Bob Avakian: The Making of a Revolutionary: Talking About Huey P. Newton ...

Waistline2 at Waistline2 at
Thu Sep 18 22:36:07 MDT 2003

>On the substance, Bob Avakian has created a cult around himself. Any young
radical worth his or her salt would be utterly alienated from an
organization that has pictures of its leader on a website that are
reminiscent of velvet paintings of Elvis Presley. <


I distinctly remember some of the "party building movements" of the mid 1970s
and if memory serves me correctly the Revolutionary Communist Party evolved
from the RU - Revolutionary Union. In my understanding the "RU" and later the
RCP were never so much Marxist-Leninist as they were self claimed Maoist. I
remember a group of them being invited to one of our "party building" meeting in
Detroit and all of them in mass standing up with "Red Books" in their right
hand proclaiming the brilliance of Mao Tse Tung Thought.

Don't get me wrong, in Detroit we had open China-Albania Bookstore on Linwood
Ave. and had our moments of "ideological glory" and purity. I enjoyed my copy
of the Red Book and the Chairman's four volumes - but the RU was a tad bit to
far gone for our taste. After briefly scanning their web page - again, if
becomes fairly obvious they are trapped in ideology. Comrade Bob says this . . .
comrade Bob says that . . .Comrade Bob on CD and more than the glorification
if the individual is involved, although such adulation is generally reserved
for movie stars in America.

During the past era, the ideology of "the commander" - "Chairman Bob speaks,"
grew out of specific circumstances in the colonial world when the party was
in fact a military organization geared to engage the fighting troops of
imperialism. The goal of party building under such circumstances means building an
army and not what in America would be called a "political organization" of the

Lenin's party was of course totally different and the terrain of America is
such that a military form of political organization will not help us much. Nor
will Leninism as a doctrine. Then there was the period in the RCP history
where they were more than less an appendage to a foreign state - China, for all
practical purposes.

I did take time to read some of the pronouncements on the web page and it was
very painful to witness an ideological group stuck in a time wrap. For a
complex of reasons, communist and socialist groups generally do not and cannot
morph- sublate, and transform themselves on the basis of the new features in the
class struggle. The First International was dismantled and then their was the
growth of the Second International which went the way of the flesh, with the
rise of the Third International and it in turn went the way of flesh. The
Marxists and ideologist tend to be a very conservative lot, despite the
revolutionary pronouncements and generally are swept to the side and a new generation
form organizations on the basis of the features peculiar to the new era. Such -
apparently, is the law of life.

There is of course the interview of Chairman Bob and his view of the Black
Panther Party and its various leaders. Perhaps it is worth repeating the
Eldridge Cleaver was a rapist and degenerate, while his wife advocate through the
Black Panther Party newspaper, the idea of bombing workers out of the factories
here in America. It was Mrs. Cleaver that advocated "pussy power" and the
slogan "political powers grows from the lips of a pussy," - I kid you not.

The government attacks against the Panthers was a tragedy. We had many
dealing with the Panther's locally and nationally. The BPP as it was called, advance
the politics of the existence of the lumpen-proletariat - as a class, as
leadership of the revolutionary process in America. In my opinion Marx used the
term lumpenproletariat to describe the refuse of decaying classes and strata
during the transition from agriculture to industry and this concept has never
described the unemployed, underemployed or those on the margin in America. In
fact it was brother Huey - with all due respect, that gave a presentation at
Michigan State University or University of Michigan where he explained that the
difference between the Panther's and those trying to organized the unemployed
and industrial workers was that the former were "dialectical materialist" and
the latter - meaning us, "historical materialist."

The history of the Panther's show rather clearly that you can only lead
people where they are already going. The history of the "RU" and the "RCP" reveals
to me the extreme dangers in any group that attaches itself to a state on the
basis of ideology. Any group that calls itself communist and cannot explain
communism to its working class, in terms and the thinking framework of its own
working class will never break the mode of sectarianism.

What the workers of America need is a national political forum or real
nationwide class party that can formulate and raise the survival demands of our
class. Calling for communism and socialism as an abstraction wins no one over. One
would think that America has not been undergoing transition in its mode of
production for a couple of decades. There are indeed lot's of lessons to learn
from our past.

Melvin P.

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