Taking out Bob Avakian’s Talk on Fascism

Critical Answers for Urgent Times... and a Doorway to a Better World

February 10, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


“We are confronted by—we are now being ruled by—a fascist regime.” This basic point begins Bob Avakian’s October 2017 talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. Since then, the regime has continued to move relentlessly ahead. Normalization solidifies with each passing day. Meanwhile, the “demented bully with his finger on the button” carries out war threats, provocations, and active planning for a “first strike against Korea,” as well as threats against Iran, and calls into question the very future of humanity. Within the U.S., the regime isolates and criminalizes immigrants, openly ranting white supremacist justifications as it picks off leaders and prepares for a major move in early March. Meanwhile, attacks on every other front—the environment, women, Black people, LGBTQ people, Muslims, and the very concept of truth itself—so much so that you cannot keep up—which itself is part of their strategy. What happens this next month may well be critical, one way or the other.

Up against this, there is anguish and revulsion, and there are actions on the different fronts—a few mass and many brave. But there is not yet a sustained movement that calls the Trump/Pence regime what it is—FASCIST—and mobilizes people accordingly, to DRIVE IT OUT.

Yet, if we do not know the nature of the enemy, we cannot defeat it. If we do not come to grips with the depth and root of the problem, we cannot solve it. Even as the struggle on every front must accelerate, there is right now an urgent need for thousands and then millions to much more clearly understand the nature of the extreme threat posed by the regime as a whole and to much more deeply grapple with HOW it can be defeated... driven out... before it is too late.

The single best tool for that is BA’s speech. This next month must be a time when thousands see this speech and the question/answer session that follows and get to grapple with this understanding.

Focusing for Concentrated Impact

This speech must reach those who are already active, as well as those who are agonizing and should be active. This means students, high school, college, grad students... this means immigrants’ organizations and immigrant communities... this means writers, artists, clergy, thought-leaders of all kinds. It means getting to the many groups that have come together to oppose this regime in myriad ways but are still restlessly searching for a better way forward and open to talking... and to all the communities under attack. This speech would make a major difference in how people see the situation, what they see as needed and possible, and the ways in which they move, including in the next crucial month. Reaching a “critical mass” of groups and people with the film, encouraging those who see it to spread it whether by hand or, more important, through social media, can then have a chain reaction out into the broader society. Those who are reading this site need to be the strategists of that.

Opening Doors to a Whole New World

So, this speech, getting out there, can reverberate. It can and must make a huge difference at what could be a tremendously crucial juncture. But there is a bigger reason as well—this talk can introduce people to Bob Avakian, BA, the most important revolutionary and thinker of our time. BA has qualitatively developed humanity’s ability to scientifically understand the world and, in particular, human society; he’s shown how humanity can emancipate itself, through revolution, from today’s insanity and all oppressive relations beyond. As the title of the talk says, “A Better World IS Possible”... and the proof of, and path to, that better world is in BA’s whole body of work and his overall leadership! So the powerful talk on the Trump/Pence regime can be a doorway to BA’s new communism, and there is nothing more important than increasing numbers of people walking through that door.

Speaking of opening doors... HOW we take this talk out to people makes a lot of difference. We should use the clips from the talk to promote and draw people into the talk as a whole. Proceeding from a shared revulsion at this regime, we’re launching with them a process of discovery. This means getting deeper into things and at times it’s gonna mean struggle. Both sides of that relationship mean taking people back to BA—whether the question is the Democrats and why they act as they do, or how to weigh the risks in going up against the regime, or whether at least in some way America really is a “force for good” in the world (or could be, if it weren’t for Trump). There are clips from the talk, up on line as clips, that can be marshaled—not in a chopped-up way as a “set of answers,” but as a unified whole that pulls the lenses back on everything, and opens up a different way to approach, and transform, reality.

This is a process—and it takes place in a context. People have thinking, they are doing things or seeking to do things. The recent article on taking the talk to students talked about “understanding the lay of the land.” This is right, but it can’t just—or mainly—mean the physical terrain of a campus! Right now, at any given time, there are people writing articles and giving talks, there are groups doing things, there are controversies happening... the most critical of which are addressed in this talk. What are the big political, ideological, epistemological, and cultural debates on campus? Where are these getting struggled out? What do students think of the Trump/Pence regime and where it’s come from? How do they see their responsibility to fight this and in what ways? What about the struggles over epistemology—the methods that people use to understand the world and sort out right from wrong?

More broadly, in society overall, huge questions are being debated, including, to name just a few: the role of women, what it will take to root out misogyny, and how Trump and Pence relate to that; the historical and present-day situation of Black people in America, what the elections of first Obama and then Trump mean in that context; the viability of liberal democracy itself; the root causes of the fascist wave now crashing across Europe and the U.S.; etc.

This is a process—and it takes place in waves. We have to have a strategic view of following up a real intense effort with the talk—say on a campus during student week, or in a particular community, or among a group—with regularly going back and continuing and developing the relationship. We are inviting people, as BA’s Invitation puts it, on a crucial journey—and journeys happen over time. What can we learn from people, even where we may differ or where they may be outright wrong on one or another important question? Where do we have to struggle with people, and how?

We should be going far and wide with this. On a campus—this means going to students and faculty already in motion, and it also means sitting down with students at a cafeteria table or knocking on faculty doors of people we don’t know. In a community—going to ties we have, and also going into the barbershops and beauty parlors and other places people gather. Everywhere, playing clips for people and letting them respond directly to what they hear... and then getting them to watch the whole thing, where—again—the lens is pulled back on the whole thing... having ways that people can spread this, even simple ways... and through all this, getting into deep discussions, learning, and forging real relationships.

Get Organized

Finally, the degree to which this talk gets out will make a serious and potentially decisive difference in how people see things. This means we must be organized commensurate with that—developing teams with real responsibility for setting goals, meeting and then surpassing them.

Teams which can go out and show the film everywhere, get it into people’s hands [click here for instructions to download and duplicate the film] and from there, their social networks, and draw people into the work of doing this and the collectivity of the team itself. Teams that keep tabs on and foster the new relationships we develop (based on the process described in the Invitation). Teams that learn all they can each step of the way and share lessons with others.

People need this talk. People need to be introduced to BA. It is on us—and this month is a time, indeed perhaps what will turn out to be a crucial time, to make a big advance in that whole process, setting a different dynamic in motion.



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