowing no quarter for hate, unprincipled attacks and dismissal directed against BA. None of that poison has anything to do with changing the world in any way, and actually works concretely against that goal.
Furthermore, the implications of this poison are not minor, harmless or abstract: They create a climate of hostility against BA that makes it easier for the powers that be and reactionary forces to go after him and seek to take him from the people... and they serve as significant obstacles to BA’s work and leadership spreading throughout society and connecting with people in the way that they urgently need to.
Finally, to all those who are truly hungry to see an end brought to all of the horrible, unnecessary suffering heaped upon the people of the world... you are challenged and invited to tell on yourself in a completely different way... to reveal yourself as someone with the heart, the courage, the seriousness, the integrity, the open-mindedness and the critical thinking to go against the tides and the conventional wisdom of this society and culture... to defy the system, the powers-that-be and the haters who do their bidding... to think and learn for yourself... to seriously engage BA and get with the revolution he is leading... to become emancipators of humanity.
As BA himself put it:
Let's go on a crucial journey together—full of unity against oppression and lively struggle about the source of the problem and the solution. Pursue your own convictions—that the outrages that move you are intolerable—to their logical conclusion, and be determined not to stop until those outrages have been eliminated. And if this, as well as learning about other outrages, and ideas about how this all fits together and flows from a common source—and how it could all be ended, and something much better brought into being—leads in the direction of seeing not only the need for bold and determined resistance, but also the need for revolution and ultimately communism, then don't turn away from that because it moves you beyond your comfort zone, challenges what had been your cherished beliefs, or because of prejudices and slanders. Instead, actively seek to learn more about this revolution and its goal of communism and to determine whether it is in fact the necessary, and possible, solution. And then act accordingly.