From the February 1980 issue of the Socialist Standard
The greatest weapon available to the working class in its fight against the system which oppresses us is knowledge. The wealthy and powerful capitalist class can destroy us with bombs, lock us up and ignore our poverty, but the one thing that they will never be able to beat or ignore is a politically conscious working class. To reach consciousness of our class position and what we can do about it requires knowledge. That is why every new member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain must show that he or she understands and wants the revolutionary objective to which our party is committed. It is not an objective based upon emotional appeal, but upon a rational comprehension of the nature of society. The chief task of the SPGB is to develop and spread knowledge about the world around us.
It is for this reason that Islington branch has decided to run an education programme which will cover some of the basic areas of socialist knowledge. The programme is primarily intended for members and sympathisers in the Islington-Haringey-Camden area, but we shall, of course, welcome interested people from any part of London. The classes will be in history, anthropology and economics and will provide introductory information, while at the same time providing an opportunity for critical discussion.
They will be held every Sunday evening at 8pm SHARP at the Latin American Bookshop, 29 Islington Park Street, which is adjacent to the Hope and Anchor pub in Upper Street and 2 minutes walk from Highbury and Islington tube station. We list below details of the education programme:
ECONOMICS Lecturer: E. Hardy. Dates: Feb. 3, Feb. 24. Mar. 16, Apr. 6, Apr. 27, May 18, June 8. (Subjects for each class to be announced at the first class).
HISTORY Lecturer: S. Coleman. Dates and subjects: Feb. 17. THE MARXIST PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY, Mar. 9. THE EMERGENCE OF CAPITALISM, Mar. 30. THE INDUSTRIAL AND AGRARIAN REVOLUTIONS, Apr. 20. THE ASCENDANCY OF THE CAPITALIST CLASS, 1789-1871, May 11. THE POLITICAL ORGANISATION OF THE WORKING CLASS, 1848-1904, June 1. THE HISTORICAL PLACE OF THE SPGB, June 22. IS THE SOCIALIST REVOLUTION INEVITABLE?
ANTHROPOLOGY An Introduction to the Study of Pre-History. Lecturer: H. Walters. Dates and subjects: Feb. 10. General background and relevance of related sciences. The birth of the Earth, the organic period and the beginning of organic matter. Mar. 2. The succession of life through geological time. History of the primates and the emergence of the hominid line. Mar. 23. The evolution of mankind and the emergence of homo sapiens. Apr. 13. Darwin, Wallace and the theory of natural selection and the misrepresentations thereof (Social Darwinism). May 4. From hunter to farmer and the neolithic revolution. May 25. The natural division of labour and the subordination of women. Mankind the toolmaker. June 15. An appraisal: Is Human Nature a Barrier to Socialism?
All classes are free and will be open to any member of the public. It is intended to tape record all of the lectures; members wishing to obtain tapes should contact Cde. H. Walters. Further information is obtainable by visiting or writing to Islington branch.