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Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation. In addition to excerpts already posted on, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. A prepublication copy is available on line at

This excerpt comes from the section titled "IV. The Leadership We Need."

Excerpt from the section:
Another Kind of "Pyramid"

The fact is that, where most people are at now, is not where people need to be. Where most people are at is shaped and conditioned by how this society, how this system, is working on them. So if we want to lead people where things need to go, there’s gonna be that tension, that contradiction, that we have to be out in front, fighting with people that this is where they need to go, while many things are pulling on them another way and you stand out as being different. But being different in that way is very good and very important, as long as you work and struggle to bring more people forward along the same path. Being radically different than the rest of society is what we need to be—including being radically different than the so-called “movement,” because that “movement” isn’t about anything that’s going to lead to what people really need, and in many ways is actually working against that. That’s not true for all of it; but, in terms of the organized “movement,” it’s true for a lot of it.

I was thinking about this in these terms: Which “M” should we base ourselves on—the “movement” or materialism, dialectical materialism? We need to base ourselves on materialism, dialectical materialism, what the application of that shows to be the fundamental need—not where most people are at, at a given point, but what a scientific dialectical materialist analysis shows us is the need and the basis for transforming things. Earlier, in talking about revolutionary defeatism, I noted that I was struck by the fact that, in hearing reports and in reading things that people have written, on the basis of reading the Interview with Ardea Skybreak, as far as I know, no one commented on the section in that Interview where she speaks passionately about hating the national anthem, hating the Pledge of Allegiance, hating the flag and people saluting the flag. I expected that a lot of people would say, “Wow, me, too—I’m really glad to hear somebody say that!” And the fact that this didn’t happen—that people commented about a lot of things that struck them in that Interview, things they learned a lot from, but there was a glaring lack of commenting on, expressing agreement with, this part of the Interview—raised the question, particularly in terms of revolutionary defeatism: Is this another case where people don’t want to be standing out? Do people not want to be out there, opposing this “thank you for your service,” and hand over your heart, saluting the flag?

Skybreak points out: It’s terrible, you go to a sporting event, or some other event, and they play the national anthem, and these basic youth—not all of them, but way too many of them—stand up and put their hand over their heart. Maybe they even join in singing about “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” For god’s sake (if you’ll pardon the expression), here’s this system that’s crushing them, has enslaved them, exploited them, oppressed them and people all over the world, and they’ve got their hand over their heart, singing along about “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” And we don’t hate that? We don’t see what a terrible thing that is, how much harm that’s doing to the masses of people, that they’re told that this is the way to be respectable and make your way in the world and you should be loyal and patriotic toward your country that’s brutally oppressing you and people all over the world? We don’t think we should stand up against that? I’ll tell you one thing: If even a couple of people went to an event like that, sat among basic masses of people and called that shit out when it started to happen, a lot of good things would get turned loose: a lot of good struggle and a lot of sentiments that are just barely beneath the surface. More than a few people would say, “Yeah, what the hell am I doing, anyway?” We have the responsibility to do this.




Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

Materialism vs. Idealism
Dialectical Materialism
Through Which Mode of Production
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism
The New Synthesis of Communism
The Basis for Revolution
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense
Self and a “Consumerist” Approach to Ideas
What Is Your Life Going to Be About?—Raising People’s Sights

Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism:
            A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation

The “4 Alls”
Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System—And a Transition to Communism
Abundance, Revolution, and the Advance to Communism—A Dialectical Materialist Understanding
The Importance of the “Parachute Point”—Even Now, and Even More With An Actual Revolution
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
   Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core
Emancipators of Humanity

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

One Overall Strategic Approach
Hastening While Awaiting
Forces For Revolution
Separation of the Communist Movement from the Labor Movement, Driving Forces for Revolution
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat
Youth, Students and the Intelligentsia
Struggling Against Petit Bourgeois Modes of Thinking, While Maintaining the Correct Strategic Orientation
The “Two Maximizings”
The “5 Stops”
The Two Mainstays
Returning to "On the Possibility of Revolution"
Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism
Internationalism and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way
Popularizing the Strategy
Fundamental Orientation

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

The Decisive Role of Leadership
A Leading Core of Intellectuals—and the Contradictions Bound Up with This
Another Kind of “Pyramid”
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP
The Need for Communists to Be Communists
A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That
Strengthening the Party—Qualitatively as well as Quantitatively
Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the “Ohio”
Statesmen, and Strategic Commanders
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the “Art” of Leadership
Working Back from “On the Possibility”—
   Another Application of “Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core”

Appendix 1:
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion


Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author