Revolution #157, February 22, 2009

Houston Revolution Club

A Fundraising Get-together

Revolution received this letter from the Houston Revolution Club

As part of the Revolution Initiative our club organized a fundraising get-together. We built for this fundraising event for Revolution newspaper by stressing the importance of this newspaper’s role in society; how it is at the core of building a revolutionary movement and people. We also talked about the layout of the fundraising event with people, inviting them to come and discuss, centered around the DVD, Revolution: Why It’s Necessary; Why It’s Possible; What It’s All About, by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. (Ch.1/2; Ch.5/6; Ch.7—Disk 2).

The turnout was spectacular; and not in the sense that the we had a full house, but because of the people who came. We had people who were very new to Revolution, some people who have had more exposure to the paper but still do not think communism can “work,” and people who are disgusted and fed up with capitalism but are not sure that communism would be the solution.

We started out with the first two sections of disc two, which gets into the questions about what capitalism means and what kind of system it is.

Immediately after the sections were over with there was a question about having a society where there are no commodities and whether or not that is even possible. People started talking about the differences between producing for the needs of the people or for profit. This also brought people to raise questions about how in capitalism, like Avakian speaks to, it is necessary for sellability to dominate usability. Based on this we also talked about how it would be different in communism and socialism. We discussed “direct use”: whether or not food would be produced and used by those most immediately in the vicinity, or people around the world, it could be considered direct use, if the food was not produced in order to profit and gain the ability to invest more, but to be used to fill stomachs and energize the people.

One person seemed to be concerned that in communism people would be too preoccupied with trying to feed the world that science would not advance. The point was brought up that under capitalism people are actually left out of the equation. The point was also brought up that one of the sciences that is heavily focused on in capitalism, and is a science that consumes massive energies and resources, is the deadly science of warfare and destruction.

Someone asked if we were actually talking about overthrowing the state in some future situation in a country like this. This question interpenetrated with some things that had been said about the nature of the state and it was put forward very strongly that the state that we have now is a capitalist state that serves capitalism as a vehicle for bourgeois dictatorship and what we actually need is a revolution to sweep away that whole setup in order to establish a new economic, social, and political system, as a transition to communism.

There was also a lot of sharp struggle over what actually happens in emergency situations; when the cops rushed in to New Orleans after Katrina, did they have a legitimate reason to be there? To protect property? When someone mentioned that they protect property and not people, and because that is what capitalism concerns itself with, someone else responded, “People are property, people OWN property.” This is the twisted logic of capitalism, and the same backwards and outmoded system is exactly what is responsible for holding people back from doing radically different and far greater things.

The intense and at times very heated discussion flowed from the sections that were selected from the Revolution DVD. We began with the fundamental contradictions of capitalism, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the need for a vanguard, and ended with the imagine section. These sections were able to reach people on all levels and really created a rich discussion, where everyone was getting involved. People were really getting into the questions and trying to figure them out together. One person expressed that she had heard these things before but never put in the way that Bob Avakian explains them, which really made a difference in the way she views revolution and communism.

We closed the evening with a statement that captured the purpose of Revolution newspaper Which is to be at the center of building a revolutionary movement, that is a movement that brings forward the masses of people to consciously take up the ideology and method of communism. To build a movement of people who are breaking out of the brutal framework of capitalism and applying communism to put an end to the oppression and exploitation of this system through a communist revolution. The role of Revolution newspaper is to be a guide for the people, to bring people together, to reach people when one can not be there in person, and to create leaders who in turn use Revolution newspaper as their own tool and guide.

We were happy to see that people had already taken initiative to make donations before the statement was even made, and before the discussion was even over. We’re glad to have raised $130 for the newspaper and to have brought people closer to the revolutionary movement in doing so. We know that the goal is large and that our contribution is small but we look forward to aiding the move to New York and the strengthening of the ability for the paper to act as the scaffolding of a revolution aimed at the emancipation of humanity.


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