The Case for a Revolutionary Newspaper

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

Socialists sometimes get flak, even on the left, for selling a newspaper—as if it’s a strange activity. But it remains a crucial way to connect the different strands of the struggle together, to relate socialist and Marxist politics to the key questions of the day, and to draw in a wider audience of potential socialists among fellow workers, students, and activists. Lenin once called the revolutionary newspaper “not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organizer.” As a propagandist, the paper is able, unlike bourgeois papers, to link seemingly separate questions and separate struggles and present a total picture of the nature of capitalist society. As an agitator, it can help to move people into action around particular struggles and movements. As an organizer, Lenin likened it to “the scaffolding round a building under construction, which…facilitates communication between the builders, enabling them to distribute the work and to view the common results achieved by their organized labor.” This session will examine the role of the socialist newspaper.

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