Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
Founded 1975
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois
Ideology New Synthesis
Political position Far-left
International affiliation None (formerly the RIM)

The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP, USA) or RevCom is a political party in the United States. Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the RCP, USA, has led the party since its founding in 1975. Avakian's body of work is taken by the RCP as its ideological and political foundation and framework.

The organization releases a weekly newspaper Revolution (formerly called Revolutionary Worker, 1979–2005) which is published in English and Spanish, and has been published continuously since 1979.


Bob Avakian was one of many activists who in the 1960s turned to communist ideas and began organizing in the Bay Area of California. H. Bruce Franklin, Stephen Charles Hamilton,[2] and Bob Avakian together formed the Bay Area Revolutionary Union (BARU), which was subsequently able to absorb a series of similar local collectives which had developed out of Students for a Democratic Society. The new nationwide structure allowed BARU to change its name to simply the Revolutionary Union.

The RCP claims that of the various groups coming out of SDS, it was the first to seriously attempt to develop itself both at the theoretical level, with the publication of "Red Papers 1".[3] This turn to 1970s "point of production" organizing was a broader phenomenon which was expanded throughout the Midwest and into the Appalachian coal fields during the wildcat upsurges[4][unreliable source?] through 1980[original research?].

Such rapid expansion was not without its problems, however, and in 1971 H. Bruce and Jane Franklin led a section of the RU to fuse with the Venceremos Organization, advocating immediate urban guerrilla warfare and then dissolving shortly thereafter.

Tensions over this "workerist" tendency came to a head within the RCP in 1977 around whether China remained a communist country after the death of Mao Zedong and subsequent leadership struggles in the People's Republic of China between the Gang of Four and Hua Guofeng. Bob Avakian declared that there had been a coup in China following Mao's death and the new Chinese leadership was taking China on a capitalist road. The RCP's Vice Chairman, Mickey Jarvis, along with an estimated 30–40% of the membership and most of the Revolutionary Student Brigade formally left the RCP to form the Revolutionary Workers Headquarters (RWHq).[citation needed]

Avakian's cult of personality[edit]

The RCP has said that there are two mainstays of its work: the role of the party press and building a culture of "appreciation, promotion and popularization" of Bob Avakian and his body of work, method, and approach, "along with a whole ensemble of Communist work which is necessary to the bringing forward of a revolutionary people—including building "massive political resistance to the main ways in which, at any given time, the exploitative and oppressive nature of this system is concentrated in the policies and actions of the ruling class and its institutions and agencies" and solving the problems of how to involve the masses in "meaningful revolutionary work"".[5] Others have charged that the RCP has created a cult of personality around Avakian, with dissenting voices driven from the organization. The RCP has countered that over the period of the 1980s and 1990s two parties developed within the organization, representing two fundamentally opposed roads. One, represented by the "official" line of the Party and concentrated in the new synthesis Bob Avakian was championing, and expressed in the Party's newspaper (the Revolutionary Worker, now Revolution). The other, opposed the new synthesis and revolutionary-communist line, was becoming predominant on all levels of the Party, and "objectively, [this] amounted to abandoning the outlook and aims of the communist revolution, accommodating to the system of imperialism and settling for, at most, reforms within this horrific system."[6]


  1. ^ "Our Ideology is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism". Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  2. ^ Hamilton, Steve. "On the History of the Revolutionary Union". Theoretical Review No. 13, November–December 1979. 
  3. ^ "Red Papers 1". Originally published by the Bay Area Revolutionary Union, now available online thanks to's Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line project. Spring 1969. 
  4. ^ Ely, Mike. "Ambush at Keystone: Inside the Coalminers' Gas Protest" (PDF). Kasama Project. 
  5. ^ "Observations by a Reader on the RCP's Response to Mike Ely's Nine Letters". Revolution #135,. July 13, 2008. 
  6. ^ "COMMUNISM:THE BEGINNING OF A NEW STAGE A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA". ,. September 2008. 

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Critical opinions[edit]