30 November 2006

To a potential worker

(copy of a letter)

Dear Joe,

It would be nice if you would visit us because we want people to know about our situation and our need for people to work with us.

We are a developing and hopefully expanding organisation opposed by the bitterest social hostility; we say we are aiming at being an independent university with several research departments and a publishing company supported by a business empire. I think you need to know this so as not to misinterpret our present embryonic state, which can still do little more than some book publishing and investment. This results from the universal desire that we should be squeezed to death.

Our expansion depends very much on getting to know more people who might come and work with us, and we would like to have people coming as temporary or part-time workers to get to know the situation and spread the word about it among their acquaintances. People need to be unselective about the work they do; it is no use to us if people insist only on doing ‘creative’ or ‘interesting’ things. We need people to be willing to do whatever happens to be useful at the time, especially when they are starting with no knowledge of our office systems.

It is best if people come as voluntary workers, supporting themselves in the first instance, so they can get to know the work. It is only by people coming on a short-term basis that they can get to know about our position realistically, and even if this does not lead to their ever wishing to come permanently, at least they would be in a position to tell other people about our shortage of manpower.

When we say people should be prepared to support themselves in the first instance, this refers to their legal position. We would not want them to be uncomfortable before we could work out if any permanent arrangement was possible, and so long as they were doing a bit of work, would support them ourselves as friends.

We are situated in Cuddesdon, a pleasant village outside Oxford.

Please would you let us know your postal address, as we would like to send you some advertising pens and book leaflets for you to distribute.