“What does this world right now need more than anything? COMMUNISTS! Genuine communists that are followers of Bob Avakian!”
In response to a challenge posed on the pages of revcom.us, a number of people wrote responses to an excerpt from the interview with Ardea Skybreak, “SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian.” The excerpt is entitled, “Getting Clearer on the Need for Revolution–Breaking With Wrong Ideas and Illusions.” These responses show the difference it can make throughout society as Avakian’s work is increasingly known and engaged everywhere, as people dig into how Avakian understands what is at the heart of the problems confronting humanity in the system at the root of this, when they discover the solution, and the hopeful vision for a radically different and better world on a scientific foundation — this can make a major difference in the world. As Skybreak herself says, “We’ve seen it before, we’ve seen it in previous periods of revolutionary upsurge. The people get better. The people get smarter. The people get more lofty. They dream bigger, and they act in accordance with these bigger dreams. It’s a beautiful sight. And that’s a lot of what BA is actually giving us the tools to accomplish.”
Reading the excerpt, it made me think back to a discussion I had with some comrades, members of the Revolution Club. We were talking about how big the world is, and how people’s outlooks make them feel like just everything in front of them is all that matters. One person from the Revolution Club, talked about this video, Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. She pulled it up on her phone and played it for us. THAT BLEW MY MIND!
In the video it makes the point that one person is very small compared to the world, and even more so, the universe. When I was younger I was scared to think of the planet being so big, and I refused to think of the universe, because it was so big and scary. Back then, to me, the definition of what was beyond the sky, was god and heaven. But now thinking about all of this is actually very liberating, and thinking back to the video, it paints a picture and makes the point that people tend to see the problems that are right in front of them and thinking so narrowly. That’s exactly how I used to think. It was hard to even picture anything beyond my neighborhood anything that was right in front of me. I have a really small family, so I only thought of them and of my closest friends. When I would watch the news, I remember feeling helpless, seeing all these horrible things happening in my own neighborhood and not being able to do anything about it. I cared, but I always acted as if I didn’t.
I think back to that period in my life and can’t help but think about the millions, who are told over and over, that they can’t do shit! That feel the exact helplessness I felt when I watched the pigs stopping people in the neighborhood. When I heard about women being abused and beaten by their partners! I felt outraged and helpless! I HATE THAT FEELING! Up to this day I still hate that feeling. In a way it was very liberating to know THERE IS SOMETHING THAT WE CAN AND MUST DO! But by itself, it’s useless! What I mean by that is the feeling itself isn’t going to solve anything, it required me to get scientific about understanding the world and how to work to change it and getting to work on that. I never want to feel that helplessness again! Not that I wanna feel “saved” or like some “savior” but there is a fucking answer to this shit—understanding where it comes from and how to stop it! Knowing and understanding that there is a whole different way the world can be! Seeing the potential of others, the same way that the revolutionaries saw the potential in me and fought for me to dedicate myself to this! Not by shaming me but by actually helping me through the process of understanding some very difficult shit.
I am a high school dropout. When I first came around, I didn’t understand half of what the revolutionaries talked about. I always thought: “I will just do the street work and the protests and let other people tell me what to do.” There was a lot of struggle around that, which now I see very clearly. I would think, “Just let it go and let me continue to help on the side.” When we would get into theory, I would get frustrated. I got to the point of calling myself stupid and actually thought I was unable to learn this very complex work. Today, I know that’s a bunch of crap! I was giving up without trying my hardest, because my whole life I was told I was stupid and wasn’t gonna make it to shit! And I believed it so much, I ended up telling myself that.
Once I understood why it mattered to get into the science, I did. All bullshit aside, I asked all the questions that were coming through my mind, I put myself to get into Bob Avakian’s work, and not in a “personal responsibility” type of way, but I actually thought about this question: What does this world right now need more than anything? COMMUNISTS! Genuine communists that are followers of Bob Avakian! Because I knew it mattered, we don’t need more social workers, telling us that everything will be okay and they will help us. What is needed is people who are taking up this New Synthesis of Communism, applying the method, understanding the world, and leading people to themselves break out of these fucked up ways the system got us in, to become communists. How are we going to make revolution if just a few people do the work in the realm of theory while others blindly follow? Because that’s what it would have come down to. And objectively, how are we going to deal with contradictions we face in making revolution, if only a few are dealing with it? It’s impossible! We are never going to make revolution that way, or run a different society that way!
I always think about this point: What is it going to take for people to really appreciate and “form a wall” around BA, really able to protect and defend his ability to keep leading in the face of repression and attacks? It’s going to take people digging into and engaging with the New Synthesis of Communism. I’m saying that to say we don’t want blind followers, we want and need conscious emancipators of humanity. And that’s what I am and have dedicated my life to.