Revolution #224, February 6, 2011

From a Reader:

The BAsics Challenge

Ensuring BAsics can play the role it needs to: $60,000 goal!

A goal of raising $60,000 has been set to help create a society-wide impact with the new book BAsics, from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian.  $30,000 is for printing and promotion of the book itself.  Another $30,000 is needed for the April 11, 2011 program at the Harlem Stage in New York, "On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World".

Take up the "BAsics Challenge" yourself and get the Challenge and this week's centerfold to others.  Write Revolution Newspaper about your ideas for contributing to this goal, and about what happens.

To donate toward the publication of the book, checks or money orders should be made out to RCP Publications, with a notation that they are for "BAsics."  Mail them to: RCP Publications, P.O. Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654.

To donate toward the event "On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World," you can go to the Revolution Books website, and please include a notation that it is for the "BAsics event." If you want to purchase a ticket, please note that clearly. $100 tickets can be reserved now.

I am writing in to express one main point: I am VERY excited about the upcoming release of BAsics, from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian. And I am VERY excited about the society-wide impact that BAsics can have. Bob Avakian's leadership and understanding of the world has radically transformed my own understanding and view of the world, and what kind of world I think is possible. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to make that transformation, and I feel an urgent desire and responsibility to do everything I can to enable many others to transform.

As I've gone from an Obama supporter to someone who has come to understand what Obama is really about, and what real change is about, I've had Avakian's leadership to guide me along the way. Even as I came to understand more fully the true nature of the Democrats and lost any desire to vote for them, I still struggled to fully understand the role of elections. I remember thinking "OK, obviously Obama is bad, but wouldn't someone like Sarah Palin be even worse?" Then I read "Bush I... Bush II... and Things Going to Extremes," from The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era, in which Avakian recounts agonizing over whether, in the particular circumstances of the 2004 presidential election, it would be better if Bush lost. Avakian describes ultimately coming to the conclusion: "They [Kerry and Bush] are both worse." Reading that formulation really helped me understand the actual dynamics at play in bourgeois elections; this was a big rupture point for me in terms of how I saw the whole electoral process, or electoral ruse as I've come to understand. And that's just one of many, many examples of when Avakian's words really deepened my grasp of the way things are, and lifted my imagination toward the way things could be in a radically different society.

Not having lived through the '60s, I was never able to see firsthand the impact that Mao's Red Book had throughout all strata in society. But even as someone born decades later, I've always known what the Red Book was, even back when I was an Obama supporter—a hallmark of how iconic that book became. I feel very excited thinking about BAsics being able to break out broadly throughout society in a similar way, especially since Avakian has built on and made significant leaps beyond Mao in terms of the science of communism and what it means to be a revolutionary.

Making Avakian's leadership known broadly, and really accomplishing the goal of making him a "household name," is a crucial part of transforming the current political polarization, putting revolution and communism on the map in a big way in this society and ultimately initiating a new stage of communism in the world. I'm extremely excited to think about the role that BAsics can play in all of this.

As I've thought about my own experiences and ruptures, imagining what it would be like to have this multiplied by the thousands, or even millions, I felt even more steadfast in wanting to contribute to ensuring that BAsics is able to play the role that it can and needs to play. That's why I've decided to donate $200 toward the publication and promotion of BAsics. That's a lot of money for me, but I know that it will take much more than that to really get BAsics out there broadly. So I wanted to do more. I wanted to find other people who would be able to match my donation, but I wasn't quite sure how to do that. That's when I remembered all my friends who are fellow readers of Revolution newspaper. So I decided to bring the challenge here, right to the pages of Revolution.

This is the challenge: Let's really kick off the fundraising for BAsics in a big way! I challenge 10 other people to match my $200 donation by February 15! For those who are not able to contribute $200, you can and should still be part of this challenge: Donate what you can, but do so generously! Everyone's contributions add up, and we can raise at least $2,000 by February 15.

Donating is easy. Just make out a check or money order to RCP Publications and send it to:
P.O. Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654

Be sure to include a note that you are donating as part of The BAsics Challenge. If you want to donate in cash, just take it in to your local bookstore (see p. 15) and let people there know that you are contributing as part of The BAsics Challenge.

Let's really take to heart the title of the "Revolutionary Resolution" in issue #221 of Revolution: "It Is Not Enough to 'Do Good' in a Bad World...We Must Bring Into Being a Whole Better World." BAsics can play a huge role in bringing that whole better world into being. So let's step up to The BAsics Challenge!

Editors' note: Revolution will update readers on the results of The BAsics Challenge after February 15.

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