10 June 2010

Philosophy and Religion Series

Philosophy and Religion Series

Short General Introduction

This is the third Communist University series being run this year. The first was “Basics”, and the second was “No Woman, No Revolution”, completed last week. There will be no session next week (please devote your energies to celebrating June 16). The first instalment of this series will be posted next week. In the mean time, if you wish, you may access the series here.

The fourth and last CU series for 2010 will be “Anti-Imperialism, War and Peace, which is scheduled to begin in September and finish in December.

New Possibilities

The Communist University is now running two more courses, in parallel with this one.

On CU Africa (blog here; e-mail forum home page here) a series has just begun which will cover the entire set of Karl Marx’s Capital, Volumes 1, 2 and 3.

On SADTU Political Education Forum (blog here; e-mail forum home page here), a short but powerful series on Lenin’s “The State and Revolution” has just started. This will be followed in July with a course called “Development, Rural and Urban”.

The CU now has nine “generic courses’ and may have one or two more by the end of the year. All of them are prepared for sending out in weekly parts. The fact that we can now publish on three different channels means that the full cycle of these generic courses can be published in this way in approximately one year, instead of three.

You are welcome to avail yourself of any or all of them.


The series now beginning on Communist University attempts to show how it is finally on the battlefield of Philosophy that the struggle for freedom is won or lost. It shows that this battlefield is a Freirean battlefield. It is the crucial battle of the free-willing human Subject, otherwise known as “The Subject of History”.

Our course attempts to show that some of the automatic philosophical touchstones (“shibboleths”) of the communist movement have been terribly mistaken. It shows that the opposition of idealism to materialism, where the latter is supposed to eliminate the former, is not dialectical.

What is dialectical is the counterposition of the human with the material world. These two can never be collapsed into one, so long as human life continues. One does not eliminate the other; hence this is a true dialectic – a unity and struggle of opposites.

It is clear in retrospect that at the time of the Great October Revolution in 1917 in Russia there was a philosophical deficit among the revolutionaries, and that this philosophical deficit got worse as time went on, and that this weakness eventually undermined the revolution and cause it to topple.

We will succeed or fail in proportion to our grasp of philosophy.

Philosophy is a beautiful study, and nothing to fear.


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