22 November 2009

VC message

The Communist University recently completed its planned cycle of eight “Generic Courses”. These are “off-the-peg” sets of reading and discussion materials designed for use in study circles without a lecturer, after the manner of Paulo Freire.

The CU has since then been off the air intermittently, mainly because of repeated and extended difficulties with the vital CU Telkom ADSL connection, now fixed.

The “Generic Courses” are presently being re-worked for better use of HTML, among other reasons. The eight that have been published should be sufficient for regular purposes. No new “Generic Courses” are planned to be blogged any time soon.

One possible future (ten-part) course could be on Marx’s “Capital”, Volumes 2 & 3. These works are being referred to with increasing frequency by leadership, e.g. concerning the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (“TRPF”).

The other main possible future “Generic Course” would be on Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right” and “Logic”, supplemented by Marx’s writing on the former, and Lenin’s writing on the latter, plus Lenin’s “Materialism and Empirio-Criticism”; also in ten parts.

These two projects would put us in a powerful position. We are not likely to be intellectually challenged on any higher level than this. The two new “Generic Courses” could be realised within six months or so.

That being so, what should then be the content of the CU over the next few months, i.e. while the two new courses are being prepared?

One thing that the CU used to do was to pick up and re-circulate certain news stories, press-releases and documents. We used to archive them and link several each day. There is still a need for such a service, or a similar service, also within the Freirean principle, because these texts are intended to be such as can be used as the basis for study-circle discussion, alongside the classics.

I therefore propose to use the CU blog (and the e-mail circulation that it generates) to publish a mixture of media reports and other documents. This time around they will be published one by one, directly to the blog (i.e. the blog will be the archive), and generally without comment or “gloss” in the first place. They will not be regular, but will be maintained, if possible, at the same rate as recently, which is to say at a minimum average of one per working weekday. There may be occasional “editorials”.

These blogs will be relayed, as a rule, to the YCLSA Discussion Forum and to the DEBATE Forum, and to specialist solidarity groups as appropriate, where more discussion can happen. If more people would do likewise, the work would become less arduous for all.

Stories we would expect to be prominent in the coming weeks and months are Western Sahara and Nepal; the SACP Special National Congress; the January 8th Statement of the ANC; the NHI; and the battle for union rights within the armed services, and in general for the “special bodies of armed men” to be loyal to the people’s movement, and not to the bourgeoisie in South Africa, just as in Nepal.

The picture is of Prachanda.


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