5 May 2015


Induction, Part 6a


The function of the Treasurer is crucial to fundraising, but it is not fundraising.

The Treasurer provides a safe place to conserve the funds that have been raised. This is a pre-requisite for successful fundraising. Without it, the funds will disappear.

Therefore it becomes a rule that all funds raised are passed to the Treasurer, and it is the duty of all concerned to be sure that a record has been created, in the form of a “voucher”.

Expenditure of the funds raised must take place by decision of the collective, and must be recorded properly as such, and in all detail.

The Levy

The Party requires all its members to pay a levy, in an amount calculated in relation to the member’s income. It is what is otherwise called, in religious organisations, a tithe.

What happens to the levy money?

The levy money goes to the centre, and it is spent by the centre. Some of the money is used to pay the salaries of full-time Party workers at the Provincial level, at the discretion of the Party centre.

No part of the levy money is likely to return to the levels below Province (District, Sub-District, Branch and Unit).

This goes to reinforce the necessity of fundraising as part of any function or activity. One good example is literature. Literature for the Party has a political meaning, first. But, literature should not be an expense for the branch. It should generate a surplus.


The circulation of literature is a revolutionary priority, one that Lenin in particular wrote about.

In some other communist parties, a position of Literature Secretary is maintained as a branch office-bearer ranking with the Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer.

In modern circumstances, where media of communications are changing, this function needs constant thought and re-thinking.

Literature – text – has to be sourced and/or written, and transmitted, and this movement of text needs to be reciprocated by a movement of resources in the opposite direction, so as to cover costs.

The Internet, with practically zero marginal cost of use (meaning the next transmission costs next to nothing), gives the impression of being altogether cost-free. But in fact, content production is fully labour-intensive. It increases only in proportion to the direct input of human labour.

The tools of the trade are not cost-free, and they need to be replaced on a 3-year cycle.

At the same time, this production can be quite localised, as well as being part of absolutely global networking.

The prizes go to those who can aggregate inputting capacity, which is labour-intensive. Co-operation is the key, and money collection is crucial to the cohesion of any collaboration of this kind.

Lenin on organisation of the Party

Lenin faced similar concerns to those that we are faced with today in South Africa in 2013. Of course, there was no Internet. But there was a strongly-expressed relation between the local and the national, and Lenin asked, during the controversies that followed the Second Congress off the RSDLP that has split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, but which resulted in the loss to Lenin of his magazine Iskra.

In the attached document, (Part B from Chapter 5 of Lenin’s 1902 work, “What Is To Be Done?” Lenin puts the matter like this:

“Unless we train strong political organisations in the localities, even an excellently organised all-Russia newspaper will be of no avail. This is incontrovertible. But the whole point is that there is no other way of training strong political organisations except through the medium of an all-Russia newspaper.”

This course is intended as an Induction into the world of the SACP. In this world, there are two poles, the local and the national. In between, there are Districts and Provinces, but the crucial parts are the Branches, and the National centre. This much is as it was in Lenin’s days.

·        The above is to introduce an original reading-text: Can A Newspaper Be A Collective Organiser?, Lenin, 1902.


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