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April 5, 2007

Watch the Parking Meters

Not long ago, Revolution, the newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA, announced that it would soon be running a special issue about its leader, Chairman Bob Avakian.

Some of you cynics out there might be thinking, "Isn't that like publishing a special edition of the Bible about God?" That is totally inappropriate. The Bible is a book, while a newspaper is a newspaper, and that distinction will exist even after the end of class society.

Anyway, the special issue is out and it's...well, special.

We go swiftly to the world-historical stratosphere and linger in its bracing ozone:

There has never been a leader like Bob Avakian in this country. Never one who has so consistently and so deeply confronted and grappled with the deepest questions before people...and never one who fought so hard and so systematically to involve the people themselves in that grappling. Beyond that, this leader belongs in a deep and real way to the people of the world: at a time when the "science of revolution" demands a leap in its understanding in a number of crucial realms, he has stepped forward to fill that great need.

Can't help thinking of Eugene Debs, who said that he would not lead the masses into the promised land even if he could, because that would mean someone could lead them right back out again. ("I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks," he also said. "When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks.") But to continue:

We cannot allow a situation where the oppressors have a sharper understanding of what Bob Avakian represents than the people who hunger for a different, better world!

Yes, I'm sure that's all they ever talk about.

Posted by smclemee at April 5, 2007 7:06 AM


cool to see others who have also noticed this newspaper going around (i'm in another part of the country and have seen it all over the place, up on walls as posters, in bundles, hand to hand on the streets on campuses and in projects). seems like in some places a lot of people are starting to know about this guy, which i think is a great thing.

one comment on your blog entry-

unfortunately eugene debs didn't end up leading anyone anywhere - with his theory nor his practice (though he did commit some acts that i'd consider noble, and others not so much). people like lenin, mao, and avakian have contributed (and in the latter's case, is still contributing) much more in terms of the theory we need to change the world and the leadership we need to get us there.

Posted by: reader at April 15, 2007 7:42 PM

Thanks for sharing, Bob.

Posted by: another reader at April 16, 2007 8:04 AM

Cool to see this blog covering "trash culture ephemera" -- and Stalinism, and egregious prose (Avakian's, not Scott's.)
I haven't heard much of aging Bob since he jumped bail a generation ago. Does he still call gays "degenerates"? Still deny the Khmer Rouge genocide? Still have a good word for Comrade Lysenko's bold researches?

Posted by: TimTibet at November 10, 2007 8:12 PM

I think profound study has led the RCP to conclude that gay people are not the wretched ideological spawn of decaying imperialism, after all. And it seems that Pol Pot was not really a Maoist, in spite of the Khmer Rouge's friendly relations with the Gang of Four (of whom Avakian was the ally). Not sure about Lysenko, though I believe the tendency now is to say that, under Stalin, mistakes were made. (No atrocity, only error.)

This has been Correct Line Update, an occasional feature of Quick Study.

Posted by: Scott McLemee at November 10, 2007 9:57 PM

You guys are neat.
In the pretty recent "Dictatorship and Democracy" booklet there's a discussion in the beginning of Lysenko and a critique of Stalin's pragmatism.

ps-leaders are inevitable and necessary...doesn't Avakian demand that we all be thoroughly revolutionary and thoroughly communist (stand and method and all)?

Posted by: Meeee at November 11, 2007 11:43 PM

Actually I did read that one (the "Mistakes Were Made" pamphlet as I call it) but it seems my knack for precise recall of scripture is not what it should be.

You are quite right, Anonymous Commentator, and just as long as the Chairman really, really promises that this time there won't be concentration camps, torture cells for dissidents, public humiliation of physicists until they admit (as in the Cultural Revolution) that they are enemies of the people for not having raised crops in the countryside -- well, then, okay, I'm sure we'll all want to give the RCP total control of society.

But you have to really, really promise this time. Okay?

Posted by: Scott McLemee at November 12, 2007 6:52 AM