Sunday, July 31, 2005

Report from the LA Stop of the RC4 Tour

The following report on the first stop of the RC4 Tour is from the Los Angeles Writers Collective via the Revolution newspaper:

A brief look into the first stop of the RC4 tour:

Los Angeles Saturday, July 23rd -- The RC4 tour hit the ground running this week in Los Angeles.

Stirring controversy wherever they spoke -- on the airwaves, in house meetings, and at a full panel discussion at Cal State Dominguez Hills -- the RC4 kicked off their visit here, bringing straight to the people the compelling vision of the communist revolution developed by Bob Avakian.

The RC4 made a deep case as to why people have no interests in protecting or putting up with this rotten system. And they challenged people to take up the fight for the emancipation of all of humanity through communist revolution.

They spoke to the need --and the real possibility -- for the masses of people in the ghettos and barrios, the factories and neighborhoods -- the masses of oppressed and proletarian people -- to rise to the challenge of leading millions and millions of people in this country to break the chains that are literally choking this planet and keeping people all over the world trapped in a horrible life.

In a word they challenged all who heard them to become the emancipators of humanity. And they struggled hard -- and with a lot of love -- for people to cast aside the mental chains that hold them back from fulfilling this great need.


At the Cal State panel, Akil Bomani spoke passionately and powerfully about how he gave up religion to take up communism after reading Bob Avakian's Preaching From a Pulpit of Bones that contrasted Biblical morality and communist morality: "I was introduced to the revolutionary vision of communism, and this all sparked my criticism of the world and the way out of all of this madness.

"It was when I myself took to doing something that the Bible and Christianity explicitly forbids -- that is questioning reality and asking why and how -- it was then that I was able to take a critical look at the world, at this system and at the immense and unspeakable anguish it has caused billions to this day.

"I was able to take a critical look at the prospects of actually overthrowing this system and end all the forms of exploitation and oppression attached to this system, forms of exploitation and oppression that the Bible does not denounce but upholds in many ways. I was able to take a critical look at how that could actually be done and at the writings of Bob Avakian."


The RC4 confronted the nationalism and identity politics that are so prevalent among the masses -- and struggled with people to look at things from the point of view of how we're going to free all of humanity -- a communist viewpoint -- and not from the viewpoint of freeing "my nation, my people" -- and ultimately the "me first" mentality.

Revolutionary leadership and what qualifies someone to be a leader was a hot question. Some people made the argument that they don't want to follow a "white man." Carl Dix said that the caliber of a leader should be judged by the content of what they are bringing forward, not by their nationality. If people were locked in a horrible prison for life and someone came along who knew the way out, would the prisoners say, well I don't want to know how to get out of here because you are the wrong nationality!

"Look, here's the deal. There is a leader who has come forward, who is pointing to the way out of this, who is pointing to a future that we can get to, and is showing us the way to get there.

"The challenge for people is to look at the content of what the leader is bringing forward. That's what we gotta grab hold of. Because if you want to get out of all this mess the criteria for leadership is not, what nationality is the leader, what race, or what gender. But instead, what is the content of the vision that leader is putting forward, and, what is the program they're putting forward to realize that?

"You see, that is the challenge. We are not saying, 'follow Bob Avakian blindly' or 'follow the RCP blindly.' We're saying, grapple with the content of the vision of the future society being brought forward. And grapple with the program that's being brought forward to realize this."

Clyde Young came at this same question from a another angle. He said when a leader of the caliber of Bob Avakian comes forward, that is something to celebrate. He said that Bob Avakian is the flower and fruit of the struggle of the masses during the 1960s, but he's much more than that. Bob Avakian is someone who has gone on to develop the revolutionary science of communism -- critically building on the achievements of the past, re-envisioning socialist society under the dictatorship of the proletariat, and taking up problems of how to build a revolutionary movement of millions and millions of people that can actually transform dreams into reality.
"Leaders like Bob Avakian are very rare and special leaders. When an outstanding leader comes forward like this I think it is very important for people to recognize that leader and to learn as much as they can from that leader, to promote that leader, and to defend that leader?

"Some people have said to us: 'This is just going to mean we just have to go along with everything he says and it leaves no room for us to contribute and for us to be part of the revolutionary struggle and to bring our ideas, and creativity to the table.'

"But I think that it is important to recognize that when revolutionary leaders like this come forward -- it opens up the possibility for the masses of people's creativity and the masses of people themselves to come forward and contribute on a whole other level, in a whole other way than they can under this system.

"That is, unity between people coming forward and learning from leaders, but at the same time contributing as much as they possibly can to the revolutionary struggle --contributing their understanding and contributing all they can to the revolutionary struggle as well -- there is that dialectic, back and forth?"

In short, Clyde made the point that when a leader like this emerges they are inextricably linked to the masses realizing their revolutionary potential -- and ultimately the people of the world realizing the potential of moving to a communist society.

Many questions popped from the audience: A Black youth wanted to know "What is the proletariat?" He also asked, "So how you gonna reach the majority of proletarians when most of them are all religious and it's clear to me that none of you guys are religious, so how are you gonna sway them to be communists?"

Another person focused on the question of the proletariat in power and wanted to know how the RCP would not allow "power to corrupt," but instead stay on the road to communism.

Later, someone else asked about the role of immigrants in the revolution given that many of them are undocumented.

Joe Veale told Revolution what this tour is aimed at trying to bring forward: "Look, the problem in the world is that there is all this wealth, all this technology that's controlled and dominated by a class of capitalists.

"All this technology and all this human wisdom could be used to benefit the masses here and all over the world.

"Everybody on this planet could have a decent life: no one has to go cold during the wintertime, no one has to go hungry, no one has to die for lack of water, everybody could read and write and be enriched in sports and culture.

"And the only thing standing in the way of that are these capitalists who rip off all this wealth, and use it to enrich this system.

"We need a revolutionary communist movement that is in the struggle and knows that this is the problem -- we need millions and millions of people who realize that if the masses could take power and come together to share in all of this wealth and knowledge in a collective way -- this represents the solution and the way out. So this is a part of what this tour is about: to begin to build the kind of revolutionary communist consciousness out here now that can prepare to lead the masses to change the world."



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