What You Need to Know and Engage This Week About the World and Revolution

January 17, 2022

We begin by calling your attention to the recent crucial presentation from Bob Avakian, “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.”

At a time when the fascist threat looms ever larger and the Democrats are increasingly disarrayed, a time when all too many give in either to the nausea of despair, the drug of long-haul fantasies, or the bitter “I-gotta-get-mine” of the mean city streets … Bob Avakian leads you to confront reality full-on, in all its depth. And he leads you to wrest real hope out of that confrontation. 

This presentation demands our study and our wrangling with others to grasp the scientific analysis that reveals the source of that hope: a split among the rulers that gives rise to a once-in-a-lifetime chance to actually make revolution … and to take the first giant steps to abolishing all systems of exploitation, all forms of oppression, and all the backward and people-destroying ideas that flow from and reinforce those systems. 

This presentation demands that we work to spread it, to find those who are hungering for a real chance for an emancipatory future. This presentation demands even more that we actually implement the road map he’s laid out to winning that future—to move now in very concrete ways to realize this goal:

Everything depends on bringing forward a revolutionary people, from among the most bitterly oppressed, and all parts of society, first in the thousands and then in the millions, as a powerful revolutionary force, organized from the start and consistently with a country-wide perspective, impacting all of society and changing the terms of how masses of people see things and how every institution has to respond.  Everything must be focused now on actually bringing forward and organizing this revolutionary force.

To that end, this week we are publishing a new piece by Bob Avakian entitled “Some Key Points Regarding ‘Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating’: TRUTHS WE NEED TO GET FREE.” We recommend you go right now to dig into that; and we’ll be referring to it a little later.

Last week we talked about a big advance in popularizing the presentation—its posting on the website of La Opinión, the largest-circulation Spanish-language newspaper in the U.S., along with an op-ed by Michele Xai, a leader of the Revolution Club in Los Angeles. This week we’re running a TikTok that she did, encouraging people to seek out more ways to popularize this—even in what at first glance may seem unexpected places. It’s a different moment, things are being shaken up, and this can present different openings.

Of real importance in getting out the word on revolution is “A REVOLUTION RHYME FOR THIS HISTORIC TIME,” by a revcom poet. We’re starting a page devoted to getting this rhyme way out there, with different people doing versions and sharing experience and ideas in popularizing this. This new page contains two very good versions, by Miles Solay and by Roosevelt, from the Revolution Club in Chicago—and this time it also contains word of a brainstorming session held by that club to popularize it. The report tells of a club member who spoke of the potential power of the rhyme; he said “a lot of people got a wall up….  It’s very important to get creative with this.”

This Saturday will mark the launching of a major initiative to bring forward massive opposition to the attack on abortion rights, concentrated in the momentum toward getting rid of the constitutional right to this altogether. We strongly urge everyone to go to the panel on this, read or watch Sunsara Taylor’s interview on this initiative, and to read—and spread—the statement which she has initiated with a number of other fighters against the oppression of women to launch massive, in-the-streets, uncompromising opposition to this extremely serious attack. Sunsara’s interview lays out how she sees this as a follower of BA—working to both beat back this attack and to radically repolarize the political climate FOR revolution.

This week, as always, we cover important and relevant events from around the world and around the country. These include coverage of the heroic hunger strike by prisoners at Rikers Island in New York City (see here, here, and here); how the police force in “liberal” Portland used a vicious Proud Boys poem to train its officers; how 20 years after being opened, through presidents both Republican and Democratic, the literal U.S. torture chamber of Guantanamo, where people are held for decades with neither proof nor trial nor even charges, still goes on; and the way in which the accusations and threats between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine ooze hypocrisy and deceit… while threatening war that could easily turn catastrophic. Read all that, and in light of all this then read again “Some Key Points Regarding ‘Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating’: TRUTHS WE NEED TO GET FREE” on democracy and dictatorship.

Last Tuesday Joe Biden suddenly jerked to life to recognize the attempts to strip Black people of the right to vote and the overall attacks by the fascists on conducting “free and fair” Presidential elections. This attack is very real indeed, as we make clear this week and as we have made clear over time (see here, here and here, for example). But Biden’s opposition, though high in rhetoric was empty on concrete action, and seems to have folded by the end of the week (at least for now).

There’s some complexity to this. While the right to vote is meaningless to making basic change, there is still meaning to the fascist juggernaut moving to take even this right away, lock in permanent rule and institute a form of oppression where even the trappings of citizenship and rule of law are ripped away.

“Some Key Points Regarding ‘Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating’: TRUTHS WE NEED TO GET FREE” makes the point that the fascism now moving for total control must be thoroughly defeated—as part of making revolution. That includes the right to vote. “Something Terrible, OR Something Truly Emancipating,” in a critical section on “supporting, and defending, people who are constantly being subjected to unjust attacks on their rights and their very being [and] calls for defense of this right,” says this:

There are continuing moves, including with the threat or use of violence, to once again prevent Black people and other oppressed people from even exercising what are supposed to be basic rights, such as voting.  (With a scientific method and approach, it is both possible, and important, to actively oppose attempts to deny people the right to vote, and at the same time win people to see that their efforts need to go, not into voting for representatives of this system that is oppressing them,  but working to build up the basis to overthrow this whole system.)

We are also covering this week a number of events in the arts (Billie Eilish and Check it Out!) which bear on the fight for a whole new, and emancipated world. This fight is completely bound up with the need for a thoroughly scientific approach to reality, and in this context, we feature the “Tale of Two Scientists”—observations from a reader on the recent deaths, within the span of a week, of two prominent scientists, Richard Leakey and E.O. Wilson.

In This Rare Time When Revolution Becomes Possible…

Heart-felt appreciation for all – new readers and long-time supporters – who helped reach our $30,000 goal. This is a hard-fought-for advance that many, many people contributed to and made happen in a time when this can make all the difference. An important part of this advance is that some donors decided to become sustainers, giving to revcom on a regular basis, and it's crucial to continue to expand this sustainer base.

There is no site like Revcom.us in the world today… where people in this country and internationally can get introduced to and connect with the leadership we have in BA… where people can get a lively scientific analysis of major developments in society and the world, how they relate to the system we live under, what the interests of humanity are, how revolution is the only solution, and how people can and are moving to build toward that revolution. Our bilingual site reaches thousands of Spanish-speaking people the world over.

So again, a big thank you to everyone who contributed! Continue to extend the reach of revcom.us in any way you can. Call on others to donate and become sustainers of revcom.us