First Published: The Call, Vol. 4, No. 6, March 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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he first issue of the new weekly Call\/Clarin will be dated May 1, 1976. It will be off the press in time for distribution on the First of May, International Workers’ Day.
Both from the symbolic and the practical points of view, May Day is the most appropriate birthday for the first U.S. Marxist-Leninist newspaper in two decades to begin weekly publication. The change from the present monthly publication to the weekly will be a big step forward in the struggle to build a new communist party and to lead the working class and all oppressed people in the U.S. to emancipation.
The work of publishing the monthly Call\/Clarin for the last three years has laid a solid foundation for the upcoming weekly. The number of readers, contributors and Call sustainers is rapidly increasing. Call Committees have been expanding, while a recent development is the formation of Comites Clarin (Spanish language Call Committees). We have far more usable articles and letters than we can print each month. There has been solid progress in our financial drive, reflecting the seriousness of Call sustainers’ commitment to the newspaper. We approach May First with full confidence in the support of the masses and with enthusiasm for the challenges ahead.
Making the shift from the monthly to the weekly will, obviously, bring a whole new tempo into the work of the paper and of all who are connected with it in any way. But the weekly will not be merely a monthly that’s published four times more often. It will also be, to a great extent, a different kind of publication.
This difference is what Lenin was pointing to when he said that, to build a new communist party, what was needed was a “newspaper worthy of the name,” meaning one that “is issued regularly, not once a month like a magazine, but four times a month.”
Everyone who has followed The Call/El Clarin for some time knows that a monthly can’t stay on top of the news as it happens. Headlines and stories all too often must deal with “hot” struggles that have grown “cold” by the time the paper hits the factories and communities. Too often a public issue is more or less decided and closed before we have had a chance even to speak, at least with the weight of our newspaper. The strength of the monthly has been in raising the theoretical level and clarifying the general issues by looking back on events and summing them up.
The weekly newspaper will enable us – and encourage us – to play a much more active role in intervening in ongoing struggles. Unlike a monthly, the weekly paper is able to stride into the thick of a conflict as it develops, to strike blows while the iron is hot, and to decide the outcome of a struggle by giving correct leadership. This is as true of events on the international scene as of the day-to-day struggles in the shops, communities and campuses.
With a weekly, the comrades involved in a strike, for example, will be able to sum up events weekly and speak to the most pressing questions as they arise, rather than sum them up after. What the participants in a strike write this week will be in the other workers’ hands next week, and will have a direct influence on how the struggle turns out. The same is true of other issues and struggles besides strikes. In this way the weekly becomes a more integral part of the struggle than a monthly, and a more powerful collective organizer.
The weekly will allow a much broader and deeper participation in the newspaper by the masses of the people than was possible with the monthly. The weekly’s greater punch as a collective organizer and agitator will make it a more powerful tool for building factory networks, caucuses, community groups and other mass organizations of struggle.
The weekly will have more emphasis on agitation and on comprehensive, all-sided exposure of the capitalist system. It will aim to become an even more popular paper, reaching out to the broadest possible mass audience. At the same time the weekly will play a more active role in the struggle to win the advanced and most class conscious workers to socialism and to the party. It will give guidance more effectively in the theoretical struggle, and serve as even more useful material for group study of Marxism-Leninism Mao Tsetung Thought.
The weekly, in short, will be a more powerful instrument in building the new communist party, whose formation is the principal and immediate task of Marxist-Leninists in the present period.
Call Committees in most cities of the country began weeks ago to get concretely prepared for the new tasks. Several city committees, by taking a scientific look at past Call distribution schedules and waging a struggle against complacency, are now selling nearly as many Calls in the first week of the month as they used to sell during the whole month. Others have discovered and eliminated looseness in organization or unnecessary delays in distributing the paper from a central place to smaller distributors and to the masses. As the weekly approaches, there is taking shape all across the country the kind of fast, well-oiled revolutionary distribution machine that is the pride of the proletariat.
The campaign to build the weekly Call\/Clarin is in essence a political struggle. The weaknesses and obstacles that stand in the way such as primitiveness and economism, as well as sectarianism, all have a definite class content. They serve the bourgeoisie. To build the weekly in any of its parts, no matter how small, is to participate in the class struggle on the side of the proletariat, and to deliver a blow against imperialism and revisionism.
Next month’s issue (April) will be the last of the monthlies. A format that was necessary in its time, and that has now become clearly inadequate to our capabilities and obligations in the struggle, will be discarded in favor of a more appropriate tool. A most exciting and challenging course lies before us. It’s time to redouble our efforts in the factories and communities, in practical work and in the study of theory–in every area–to greet the First of May by launching the revolutionary weekly Call\/Clarin.
“Read, Sell and Write for The Weekly Call” says a new poster now ready for posting wherever potential readers may be found. We call on all workers and nationalities, all anti-imperialists and other progressives to take up these tasks. There is room for hundreds of new correspondents, distributors and sustainers. Join the campaign to build the revolutionary weekly!
ON TO MAY DAY!