Scott Gilbert, a conscious, proud follower of Bob Avakian, acting accordingly
Growing up, I hated, HATED, the war in Vietnam and despised what “we” did to Vietnam and the Vietnamese people (I have since come to understand that I am not part of that “we”). I HATED that women could be called “Ho’s and Bitches” and not have control over their own bodies. I hated “red-lining” and all the open and subtle racism built into the world around me.
But, I also loved, LOVED, the uprisings in 1965 and 1968 in the U.S., civil rights and women’s rights victories, the anti-colonial struggles around the world, and the Vietnamese kicking the U.S.’s butt!! These challenges to the status quo started to open my eyes. I had read about imperialism and had dabbled with the Redbook, but I did not really understand what was going on in the world, what were the underpinnings of how the world worked, and how to change it for the better. I was yearning to figure out a way to stop all the ugliness and oppression around the world and tried different methods from NY PIRG to voting to going to a national socialist convention in Chicago. None of these really answered my questions. As I dug into and researched different issues, it became apparent to me that the answers provided by the mainstream and liberal/radical left were hollow. It became clear to me that the solution was a total revolution, a complete revamping of society and the world. But how does one do that?
I then started reading the Revolutionary Worker newspaper. I found it a bit dogmatic (this has since changed for the better), but it had an approach I had not seen before: revolutionary internationalism and dialectical materialism. Then, the death of Mao occurred along with the arrest of the “Gang of Four.” I was quite confused about all of this. I began to read essays by Bob Avakian. His many sidedness and approach gave me reason to more thoroughly dig into what is capitalism and imperialism, and what is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. And, BA’s method started to give me the tools to figure out for myself what the truth is and follow it wherever it led me regardless of my pre-conceived prejudices. His method and approach to the world also gave me the ability to be part of fighting for truly emancipating all of humanity while fighting against all this “cancel culture,” “me-firstism,” and identity politics. And the more I read and re-read BA, the better I am at being able to fight hard for a path that will make a better world.
As for the latest attacks: A lot of people like to ignore, push aside, or outright attack Bob Avakian and the Revcoms. I get that—it means BA is doing something right, especially given the people and groups that have recently been attacking him from petty so-called progressives to outright reactionaries.
But the big question is why? And why are so many people not with BA? For many people I know, they don’t really want change, they just want their little area of the world to be nicer or more compatible with their own interests. Dealing with Bob Avakian means you have to really confront the way the world actually is. And, if you do that, this begets the question of what are you going to do about it if you have half a shred of humanity.
There are millions of people who do not know about Bob Avakian who should know about him. He is the gold standard by which everything else should be compared with and judged by when dealing with current philosophical, epistemological, economic, and political questions. This is a bold statement. But it is accurate and true. This is because he is the most scientific and methodical evaluator of society today.
I challenge anyone, anywhere on the planet, to demonstrate that BA’s analyses are not both prescient and correct. And, I say this in a comradely way. Please, please come forward if you have ideas and analyses that are different and reflect both the way the world is and how we can fundamentally change it to move all of humanity forward. I challenge anyone to do this. Not because we need to have petty disagreements, but because we want to figure out the best ways to end the oppression and exploitation of most of humanity. What exists today is truly horrifying, and becoming worse. Bob Avakian has a blueprint for how to change all this: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. How uplifting and liberating!
I have always found it “intriguing” that people attack BA and the Revcoms around the question of leadership, as if they don’t follow one form of leadership or another, whether it be a particular party or group, person or candidate (or conglomerate thereof), or a particular world outlook. They are either lying to themselves, or they are completely out of touch with how they make day to day decisions. The question is not whether or not we need leadership, the question is what type of leadership.
Different leftists, do-gooders, radicals, socialists, and self-appointed revolutionaries talk about and acknowledge the contributions that Karl Marx and Frederick Engels made around their great breakthroughs to understanding capitalism and how this is central to the world we live in. Many of these people call themselves Marxists. But all too often people throw around the term Marxism or capitalism in a generalized way and have “time stamped” what capitalism is and do not truly understand the depth of what Karl Marx and Frederick Engels are saying. People will say they are against the evils of capitalism, but most of them have no idea of what capitalism is and how it functions independent of what they think. Ask them for a definition of capitalism. Ask them what the “4 Alls” are that Marx wrote about, pivotal points to understanding class struggle and how to get to a classless society, and they do not know. These people are “superficial” Marxists and have not spent the hard work it takes to truly becoming and being a revolutionary. That is what sets the Revcoms apart, and why they are the vanguard.
As the saying goes, “The point is not to just study the world, the point is to change it.” This then raises the question of what truly is change? For many people, change merely means what needs to change to benefit themselves, or a select grouping of people, in one form or another, even if they think they are being altruistic. And all their efforts will mean nothing in the final analysis because they are not going after the root causes of why the world is the way it is. For true change, there must be an internationalist outlook of “the whole world comes first,” a bedrock orientation of Bob Avakian.
Ask most self-appointed revolutionaries, “what is a revolution?” You will get almost as many answers as the number of people you ask. What REALLY IS a Revolution? Let alone what REALLY IS a socialist revolution?
What I have learned and appreciate from Bob Avakian and others who support and work with him, and consciously follow him, is to truly have a revolution this means completely dismantling the economic and political system we live under along with all the ideological trappings that go with it.
For teaching me this, I am grateful to BA and the Revcoms. This is why I donated a week’s salary to the Fund Drive and this is why I am consciously part of the journey to truly emancipate all of society.
As BA wrote:
“Let’s go on a crucial journey together—full of unity against oppression and lively struggle about the source of the problem and the solution. Pursue your own convictions—that the outrages that move you are intolerable—to their logical conclusion, and be determined not to stop until those outrages have been eliminated. And if this, as well as learning about other outrages, and ideas about how this all fits together and flows from a common source—and how it could all be ended, and something much better brought into being—leads in the direction of seeing not only the need for bold and determined resistance, but also the need for revolution and ultimately communism, then don’t turn away from that because it moves you beyond your comfort zone, challenges what had been your cherished beliefs, or because of prejudices and slanders. Instead, actively seek to learn more about this revolution and its goal of communism and to determine whether it is in fact the necessary, and possible, solution. And then act accordingly.”