ANOTHER PROVOCATIVE BUT SIMPLE AND BASIC TRUTH
ON COMMUNISM AND THE FALLACY OF “TOTALITARIANISM”
by Bob Avakian
Editors’ Note: The following is the second part of a previously published article: “Bob Avakian On Impeachment, Crimes Against Humanity, Liberals And Lies, Provocative And Profound Truths.” It has been given a separate title here.
It is very common to hear communism denounced as “totalitarian,” but the fact is that there is no such thing as totalitarianism. And there has never been a society—in Russia, China, or anywhere else—that corresponds to what is asserted by Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism, the seminal work and “Bible” of “anti-totalitarians.”
As I have extensively analyzed, “totalitarianism” is a thoroughly unscientific—or, really, anti-scientific—“theory” which has been concocted and promoted by intellectual apologists of this system of perpetual atrocity (this system of capitalism-imperialism) and which serves to distract from and rationalize this system’s ongoing massive crimes against humanity and to foster irrational opposition to revolution and especially communist revolution.* That anyone could take this “theory” seriously—and that this “theory” is widely treated as some kind of “sacred wisdom”—is a bitter testament to the willful desire on the part of far too many, including far too many self-professed “liberals,” to accommodate themselves to this capitalist-imperialist system, which rests on the ruthless exploitation of billions of people around the world, including hundreds of millions of children, enforced through brutal repression and massive destructive violence.
What is required in regard to the historical experience of communism, and its relation to human emancipation, is a scientific method and approach. As pointed out in the article “Fascist Distortion And The Response Of The New Communism” (recently posted on revcom.us):
while the overall experience of socialist societies on the road to communism has been definitely positive and inspiring, secondarily there have been, in this historical experience, real problems and errors, some actually grievous, and in the works of Bob Avakian, over four decades, there is a critical scientific examination of the actual history of the communist movement—its great achievements as well as, secondarily but significantly, its serious errors and severe setbacks…. This scientific study, along with serious engagement with and drawing lessons from many other important spheres of human endeavor, has precisely led to the synthesis that is embodied in the new communism. And, yes, this new communism does enable those who take it up, and apply it as the living scientific method it is, to do even better.
* In the book Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That?, Bob Avakian has thoroughly refuted and exposed the anti-scientific character of the “theory” of “totalitarianism” and demonstrated that its primary use has been precisely to promote irrational anti-communism. [back]