18 November 2007

Mass Appeal

This is a special appeal, but not, like Counterpunch and Antiwar.com, for US$70,000. No: Our drive is to become bigger than the straight universities, and we are asking for your help.

The CU’s mailing currently goes to more than 1250 addresses. We do not distinguish between students and teachers. If we take the mailing list alone as a measure of our size, then we will need to grow by five or ten times before we start challenging the biggest conventional universities for size (and a lot more than that to catch up with UNISA, which claims 200,000 students).

So here is the appeal: Please, for the sake of the CU, download and forward the two-page “
Plug-in City” flyer to between five and ten other people, today! It contains all the live links, and it is the only version where all the nice “plug-in” graphics can be seen as intended. It is ready for printing. See the link below.

Plug-in City not only advertises and makes accessible the Communist University’s main list. It also showcases a full family of distribution lists and dialogue forums. There are thirty of them at present, and the number will grow in the future.

The
Communist University list is central to this appeal, of course. It needs to number ten to fifteen thousand strong at this stage. In addition we would continue to stress the centrality of dialogue in the pedagogy of the oppressed, and so to recommend the YCLSA Discussion Forum as the CU’s and the YCL’s main e-mail dialogue. We also recommend Umsebenzi Online as by far the most crucial e-mail publication in South Africa today. We want to push the growth of these three lists ahead of all the others.

Please assist us, comrades. The availability of “promo boxes”, where e-mail addresses can be entered, and a button clicked to subscribe, makes our goal much easier and very possible. You can enter your friends’ addresses in these boxes - if you have reason to believe that they would want a particular service. Google sends a message in each case, asking for confirmation. Even so, it is not a good idea to subscribe people completely “cold”, or indiscriminately.

Please bear with us if you receive “cross postings” (different mailings of the same appeal). This is an exceptional drive, limited in time, which is unlikely to be repeated in this form in the near future.

There is a lull in the media. The pundits have generally concluded that the delegates, and not them, will decide the outcome of the ANC 52nd National Conference (16-20 December 2007). So now we wait.

Karima Brown’s is the best review so far of Mark Gevisser’s book about Thabo Mbeki. It is notable for her description of RW Johnson as a “Jurassic wall clock”. This is rather unkind of Karima, since it is Johnson who provides her with her main point, namely that Gevisser has failed to see the Mugabe-ist wood for the “upwardly-mobile” trees. Aren’t we just the happy little family? See the link below.

Venezuela seems to be somewhat similar to us, to judge by George Cicciarello-Maher’s article from Counterpunch. There have been some splits and realignments among the “Chavistas”, ie. those around President Hugo Ch├ívez (pictured). This is in advance of the constitutional referendum scheduled for 2 December 2007. The Chavistas are proposing to remove the liberal “division of powers” doctrine (which the South African Constitution is also afflicted with) and to politicise the armed forces as an unequivocal anti-Imperialist servant of the Bolivarian revolution. In the process, some of the more liberal Chavistas have become frightened, while stalwarts have quarreled, only to come back together again. That seems to be the story so far. Plus there is the small matter of presidential term limits. See the link below.

Click on these links:

Plug-in City flyer, MS-Word file download

Plug-in City Main page, with clickable index to four different kinds of groups

Thabo Mbeki - A difficult man to love, Karima Brown, B Day Weekender (2137 words)

Chavez Ally Jumps the Divider, Cicciarello-Maher, Counterpunch (2771 words)

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