In a world that cries out for fundamental change…

On the History of and Prospects for Communist Revolution

April 15, 2013 New York City

January 13, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


Many people see Slavoj Žižek as the preeminent radical thinker of our day. Žižek states that we are “living in end times” that demand the “full reaffirmation of the Idea of communism.” Raymond Lotta, an advocate for Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism, argues that Žižek in fact promotes anticommunism. Žižek declares that the first communist revolutions, in the Soviet Union and China, were failures and closes the door on the emancipation of humanity by attacking Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Contrary to Žižek, these revolutions were tremendously liberatory; and with this new synthesis, we can go further and do better.

Lotta has called for a public debate. Žižek has now accepted.

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And the debate is on: Monday, April 15, 2013 in New York City. See the YouTube at:

The world is a horror: accelerating environmental emergency... the objectification and degradation of women, half of humanity… endless wars for empire… 25,000 children dying each and every day of preventable disease and malnutrition. Is there a way out of these horrors? Can there be a radically different and better world? This is the backdrop for this debate on the history of and prospects for communism.

The questions in play are of enormous consequence. What are the lessons and legacy of the socialist revolutions of the 20th century? Can there be a viable and liberatory economic, social, and political alternative to capitalism? What is the potential, and strategy, for revolution in today’s world? At its heart, this debate is about the desirability, the possibility, and pathways for emancipation in a world that cries out for fundamental change—versus leaving the world as it is.

There are big stakes here. We are calling on you to be part of making this debate happen. This debate needs all kinds of creative energies for building, promoting and drawing people into its intellectual swirl—on campuses, among activists, artists, basic people, prisoners, and in the social media. These are things we would like to talk to you about, and to get your thoughts about.


Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek is the well-known philosopher and cultural critic. His books include In Defense of Lost Causes, Living in the End Times, In the Year of Dreaming Dangerously, and many other titles. He teaches at Birbeck College in London and the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Raymond Lotta Raymond Lotta advocates for
Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. He writes for Revolution newspaper, is the author of America in Decline, and directs the website His polemic against Slavoj Žižek is available here.



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