The “Socialist Science” school was of importance in regards to getting more in depth of what the science of revolution is. It involved comrades from the Revolution Club Chicago, the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour, and others that flew in from other Revolution Clubs from different parts of the country. What was uniting about this experience is that ALL the Rev Club members have different backgrounds and experiences but all of us are dedicated to emancipating humanity with the Synthesis for the New Communism developed by Bob Avakian having to unite us and help see the commonality between all of us. I can’t speak for other people, but I feel like I learned from everyone no matter if they were involved with Rev Club before or after me or whether they were younger or older. Learning from everyone is what made me excited to attend.
Starting With BA’s Historic Speech—Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution
Monday began with a screening of the most recent Bob Avakian talk of Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.You come across something new every single time this speech is watched. Whether “Socialist Science” camp or not, it is critical that ALL of us in the Revolution study this talk. This analysis is the most sober assessment and most recent study that details how the current system of capitalism-imperialism has the “5 Stops” interwoven that you cannot repair or reform it within its confines while it goes on to explain that this system has enough contradictions within it that it is very possible (though never guaranteed) that a victorious Revolution is possible. If one looks at this issue from a perspective of science as Bob Avakian does, then one must go with the most recent study and analysis that is current. It would be silly and unscientific to study Revolution up to Lenin only like some do and not go beyond it. This speech is a one of the most recent and innovative studies so far. I think having it done on the first day was critical in setting the tone for the rest of the week in regards to what are the threats to humanity that brought us to this movement for a Real Revolution and getting to work on this Revolution.
Changing Plans to Respond to a Horrific White Supremacist Massacre
Over the weekend prior to the entire week of the “Socialist Science” school, a shooting happened at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, by a white supremacist in a community that happens to be mostly Latino. Tuesday was focused on what our reaction to that should be. The interesting aspect of that day is the scientific approach to this situation. When something unexpected happens in this society that must be paid attention to, the Revolution Clubs must react irrelevant of what the prior plans were. It would be kind of like in researching a virus, you utilize what you have researched so far but a new strain occurs and the research must correspond with the unexpected contradictions but still not entirely discount what was learned about the virus prior to the new strain.
Taking Revolution, Straight Up, to the Masses—Impacting and Learning
My group went to an immigrant neighborhood to talk to people and pass out flyers. The certain folks that I spoke to come from either a Mexican or Central American background who lived in the area seemed receptive to Revolution. Especially some younger people I spoke to that seemed shaken up by both the El Paso shooting by the white supremacist and with Central American migrants being put in concentration camps. Some of them expressed fears of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents coming into the neighborhood. One women went on to say that she does not know much about communism but what we have going on right now “sure as fuck isn’t working.” The white people who live in the area most of the time seemed more resistant to revolution. One interesting conversation I have gotten into is with a well-intentioned white guy that told me he’ll be supporting Bernie Sanders and similar people in the 2020 elections. I made my argument against waiting till 2020, mentioned Refuse Fascism but also told him about the “voting trap.” How seeking small reforms will not solve all his concerns and how Trump/Pence are currently tearing apart all hard fought for reforms that benefitted women, minorities, and the LGBTQ communities. He did acknowledge this but could not get past what “revolution” meant. “It can’t be violent. I don’t want to see people killed.” But I expressed that our comfort in this country is based on people suffering and dying outside our borders. “Just because we don’t see them, does not mean that the lives of those don’t matter. You don’t want to see people die in a revolutionary situation but this system is killing people right now before a revolutionary situation existing.” He agreed with everything with me but vehemently refused to be open to “revolution” but was happy to grab a issue #526 Revolution newspaper and told me he’ll do some research on Bob Avakian. Other white people I have spoken to seemed to have a loosely similar outlook in the area. This neighborhood was a great example of class outlook. The Latinx community were more open to revolutionary change because they currently see this system threatening their community and way of life. Certain white folks tended to hold on more strongly to “painless progress.” The white people I have spoken to were justifiably appalled at the current situation and went as far to acknowledge capitalism-imperialism being the issue, but most were not too quick to acknowledge the possibility of Revolution being the only solution. Then I thought about the certain people who were appalled at the concentration camps, if it was them being threatened, would they still be debating me on focusing on electoral politics or the 2020 elections.
Now I’m entirely not lumping people in one group or another. I’ve met Hispanics that want to wait till 2020 and privileged white folks that want to drive out Trump by hitting the streets via mass protest or general strike. But there is a certain huge portion of the population that does view things based on certain levels of class and privilege. As I grow as a Revolutionary, I do recognize those things more often now than I have in the past.
Wrangling With BA’s Analysis of Fascism—and Going to Work to Apply It
The next morning we watched a Bob Avakian clip from a talk he did last year on “Is there going to be a Civil War between the Democrats and the Fascists?” This brought me back to our experience in the neighborhood the day before. Bob Avakian points out how the Democrats want to fight the fascists by upholding the democratic institutions. Yet by not encouraging people to go outside the norms to drive out the Trump/Pence regime they are also serving the ruling classes. Good examples are Democrats pushing to fund ICE and wanting to “protect” Americans at the border by not building a wall but using alternatives to terrorize migrants. I thought that certain people who did not come here in the most legal way or had close family might be prone to Revolution. I am close to some people who worry about getting deported. Then I think of the privileged strata and how the majority will vehemently look for answers in a system that was deficient and ill to begin with. How many do realize the fascistic terror that the Trump/Pence regime is bringing forth, but due to their comfort they have much faith in this system? Even though logically I know many of those people are not bad but there is a bitterness I feel due to the selfishness that brings forth from this system if you benefit from the crumbs it throws at you.
The entire Organizing Center strongly agreed that an action must take place to protest this white supremacist shooting in El Paso. A debate took place about what kind of action and where. What I liked about it was that people spoke their minds and ideas. We all wanted the same thing but with a diverse group of people, there is always a risk of contradictory views. But it is always important to have an environment that encourages different ideas being put forth and opinions that are genuinely honest. A healthy back and forth based on a common goal of TRULY building a new world.
Back Out to the Masses with Revolution and an Urgent Call to Act
My group did do an outing at a busy intersection downtown. This was one of my highlights outside that is only second to the Bud Billiken Parade that happened a couple days later. My group was in the car driving and going over how and what should be agitated. I have done this with myself for Refuse Fascism but never with a group of people. I’m decent at agitating for Refuse Fascism but my confidence is not yet the highest in regards to Revolution. But that will be changing VERY SOON as time moves on.
When we got there, it began with a comrade agitating in both English and Spanish. I passed out flyers and spoke to people. The range of people that did talk to me were distraught about the El Paso shooting and agreed with me that a radical change is needed. When I talked about the leadership of Bob Avakian along with the Constitution he wrote and the New Communism, people to my surprise were receptive. I did get a handful of people to sign up. I even gave to two people the HOW WE CAN WIN pamphlets due to them showing a genuine interest and curiosity. I even did a little agitation. We let people walking past let what they feel off their chest in regards to the shootings over the prior weekend or just the fucked up system of capitalism-imperialism. There was one young man that was a DePaul student who used to be a bit of a regular at RF rallies. My memories of him were pleasant due to him helping me set up those rallies when we were understaffed. He kind of became an unofficial co-MC passing the mic to a Revolution Club member or just people on the street that wanted to say something. When he talked to me about Revolution this time and not removing Trump/Pence, he had a genuine curiosity.
Uniting and Struggling at a Vigil for El Paso
We drove to a rally that was organized by former El Paso residents. Numerous people spoke. A Refuse Fascism member made a great argument about fascism consolidating and why it is critical to go outside the norms to create a mass consistent protest to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. If you looked around, you can tell this was connecting with the crowd well. It was a fantastic speech, yet it was quite tragic it was saved for last. A woman for Operation Push then decided to destroy the mood and to have people focus on candidates for 2020. I have no issue with people giving some levels of diverse opinions at a rally. But afterwards, speakers that do contradict themselves should talk with each other. Or probably before that. But what I loved about the speaker for RF is how she was able to have her words connect with people. She spoke beautifully from the heart. She also gave a viewpoint that MUST connect to the masses since humanity does depend on it. What I learned from her and how people connected with her speech is what ways can the Revolution connect with people in a way that it never has in the past. A comrade from the Tour began agitating the crowd in Spanish. There were some folks that listened. I’m sure there were certain people that connected with it. I was busy watching the banner so I didn’t observe as much sadly. But one goal I do have for myself down the line is to either make a speech or even agitate, as I speak about the ills of capitalism-imperialism and go over the hope of Revolution can bring to the masses, I want those words to touch everyone inside. Anyone serious about Revolution should be persistent about educating the masses but also be mercilessly persistent in having people connect emotionally to Revolution. Whether it be agitating, speeches, audio, or visual. How can this educate yet inspire Revolution?
Taking Over Lake Shore Drive to Stand With Immigrants and Fight for Revolution
The next day we went to protest downtown against the white supremacist shooting in El Paso along with the attack on immigrants. We were walking downtown and ended being on Monroe, east of Michigan Ave. The other half of the group had Lake Shore Drive blocked off. Some people got out of the car to join the protests while others were complaining. It was a hell of a scene and it was something I was immensely proud of. This was also a moment that I have no doubts with what path I want my life to go in. We all went to the Organizing Center afterwards to have a great meal.
Learning, Gaining Confidence, Acting as a Team
This was a great learning experience and I know for next time I’ll feel more confident in being more vocal in planning this out. I was silent in the planning mostly because I was conflicted on what I thought would be good, but there are many veteran activists in the Revolution Club, tour, and the ones that flew to take the class that I would probably learn more from listening. It also made me think, in case we have a smaller group for next time, how do we use it as a strength as well. Since fascism has not consolidated entirely just yet, we need to become braver in not being shy in both political action and creativity. We pick narrowness and shyness up like a napkin and light a match to burn it.
Shredding the U.S. Flag and Representing for a Whole New World at the Bud Billiken Parade
We then had the Bud Billiken Day parade, which was a blast. We marched, chanted, and there was agitation from the truck. People watching the parade had their fists up in the air when they saw us. But the highlight was a performance we did with the American flag. The symbolism was inanely coincidental. One of our comrades began stepping on it—the flag and picked it up. She held it upside down for awhile to wave it for a bit. Then she begins to tear it. The reaction was more positive than I expected. These small African-American kids were cheering and our comrade ran to them so they can begin tearing the flag. Until a pig walked over and prevented it. “You are not ripping the flag in front of me.” A few of us call him a “pig.”
Our comrade picked up on what we live under. She begins tearing the present. Then the generation of tomorrow that does not have any sort of white privilege rips a symbol of their oppression until the authority of the modern-day oppression prevents the destruction of the symbol so the ruling classes can remain in power. This is the direction of creativity the Revolution should move towards. Obviously not doing the exact same things repeatedly, but this was an act that beautifully connected with the masses. It touched them emotionally.
Live for Ourselves or Work to Emancipate Humanity?
The last day was a great speech Andy Zee made. A big focus from what I remember is what do we want to dedicate our lives to. Live for ourselves or work to emancipate humanity. In the speech he gets more deeper into this. The route of my life has already been decided before the speech but it was a speech I needed to hear. But it made me think of my grandfather’s life trajectory. He was inspired by what Lenin was doing in the Soviet Union. He also saw the growth of fascism in Europe and goes to France to work a few odd jobs till he can finally get into Spain to fight Franco with the International Brigade. He goes to China for less than a year (I sadly don’t know the details of that one). Then comes back to fight Nazis. But after the war, a faux-communist party takes over where he was and Real Revolutionaries aren’t too welcome. An old buddy of his in the party at the time helps him out where he can be stable and safe. He meets my grandmother and has two kids. He doesn’t live in a revolutionary society he was hoping for. Certain defeats will influence or turn you away to what you originally dedicated your life to. This is how he thought it would be and becomes disillusioned and does his best to live a peaceful and stable life and accepts the society around him.
Now this doesn’t change how I feel about him being my grandfather by any means and my early childhood memories of him are quite precious to me. But his understanding of the science of communism was not as solid as I’m beginning to understand it. And that should not be so shocking since he was literally from the generation that came out of the first wave of communism. That first wave had wonderful successes but it’s also important to look at those shortcomings as well as how the revolutionaries of that period dealt with them.
I asked a veteran comrade once, what makes you not give up as a Revolutionary. He answers with “because I understand the science!” He definitely has a deeper understanding than I do.
The New Communism Is a Gift from BA to Myself and the Rest of Humanity
I want to dedicate my life to both studying the New Synthesis of Communism and building a world for it. That is how I answer that question to Andy Zee’s speech. If Bob Avakian did not spend the last 40 years in studying how to emancipate humanity but sold out instead or became some reformist, my view probably would still be similar to my grandfather’s in his later years. It kind of was for many years actually. The New Communism I view is a gift to myself and the rest of humanity. But another gift that Bob Avakian gave me is persistence in changing society no matter how big it looks and how long it takes. That kind of persistence is something all Revolutionaries should take as an example.
I was taking a temporary hiatus from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I will definitely be training soon again. One lesson it teaches you every strength has a weakness attached to it. If my opponent looks huge and intimidating, he also would have enough contradictions where if I looked at them scientifically and not go strength to strength but to use the opponent’s movement against themselves, I would create his downfall and defeat him. That is exactly how I feel when I read that Bob Avakian quote “If you can conceive of a world without America...” When I read the pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN or watch Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, Avakian views the same contradictions in the United States as I view in an opponent that is either stronger or bigger than I am.
I will now move on with my fellow comrades to emancipate humanity.
Closing Remarks at the “Revolution School”:
Learning and Applying the Method and Approach of Bob Avakian to Change a Changing World
Andy Zee; Sunday August 11, 2019
Learning and Applying the Method and Approach of Bob Avakian to Change a Changing World
Andy Zee; Sunday August 11, 2019
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