6 July 2008


The Communist University will meet on Monday evening, 7 July 2008, at 17h00, in the SACP boardroom, 3rd floor, COSATU House, 1 Leyds Street, Braamfontein.

(Just for the record, the seventh of July is “Saba-Saba Day” in Tanzania (seventh day of seventh month), which is the peasants’ holiday in that country, just as 1 May is the workers’ day.)

Our discussion will be based on Chapter 11 of Karl Marx’s “Capital”, Volume 1 (see the link below). This is a short chapter of only four pages, and it is the last part of Capital that we had planned to discuss in the CU “contact session” series.

Comrades, the Communist University is going to “pause” a lot of its operations at this time. We will continue to meet on Mondays for a while, and perhaps we can provide some material for discussion, distributed manually, with announcements henceforth by word of mouth.

The CU blog is paused, and the CU e-mails are consequently also paused. (The CU blog and the CU e-mails are made in one and the same process.) Comrades, the CU has run for five years. It is time to reflect.

We have shown that there is no limit on political education, when people are willing to educate each other in the Freirean way. There is no lower limit that needs to be put in front of any comrade, to say he or she is not ready to take part. There is no upper limit to say that any matter is too difficult.

We have shown that it is not the text but the dialogue that is the essence of political education.

We have been ahead of our time in the sense that the controllers of resources, as a rule, do not yet accept the Freirean way of education. Hence the Communist University has been left to its own devices, and perhaps that has actually helped us to show the way.

The lack of resources (and the other setbacks like the suspensions) have meant that we have laid down a track record of working that proves that revolutionary education can proceed without any support from above. Of course we are grateful for such support as we have had from time to time. Mostly, we had to do without.

The lesson seems to be that if comrades meet together for political discussion on a regular basis, with a chairperson, at a stable venue, and share texts that are not to be “learnt” but only meant to serve as a common basis (or “codification”) for discussion, then anything is possible. They can reach any imaginable heights of common understanding and knowledge.

If the knowledge of such comrades will never be recognised, it is because it is not commodified. We pass no examinations and give out no certificates. Our common study, and nothing else, serves to give us confidence in our understanding. This is socialised knowledge, which is the kind that we want in any case.

E-mail and the Internet are not of the essence but are good and useful means of communication and sharing of texts. They are cheaper and faster than any previous means of communication that we have.

With “hard copy”, the A4-folded-to-A5 “pamphlet” format has proved to be the popular one. Like any other human design, the Communist University could not exist until it was measured out in detail. These have been some of the details.

The CU web sites remain. They are
http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/, http://cu.domza.net/, http://groups.google.com/group/Communist-University/, and http://cu.domza.net/.

Don’t forget the Marxists Internet Archive at
http://www.marxists.org/index.htm. It was this great resource, more than any other one (except for Paulo Freire’s book “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”) that helped and inspired the Communist University of Johannesburg.

Click on this link:

Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 11, The Rate and Mass of Surplus Value, Karl Marx, 1867 (4 pages)


Post a Comment

Post a Comment