with Cornel West and Bob Avakian
A film of the November 2014 historic dialogue on a question of great importance in today’s world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian.
Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. He came alive as a revolutionary in the 1960s. Since then he has given his heart and knowledge to serving the cause of revolution and the emancipation of humanity, and has consistently taken responsibility for leading the revolutionary movement – theoretically and practically. He is an innovative and critical thinker who has brought forward a new synthesis of communism.
Cornel West is widely recognized as one of the most important and provocative public intellectuals of our time. A prolific writer and lecturer, West is Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary in New York. A champion for the oppressed, West’s writing, speaking and teaching draw inspiration from and weave together the Christian and Black prophetic traditions, radical democracy and jazz, R&B and hip hop.
What’s in the film:
* A substantive presentation by Bob Avakian on the theme of REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.
* A stirring response by Dr. Cornel West — a moral indictment and a call to conscience.
* Followed by a spirited, thought provoking conversation responding to 10 questions from the audience.
The Bob Avakian Institute
Revolution Books, NY
146 West 26th Street, New York,
Post Production Services
Lindsay D. Mofford
Post Production Facility
Technical and Sound
Simulcast and Audio
Riverside Chuch Tech Crew
© 2015 The Bob Avakian Institute
Please watch at revcom.us/film
(Dr. Cornel West begins at 2:02:00) (Q&A discussion begins at 2:24:45)
[Topics covered: police brutality, racism, capitalism, imperialism, prisons, activism, fascism, labor, workers, unity, violence, history, China, Art, Music, and more]
Updated: Mar. 29, 2015
From the archives
Dorothy Day: Our Problems Stem From Our Acceptance of This Filthy, Rotten System by Richard Sahn
Cornel West: They Call Obama a Muslim, Not True; They Call Him a Socialist, Definitely Not True
Bob Avakian: What is capitalism? + Isn’t the problem human nature? (2003)
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No matter one’s personal spiritual philosophy or political ideology, there are some ultimately relevant, profound, thought-provoking lessons in this unfortunately-too-rare, strong discussion about the state of the world between Mr. Avakian and Mr. West. Cornell West’s fuel for action is spiritual. Bob Avakian may be unaware that his fuel for action is spiritual as well; the same as West, but only insignificantly “different” in their respective abstract descriptive words about their perceptions. Both agree that the time is now for a genuine spiritual (r)evolution by all of humanity with love as its basis.
Well stated, Jerry.
If each of us chose love and peace in our own lives, there would be no war, no domestic violence, no violence at all. It’s really up to each of us.
Hear. hear Jerry. you are so right.
People do need leadership, but by example, rather than dictatorship or “do what I want not what you must.”
The two great powers in the contemporary world, religion and science are in conflict and failing us. I would say religion is personal, subjective, initiatory & private; whereas science (real science) is a method and a means that is open and consensual.
As I see it there are two obstacles to effective and intelligent change. The first being ignorance, and from this follows the second ~ reactionary violence. Violence proceeds from ignorance. We confound strength and force with violence at our peril.
My understanding is that real strength is spiritual force, that manifests through the power of will. Not will as dominance but will as liberty.
The USA was founded on these principles that so far as I can determine are very substantially drawn from Iroquois tradition, the Great Law.
The world needs this, we shall perish without it.
The colossal failure of will in our world, is due to the misplaced authoritarianism of the United States polity.
We need Americans, especially indigenous Americans to reaffirm this Great Law. Bob and Cornel referred repeatedly to American Native tradition, and the genocide and cultural ecocide that was visited upon them by the European invaders.
We need to hear more from the Keepers of that Sacred Tradition.
We can restore the Hoop. We must prepare for profound Earth Changes.
Fear will not serves us well.
Courage and commitment are all we have
Powerful oration from B A ~ very strong stuff, the last 20 minutes of his (very long) address particularly powerful. Cornel ~ exceptional, even to a non-believer. The entire “dualogue” is memorably powerful. Truth, gender wisdom, hard facts, deep meaning…incredible really ~ amazing stuff, inspirational !
This is by far the most encouraging church experience I’ve ever had, as a committed radical skeptic! I’ve been listening to it all day. Finally completed, with great reluctance, at 1:30 am….really enjoyed the Q&A.
Things change when they cannot continue as they are.
So glad you watched it, David. Good that it is still available to watch for free on their website. When I first posted it last night it was on a video for embedding, then later today they changed it to being private only. I watched most of it last night. Truthfully, I couldn’t get through all of BA’s talk, but did watch all of Cornel West’s and the Q&A discussion. Really great stuff on so many important issues of our day.
There is hope.
Yes Lo, the best way to take in Bob Avakian’s epic narrative, is probably to sample it as 20 minute segments, then in my opinion you can recharge your absorption capacity, this is what is so brilliant about free internet access…he really spells it out, but it’s a very demanding listen ~ however that said, immensely thought provoking, instructive and valuable.
In response to Rocket about Cornel, I agree totally; he is exceptional, and what was so noteworthy is the fact that both he and B A resonate so profoundly about the need for love and the power of love. True love is pure strength in my experience, but patriarchy restricts and corrupts the spiritual impulse and is therefore our ultimate problem, as B A stresses so emphatically. We need strong women of power, not fembots in drag.
David , Cornel West is THE man . Has always inspired me . always .