(he paper reports struggles that &ould other&ise go unreported. 4ot only does this provide opportunities to build support" make arguments and dra& out lessons" it also helps the paper build readership. Comrades can go back to &orkers &ith the paper carrying a report of their struggles. (his is most po&erful if the &orkers themselves helped &rite the report. Building an audience for the paper builds the periphery of an organisation and politically prepares for future gro&th.Comrades operating in different locations" industries and campaigns sell the same paper and are forced to defend its line to regular buyers. (his encourages comrades to take up disagreements &ithin the party and thrash them out + centralising" facilitating and clarifying political arguments and unifying scattered groups.(he revolutionary paper has to ans&er the )uestion #What Is (o Be 9one:' &eek in and &eek out. Itneeds to take up arguments on key strategic )uestions. ;nlike the bourgeois media" &hich is fiated on the ne&" it should not be afraid to repeat key arguments over and over again -hopefully in different forms. It also needs to address #What Is (o Be 9one:' in a more immediate sense 6 arguing ho& to &in in different campaigns and industrial disputes.!arman*s article eplains clearly ho& the method of connecting eperience to general politics differs bet&een an #upturn' and #do&nturn'. < do&nturn paper has to use longer articles" analysis" history"theory and international eamples" as #
Workers no longer discover for themselves the power of collective action. They do not see in practice how false the ideas of the ruling class are. It is only a minority – sometimes a very small minority – of the class who continue to adhere to a revolutionary socialist vision. And they do so on the basis not of direct experience, but of general ideas that have been developed out of struggles in the distant past or in distant countries
'.!arman also &arns about the danger of a #pseudo+agitational' paper=
This gives the appearance of reflecting an upsurge of real struggle. It is written in the language workers use in their everyday lives and it is full of accounts of exciting battles and exposures of the horror of the system! Instead of providing the activists with arguments for coming to terms with this situation, the paper with its phoney picture of enthusiasm and success simply leaves its readers cold!
The Paper as an Organiser
It is a commonplace for comrades to say that the paper is an organiser. (his is based on ideas from %enin*s 1/>? pamphlet #What Is (o Be 9one:'
. (he process of collecting reports for the paper" producing and distributing it" selling it and collecting money for it &ould create a net&ork across the &hole country linking members and readers in a t&o+&ay political and organisational relationship &ith the political centre.(&enty years ago" paper distribution and contact visiting &ere ma8or parts of the life of every SW branch. Branches &hich met on a (hursday night &ould also meet up on a Wednesday to arrange delivery of papers to members and contacts at their homes or &orkplaces. < good branch paper organiser &ould kno& not only ho& many papers each comrade sold" but &ho to. Branches &ould maintain a #contact register' listing paper buyers and other key contacts in the area.(he dissolution of the branches had a terrible impact on paper distribution. Instead of an ongoing political relationships" &e relied more on &ho &e bumped into at particular meetings or protests. 7any members didn*t receive or pay for the paper. (o counteract unreliable distribution" members and readers &ere encouraged to get their papers by post" formalising the reduction of the paper*s organisational role. In the days of paper distribution" readers &ould also receive small bundles of