by Bob Avakian
June 1, 2020
“Communism is a dictatorship, and I don’t want to live in a dictatorship.”
First of all, people who say this don’t really know anything about communism. To really know about anything of importance, you have to at least do a little work—and for something as important as communism, this is all the more true. The fact is that communism is not enslaving but emancipating—and, through the work I have done over decades to further develop communism into a new communism, it is all the more emancipating and uplifting.
Second, you are living under a dictatorship right now—a capitalist dictatorship.This is a system, a dictatorship, founded in the first place on slavery and genocide. It has built up its wealth and power, and its ability to enforce its dictatorship over people, by brutalizing and murdering, using and abusing, masses of people here and literally billions around the world. At the same time, it is plundering the environment and threatening the very existence of humanity in this way, and with its arsenals of nuclear destruction. If you don’t know this is true, you should find out! You can learn about it through the “American Crime” series and other facts and analysis on the website revcom.us.
Third, not all dictatorships are bad. Dictatorship means the institutionalized power to make things happen and to overcome resistance to making them happen. As long as people are divided into different classes with interests that are fundamentally opposed, there will be a dictatorship. Whether it is a good dictatorship or a bad dictatorship depends on: Who is doing the dictating, and for what, toward what end, and with what methods? Is it a bunch of bloodsuckers brutally exercising power over masses of people and stealing away their lives, slowly or quickly, in order to get rich and stay in power? Or is it a dictatorship exercised by the masses of people, with a government and leaders that really represent their fundamental interests in moving beyond all this? A government and leaders that enable them to gain and apply a scientific understanding of what the conditions and relations are that cause people to be exploited and oppressed, and to transform those conditions and relations in bringing a radically new society and world into being, defeating attempts to bring back the old, oppressive system and carrying forward the struggle to put an end to all exploitation and oppression, to get to the point where humanity is no longer divided into masters and slaves, where finally there is no need and no basis for dictatorship—no one with the interests and power to dictate to others, and no one in a position to be dictated over—which is precisely the point and the goal of communism.
You need to know these things—they have everything to do with what kind of future there is going to be, or whether there is going to be a future at all, not just for you but for all of humanity. You can learn about this by going to revcom.us and checking out my writings and talks, including the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different, emancipating society and world—and other important knowledge you will find there. In the meantime, for those who ignorantly bad-mouth communism: Stop talking foolishness about something as important as this, when you don’t know a damn thing about it, except what those who are now exercising dictatorship over you, the capitalists, and their intellectual hit-men and mouthpieces, have told you to think.