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The forum is focusing discussion on the New Year's Statement from Bob Avakian, A NEW YEAR, THE URGENT NEED FOR A RADICALLY NEW WORLD—FOR THE EMANCIPATION OF ALL HUMANITY, and related questions.

We have posted, to begin, questions that were raised by participants during the February 6 "Zoom into the Revolution" online seminar. We invite everyone to submit your own comments and questions, including responding to those of other participants in this forum.

BA article on totalitarianism

“If we want to win, we have to maximize our strength and conquer new political positions at every opportunity and especially at key points. To not make preparation in this way has the same meaning and the same effect as to not fight when the real deal goes down. It is no different than throwing away the chance when it finally does come.”
Bob Avakian. “Stepping Up...Stepping Out," RW, No. 151, April 16, 1982, p. 15.

Hello comrades and friends. I recently read BA’s new breath-taking and eye-opening piece
“ANOTHER PROVOCATIVE BUT SIMPLE AND BASIC TRUTH ON COMMUNISM AND THE FALLACY OF “TOTALITARIANISM,” which was a breath of fresh air! So short but still so full of truth! It reminds me so much of my earlier experience with the RCP and their material, and it’s great to see this debate on the question of “totalitarianism” being brought up again. It is important to ruthlessly criticize wrong ideas and BA has been doing exactly that since the ‘60s.

I have rediscovered another piece by BA, one that I think should be read by thousands and in fact millions of people on this very pertinent matter. Right now we are seeing fascists weaponize “Antifa” as a strike against any and all dissent against this regime, and Trump has even called to OUTLAW ANTI-FASCISM! These are troubling — and dangerous! — times, and we’ve yet to see what lies ahead if we don’t dare to stand up and oust this dictator from power and overthrow this god-awful system!

And it’s disgusting seeing the liberals rehash the centuries-old red-baiting tactics. It’s disgusting seeing these phonies bring up “totalitarianism,” “starvation,” “mass murder,” and dictatorships,” when communism is dared to be uttered. It is especially disgusting when these types of people CONFLATE communism with fascism, when communism is REALLY the only way to challenge and ultimately escape from fascist oppression and actually ALL relations of exploitation, oppression, and degradation in the world today.

So with that said, I think it’s incredibly important right now to repost the 1991 piece, “Bob Avakian on the Myth of Totalitarianism” in the old theoretical journal of the RCP, Revolution. A copy has been attached, and the essay I mention starts on pg. 43. Very profound thoughts here on the necessity of making revolution, on the slanderous bourgeois conflation of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and also important historical lessons about Germany and the social-democrats, and even the shortcomings of Rosa Luxemburg.

This has to be widely spread and studied by anyone that dares to think critically about what’s going on now and how we can REALLY challenge this fascist threat. People really got to get with the 5-2-6 and the BAsics. There’s a whole new framework for human emancipation out there and it’s important to get crackin’! Gotta pick up the Revolution Newspaper and begin discussing and organizing, begin coming to grips with society and knowledge and how to overcome contradictions and inequalities. The Orange Menace is rallying his Nazi gangs and it’s time we get prepared, and the first step to preparing for anything is strategy. Only revolution — made by millions and ultimately millions of people — can stop fascism right in its tracks and deal with the fundamental problems of society and transforming it, and also leading the people to greater and newer heights. If we want revolution and to stop this fascist threat, we gotta MAKE revolution! We gotta throw away these old, outmoded ideas about change within this system and this broken idea that communism is dead. Communism ain’t dead!

The New Communism will only be our future if we MAKE IT OUR FUTURE!

PDF of "Bob Avakian on the Myth of Totalitarianism":…

Hope you enjoy studying this piece.

In reply to by Caoimhghín

The piece saying totalitarianism does not exist could be better stated that Arendt's theory of totalitarianism is wrong due to being incoherent. I think " totalitarian" describes a number of features that in fact exist in various societies. These are societies under stress. My initial test example is Eritrea over recent decades in a state of war with Ethiopia (just ended).

The term "totalitarian" originated as a self -description of the Italian fascist state.


In reply to by pete schoonmaker

Pete it depends on your definition of the word totalitarianism. I also think Arendt's theory of totalitarianism is bogus and BA dissects that very well. But by other definitions of the word, the modern US could be described as the most totalitarian society yet created, the way commodification of all media has created such a sophisticated system of mind control.

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