Taking Science and Revolution and The New Communism to the March for Science

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April 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Two volunteers with The Bob Avakian Institute, which is dedicated to making the work of Bob Avakian known throughout society, took the books 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, an Interview with Ardea Skybreak and Bob Avakian’s THE NEW COMMUNISM to the March for Science on April 22. We set up a table with banners with big images of the book covers and the words SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION. Throughout the day, there was a steady stream of people stopping to check this out and many who were changed by what they found.

People at the march had a deep appreciation for the scientific method and a sense of what it would mean if people were denied this crucial tool. Many were outraged by the worldview of “alternative truths” and “might makes right” that is being promoted and enforced by the Trump/Pence regime, that this regime is denying scientific evidence about things that clearly affect the very future of humanity and all life on this planet. But most had not thought about the importance of applying science to understand and to change society.

People we spoke with found it challenging and exciting to learn about Bob Avakian. who has dedicated his life’s work to doing just that, and through this has provided answers to the most important question of human emancipation. The fact that science itself has developed and that Avakian has both rescued and qualitatively developed the science of communism, placing it on a thoroughly scientific foundation, was very attractive and was at the heart of the many rich discussions that followed.

And there were so many rich discussions, mainly focused on questions people raised about “why communism.” “Wasn’t that proven to be inherently flawed? Weren’t scientists suppressed in communist societies? What is this new synthesis and how is it different? How does this enable people to change the world? What does this provide for solving what appear to be intractable and horrifying conditions all over the world? Who is Bob Avakian? What is his background and history?”

A couple of university students literally asked all of these questions in rapid fire. They are freshman science students and are forming a kind of in-your-face gay organization that speaks to both the attacks on homosexuality and Islamaphobia. They had adopted the framework of post-modernism because of how they were understanding issues of identity and because that is what is being taught at their university. But at the same time, one of them was straining up against the assertion that truth does not exist except as the “narratives of individuals.” They could see how this relativism stood in opposition to really understanding the world. They were excited about bringing the work of BA to their just-forming organization—and hoped that someone from The BA Institute would meet with them.

A science teacher at a progressive private school talked about growing up with religion. He is Black and said he felt that religion was problematic, holding back the process of really understanding reality. He said his students are incredibly curious and looking for real answers now, and that perhaps his school could purchase the Interview with Ardea Skybreak and he could incorporate it into the classes he teaches. He said to send him the ways that he could order the book, that there was a budget for this, and to email him a manuscript as well.

A youth in his early teens from the neighborhoods where “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, had been posted everywhere, said he had read it a number of times and went to revcom.us and read the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America and had watched part of a video of Bob Avakian speaking. He also loves science and had volunteered to help with the march and was excited to meet up with us in this context. His father told him that BA was too extreme, but he said he is finding that, while it is extreme, it is making so much sense. He gave us a way to reach him and said he would check his messages every day and would like to come to a meeting of the Revolution Club.

A physics Ph.D. student agreed that capitalism itself is causing so much human suffering and that it is inherent in the system, but wanted to know “why communism?” He was appreciative when we critiqued the method he used to arrive at the conclusion that communism was no better, in opposition to how BA has gone at this: delving deeply into the original theory as developed by Marx who, like Darwin, made huge breakthroughs in human understanding applying the scientific method to their respective fields. And how BA then has applied this method to learn from the rich history of two massive experiments—in the Soviet Union and China—and also from developments in other spheres of human knowledge, and talked about how Skybreak describes this process, making analogies to any good scientific investigation. He bought the Skybreak Interview and said he would get back to us, that he felt he needed to read her arguments and would do so soon.

There were many similar conversations throughout the day.

We learned a lot that day and this made us want to dig even more deeply into BA’s work and the Skybreak Interview.

Even as we’re up against so many serious attacks and dangers, this was truly a rich and exciting day for science and for the future of humanity.



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