21 February 2010

SADTU Eight Political Schools

Foundation for eight political schools for Trade Unionists

SADTU and the SACP are preparing a series of eight political schools.

A provisional study programme for these schools is given below. There is no guarantee that the eight political schools will follow this scheme closely, or at all, but a provisional plan is better than no plan.

Texts have been selected so as to assist participants to do some systematic preparatory reading. Links are given to downloadable files, and to web pages.

The whole course is set up to allow participation, in various ways, of comrades who are unable to attend the residential schools, in addition to those who will be lucky enough to attend in person.

The prepared course is accessible to all through the medium of e-mail, through the Internet, and through affordable hard-copy printed material.


Those items marked on the programme with asterisks (*) are available, together with many other texts, in booklet form from outlets of Jetline Print on Demand, in many parts of South Africa. Use the following links to learn and use the Jetline system:


There is a dedicated blog for these schools at http://sadtu-eight.blogspot.com/.

E-mail Forum

There is also a dedicatee Google Group at http://groups.google.com/group/sadtu-eight which is set up to work as a dialogue forum. You can request an invitation to join. The SADTU Eight Blog and the SADTU Eight E-mail Forum are linked together, but are separate from the SADTU Political Education Forum.

Foundation for eight political schools for Trade Unionists

Linked where possible to MS-Word or PDF downloads, or otherwise to web pages.

Some Potential Discussions
Priority Reading
Supplementary Reading
1. Education

·   Orientation
·   Overview of the 8 political schools
·   Extension of the 8 political schools to non-attenders
·   Communication and electronic dialogue: Blog, e-mail
·   Freire and Critical Pedagogy
·   Education in School, University and Society
·   SADTU policy
·   Government policy
·   This programme
·   Visionary SADTU document
2. Political Economy

·   Political Economy is not “Economics”: Why?
·   Political Economy as class analysis, with examples
·   Marx’s Critique of Political Economy: “Capital”
·   Surplus Value
·   “Economism” and the need for a working-class Party
·   Amilcar Cabral, Unity & Struggle (UNISA, book)
3. Gender & Class Struggle

·   The common origin of the class and gender struggles
·   The bourgeois family and its challenges
·   No woman, No revolution
·   Gender struggle as a component of the NDR
·   A dedicated, mass, democratic women’s movement
·   The future of women and the proletarian family
4. Trade Unions and Class Struggle

·   What is a “Revolutionary Trade Union”?
·   Revolutionary proletarian Party: Needed, or not?
·   Theory of Vanguard, Mass, and NDR
·   Theory of ruling decisions
·   Current ruling decisions: SADTU
·   Current ruling decisions: COSATU
·   Expansion of union membership in SA
·   One sector, one union; one country, one federation
·   SADTU vision and strategic plan
5. Internationalism, Anti-Imperialism, War, Peace

·   A struggle of which we are still a part
·   Was Nkrumah right? Must Africa unite, or submit?
·   Are we pacifists now?
·   Current struggles: Haiti, Somalia, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Colombia, Venezuela
·   COSATU commitments: Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cuba, Western Sahara, Palestine
·   SA’s mission: to organise and mobilise Africa against Imperialism – or, to be Imperialism’s bridgehead?

·   Amilcar Cabral, Unity & Struggle (UNISA, book)
·   SADTU International Relations Policy
·   COSATU International Relations Policy
·   SADTU International Relations Resolutions
·   COSATU International Relations Resolutions
6. National Democratic Revolution

·   NDRs, 19th century and earlier: Marx and Engels
·   20th Century NDR theory: Comintern; Lenin
·   Black Republic Theses and Origin of the Alliance
·   From Congress of the People to Strategy and Tactics
·   Current NDR Theory: Slovo
·   Constitutionalism vs. Power to the People
·   Unionisation, Sectoral mass democratic organisation (e.g. women, old people); Organs of People’s Power; transition to socialism.
7. Development is Class Struggle

·   Development is Class Struggle
·   Petty-bourgeois, Capitalist, and Proletarian Development
·   The RDP was reformist, anyway
·   Proletarian mission: full employment, no poverty.
·   Can there be capitalism with full employment?
·   Can there be full employment under capitalism?
·   How do we crate full employment, practically?

·   SACP Resolutions from the SNC
8. Philosophy and Class Struggle

·   Philosophy and Religion; Liberation Theology
·   I am a communist because I believe in freedom
·   Theory: a necessity
·   Post-State systems

·   Amilcar Cabral, Unity & Struggle (UNISA, book)

This foundational set for eight political schools for Trade Unionists is adapted from the eight Generic Courses prepared by the Communist University for the use of self-organising study circles without a lecturer.