by Bob Avakian
The Jacobins at the end of the 18th century in France were bourgeois-democratic revolutionaries who were fundamentally an expression of the rising system of capitalism. Despite any “socialist” pretensions, people calling themselves Jacobins today are bourgeois-democratic reformists and anti-revolutionaries whose effect is to contribute to preserving the outmoded system of capitalism-imperialism, with all the horrors bound up with and enforced by this system.
These present-day Jacobins crudely distort the historical experience of the communist movement—denying or ignoring its very positive achievements, giving exaggerated emphasis to its real, and in some cases serious, but secondary shortcomings, and regurgitating gross slanders against communism. They are opposed to the urgently needed revolution, led by the new communism, to overthrow this system and establish a genuine socialist system, aiming for the final goal of a communist world, free from all exploitation and oppression, while addressing the truly existential environmental and ecological crisis, in a meaningful and comprehensive way, which is impossible under the system of capitalism-imperialism.
To repeat again a very profound truth:
You cannot bring a radically different and emancipating society into being, moving to abolish all oppression and exploitation, without breaking the capitalists’ violent hold over society (the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie) and establishing a radically different socialist form of rule (the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat). And only with this socialist system can you give the most powerful support to the revolutionary struggle throughout the world.1
A sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for this radically new and emancipating socialist society, aiming for the final goal of communism, is set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored.
Again, regardless of any “socialist” pretensions, the Jacobins of today remain confined within what Marx very insightfully characterized as “the narrow horizon of bourgeois right,” including its expression as bourgeois democracy. They are not seeking to bring about the radical rupture with all traditional property relations and traditional ideas that is called for in The Communist Manifesto. They do not represent a fundamental break with what is represented by and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, with all the horrendous exploitation, oppression, and destruction this has institutionalized and enabled, right down to today, in this country and throughout the world.
1. Questions That Come Up… And Answers: On Revolution And The Need For The Scientific Leadership Of Bob Avakian. On Dictatorship, The Need For Revolution, And What Comes Next. This article is available at revcom.us (emphasis in the original). [back]