RSS FeedRSS FeedYouTubeYouTubeTwitterTwitterFacebook GroupFacebook Group
You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/"Thirty years of counter-revolution": An interview with Clyde Young

"Thirty years of counter-revolution": An interview with Clyde Young

Spencer A. Leonard

Platypus Review 43 | February 2012


Last summer, Spencer A. Leonard interviewed Clyde Young, a veteran member of the Revolutionary Communist Party. The interview was broadcast on June 31, 2011 on the radio show Radical Minds on WHPK–FM Chicago. What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation. A shorter version of this interview ran in our broadsheet edition of Platypus Review 43.

Spencer Leonard: Everyone hears a lot about the 1960s, the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, as well as the Students for a Democratic Society, the worldwide political upheavals of 1968, and the new social movements that gained strength in the late 1960s and 70s. But there is a sort of embarrassed silence when it comes to the question of the New Left’s turn towards Marxism in the 1970s, one example of which is your party, the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). Tell us about your experience of the 1970s and that of your party, and how you understand both today.

Clyde Young: I was a prisoner for most of the late 1960s. When I went in, I wasn’t political, much less a radical. I was convicted of robbery and was sentenced to 20 years. Prison at that time was hell, though today it is even worse. While in prison, I was provoked by what was going on in the world outside, by the demonstration against the Vietnam War at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, by the murder of the students at Kent State and Jackson State, and the many other events of those times. By the late 1960s, the Black Panther Party (BPP) had emerged on the scene; the BPP put revolution on the map in a way that it hadn’t been before. They turned me on to the Red Book and Mao. It was around then that I began to read Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Revolution was surging throughout the third world, and the Cultural Revolution in China was having a profound impact across the globe. It was in this context that I became a revolutionary and a communist, while serving time in prison. I could not then closely follow the debates taking place in the early years of the anti-revisionist communist movement, but I knew they were happening. I knew of the effort to build a new communist party, sharing the view held by many that the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) had ceased to be revolutionary, if in fact it ever was.

In the anti-revisionist communist movement we were setting out like peasants, going off to war, and forging weapons from the tools we had at hand. We picked up Marxism and tried to apply it to the conditions that we found ourselves in. This is what the Revolutionary Union (RU) did, like many other organizations at that time. But, certainly, the 1960s were themselves a very profound upsurge, one that Bob Avakian and our party has repeatedly gone back to, to try to analyze whether or not a revolutionary situation could have developed in the 1960s. The conclusion is that a revolutionary situation could have developed, and if certain things had come together, and if a party had been formed at that time, then it is possible that if a revolutionary situation had emerged, a revolution could have been made.

There was a very powerful movement at that time, driven forward by the national question. There were profound changes taking place in this country and throughout the world, with people in this country, black people, being uprooted from the South and going to the North, like my family and millions of others after World War II. This was a tremendous transformation. There was a push off of the land with the mechanization of agriculture and a strong pull into the cities. Of course, there was not a one-to-one relationship between those changes and what subsequently happened. But there did develop a revolutionary struggle in this country, the engine of which was the struggle of black people, and this was in unity with national liberation struggles throughout the world.

This is the context in which the RU and many others took up revolution and communism. At the time, millions of people were sympathetic to revolution. The RU, the predecessor of the RCP, did a tremendous amount of theoretical work. A lot of questions needed sorting out. There was a need for a deeper understanding of the reversal of the revolution in the Soviet Union. What was the path to liberation for black people, Puerto Ricans and other oppressed people in this country? These were not just academic issues.

SL: Addressing the revolutionary potential at the time of its formation, and how we think about that potential today, in the autumn of 1981, the chairman of the RCP, Bob Avakian, wrote in "Conquer the World": “One of the things about which there is a great deal of confusion and therefore is a cause of demoralization to many revolutionaries—more than is objectively necessary—is the question of why the '60s movement receded into an ebb in the '70s, speaking in broad terms, and why and how the upsurge that characterized the '60s generally in the world and particularly in the "Third World" turned into its opposite not just in particular countries, but in many aspects internationally.”[1] Avakian then adds that it is important, indeed crucial, to make a “scientific summation of that [experience].” In this spirit, then, how does the RCP view the decade that gave it birth? How best to think about what now seems like the decline of political possibility in the 1970s, given the turn to Marxism, to the party question, and to more serious thinking, generally? What did it mean to organize and channel discontent in a revolutionary direction in such circumstances?

CY: It became very clear at a certain point that the movement was  ebbing. When we talk about the 1960s, we are talking about the late 1960s into the early 1970s, when it reached its high point. As things moved further into the 1970s, particularly by 1973 or 1974, contradictions on a world level began to shift and change. What began to come to the fore was the conflict between the U.S. and the Soviet Union which in the 1980s took a very pronounced shape as things headed towards, as we analyzed, a third world war. This change began, as I have said, probably as early as 1973 and 1974. And there was a recognition on the part of the RU that if anything of importance was going to come out of that period, it was very important to form a vanguard organization, a vanguard party.

When I speak of a vanguard party, it is a matter of taking responsibility for the movement as a whole, it’s not an ego thing or anything of that sort. A hallmark of the RCP (and the RU before it) has been to always proceed from the question: “How do you make revolution in a country like this one as part of the world wide revolutionary struggle?” That has been our point of reference from the beginning. Seeking out ways and means, and looking for the openings in which a revolution could be made and, at the same time, another hallmark of our organization has been to approach every question scientifically. So, again, what was going on at the beginning of 1970s—and we made a lot of analysis of this in "Conquer the World" and in America in Decline[2]—was that the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nations was receding as the main factor in the world. And what was emerging in the mid-1970s was a world characterized by contention between the Soviet social-imperialists and the U.S.; this contradiction began to define the world situation much more than the contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations.

SL: Tell me a bit about the significance of forming a party in those years. What motivated the constitution of a vanguard party at that time and what was hoped it might allow for? What kind of action, what kind of consciousness did it facilitate?

CY: The revolutionary forces emerging out of the 1960s had developed a deep understanding of Marxism. As I said earlier, in the beginning, we were like peasants marching off to war, taking up the tools that we had at hand. There were some things that could be drawn from the international communist movement, but the CPUSA had become a revisionist party; it had changed colors in essence from red to white. So there was a certain amount of re-learning to be done, a clarification of issues in terms of what was a revolutionary line and what was not. This was not an abstract process, but turned on vitally important questions, like the emancipation of black people. How do black people get free, what is the correct analysis of their condition. If there is to be a revolution, if you are serious about that, there needs to be a vanguard party. We learned that from Lenin and from Lenin’s  What is to be Done? We knew that we needed not just a party of average workers, but a party of professional revolutionaries. And as the movement ebbed in the 1970s there was a recognition that if the party was not formed, a lot of what came out of the 1960s might be lost. I think this was the motivation behind the RU reaching out to various new communist forces, to try to pull them into a much more organized expression. In 1974, in particular, Bob Avakian and the RU led a  nation-wide, party-building tour uniting Marxist-Leninist and Maoist forces into a single vanguard party.

SL: One of the buzz phrases that we have very much as a legacy of the 1960s is “the movement.” That word really does not convey any distinct form of organization, and certainly not a “party.” How does “party” as opposed to “movement” allow for the kind of activity you hoped for?

CY: Well, if I understand your question, you cannot just go about the business of forming a party cut off from everything else going on in the world, though some people attempted to do that. Some people simply cut themselves off from the movement to engage in reading and study, and then tried to form a party. But such things have to be done in close unity with one another. There were major things going on in the world at that time that could not be ignored. If you look at the RU as it was coming into being, there was work it was doing in relationship to the strike in Richmond, California; May Day; and International Women’s Day. And, of course, there was actually a movement where people were against the war, against the oppression of black people. Youth were in the streets. There was a movement of youth in the suburbs turning against their parents. Taken together this was a very combustible mix. Today, the party is building a movement for revolution and that movement must have leadership, the leadership of a vanguard party.

SL: By the 1970s radicals were getting more serious about what it meant to really transform society from within. That meant an orientation towards the people who are at the heart of the reproduction of this society, the working class. How did this reorientation to the working class manifest itself in the precursor to the RCP and then in the RCP in the 1970s? Did people in the RU and later in the RCP get factory jobs and join unions?

CY: Again, I think it is important to reassert what I said earlier: The focus was to make a revolution, and people felt that if you were going to make a revolution, then you had to have a base among the working class. And, in fact, what we had inherited from the international communist movement was that basically you needed to have a base in large industry, among industrialized, unionized workers. So, we went among that section of the people, in auto, steel, electronics, etc. But the problem is that when you get into that situation, do you maintain your revolutionary orientation?  Do you maintain the orientation that what you are about is actually making revolution and taking revolution, socialism, and communism to the working class? Or is it about the shop floor issues that you deteriorate into? What becomes the central focus is an economist view of whatever is on the workers’ minds.

But, yes, there was a movement among most of the organizations in the anti-revisionist communist movement to go to the working class. When I came into the RCP, people were working in large scale industry, in steel and auto plants, and in other kinds of factories. We thought that, if you were going to make a revolution, you had to have a base among that section of the people as the backbone of the revolution. But, over time, there was a recognition of a couple of things. For one, large sections of the working class were bourgeoisified. We came to recognize, through returning to Lenin’s analysis, that, with the development of imperialism, one had to go lower and deeper down to the real proletariat. After the split in our party with what we called “the Mensheviks,” who were seeking to submerge it in the working class, cutting the revolutionary heart out of the Party, we recognized that the focus on the large scale industrial working class was not correct. Again, we had to go down lower and deeper to what Lenin referred to as “the real proletariat.”

SL: So these that you refer to as Mensheviks who split from the party were people who are high up in union bureaucracy today? These are people who were deeply engaged in trade union work?

CY:  In 1977, after the reversal of the revolution in China, there emerged a struggle in the party which mainly centered on whether or not the revolution in China had indeed been reversed after Mao’s death in 1976. How to sum up what had happened in China was the central focus of a struggle that took place within our party. But a secondary aspect of that struggle was over trade unionism and workerism and, ultimately, what we referred to as “economism,” where you just sort of submerge yourself in the day-to-day needs and struggles of the working class. In 1976, Bob Avakian put out a piece called “Revolutionary Work in a Non-revolutionary Situation.” This was a speech to the central committee in which he expressed his recognition that the upsurge of the 1960s had ebbed and we would have to persevere in a situation in which a revolutionary situation was not on the horizon.

One cannot predict with certainty when a revolutionary situation will arise; this is why a party needs to be preparing actively for the emergence of a revolutionary situation. If a party does not prepare in this way, a revolutionary opportunity can be thrown away. This is a profound lesson that we learned from Lenin.

SL: The death of Mao and the jailing of the Gang of Four provoked widespread demoralization in the RCP and the wider New Communist Movement. This compounded the disorientation caused by events in Angola some years before. At the same time, the mid-1970s were a time of significant labor militancy, especially as compared to now. There existed then much higher rates of unionization, so that workers were in a stronger position to face the kind of assaults and austerity impositions that we are now all too familiar with. So how did the RCP’s early party building efforts develop in such a complex environment?

CY: That is a very big question, and I think you captured some things there, when you were saying how do you not throw away the lessons learned from the 1960s. Avakian led the party in recognizing that just basing itself among the large-scale industrial workers was not the way to make a revolution. We had to go lower and deeper. This is a party (and the RU before it) that participated in a lot of different struggles, including among the working class—the miners, struggles in the auto industry, etc. The party did not stand aloof from those struggles; it participated in those struggles and it tried to bring a revolutionary understanding to them. But, at a certain point, after the split with the “Mensheviks,” we set out to apply the understanding that our work needed to be focused on the lower and deeper sections of the proletariat. There was also a recognition, in returning to What is to be Done?, of the role and importance of a communist newspaper in preparing for revolution. The role of the newspaper is to train the masses in a communist understanding of all major events. Lenin put a tremendous stress the importance of the communist press in What is to be Done? We began publishing a national newspaper on a weekly basis in 1979 or 1980. And after the split with the Mensheviks, we launched major revolutionary initiatives: a national speaking tour of Bob Avakian in 1979 and May Day 1980, an effort to put May 1 back on the political landscape in a way that it had not been before. These were part of the initiatives that the party took as part of putting straight-up revolutionary politics on the map.

Since then, we have identified the two mainstays of our work as the newspaper and spreading the contributions and works of Bob Avakian, the qualitative contributions that he has made to communist theory, and spreading those contributions as a crucial part of bringing forward a new wave of communist revolution. Even when you are doing revolutionary work in a non-revolutionary situation, you are not just waiting; that would be a serious mistake, to just be waiting for the emergence of a revolutionary situation. You’re doing everything you can to hasten the development of a revolutionary situation, you’re raising the level of the resistance of the people, and you are engaging in other kinds of work that is actually heightening, as much as possible, the consciousness of the people and their fighting capacity, in anticipation of a revolutionary situation. The imperialist system itself, again and again, creates horrors, whether it is the killing of a 7-year old kid, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, or whether it is the environment. There are all kinds of things that give rise to jolts and crises, but the question is what are you doing, during those crises, and all along the way—in an active way, not just waiting—to actually accelerate the process, to hasten, while awaiting the development of a revolutionary situation. A lot of this is discussed in a new book by Bob Avakian. There is a piece in that book called, “On the Strategy for Revolution,” and that piece discusses the strategy for making revolution in an advanced imperialist country like this one. This understanding did not exist in the 1960s; the development of this strategy by Avakian and the RCP is something that involved painstaking theoretical work, in order to arrive at a deepened understanding of how to make revolution in a country like this one.  I would recommend that book; it’s called Basics: From the Writings and Quotations of Bob Avakian.[3]

SL: In 2008, your party published a manifesto entitled Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage,[4] which states the following on the significance of the defeat of the Chinese Revolution in the wake of the death of Chairman Mao: “We should not underestimate this defeat in China, and everything it has brought forth, everything the imperialists have done on that basis, and have built on that. China, and everything it represented for the international proletariat and the world proletarian revolution—to lose that after the Cultural Revolution [in China], after millions and millions of people went through that upheaval, and yes, a significant process of remolding their world outlook—this is something we’re still coming to terms with, both in objective reality and in our own thinking.”[5] Explain the significance of the Chinese Revolution for the RCP and your party’s understanding of what transpired in the 1970s and how that shapes our situation today.

CY: In the 1960s and 1970s, China was a beacon of revolution. This was the period of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR), a revolution within the revolution to prevent the restoration of capitalism and to further advance on the socialist road to communism. It was an unprecedented struggle that advanced revolution to the highest point yet in the whole history of the international communist movement. There had been the Paris Commune, and there had been the revolution in the Soviet Union. Learning from those experiences, through the GPCR, Mao led the revolution to the highest pinnacle that has been achieved.

And then in 1976, when Mao died, that revolution was reversed. There’s a lot that we can get into about that, and, in fact, I’d refer people to the document that you referenced, Communism: the Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the RCP. The loss of China was devastating! I came to political life because of the Black Panther Party, and what they did to spread Mao’s Red Book. I studied the Red Book and subsequently read many things by Marx, Lenin, and Mao, and I became a Maoist. And a lot of people in this country, and all over the world, became Maoists in the 1960s, not because somehow this was part of a Third World revolution (though some may have viewed it that way), but because this was a communist revolution in motion. This was a laboratory of communism, a socialist society in transition to communism. This was extraordinarily important. And the reversal of that revolution was a devastating blow.

And the question was, were you going to understand why that happened, or were you just going to turn away from it in one form or another? So it has had a big impact, it has had an impact in lowering sights, it has had an impact in lowering ambitions in terms of what’s possible. Is it possible anymore to make a revolution in the world or in a country like this one? Yes, it is! So the loss of China was devastating and continues to be devastating. And not only that, what has come behind it has been an attack on communism, thirty years of counter-revolution against communism. So this is the atmosphere in which we have been working. But what we are doing is far from being demoralized and defeated. These are some of the things that we fought out in the Cultural Revolution in our party, where some people were not only feeling the effects of the loss of China, but also feeling the ebbing of the movement of the 1960s, and they had given up on revolution, settling into an alternative life style. The Cultural Revolution was a struggle between two fundamentally antagonistic lines: the developing body of work, method, and approach of Bob Avakian in contrast to the “official” line of the party, published in documents and publications on the one hand, and a “revisionist package” on the other, as discussed in Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage.

SL: One of the things that struck me in "Conquer the World" was Avakian’s claim that both Mao’s later views, as well as Lin Biao’s influential 1965 work, “Long Live the Victory of the People’s War,” mistakenly view the prospects for revolution as existing in the Third World. Avakian charges both with underestimating the possibilities for revolution in advanced imperialist countries, and he points toward revisionist tendencies in the Chinese Revolution well before the death of Mao.

He also speaks there about what he takes to be the heightened possibilities for revolution in imperialist countries in the time he is writing, the early 1980s. It seems to me that the RCP has moved away from that view now, away from its earlier assessment of the revolutionary opportunities of the early 1980s, and has instead adopted the view that the 1970s were the end of an entire phase in the history of communism, so that now the first phase of communism is over. How might we think about that sense of opportunity that Avakian expressed in the early 1980s, versus now, where it seems like we have experienced simply a long transition of reaction? Is that something that the RCP views differently today than it did in 1981, the potentials at that time? Or are both true? Were there potentials there in the transition from the late 1970s and early 1980s that somehow passed unrealized, but whose presence we need to recognize to understand that history?

CY: Well, there’s a lot involved in that question. If I could take my time, I’d like to walk through some of it. We feel that revolution is necessary and possible. And not only do we think that revolution is both necessary and possible, but we are actually building a movement for revolution. We are not waiting until a revolutionary situation emerges. We are building a movement for revolution now, and there are different aspects of our work that are focused on hastening, while awaiting, the development of a revolutionary situation. There’s building resistance to the outrages of the system. We have an orientation: “Fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.” If people don’t fight back against things that are going on right now, they won’t have the ability to fight when it’s time to fight. So they have to be standing up against the outrages that are coming down now. There is far too little of that now. At the same time, there is the question of a newspaper which reaches far beyond what it does now but can actually have the potential to be a scaffolding for the movement for revolution. These are the things we are doing. And we are looking at, and being poised for, a situation that is ripe for revolution. We are no less oriented that way today than we were in the 1980s. But things were actually sharper in a different way back then, in that what was before us was the possibility of an inter-imperialist war, a nuclear war. Our orientation was to make revolution in order to prevent a world war or to take advantage of world war in order to make revolution, which would have been very difficult. And today the situation is what it is, but it can be transformed, and we have the necessity to break out of thirty years of counter-revolution, speaking politically. But we are making every effort to be prepared should a revolutionary situation emerge. Building the party and accumulating forces that will be necessary when such a situation does arise is extremely important now. You need a core of thousands and tens of thousands in order to be able to lead millions. The hallmark of our organization, from the RU all the way up to now, has been that we are about the business of making revolution. We have not given up on that because the conditions changed from the 1960s to the 1970s to the 1980s to now. It is necessary and possible to do what we are setting out to do.

SL: The RCP is the only organization I know of actively grappling with the issue of the continuity and discontinuity in the tradition, going back to Marx and Engels, and beyond them, to the rise of the workers’ movement and the still earlier struggle for human emancipation of the 17th and 18th centuries. It is very difficult for many people to imagine revolutionary emancipation today. No doubt that is related to the incomprehensibility of history.

CY: That is a very good point. This is one of the things that we talk about in terms of the contributions that Avakian has made to communist theory, which need to be promoted right now. People need to know what he has been bringing forward as a source of hope on a scientific basis.[6] His work is both a continuation, and a rupture with, communist theory up to now, with the continuation being the main aspect. If you look at "Conquer the World," Avakian himself has said that "Conquer the World" was an initial epistemological break with certain aspects of weaknesses in the international communist movement. In particular, the question, “Do you go for the truth or not?” Or do you just go for “political truth?” This is a rupture with what has been a tendency in terms of going for political truth and not dealing with the truth of things.[7]

Just to speak to the Lin Biao issues: “Long Live the Victory of the People’s War” was a piece that was written by Lin Biao. There was a certain notion he had that revolution was only possible in “third world” countries. This was not Mao’s point of view.

On the Three Worlds Theory: There were certain tendencies toward that in Mao, but it never became a consolidated theory. There were some tendencies in Mao’s thinking that were connected to ruptures not having been made with some of the mistakes that Stalin had made in terms of forming a united front against fascism in WWII. This was a serious mistake. If you look at what Bob Avakian wrote in “Dictatorship and Democracy, and the Socialist Transition to Communism”[8], he discusses this at great length, arguing that Mao did not rupture with some of those kinds of notions. In the 1970s, China was beginning to face threats from the Soviet Union—there were a million Soviet troops on the border, it was a real threat—but how was that handled? Some mistakes were made, for example, in terms of the opening to the West, as part of dealing with the threat from the Soviet Union.

SL: The RCP understands the 1970s as a moment of ebb in the revolution, but also, potentially, as a moment of summation of the first century of Marxist revolution. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries within the key Marxist parties of the Second International—the German and Russian Social Democratic parties—there occurred what is known as “the revisionist debate” in which revolutionary Marxists such as Kautsky, Luxemburg, and Lenin debated Bernstein and other reformists who emphasized the achievement possible within the prevailing social order. They argued for ongoing reform to accumulate gains for the working class, a view Bernstein summarized with the phrase, “the movement is everything, the goal [of socialism] is nothing.” Does Avakian have this precedent in mind when he talks about the prevailing revisionism on the Left today? What sort of battle does he think he is fighting after the end of “the first phase of communism”?

CY: That is a very important question. The theoretical battles that you mentioned did not occur in the abstract. They were life and death struggles, and that is why they were fought so fiercely.

I would again direct people’s attention to Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage – A Manifesto from the RCP, USA.  There, the crossroads facing the communist movement at this point in history are bluntly posed: “vanguard of the future, or residue of the past?” These are the stakes in which people take up and grapple with Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism, which is the theoretical framework for the advance to a new stage of communist revolution. |P

Transcribed by Pac Pobric

[1]. Bob Avakian, “Conquer the World? The International Proletariat Must and Will,” <>.

[2]. Raymond Lotta, America in Decline: An Analysis of the Developments Toward War and Revolution, in the U.S. and Worldwide, in the 1980s (Chicago: Banner Press, 1984).

[3]. Bob Avakian, Basics: From the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian (Chicago: RCP Publications,2011), 103–112.

[4]. Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage: A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (Chicago: RCP Publications, 2009).

[5]. Continuing this statement, Avakian makes a very important point: “If you add to this the whole ‘death of communism’ phenomenon, and the constant barrage of anti-communism and abuse and slander heaped from all directions and in all forms on this GPCR (The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China), on the Chinese Revolution and socialism there, and in fact on all of the experience of socialist society and the dictatorship of the proletariat; if you think about the effect of all that, and you are a materialist and you apply dialectics, it is very difficult to think that we are immune from the effects of all that and that it only influences people outside the Party. Even in our thinking and our souls, if you want to use that term, in our heart of hearts, don’t we have questions about whether we were wrong about all this: Why did we lose? If we were so right, and if what we’re for is so correct, why did it end up this way? I don’t think there are very many comrades who can say they haven’t had those questions agonizing within them, probably more than once. We have an answer to those things, but you have to dig for that answer and you have to keep on digging–and you have to be scientific. You have to go to materialism and dialectics.” (Emphasis added). Fulfilling a great need, this is precisely the kind of digging that Avakian did after the reversal of the revolution in China.

[6]. “This new synthesis, in its many dimensions . . . has put revolution and communism on a more solid scientific foundation. As Avakian himself has emphasized: ‘[I]t is very important not to underestimate the significance and potential positive force of this new synthesis: criticizing and rupturing with significant errors and shortcomings while bringing forward and recasting what has been positive from the historical experience of the international communist movements and the socialist countries that have so far existed; in a real sense reviving—on a new, more advanced basis—the viability and, yes, the desirability of a whole new and radically different world, and placing this on an ever firmer foundation of materialism and dialectics. . . . So, we should not underestimate the potential of this as a source of hope and of daring on a solid scientific foundation’” (Communism: The Beginning of A New State, p.29).

[7]. “’Class truth’ refers to the view, which has had considerable currency in the international communist movement, that truth—especially in the realm of the social sciences—is not objective, but rather specific and relative to different classes, i.e., the bourgeoisie has its truth and the proletariat has its truth. But what is true is objectively true: It either corresponds to, or does not correspond to, reality in this motion and development. ‘Class truth’ overlaps with the erroneous idea that people of proletarian background have a special purchase on the truth by virtue of their social position. But truth is truth no matter who articulates it; and getting at the truth, for proletarians, as well as for people of other social and class origins, requires the grasp and application of a scientific approach to society and the world.” Raymond Lotta, Nayi Duniya and K.J.A., “Alain Badiou’s ‘Politics of Emancipation’: A Communism Locked Within the Confines of the Bourgeois World,” <>.

[8]. Bob Avakian, “Dictatorship and Democracy, and the Socialist Transition to Communism,” <>.