I’ve been getting a lot of articles from various parties, across the globe, criticizing Revolutionary Communist Party Chairman Bob Avakian’s new synthesis. I admit I haven’t had time to read all of it, but I sure have read enough articles criticizing it. I certainly have a good idea what it is about from all the criticism I have read about it.
Here is an example:
Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan on Avakian’s ‘New Synthesis’ and the Iranian Maoist’s ‘New Theoretical Framework.;
“In recent years the Revolutionary Communist Party (USA) [RCP(USA)] and the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) [CPI(MLM)] have been vigorously advocating Bob Avakian’s ‘new synthesis’ as being an epistemological rupture from Marxism-Leninism-Maoism through the production of a theoretical synthesis of the lessons of the ‘first wave’ of communism (the Paris Commune, the Russian and Chinese revolutions, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution), and Avakian’s solution to the crisis within the communist project. This vigorous proselytism, and this is the only reason why Avakian’s ‘new synthesis’ even warrants a post on this blog, has been disastrous for the international Maoist movement, which had ostensibly taken form in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (although 2 major parties, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Communist Party of the Philippines were not members), as it was the last nail in the coffin of that organizations gradual death. The ‘new synthesis’ cannot be solely blamed for the death of the RIM, as there were many contributing factors including the political/theoretical crises posed by the Peruvian and Nepalese revolutions, the lack of capacity to mobilize people around international solidarity campaigns etc. The ‘A World to Win’ magazine has largely ceased to exist as a new issue does not seem forthcoming and the last issue was published in 2006. Thankfully, there seems to be a new nascent Maoist grouping that has started around the magazine ‘Maoist Road’ and includes the RCP(Canada), the Maoist Party of Italy and possibly the CARC, the French Maoists, although until date none of the Third World comrades has joined its ranks.”
New International Maoist Initiative……..This May Day heralds a major advance in reversing this situation. The Special Meeting of Parties and Organisations of the RIM was successfully concluded. In the midst of the rebellious assaults of the masses on the inhuman conditions in which they are forced to live, a bold initiative has been taken to build anew an international Maoist unity as an organised force. This holds out great promise for the struggling people of the world.
The Special Meeting (SM) has correctly identified the revisionism of the Bob Avakian’s post-MLM ‘new synthesis’ variety in the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and the Prachanda-Bhattarai variety in the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) as the immediate ideological-political factors that led to the current crisis and collapse of the RIM. Going beyond this, the Special Meeting advanced some preliminary views on summing up the RIM experience, noting the positive and negative lessons of its organisational structures and methods of functioning. The task of convening an international conference in order to once again establish a Maoist international organisation has been taken up. This should have as broad a representation of Maoist parties and organisations as possible. As part of this process, the Special Meeting decided to organise an international seminar on the various international initiatives taken by Maoist forces during the past few decades.’
Recently, Workers Dreadnought has been posting a series on Bob Avakian's so-called "new synthesis." Although many of us in the international maoist movement, just like so many communists and leftists in general, have dismissed the "new synthesis" for being neither "new" or "synthetic", there has not been many sustained attempts at engaging all of its claims. And though non-engagement might be a viable strategy when it comes to hair-brained attempts at new grand universalizing revolutionary theories (for it is often to pay these theories no attention and let them die as they probably will), there is some worth in engaging with the RCP-USA's "new synthesis." Not because there is necessarily any worth in engaging with an organization that has degenerated into a religious cabal––you won't convince dogmatists that their dogma is wrong with critical thinking––but because of the damage and confusion this theoretical articulation has caused amongst the international maoist movement. Thus, the Workers Dreadnought series is a welcome and useful engagement and has so far done a very thorough job of pointing out the limitations, the lack of depth, and the failure of Avakian's theory to be anything remarkably new or synthetic.”
“….I respect Bob Avakian's role in asserting that we have to refute all trends that negate the concept of proletarian dictatorship but simultaneously combat dogmatic trends and be more critical of past mistakes in Socialist Societies in U.S.S.R.and China.
However it is ridiculous to evaluate that Bob Avakian has taken Marxism-Leninism to a higher stage than Mao Tse Tung Thought or Maoism. Mao Tse Tung Thought or Maoism as a higher stage was only established after Mao launched the Cultural Revolution where he implemented his theory of continuous revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.”
I’ve gotten quite a few of these types of articles in my e-mail and from various lists and groups. The article above names the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), as a supporter of Avakian’s new book. Iran’s party is a fairly large party, but I know of few, if any, other groups that have taken to this New Synthesis, besides the RCP itself.
One thing that is important to realize is that the RCP is a very small group. They have been a small fringe organization since their founding in the 1970s. I was very pleased when members broke off to form the Kasama Project. I found it interesting that Kasama wanted to move beyond just being a fringe group, reaching out to other Marxists in the country and finding new ways to move beyond being a small party cult that follows a “Messiah” Avakian.
From the criticism I have read, there is plenty of reasons to oppose using or adopting this book. I don’t know if people are reading this in other countries, but here in the US, very few people are reading it. Promoting this new book is probably one of the worst mistakes the RCP has made in years. There are very few people in the US who are taking Avakian’s work serious.
In the US, this new book is truly irrelevant. Few, if any, Marxists here in the US have any interest in it. Few people are taking the RCP seriously today. That is sad because the party has a long history going back all the way to SDS, in the 1960s and 1970s. They have done important work in the past. Unfortunately, they seem on a path of self destruction today.
Perhaps in some countries, there is a temptation to read Avakian’s new works. In such countries there may be a real reason for criticizing Avakian’s new work. In some countries, Maoist parties are much larger than in the US.
For the mean time I don’t plan to run anymore critical articles of Avakian’s New Synthesis. Here in the US this book is completely irrelevant. It is obvious by the article’s I’ve received from various groups around the world, that this new idea is not popular at all. Except for the party In Iran, I don’t know of any group that endorses this new book and all I’ve seen is criticism.
So let’s just except that Bob Avakian’s ‘ new synthesis appeals to only one major Maoist Party in the world, Iran, and only a handful of people in the US.
It’s not a popular book for most MLM parties in the world and irrelevant to most of us here in the US. There for I’m finished printing criticism of Avakian’s book.