Revolution #273, June 24, 2012

Some Impressions and Thoughts on Reading the Interview with Bob Avakian, "What Humanity Needs—Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism"

Editors’ note: Joe Veale was actively involved, as a member of the Black Panther Party, in the revolutionary upsurge of the 1960s, and he is a veteran comrade of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, having joined the Party in the 1970s.

One thing that struck me on the new interview with BA: there is a lot to learn from the scientific method and approach, which reminds me, on one level, of Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs and Steel—how from a simple question from someone in a Third World country about "why your people have so much cargo and my people none," Diamond pulls back layers and layers of reality. Similarly in the interview, from the beginning, with the reference to a line from Tupac about "two shots, Huey’s dead," BA pulls back the layers of what this question reveals and is part of. There is a whole method that you learn, done in a popular style. It was different than what I had anticipated. I expected to see concepts presented and then the breaking down of those concepts—which is in there, but mainly it’s talking about things as they really are in everyday language: what’s involved in making communist revolution, how things really are, without a priorism and instrumentalism, scientifically and in a materialist way, of things in their motion and development. It makes the scientific method really accessible. Mao did that, but this goes beyond and ruptures with a secondary weakness of Mao that was instrumentalist and tortured reality to fit the desired outcome. Maybe someone would read this interview 30 years from now and see some shortcomings scientifically—but reading this a second time now, I learn a great deal in the method and approach. The first time I heard of the Marxist theory of knowledge was from reading Mao—and in reading this new interview, there is a scientific method of thinking that runs through the interview—the new synthesis of communism—that is really striking. The interviewer Brooks had really immersed himself in the method of thinking and how BA developed, as recounted in his memoir. Brooks was immersed in the person, e.g., the memoir. And the question about how BA’s spoken word piece "All Played Out" came about—this is very important. But the method of communist thinking that BA has developed is the most important thing. This is what everyone in the Party, and everyone who is serious about revolution and communism, has to constantly immerse themselves in—this method of thinking. This is the most advanced communism ever. And this is why it’s being attacked and is such a struggle, because it is new and radical, just as Marx was attacked in making a scientific breakthrough in thinking—in understanding of reality, of the development of human society and the threshold it has brought us to.

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