13 April 2008

Communism = Soviet Power + Electrification

Today’s is a mixed Communist University post. The first item of business is a reminder that the CU meets tomorrow, Monday, at 17h00 in the SACP boardroom, 3rd floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein. We will not be meeting on Tuesdays from now on because of the Eskom “load-shedding” that has disrupted the entire country like a coup d’etat.

The load-shedding may indeed be part of an actual counter-revolutionary coup d’etat. Privatisation of state industries is a step backwards and is invariably a plundering rip-off, but let us not forget that state industries maintained under capitalism, whether in the plain or the corporatised variety, are designed to serve capitalism. Let us also not forget the revolutionary character of the struggle for electrification. In all cases, the way to constrain the bourgeoisie is education, organisation and mass action. Hence it is appropriate that we are to discuss Dr Blade Nzimande’s Red Alert article “Revolution and Counter-revolution in South Africa”, linked below, now being sent out for the third time.

Also linked today is the second last of our short revision series within the “ghost” course on Karl Marx’s Capital, Volume 1. This comprises Chapters 4, 5 and 6. Each of them is short and easy to read, but if, taken together, they should seem too much for you, then please read Chapter 6 first, because this is the point of arrival of all these three chapters. In Chapter 6 it is shown that it is the selling and buying of commodified labour-power, and the expropriation of all of the realised human labour by the capitalist, that is the mechanism of specifically capitalist accumulation. See the second linked item.

Now to a problem of the Communist University as
Google Group. During the last three months (coinciding with the load-shedding onslaught) almost one third of the CU’s subscribers to our group have been designated by Google as “bouncing”. As such they remain members but are automatically stopped from receiving e-mails. Some of these subscribers have written in to complain that they have been deliberately cut off. This is not the case! All are welcome!

If your Communist University e-mails should cease for more than a week or two, without prior warning, please go the group site at
http://groups.google.com/group/Communist-University . There you will find, in the right-hand panel, a link called “Edit my membership”. You may have to “Sign in” first (top right hand corner). Click on “Edit my membership” and follow instructions to restore your e-mail deliveries. If this process does not work for you, please e-mail dominic.tweedie@gmail.com and describe your problem, briefly.

The Google Groups are designed to be self-managed from the member’s side, including subscribing and unsubscribing. In “Edit my membership” you also have a number of helpful choices to “customise” the service you want. Please learn how to make use of them, comrades.

If you feel that the CU is not giving you enough topical news these days, it is because more effort is going into COSATU Today and COSATU Media Monitor.

You can subscribe to these at
http://groups.google.com/group/COSATU-Daily-News . Our main and very lively debating group is the YCLSA Discussion Forum, at http://groups.google.com/group/yclsa-eom-forum . Umsebenzi Online is at http://groups.google.com/group/umsebenzi-online .

To join even more groups please go to Plug-in City, either
here, or here.

Another reason that the CU is carrying less material is that it, too, is being disrupted on its communication side by “load-sheds” and by other cuts. In the last week we have been hit by three load-sheds in two different places, plus two very long power cuts due to transformer failure. No doubt these failures were also a consequence of load-shedding, because the equipment is not designed to be yacked on and off on a regular basis. There was also a long water cut-off, plus an e-mail server failure due to corruption of software because of a load-shedding power surge. It’s time for the working class to take power, comrades, and in more ways than one.

Good news: communists (“Maoists”) have been elected to a “landslide” victory in Nepal!

Click on these links:

Revolution and Counter-revolution in South Africa, Blade Nzimande (1959 words)

Reprise 4, Capital V 1, C 4, 5 and 6, Capital and Labour Power, Marx, 1867 (12777 words)

Events Diary

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