CALUSA (Cala University Students Association) was formed in 1983 by young activists who had been imprisoned in 1976 and release towards the end of 1981 for establishing study groups whose methodology was collective reading and discussion of ‘the great texts’. A key text that was read and discussed was the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Frederick Engles. These texts were read, analysed and explained very carefully.
An example is the opening statement of the Communist Manifesto: “A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism”. Typical questions that would be raised in a bid to understand this statement included: and thus began the study circle in 1969 in the small town of Cala, Eastern Cape. What does ‘spectre’ mean? And haunting? What are the implications of ‘haunting’? Why is the spectre of communism haunting Europe? What is the context of this? Why is the text using figurative speech? Word by word the statement would be explored and the meaning extracted and constructed.