We greatly appreciate receiving these letters from prisoners and encourage prisoners to keep sending us correspondence. The views expressed by the writers of these letters are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our website.

Editors' Note: Below are excerpted correspondence of thoughts provoked by "BOB AVAKIAN RESPONDS TO MARK RUDD ON THE LESSONS OF THE 1960s AND THE NEED FOR AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION.” Along with the below, we encourage people to read the original article here.

From a prisoner in Texas, 6/2/2020

BA’s article on his response to Mark Rudd on the lessons of the 1960s is a really important piece. One that everyone should get into and really digest what is being said. It is really insightful how Bob Avakian breaks down infantile expressions of anger or accommodating to this monstrous system. Two opposite poles, but both dangerous and harmful to any real movement seeking real and profound change.

It is a scientific fact, that theres no reforming this fucked up system of capitalism and the white supremacy thats intertwined with it. Advocating for anything short of revolution is but a delusion. Only by overthrowing the capitalist system and the institutions that uphold it and re-organizing society will we ever see any type of change. Accommodating to this system and trying to change anything under the terms of this system is insanity, doing the same thing expecting different results.

Its crazy how people like Mark Rudd can think that you can “peacefully” go up to such a hyper-violent system and ask it to change in any type of way. How has that ever worked out? It never has and it never will, the evidence being that we are still going through the same shit, each and every day. People are dying and suffering every day under the grinder of this capitalist system and its violent institutions. Yet people like Mark Rudd and bourgeois liberals want to peacefully march, hold prayer circles and wait to vote-in officials who obviously are down and uphold this system of capitalism and everything thats fucked up with it.

Many people (and I see this a lot) tend to shy away from violence. They shy away from revolution because of the violence involved in overthrowing existing relations in society. But hear me out, who is the one who really starts the violence? People gather together and demand change from their governments, the people have legitimate grievances. The violence begins in the reaction of ... the government not wanting to grant those changes. Main reason being that the dynamics of their capitalist system won’t allow such change. So they (the government) begin the repression to disperse and shut the people up. As it escalates, the government wages war on the people for them wanting and desiring change. So who is really in the wrong? We ask peacefully and they respond violently. So we must respond accordingly if we wish to truly bring about any change, and the only change can come is through revolution. The logic of these reactionaries can best be described by this statement from Mao.

Make trouble, fail, make trouble again, fail again ... until their doom; that is the logic of the imperialists and all reactionaries the world over in dealing with the people’s cause, and they will never go against this logic. This is a Marxist law. When we say “imperialism is ferocious” we mean that its nature will never change, that the imperialists will never lay down their butcher knives, that they will never become Buddhas, till their doom.

Fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again ... till their victory, that is the logic of the people and they too will never go against this logic.

I posted the quote above to explain the logic of that which we are up against. So how can one ever think that we can ever peacefully ask the oppressors to change or step down. Please abandon such illusions, it’s illogical and extremely harmful.

Lets be clear, we can’t fall for infantile expressions of anger with no organized and scientific base. There’s a science to revolution as cited by Bob Avakian.

An actual revolution requires two essential factors: a revolutionary situation, and a revolutionary people in their millions. And these two factors are closely interconnected. A revolutionary situation involves not just a crisis in society in some general sense but a situation where the system and its ruling powers are in a profound and acute crisis and millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government. Key components and signs of a revolutionary crisis are that the violence used to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate—and that the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp, and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution.

Any party or group separated from the people and the science behind revolution, cannot bring about any change either. It will only bring more repression on the hands of the people and the movement. One has to understand that, yes, the crimes of this capitalist system and its institutions makes one want to take it to these pigs with everything one’s got. But we can’t run by emotions alone. We must hasten while awaiting, organize and strategize. And the way to do it is by having a vanguard party, a communist vanguard party whose every move is a scientific based, calculated step to get us closer and achieve revolution. Groups like the Weathermen Underground should of known better. But emotions got the best of them.

Today and in recent times we see more and more righteous uprisings and mass protest every time the police murder someone, specifically African-Americans or Latinos. Now, when these riots happen, there are some people, bourgeois, right-wingers, the media and even some protest groups like Black Lives Matter who like to isolate those protests and uprisings and declare them to be a “Black” thing only. But No, its much more than that. We must depart from Identity Politics and realize that the oppression and repression dished out by this fucked up system involves and affects everyone, not just here in the U.S., but from all corners of the world. When those righteous uprisings happen over the murder of someone by one of this government’s violent institutions, mainly the police, those uprisings... in their intensity happen because the people are tired of that and every form of oppression that this government and the system dish out. Its to give you what you daily give us through the machinations and workings of your capitalist-imperialist system and its state with its violent institutions. When those righteous riots and uprisings happen over the murder of a person of color by the police. The media and the people say that the protest or movement has been “hijacked” by such and such group or people. They try to isolate, separate it with Identity Politics. To this I say No! The struggle we wage against your system and institutions of oppression is Stop, Eliminate not just the murderous police, but the whole system of capitalist-imperialism and the white-supremacy that upholds and harbors that and all forms of oppression.

Trying to peacefully protest for “some type” of “justice” and “change,” isolating an uprising to Identity Politics or leaving it as just a “Black” thing wont ever bring about any change. Only the overthrow of this capitalist-imperialist system and the white-supremacy intertwined with it, can there be any real and profound change.

Forget Identity Politics and come together for the common goal we all seek and humanity desperately needs. An actual change in the relations in society. Which can only come about through a scientifically based and led communist revolution, whose main goal is to eliminate All forms of oppression and knock out of the box those and their system of capitalism which oppress us and the world. Anything short of that, things will continue to stay the same. And you’ll be left there, still praying and begging the oppressors for change.

Theres much that was learned from those times in the 1960’s, and its not what someone like Mark Rudd is advocating... But from a real revolutionary like Bob Avakian and a real communist vanguard party which he is chairman of. Who actually learned and took heed of past lessons, faced contradictions head on and synthesized what was learned from every communist and revolution of the past to come to the New Communism that he has developed today. In order to correctly lead the masses toward a real revolution and be able to continue the struggle to finally emancipate humanity and the world from the chains of oppression brought about by this bullshit ass capitalist-imperialist system whose right to rule has long been outdated and overdue...

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

“You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics.”

Order the book HERE
Download the book in ePub format HERE



Get a free email subscription to

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.