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Issue #1687      June 3, 2015

National School a great success

One of the important differences between communist and social democrat parties, apart from ideology and aims, is the importance placed on political and ideological education of members.

Party branches are expected to hold regular education study classes as well as participate freely in discussions on political reports and the branch’s activities. They are also encouraged to read the classics and other material.

Last year the Central Committee organised two national schools which brought together comrades from different states who were able to share experiences. The sessions used an active model of learning which draws on real life questions to develop the theory.

Based on the positive feedback of participants, the CC decided to continue with the national schools this year. The first for 2015 was held on May 23-24 at the Party HQ.

On the Saturday morning, Anna Pha provided a brief overview of the genesis of capital and its accumulation right through to the monopoly stage and imperialism. Students were given practical tasks using real materials which revealed the domination financial institutions and interconnections of banking and industrial capital.

Their findings were then tested against Lenin’s characteristics of imperialism in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. Lenin had summed up perfectly almost 100 years ago what they found today.

The afternoon was spent looking at the aims of setting up superannuation funds and the implications for workers. Participants discussed the differences between banks and superannuation funds – both used for savings – the different types of funds and products and risks involved.

On Sunday, Party General Secretary Bob Briton led a group exercise about the nature of the state, exploring its role and history in class society.

In the afternoon, Bob led discussion on the reinforcing of the repressive apparatus of the state in Australia, focusing on the expanded powers of ASIO and other spy agencies to carry out surveillance of activists.

He then demonstrated some measures participants could take to safeguard their email and Internet browsing from the unwanted attentions of spy agencies.

One of the strengths of the school was the interaction of students, asking and answering questions that arose. The social interaction over lunch and morning and afternoon tea breaks was also important, with new contacts being made and ideas being further developed.

Again, the feedback was positive, with requests for more such schools.

Next article – Food under commodified agriculture

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