Thoughts, Insights on the National Tour...
And BA As the Most Dynamic Factor in Bringing Forward New Waves of Revolutionaries



Editors' note: The following are thoughts and insights from volunteers who participated in the first leg of the National Revolution Tour in Los Angeles, submitted in response to invitations to apply for the following phases of the National Tour.


RE: Application for National Tour

Since the Breakthroughs1 study group, I have been thinking a lot about individualism and how much this has a grip on hundreds of millions of people in this country. The way I have understood individualism is as a moral question—don’t be about yourself. But on the surface it does appear that you are untethered from the rest of society—and that if you succeed or fail it is mainly because of your effort and determination. Humans are indeed individuals, but our individuality and conditions of life are shaped by forces that are much larger and determining than our will. Since the Breakthroughs study group I have been thinking about the importance of bringing alive that people are most fundamentally enmeshed in production relations that at this point has integrated billions of people.

Individualism has such a grip on masses of people. I have met hundreds of high school students now who are all convinced that they will be the one to make it out of the meat-grinder. Kids that have asked me to stop talking to them about revolution because “the thought that I might not make it out of this mess is really fucking me up in the head.” This is a painful truth for people—and too much the way I have struggled with people is on a moral level about how fucked up it is to just think about yourself.

It takes science to see what the reality is beneath the appearances of society as a collection of individuals pursuing their individual aspirations and dreams. When I have gone out to masses of people one of the quotes that strikes them is BAsics 1:9.2 The way Bob Avakian (BA) connects up the different choices that different social groupings have with the workings of a system – NOT human nature, god’s will, or your own strengths and shortcomings.

Here I am driven towards the question of going to people straight up with the truth—no matter how unpopular—or appealing to them on some sort of basis short of that. Are we going to fight to win masses of people to revolution on the scientifically based understanding of where the basis for revolution lies. Fight to win them to take up the tasks and objectives necessary to bring that revolution closer? Or will we step to them with something else or something less? I’m thinking about how painful it was for that youth to think about “not making it out,” this was a weight on them. And in one regard to confront the reality of what it means when your future has been foreclosed on—even before you were born—is a very heavy thing. At the same time part of the struggle we need to be waging with people is to confront reality as it actually is—and how profoundly emancipating this can be. People are capable of this—and the more we expose for people the workings of this system, the more we bring out the need for this revolution, and the more we bring out the basis and possibility of making this revolution and getting to a whole different stage of human history—the more people can actually act to emancipate themselves as a part of emancipating ALL of humanity.

Spontaneously what people see is the strength of the enemy, they see everything we are up against in the backwards thinking of the people, they see how fucked up things are (even as most of this is hidden from people) and these are reasons that people say that revolution is not possible. Again here I see the question of actually confronting reality as it is—or turning away from it towards illusions and delusions. But part of the felt-gravity of these things is unscientific. People are only grasping one side of things. Again I’m driven towards the struggle we need to wage about self-conscious emancipation through confronting and transforming reality on a scientific basis and how truly liberating this can be.

But you are not going to win people to break with these modes of thinking, and to move towards “self-conscious emancipation” without people grasping where the positive freedom3 lies. How this can all be changed. This makes me think about the latter part of the quote from BAsics 3:1 “They need to be inspired, not just with a general idea of revolution, but with a deepening understanding, a scientific grounding, as to why and how revolution really is the answer to all of this.” And this is very connected to whether or not we are actually proceeding from the basis for revolution in the defining and decisive contradictions of this system, which are unresolvable under this system, and to set out to win masses of people—basic masses but people from other strata as well— to revolution on this basis.

There is a positive freedom that lies in scientifically grasping the basis for change. Scientifically grasping the REAL basis to get to the kind of world that BA describes in the “What if…?” clip4 and how our conscious initiative today can bring that world closer. I think that this is an important part of people dealing with the “gravity” of reality—and consciously breaking with modes of thinking that are in line with this system.

None of this is possible without a vanguard force bringing to people, and striving to systematically apply, the leadership of BA. While the conditions and thinking of people may at times drive them towards resistance and rebellion there are limits to how far this can go. Resolution 1 from the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, January 1, 2016, says in part:

Where there is oppression, there will be resistance–the masses of people will continually rise up against their conditions of oppression and those who enforce this oppression. But, without the necessary scientific theory and leadership, the struggle of the oppressed will be contained, and remain confined, within the system which is the source of oppression, and the horrors to which the masses are subjected will go on, and on.

In Ruminations and Wranglings, BA speaks to how to outward appearances in a capitalist society, of being untethered from the rest of society, seduces the bourgeois democrat. Well, for hundreds of millions of people the basic relations of society, as far as people confront them on a surface level and especially in a parasitic society such as this, do spontaneously give rise to these illusions of being “free” from the rest of society. This system brings forward all kinds of forces whose understanding of problem and solution flows from this understanding of the individual and views problems and solutions in terms of removing obstacles and constraints on the individual. Whether it be the way in which being Black or brown or a woman or queer imposes unfair and unjust constraints on individuals, or whether it be the way that “they” have too much power and influence relative to the rest of society. People will not spontaneously grasp the underlying relations of society and will not be driven to uproot these relations completely without science.

People need the New Communism and the leadership of Bob Avakian. People need to take up the scientific method and approach, they need to take up and apply the strategy for revolution, and they need to take up the liberating objectives of this revolution (a revolution to end all oppression). People linking up with BA is the most dynamic factor in bringing forward revolutionary forces and enabling masses of people to break with oppressive and unscientific modes of thought and actually work to consciously transform society in a revolutionary direction. BA is the greatest strength that the masses of people have. But in order for BA’s leadership to become a material force in society, in order for us to initiate a new stage of communist revolution, there must be a growing core of people who are determined to fight through the obstacles to putting this leadership and revolution on the map.

In light of this I submit my application to join the next leg of the national tour. I want to be a part of the forces fighting for this revolution and this leadership up against all of the bullshit, against all of the oppressive modes of thought, the mental shackles that keep people on their knees and keep them thinking like oppressors. It is possible to get beyond this nightmare of human history and it is up to us to fight through the obstacles to bringing forward a new wave of revolutionaries who are taking up the leadership of BA. I am consciously choosing to dedicate my life (however short or long) and contributions (however large or small) to the cause of emancipating humanity and I feel a great joy and a lightness of spirit in doing this.



Wow. What a winding road this first leg of the tour has been. I can say these past three months have been the most difficult yet most inspiring, and exhilarating months I’ve ever experienced. There’s so much to learn, so much to continue to fight for and further, and looking at this application 3 months later after first reading it before the tour began, I feel like I have a fresh pair of eyes. I really feel like I’m in and many others can consider themselves in the thick of the “Ohio.”5

There’s a million thoughts in my head, but I will try to hone in on a few things that stood out to me throughout this first leg in relation to the nutshell, BAsics 3:1,6 the process and difference of understanding of the process and unleashing that, part 2 of HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW), the leadership we have, and the importance of taking up a thoroughly scientific approach to reality in order to change it and fundamentally making revolution.

The synthesis of the 5-2-67 and rooting ourselves in that and bringing forward the thousands on that basis is something very new, and is something I don’t think we would’ve gotten to if it weren’t for the process of this first leg of the tour. Even when I think about the first part of the film and how BA scientifically walks through the 5 stops and how they are fundamentally rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism through its mode of production, you get a deeper understanding of why this system cannot be reformed in a living and basic way and the 5-2-6 is also a concentration of that. In relation to that, even the process of having newer people lead Revolution Club meetings on the basis of that broadsheet is something I see the real material basis for, and to quote a new person who has come forward through this tour at UCLA who led a Revolution Club meeting, “I’m very new and I’m still learning, but the 5-2-6 is foundational to everything we’re doing and how we organize.” This is very important in terms of involving people from the beginning throughout this whole process by putting the problems to them and unleashing a lot of initiative in that instead of acting as if we have everything figured out and people just have to jump on board, or getting defensive about the 1000s we DON’T have, but being honest about that and being honest about how people need to get involved in order to change that and we’re on a mission to win the 1000s now. I imagine people in other parts of the country starting and leading Revolution Clubs on that foundation of the 5-2-6. The 2 Choices even on their own is something that also really goes up against the tide and is something so fundamental to this whole movement. Posing those 2 Choices challenges people to think about what kind of world they want to live in and provokes the people who do care about one or more of the 5 STOPS to really get their head out of their asses and dig deeper to where these horrors come from and how to end them, and it really challenges people to get up off of their ass and act, not just on a moral basis. It goes up against what most people in all different strata and backgrounds are thinking right now and how they view their “choices” in life, and it sets terms in seeing yourself in the context of the entire world and not just as an individual separated off from reality and the largest scope of things.

When taking out the 6 Points of Attention (POAs) in their own right, which is also something very new that we haven’t done before since I’ve been around, I got a deeper sense of what this movement for an actual revolution is all about and what we really represent. I think before I understood the 6 POAs in a very abstract way, or 6 “really good things that I ‘agreed’ with,” but I remember when going up to Stan state (California State University Stanislau), a comrade was leading new people on how to spread this revolution and the kind of questions you’ll get from people when you do, like, “What is communism?” and this comrade referred to the 6 POAs and told these new people to tell others, “this is communism, this is new communism.” I never really thought of them that way until after this leg of the tour, and the importance of why they are 6 points we live by and fight for (emphasis on fight), because it is a fight and struggle for whole sections of people to take these up because of how brainwashed this system has people and how you have to be consistently resisting the pulls this system has on you or you’ll get led somewhere else or get on a different path with different line and different method and approach and this has everything to do with making revolution as a conscious process and the concrete world we’re fighting for. Many people may “agree” with the 6 POAs but to strive to embody them is something else because they are in direct contrast to all the fucked-up modes of thinking this system indoctrinates people in, and they also provide that basis for people to radically revolt against this truly revolting culture when living by them and going out and fighting for them.

In relation to this, I also think about the importance of digging into revolutionary theory collectively, and getting into Breakthroughs together collectively, and how this whole process with all of its ebbs and flows really felt like we were going through it together instead of individually or off on our own, and we were all taking responsibility for and figuring out the problems of the revolution, new and old people in the movement for revolution. And also seeing the importance of theory and digging into the science of the New Communism that BA has brought forward, in order to APPLY IT to transform the world, not theory in the abstract, academic, or scholastic sense which I feel we’ve done in the past, but theory as being rooted in reality and how it’s constantly changing. I still need to learn A LOT, but have also recognized this is going to be a continuous process of learning, fighting and struggling for the truth even when we get to communism and how that’s a process that most definitely needs to be led. But more and more running with and taking out this one line of going against the tide I felt more and more rooted in what’s concentrated in BAsics 4:14,8 especially with all of the debates we called for on the campuses and elsewhere (democratic socialism vs. revolutionary communism, identity politics, stepping on the flag, #BEB and all the dead-end paths), or when we went to the climate march the first few weeks the tour was in town, I felt like we were really representing as a force and taking on, welcoming and challenging all comers to make the debate of how you can solve such a monumental crisis such as the destruction of the environment under this system, and if you think you can then let’s hear it! And through that really cracking open the debate and ferment over reform vs. revolution and welcoming people to step in and join us on that basis, I thought that was something very new, messy yet exciting and the kind of ferment you need overall in society for people to distinguish and dig deeper into what’s true and what is in the interests of humanity and to act commensurately with the problem we face.

I was also thinking about science as an evidence-based process in relation to people making revolution consciously, and shaking people up out of their sleepwalking. In order to prepare the ground and prepare the people as part of fighting the power and transforming the people for revolution, through the course of this tour I’m understanding more and more of why (and how) you have to compel whole blocs of people to confront the truth as it actually is and fight for it no matter how unpopular, as part of changing not just what people think but how people think and leading and enabling masses of people to take up a scientific method and approach to identify and go to work on figuring out the actual problems confronting humanity and lead others to do so.

In this light I want to reflect a bit on the recent piece written, “The Crucial Importance of the New Communism and BA’s Leadership,” and how there’s never been a leader like this before that is able to unleash this kind of fervor in people to go out and argue with substance of what’s laid out in BAsics 3:1—“We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit…”—as well as that kind of understanding will not by any means come spontaneously from anyone else, but how that understanding has to come from the outside and has to be fought for by people who are like Huxleys.9 I don’t think I fully recognized or appreciated this leadership until now, and it’s still a fight to keep doing that and keep going back to BA and the work he’s brought forward and to follow my convictions. I’m still summing all of it up and further summation has to be had, but I think recognizing that has to do with digging deeper into the theory and actually going out there and applying it and constantly involving people in that process and seeing how it really broke down the barrier between “us” and “them” and the beauty of BA’s leadership and the movement he’s leading being able to break down the divides this system puts on us and how inspiring that is.

One of the last points I wanted to make and tie this to was June 8 & 9, in particular the 8th in terms of what we DO have—“By far the biggest positive factor we have is BA”—and what got culminated that day. I did want to pull this quote from “The Crucial Importance…” (and there’s so much good stuff to pull from the “Crucial Importance” article, but I won’t get into all of it): “This leadership, as highlighted in the second of those six resolutions, involves an extremely rare combination: the ability ‘to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to ‘break down’ complex theory and make it accessible to the masses of people.’” I really felt that I saw an organized expression of that on June 8 in terms of the amount of humanity there was in all the people who marched together as well as the certitude of standing on reality and truth and having the courage on that basis to be one of the first to step forward and say “Enough!” and truly stand with and fight for revolution for the 7 billion people on this planet. You could really tell how people in and outside of the march were affected/inspired by that declaration to the world, and you got a sense of the real potential there is out there if thousands get with this movement and with this leadership in BA NOW. It was a truly beautiful sight, and I have never been a part of something so radical with so much humanity, so much heart for the people, and the scientific understanding within that on so many different levels.

I know I’m making a lot of general points here, and this seems more like a summation than an application (even though there’s still SO MUCH more to sum up and go back to. And if this needs more fleshing out or clarification please LET ME KNOW), but that being said, I cannot express how important this tour is. How I really think we made an advance and a beginning here, and how important it is that this tour continues and continues to GROW. This tour really embodies what BA is fighting for in Part 2 of the talk Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution in the section of “what we need to do now” and we (and HUMANITY) cannot afford to lose sight of that, or what we’ve accomplished and the need to go further. This tour needs to be maintained and sustained if we are really trying to bring forward the thousands this year. We have to go further and deeper, and I see myself and my comrades having that itch to struggle this out with each other and principally with masses of people over what they UNDERSTAND and bringing to the fore that revolution and the New Communism really is the answer and the way out of all this madness. Therefore, I want to contribute all that I’ve learned this first leg and all that I will continue to learn to this tour because I’ve gotten a fuller sense of what means to dedicate my life to something truly worthwhile: a better world that IS possible and how at this time I do not see myself doing anything else and why the fuck would anyone want to do anything else with their life if they came to this understanding? There’s nothing more fulfilling and liberating than making revolution for all of humanity that one’s life could be about, and I seriously mean that.


1. This refers to a work by Bob Avakian, BREAKTHROUGHS: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism: A Basic Summary.  [back]

2. This is from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian:

They pontificate about “Responsibility”…how the lack of it is corrupting the youth and the people generally in the U.S. They insist that people must take responsibility for the choices they make in life. But why is it that, for the class of people Bennett* represents, the choices involve things like whether to close down factories in this or that area and whether to invest billions in Mexico or South Korea, or what kind of austerity measures to impose on Peru, or how to wage war against Iraq, or when to invade Panama or Haiti? While for people in a country like the U.S. who are part of what is broadly referred to as “the middle class,” the choices may be between accepting a cut in pay or losing their job, or deciding whether to go deeper into debt to help their kids get through college. And for millions in the ghettos and barrios of the U.S., the choices involve things like trying to get a minimum-wage job vs. going on welfare, or turning to crime—or having to fight in one of those wars the ruling class decides to wage. And meanwhile, a young girl in Thailand—maybe as young as 9 or 10—has the “choice” between slaving in suffocating squalor in factories making clothes or toys for export to countries like the U.S., or being forced into a brothel to be sold for sex to traveling businessmen from Japan, Europe, and the U.S.! It is the worldwide system of capitalist imperialism and its economic, social, and political relations of oppression that have shaped these different choices for different classes and groupings of people.

*William Bennett is a major right-wing ideologue who has held high-level positions in Republican administrations.  [back]

3. In Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, Bob Avakian notes, “In basic terms, positive freedom is a concept that associates freedom with the attempt to achieve an objective—to bring about change—with regard to society and the people in society.”  [back]

4. From REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion. A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN.  [back]

5. The “Ohio” refers to the Ohio State marching band’s practice of marching in such a way as to spell out “OHIO” when viewed from above; in this process, band members who begin the first O, then move through the other letters of the word until they are at the last “O.” The point is that there is an analogous process involved in building any kind of progressive or revolutionary movement, in which people “move through” various levels of understanding and commitment, though this is not (“in the real world”) quite so linear and in lockstep as the Ohio State marching band!*  [back]


Let’s get down to basics: We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.

Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t unite with people in all sorts of struggles short of revolution. We definitely need to do that. But the proffering of any other solution to these monumental and monstrous problems and outrages is ridiculous, frankly. And we need to be taking the offensive and mobilizing increasing numbers of masses to cut through this shit and bring to the fore what really is the solution to this, and to answer the questions and, yes, the accusations that come forth in response to this, while deepening our scientific basis for being able to do this. And the point is: not only do we need to be doing this, but we need to be bringing forward, unleashing and leading, and enabling increasing numbers of the masses to do this. They need to be inspired, not just with a general idea of revolution, but with a deepening understanding, a scientific grounding, as to why and how revolution really is the answer to all of this.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:1  [back]

7. The 5 STOPS, the 2 Choices, and the 6 Points of Attention – see here for more.  [back]


Our party calls on people and says the first thing you should do is to raise your head up and ask, “why.” Ask “why” whenever they tell you to do anything, and for that matter, ask why whenever we say you should do anything. Because we’re not afraid of people questioning us. We’re not afraid of people digging into what we have to say. We’re not afraid of people criticizing us and struggling with us, because we stand on the basis of the revolutionary science that represents the interests of the masses of people. And if our grasp of that science is not complete, if our grasp of that science is wrong in this or that particular aspect, or if the way in which we’re applying it doesn’t correspond fully to the interests of the masses of people, then we’re not afraid—in fact, we insist—that people come forward and call us out and question us and struggle with us and criticize us. That’s the only way that we’re ever going to be able to bring that revolutionary science to the masses of people, and for them to take it up and wield it as a weapon to win their own emancipation.  [back]

9. Thomas Henry Huxley was a champion for Darwin’s theory of evolution. While Darwin for various reasons did not focus on debating the truth of the theory in public venues, Huxley played the role of going everywhere to fight for Darwin’s breakthrough. He was known as “Darwin’s bulldog.” By analogy, people who do gain a more developed understanding of the new communism should be out taking on all proponents of contending viewpoints and modes of thought.  [back]

“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

How Can We Win? How Can We Really Make Revolution?

6 POINTS OF ATTENTION which The Revolution Club upholds, lives by, and fights for.... Spread them. Take them up.

1 We base ourselves on and strive to represent the highest interests of humanity: revolution and communism. We do not tolerate using the revolution for personal gain.

2 We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or “jokes” about people’s gender or sexual orientation.

3 We fight for a world without borders, and for equality among different peoples, cultures and languages. We do not tolerate insults, “jokes” or derogatory names about a person’s race, nationality, or language.

4 We stand with the most oppressed and never lose sight of their potential to emancipate humanity—nor of our responsibility to lead them to do that. We work to win people of all backgrounds to take part in the revolution, and do not tolerate revenge among the people.

5 We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.

6 We are going for an actual overthrow of this system and a whole better way beyond the destructive, vicious conflicts of today between the people. Because we are serious, at this stage we do not initiate violence and we oppose all violence against the people and among the people.


The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, by Bob Avakian

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