27 January 2008


Our “ghost” course on Karl Marx’s Capital Volume 1 continues, with the famous “Introduction to a Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy”, written ten years before the main work was published in 1867. See the link below. Press on, comrades! This year we are all going to crack Capital Volume 1!

Meanwhile our regular
Communist University programme begins tomorrow (Tuesday) evening at 17h00 at the SACP Boardroom, 3rd Floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein. The topic for discussion is political education itself, and the text that has been distributed is Liu Shaoqi’sHow to be a good communist”.

The seventh ANC 52nd National Conference Resolution (linked below) from Polokwane is on Peace and Stability. It includes the decisions on the unification of the police force, mass mobilisation against crime, and many other very important matters.

Thirdly, a document by veteran Sheridan Johns, on the revival of the communist party after its banning in 1950 and up to today. Critical points include whether the pre-1950 CPSA was in essentially a different position to the SACP of today; and what is the meaning of “junior” and “senior” when applied to the SACP in relation to the ANC today (see the last section of the document, before the footnotes).

The relationship is not about relative size. It is not a quantitative matter. Again, if “junior” is supposed to mean that the SACP is not an independent political party, and is under direct instruction from the ANC, then this also is not, and cannot be, correct.

The positions of the pre-1950 CPSA and of the SACP today are qualitatively more similar than different. The Party is “junior” to the mass organisations only in the sense that it serves them. Apart from existing to serve the masses in this general way, the Party also provides particular material and practical services to the mass organisations. It provides them with organisation and structure. It is not the sole source of such organising power but it is the crucial one.

It is not a paradox to say that in politics, the meaning of the word “vanguard” is similar to the word “servant”. The Vanguard Party is there to serve, because it specialises in political understanding. It is a learned society of professionals, dedicated to the service of the working class. It serves, and if that makes it “junior”, then in that sense only, so be it. But in no other sense is it “junior”. Nor is the vanguard “senior” to the mass in any sense. So altogether, junior and senior does not work as a way of describing the relationship of vanguard and mass, either way. Vanguard and mass organisations are different in kind, not degree.

In honour of the CPSA, we give a picture of Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein, as shown in a police mug shot taken in the evening of his arrest during the Rivonia raid.

The YCL National Committee Lekgotla made decisions on a number of matters. Click the link below.

Lastly, in a shocking development, we carry notices from three movement organisations on the death of Don Pasquallie, aged 41, the Deputy General Secretary of SADTU. Click to open all three in one document.

Click on these links:

Introduction to Critique of Political Economy, Karl Marx, 1857 (11184 words)

ANC 52nd National Conference 2007, Peace and Stability (1752 words)

Recreation of Communist Party in SA in 1950s, Johns, ASQ (8872 words)

YCL National Committee Lekgotla, 24-26 January 2008 (1189 words)

Passing of SADTU DGS Don Pasquallie, YCL, SADTU, COSATU (600 words)

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