Why did you join the Young Communist League? Why do the YCL and the Communist Party exist? Why dedicate some of the best years of my life to this fight?
These are questions most comrades will take for granted. Many won’t have seriously considered or reflected on them since they first joined.
But as Communists, we must question everything; we must constantly reflect and review in a scientific manner. Without properly understanding our purpose and our role in history, it is impossible to critically evaluate our progress, our successes, and our failures –– and, most importantly, how we can learn from them.
The YCL exists because we understand that, based on the application of the science of Marxism Leninism, i) the transition to Socialism is essential and urgent for humanity, ii) a vanguard Communist Party is necessary for that to occur, and iii) that that Party requires a youth wing.
The youth do not form a separate class in Marxist terms, but in every progressive and revolutionary struggle in Britain and across the world, we have seen that young workers and students play a decisive and energetic role.
The YCL is a revolutionary youth organisation that operates on the basis of the creative application of Marxism-Leninism. We are democrats, internationalists, socialists, revolutionaries, and part of a mass movement, both here in Britain and globally.
It has been said that the only people who think they know everything are intellectuals and young people. But this isn’t the case for Young Communists. We take confidence in the science of Marxism-Leninism, but with a humble appreciation of how much we have yet to learn and understand.
As Comrade Lenin famously said, the task of the Young Communist Leagues, both in Britain and abroad, is simple: “the task of the youth leagues are simple: learn. The youth in general who want to advance to Communism should learn Communism”. One of the primary duties of all comrades is to continuously develop and refine our understanding of the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism and the interrelationship between the two. This is a lifelong task and one that must always be grounded in practical revolutionary work.
The YCL and the Communist Party are not narrowly sectarian organisations. We work selflessly to strengthen the labour movement and the broader movement for progressive change in Britain, both organisationally and politically.
As part of our strategy and growth, we must win other young people over to Communism and win support for the Communist Party and its programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism.
In performing these tasks, we are working to train ourselves and each other as the next generation of Communist Party cadres, strengthening and building both the YCL and the Party and the struggle for socialism in Britain in the process.
Just as the youth are not a class apart from working people, the YCL cannot be a force apart from the youth.
Young Communists should take immense pride in our organisation and their own individual and collective contributions –– but this should never be supplanted by arrogance or exclusivity from the youth and working people in general. If we are to build the YCL and the Party, our aim must be to become the visible and active face of Communism in our communities, workplaces, and campuses. We have to be known to Britain’s youth and working people at the local level, demonstrating that we are with them, each and every day, on a practical and a political basis.
Communists cannot afford the luxury of sectarianism, adventurism, or any other forms of political immaturity that stand to isolate or alienate us from our class and the youth. Young Communists don’t join for the sake of individualist identity. Membership should be proved in deeds, not in words and proclamations.
The YCL doesn’t aspire to be a small clique but an organisation of the masses capable of leading by example in the thousands of local struggles taking place across Britain every day, as well as the national and international ones. We aim to represent, celebrate, and champion the full spectrum of Britain’s young workers and students, united by a common cause and a determination to conquer the future.
A YCL and Communist Party without an organic link to and base in the working class and youth are Communist in name only.
While the struggle for Socialism is there to be won, there will be a historically essential need for and role for the Communist Party and its youth wing.
The YCL is the future of the Party –– and the Party is the future of the YCL.
Any young person who upholds our values and ideals, is willing to struggle and learn, believes that socialism is urgent and necessary for humanity, and wishes to call themselves a Communist and others comrades, should join our ranks.
We can only exist because of the selfless dedication of a growing number of young workers and students across the UK who are willing to answer this call.
In our time, the struggle for Socialism could not be more crucial for the youth and working people –– and for all of humanity and the planet.
Working-class living standards continue to be attacked and undermined in developed capitalist countries, all in the name of private profit. Hard-won democratic rights and the progressive gains of previous decades are under sustained right-wing assault.
In the developing world, billions continue to live in abject poverty, without secure access to food or the most basic of services.
The imperialist powers grow increasingly reckless in their drive to maintain dominance. War and conflict rage; repressive regimes are shamelessly backed, killing hundreds of thousands and displacing millions. Humanity stands constantly on the brink of nuclear annihilation.
While our planet burns and approaches disaster, it becomes incapable of supporting life. The human story might end, almost as soon as it started, on a poisoned earth.
Through all this, the concentration of wealth increases, and the billionaires and monopolies get richer and richer.
These events are not separate, passive, or inevitable. In Britain and across the world, the culprit is clear –– capitalism.
But this fate for humanity is not inescapable. Working people are the agents of change. We control our own future and the future of humanity as a whole. To struggle is to live, and there is always hope to be found in the struggle.
History has shown us that a strong Communist Party and Young Communist League are an essential force for achieving working class state power and putting Britain on the socialist road.
The task of building such a mass, disciplined, and militant YCL falls to our generation at this time and in these difficult circumstances. But it is a task we will not shrink from.
If you are yet to join us in this struggle, we say now is the time. If you already have, reflect on your political work, your contribution, your successes and your failures and how you can rededicate yourself and better contribute in the months and years ahead.
We have a world to win –– we have a world to save and a better future to build.
Nothing decent has ever been easy to acquire. A dignified life is something we have to fight for. But together, we have the power to take it.
The choice for the youth and humanity now is not just Socialism or barbarism, but Socialism or extinction!
Forward together for peace, democracy and Socialism in our lifetime!
Young Communist League