workers' education

Pete Farruggio pfarr at
Fri Feb 23 07:08:10 MST 1996


Thanks for the reply.  I'd like to know something about the students who
attend classes at your labor college.  What is their level of education?
What is their relative position within the working class, for example, are
they mostly white collar or professional workers, or are they mostly
factory workers?  Are they mostly union officials or regular workers?

I'm interested in this area because I'd like to study the transformation of
consciousness in people who were not intellectuals (or who didn't see
themselves as intellectuals) as they become serious about reading and
literacy as tools to change the world.  In other words, people who did not
attend school or who did not think of school and formal education as
important to themselvesk, and who now have a purpose for formal learning.


Pete Farruggio

>Hi Pete,
>I'm not quite sure whether my information could help you, but I'd like to
>write something related to your post in our movement.
>Japanese left socialists have 'Roudou Daigaku'(= Labor College) where
>general learning activities about socialism and marxian economics are
>available. This college was established in 1951 or 1952 as the official
>school of Japan Socialist Party (Left-wing). After the re-uninfication
>of the socialist party in 1955, this school became independent.
>Roudou-daigaku publishes monthly 'Manabu' (for non activists) and
>'Monthly Labor Union' (for union activists). The former is currently
>printed around 150,000 monthly, I heard. The number has been decreasing.
>The school supplies two via-mail courses of learning. I myself wrote
>some parts of the text books.
>The curriculum of the via-mail course of Roudou Daigaku
>1.How to view economy
>4.Monopolistic capital
>6.State finance
><labor union>
>1.What's labor unions?
>2.Right of labor unions
>3.Wage and wage struggle
>4.Struggle for shorter working hours
>5.'Rationalization' and labor management
>6.History of labor movement
>1.Socialist ideas
>2.Japan's consititution
>3.Socialism of the world
>4.Socialism in Japan
>5.Political parties in Japan
>6.Women's liberation
>Ordinary courses are held one to three times a year in each locations.
>In each course, 10-12 lectures are held in normal cases. For this activity,
>Roudou-digaku has several own lecturers and also temporal lecturers who are
>mostly university faculties.
>In fact, these activities of Roudou-daigaku had been supported by leftist
>unions belonged to Sohyou that merged with right-wing Doumei in 1989.
>Recent development in japanese labor movement let this learning movement
>into a serious situation.
>On Wed, 21 Feb 1996 05:42:29 -0800 Pete wrote:
>>I am trying to get information about mass educational work by communist
>>parties or other mass working class organizations.  I know a little of the
>>Bolshevik work in the soviet East during the 1920's, and I know the French
>>and German Communist Parties conducted study circles and proletarian
>>schools.  I also think some thing like this was done in the US.
>>Does anyone know of any good readings about this history?  I'm particularly
>>interested to know how literacy education fit into a more general,
>>political other words, how did the atmosphere of being in a
>>radical milieu stimulate illiterate or undereducated workers to learn how
>>to read?
>>I'd also like to know how I could get details about how these classes were
>>Pete Farruggio
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