Responses from Our Readers to the Questions Explored in “Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution”

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What follows are different ways that people have responded to the questions posed and explored in “Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution,” as well as earlier pieces setting forth ideas on building a movement for revolution. The first two are from younger revolutionaries; the third is from a veteran comrade.


This question of a movement—thousands leading millions—is not “OK, let’s cherry pick the ripe thousands and then work on the millions,” OR “let’s impact broadly and the ripe ones will come to us” (without us doing much work to really organize people), which is actually more of how we’ve been operating, but how do we grow in an all-around sense where we are forging the multifaceted machinery to go at this with a shot to win. NOW forging a revolutionary people, giving individuals ways to work on advancing the strategy at whatever level they are, modeling and projecting a different culture with different values and infused with the vibrant discussions required to change the world. This will make us a pole of attraction, by projecting ourselves as a viable alternative to this whole rotten system both because of the kind of world we are fighting for and because people should be getting a sense that we have our shit together and we are serious about actually building up the muscles to overthrow this system and that they have a role to play in all of this, that they are needed.

Becoming the new authority requires gaining legitimacy and respect, and part of that means giving people a sense that we have what it takes to run a new society in both the vision and the organizational means. In this regard, I was thinking about the importance of popularizing the strategy and giving people a sense that taking this out to people is part of announcing there is a viable alternative, and also the importance of taking ourselves seriously and setting standards for commitment (handling this well, not in the 0-60 way). That whole conception of building a movement starting now, and that broader definition of the “we” is much less linear and much more messy than I think we’ve envisioned and taken responsibility for.


[Summarized from discussion notes] I’ve learned that the solid core can get lost, even if it is “in the mix.” BA has to be the central part of what people are engaging. We can have the BA clips playing, but they have to be incorporated into things in the right way. People do need to see a lot of different ways they can participate, but if we are going to build a movement for revolution, and not an alternative lifestyle, BA has to be what people are beginning to have a basic appreciation for.

This musician I know has watched some clips and films—he watched the whole BA Speaks: REVOLUTIONNOTHING LESS! in one sitting—and I learned from what he encountered, how he responded. He has a basic appreciation for BA, so while he doesn’t have a deep understanding of some of the key points of revolution yet, overall it’s already on a higher level than some others [who may know those particular points]. He got the point about “there’s leadership.”

People need to have a basic appreciation for BA and his works, wherever they engage on the road to be part of this movement. From there people should be informed how they can contribute. Or else, it can be like just another movement.


[We have to be] carrying out work that is building a national mass movement for an actual revolution—a process where our work is from the outset (on the basis of the agitation we are doing) involving people and developing the ways and means to begin to knit them together with each other, to enable them to see that they are part of a larger process, becoming a pole where they are acting together and doing so as part of a national movement. So that we are not just accelerating the number of contacts we have but still proceeding one by one, but instead accumulating masses in a geometric way, becoming a social force. And, then in this context, in this process, there is a lot of individual work and follow-up that we have to do, and obviously acutely so at times.

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