At a time when the world cries out for a radical and fundamental alternative to the current order…

There is a NEW Communism…and this could change everything.

Millions flee from country to country, drowning or shot down or starving as they run… genocides and the threat of genocide in every corner of the planet… the trajectory toward environmental destruction accelerates… and fascist regimes consolidate themselves all over the planet, including within the U.S. Even in the face of struggle and protest—the oppression of Black and other oppressed peoples, of women, of immigrants, of LGBTQ people intensifies, with threats of much, much worse.

The brave new world of globalization and “the end of history,” the supposed triumph of a reformed capitalism with a human face, has brought us here—to the age of Trump and Pence.  Yet there IS an alternative to the twin dead-ends of the outright fascism rising around the world and the “neoliberal” capitalism (or its more polite cousin “democratic socialism”), which both enforce the exploitative system of capitalism-imperialism.

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 on that basis, 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 the face of this huge need, the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has brought forward a new synthesis of communism—a new communism.  Bob Avakian is the most radical revolutionary on the planet—someone who has been leading struggle against this system and developing revolutionary theory, especially at key junctures, for nearly 50 years.  This new communism represents and embodies the scientific understanding and approach the masses of the oppressed need to make the revolution they need—a revolution whose ultimate goal is a communist world—to emancipate themselves and ultimately humanity as a whole.

As Bob Avakian himself has emphasized, the new synthesis of communism—

represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this.

ANNOUNCING A SERIES OF MAJOR PROGRAMS ON THE NEW COMMUNISM

The Bob Avakian Institute invites you to participate in programs on the new communism. People from all viewpoints who have engaged Bob Avakian’s work are invited to submit papers or apply to be discussants on the topics below.  The sole requirement is serious, honest engagement with this work. 

Some of the topics we intend to focus on include:

At a Time When the Very Notion of Objective Truth Is Under Attack from Both Right and Post-modern “Left”… How Do We Know What Is True and Why Does It Matter?

Even among the most progressive, the framework of “standpoint epistemology”—the assumption that truth is determined differently for each individual or specific oppressed grouping and that analysis of the overall and most determining dynamics of society is “totalizing,” oppressive, and necessarily too incomplete to be accurate—holds sway.  The new communism by contrast maintains that it is both necessary and possible to make an objective scientific analysis of any given society—the main dynamics that drive it forward, the relations between different contradictions within a society, and, most crucially, the underlying and most determining causes of oppression and the path to emancipation.  

In waging this struggle, Bob Avakian has upheld and carried forward the gist of Marx’s scientific breakthrough, but he has also ruptured in significant ways with problems of past communist methodology, including positivism and empiricism, religiosity and teleology, and reification of oppressed groups (including the notion that specific forms of consciousness are inherent in specific social groups and the individual members of those groups). In particular, he has radically advanced what the search for truth has to do with getting free, to a world beyond “might is right,” beyond antagonistic social divisions, oppression and exploitation. All of these dimensions will be explored.

Can the Problems That Plague Humanity Today Be Solved Through Reform of Capitalism?  Or Is Revolution Necessary?

Is there something intrinsic to capitalism that not only gives rise to horrors like the threat of nuclear war, the plunder of the environment, the systematic oppression of whole nations, nationalities and “races,” gender oppression, and the worldwide persecution of immigrants and refugees, but also makes their elimination impossible within that system? Or can reforms fundamentally solve these problems? Bob Avakian has taken the pathbreaking insights of Marx and Engels on this further. Avakian’s analysis of the compulsive dynamics of the capitalist mode of production, as well as how it relates to relatively discrete and historically evolved social contradictions, such as the oppression of women and the oppression of minority nationalities, marks a leap beyond previous communist theory and experience—both in analysis of these interconnected relations, the problem, and the solution, what it will take in revolutionary processes to get beyond all of them.

In a highly integrated world, how is communist revolution a world process, and what is the relation between (and contradictions inherent in) making revolution and advancing socialism in one country, overcoming exploitation, inequalities and oppression, and at the same time supporting revolution worldwide? In a country like the U.S., atop “the international food chain,” how does communist revolution help break down the lopsidedness between the “first” world of imperialist countries and the “third” world of oppressed nations? The new communism carries further and in crucial ways breaks with previous conceptions and experiences.

Can There Be a Society On the Road to Eliminating Exploitation, Social Inequalities, and Oppression Which Also Has an Unprecedented Level of Dissent, Debate, and Experimentation?

Even the best of the previous socialist revolutions did not fully have the right synthesis of these two great needs of what would be a society truly on that road.  Bob Avakian’s Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, an application of the new communism, poses not just a thought-through and affirmative answer to this—but a real breakthrough. It is the concretization of over 40 years of work on this problem. What social contradictions does this Constitution address, how does it do this, and does it provide—as stated—the visionary and concrete blueprint for a transition to a world without the oppression of one section of people by another? As a critical component of this: Avakian’s concept of “the solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core.”

Is a Real Revolution—the Seizure of State Power—Possible Within the U.S.?  Is It Desirable?

The dream of revolution that animated the most advanced political movements of the 1960s is now widely thought to be impossible. The argument, in brief, is that the powers-that-be are too strong, the middle class is too well-off, and the people most directly in need of such a revolution, who should be inclined in that direction, are caught up in other things right now and would be isolated and outnumbered even if they were to want to act.  There is a further argument that any such revolution leads to disaster in the form of revolutionaries going off-track, including becoming oppressors themselves in the course of fighting this system. Bob Avakian has developed deeply considered and scientific answers to these questions.

On the Absolute Necessity for—and Problems Inherent In—Leadership: What Is To Be Done?

A leaderless social movement is possible, but the much-touted leaderless revolution is impossible. Yet successful revolutions have been defeated, such as in China and the Soviet Union, with sections of leadership “going bad.” Why does this happen, and how should we deal with this? Why do you even need leadership, what is communist leadership, and what is the right way to conceive the relationship between leaders and led, a thorny contradiction for this era? Avakian’s new communism comprehends a different synthesis and conception than in the past revolutions, charting a different process towards communism.

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Bob Avakian’s new communism is based on nearly 50 years of theoretical work and participation and leadership in the struggle for revolution.  This new communism provides answers to the questions above and a framework for further exploration.  Given the centrality of those answers to the fate of humanity, this new synthesis of communism needs to be engaged, discussed and debated.  We invite you to be part of doing so.  

If you are interested in submitting a paper or abstract, but have not yet read Avakian’s work, we suggest The New Communism—The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation. Go here for suggested readings on the topics above.


To submit a paper or abstract for consideration, or for more information, write to programs@TheBobAvakianInstitute.org

Advisory Board in formation. if you are interested in volunteering for the Program Committee write to programs@TheBobAvakianInstitute.org

Download The BA Institute Program Series Prospectus (PDF)

Download The BA Institute Program Series Prospectus (PDF with crop marks for printing)

The Bob Avakian Institute is a nonprofit institute organized for educational purposes. Its mission is to preserve, project, and promote the works and vision of Bob Avakian with the aim of reaching the broadest possible audience.