Come along and debate

Summer Offensive: Discussion, argument - and a break

Mark Fischer reminds readers that the Weekly Worker will be going on summer holiday too, and reminds us all of the urgent push needed for our fundraiser

We received a very encouraging email this week about Communist University, our annual school which begins this coming Monday, August 12. A comrade from a Trotskyist group whose members have been pretty regular attendees at CU over recent years writes that they will be coming this time too and “look forward to seeing you all again, so we can engage in some useful discussion and argument”.

And the argument is the thing, comrades. In CU, the comrades chairing are given briefing notes making it absolutely clear that we want to forefront the important disagreements that divide the revolutionary left and - it is underlined - they must prioritise those who have serious political disagreements in the debate, no matter the order in which comrades have indicated to speak. Mike Macnair’s piece in last week’s paper is worthwhile recalling in this context: “At the level at which education in Marxism has to work, which is education for adults, that means confronting them with unresolved and debated problems: learning through dialectic. By contrast, training drills into the recipients by endless repetition a single practice.” Put in more prosaic terms, there’s nothing more educative than a bloody good argument.

Communist University is the week-long event when the Weekly Worker ‘goes live’, as it were. In contrast to other organisations, we are looking to educate our comrades rather than train them in the party line. It is an event that participants - whatever their political backgrounds - generally find educative and inspiring.And it costs money. Which brings me to the Summer Offensive, our annual fund drive that ends on the last day of this year’s CU.

We have had a decent, but not inspiring week. In addition to the usual standing orders that come in to the paper, here have been some “pretty hefty” donations, as the paper’s editor put it when he reported the figures to me. Three comrades - EJ, NW, DT - put in £50 each and JM added a more than welcome £86.It was a disappointing week for website visits - only 8,841visits and the usual Thursday spike (when the paper is uploaded) did not materialise.

The holiday break is clearly having an impact, so it is pleasing that the steady pace of the Summer Offensive continues, with £2,209 coming in this week, taking our running total to £14,950. Well done to comrade MZ (near £300 for his eBay auction in aid of Hands Off the People of Iran), RG and SW for their £100 cheques - and a host of smaller, very welcome donations.

This is the last issue of the Weekly Worker for a spell - there will be two weeks without an issue, including the CU week - but we hope you will continue to send in your cheques and make use of our PayPal facility to support our annual fund drive. It ends on August 18 and - with well over £10k still to go - it really could do with your support!Mark Fischer