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Sociobiology: The New Synthesis - Wikipedia

So, how to go forward in the face of that? How to embark on a new stage of revolution? In this situation, Bob Avakian has led in defending, upholding and building on the monumental achievements of those revolutions and the illuminating insights of its greatest thinkers and leaders. But he has also deeply analyzed the mistakes, and the shortcomings in conception and method that led to those mistakes. And on that basis, he’s forged a coherent, comprehensive and overarching theoretical framework—that is, a synthesis. While this definitely comes out of and builds on what has gone before, this advance has also involved real ruptures with the past understanding and experience as a crucial element, which is why we call it the new synthesis.

Part IV: The New Synthesis: Political Implications—Dictatorship and Democracy

And let’s frankly come to grips with this: after ten years of the Cultural Revolution in China—the best of the previous conception of socialism—most people did not really understand the stakes of that last battle. Well, the different character and greater dimension of ferment in the new synthesis is one big part of the answer to how to do better next time.

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Once More on the New Synthesis

This new synthesis involves a recasting and recombining of the positive aspects of the experience so far of the communist movement and of socialist society, while learning from the negative aspects of this experience, in the philosophical and ideological as well as the political dimensions, so as to have a more deeply and firmly rooted scientific orientation, method and approach with regard not only to making revolution and seizing power but then, yes, to meeting the material requirements of society and the needs of the masses of people, in an increasingly expanding way, in socialist society—overcoming the deep scars of the past and continuing the revolutionary transformation of society, while at the same time actively supporting the world revolutionary struggle and acting on the recognition that the world arena and the world struggle are most fundamental and important, in an overall sense—together with opening up qualitatively more space to give expression to the intellectual and cultural needs of the people, broadly understood, and enabling a more diverse and rich process of exploration and experimentation in the realms of science, art and culture, and intellectual life overall, with increasing scope for the contention of different ideas and schools of thought and for individual initiative and creativity and protection of individual rights, including space for individuals to interact in “civil society” independently of the state—all within an overall cooperative and collective framework and at the same time as state power is maintained and further developed as a revolutionary state power serving the interests of the proletarian revolution, in the particular country and worldwide, with this state being the leading and central element in the economy and in the overall direction of society, while the state itself is being continually transformed into something radically different from all previous states, as a crucial part of the advance toward the eventual abolition of the state with the achievement of communism on a world scale.

This is no small problem—and it is one Avakian has devoted a great deal of attention to and is a big part of what I’m getting into next: a qualitatively different approach to—and a new synthesis on—the dictatorship of the proletariat.

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Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975; 25th anniversary edition 2000) is a book by E

Again, in the last half hour I have been able to only barely touch on this critical philosophical and methodological foundation of the new synthesis. To get more deeply into this, I would refer you to the books Observations and Marxism and the Call of the Future. But now I want to move on to the political implications of all this.

Because, again, the question here is not only “going for the truth,” but doing so on the basis of a thoroughly scientific, dialectical materialist, outlook and method, and correctly grasping the link between this and the struggle for revolution and ultimately communism—and getting the full richness of what is involved in this. Recognizing the importance of and insisting on pursuing truth in this way—unfettered by narrow, pragmatic, and instrumentalist considerations of what seems most convenient at the time or what appears to be more in line with particular and immediate objectives of communists...pursuing the truth by applying the scientific outlook and method of dialectical materialism in the most sweeping, comprehensive, and consistent way in order to confront reality as it actually is and, on that basis, transform it in a revolutionary way toward the goal of communism: this is radically new and represents a key part of the richness of the new synthesis being brought forward by Bob Avakian. This is the full meaning of what is concentrated in his statement that: “Everything that is actually true is good for the proletariat, all truths can help us get to communism.”

A New Synthesis of Public Administration: Serving in …
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Synthesis | Definition of Synthesis by Merriam-Webster

The new synthesis also has extremely important implications in regard to the dictatorship of the proletariat, which Marx called the necessary transit point to a communist society. In short—how does the socialist state maintain itself as a power in transition to a world communist society without states—and not become an end in itself? How does it continue to advance—and not get turned back to capitalism?

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Well, communism also encompasses a philosophy. And at the very heart of the new synthesis has been Bob Avakian’s work to critically interrogate, or analyze, the philosophical foundations of communism—and to put those foundations on a more fully scientific basis.

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For if you try to give people critical tools in a hothouse kind of atmosphere, it just doesn’t “take”—people have to be led but they also have to learn for themselves, and the leadership itself has to be transformed and revolutionized in the course of that. To get that process right requires ferment, contestation, and just out-and-out wildness. There was no small amount of this in the Cultural Revolution—but we’re talking with the new synthesis about something on a far greater scale, with different elements and dynamics to it.

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These questions have been central to Bob Avakian’s work—to what we call the new synthesis—and they are what I’m going to get into today. I obviously can’t thoroughly cover 30 years of Bob Avakian’s work in two hours. But what I hope to do is to give you a sense of a whole new way of approaching human emancipation and fundamental change, building on the best of what’s gone before but taking it to a new level.

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So we’ve covered a lot in terms of the political implications of the new synthesis, particularly in regards to socialism. But before we move on to strategy, and on the basis of everything I’ve just said, I want people to think about how much—and with how much profound importance—is captured in the following description of the new synthesis from Part 1 of Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity:

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