YCL General Secretary’s 2023 New Year’s Address

The Young Communist League of Britain's General Secretary, Johnnie Hunter, has released the following New Year's address to mark the beginning of 2023:
The Young Communist League of Britain's General Secretary, Johnnie Hunter, has released the following New Year's address to mark the beginning of 2023:
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The Young Communist League sends solidarity and greetings to the working people and youth of the world in 2023. The year ahead will be a fundamental one for humanity and the struggle for Socialism.

We wish you a combative and a militant 2023, a year full of struggles and victories for working people and the youth.

An inhumane system of exploitation

Capitalism has proven to our generation, clearly and without room for doubt, that it is a decaying and repugnant system based on the ruthless exploitation of the immense majority of working people by a tiny minority. It is bankrupt, economically, socially, politically and morally.

Not only does capitalism force billions to live in poverty and hold back human progress on every front, in our time it threatens the very future of life on our planet. It is a system that has proven itself unable and unwilling to solve the climate catastrophe which the system itself created.

War spreads with increasing ferocity across the planet. The major imperialist powers, the United States, Britain and the European Union grow increasingly reckless in their drive to war and to maintain global dominance. The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine today, which involves nuclear armed states, poses an existential risk to humanity.

Here in Britain, the ruling class and their Tory Party are on the offensive. Working people face increasing poverty and indebtedness in the face of the so-called ‘cost of living crisis’ which is in reality a cost of profits crisis. Key public services and our NHS continue to be cut to the bone and privatised.

All the while the major monopolies inflate prices to achieve super profits and, with the support of the government, are fighting to hold down wages on every front. The full power of the bourgeois state and monopoly media is being directed against the labour movement. More anti-democratic attacks on our civil liberties and our right to strike are in motion.

A world to save in 2023

Despite the negative correlation of forces that working people and our Communist movement face both in Britain and around the world there are many more reasons to be hopeful than to lament. And as Communists, we have no time for despair.

The current rising wave of industrial militancy and strike action across Britain has drawn in hundreds of thousands of workers across different sectors and electrified millions of others and working people generally. These workers are leading the resistance to the current ruling class offensive and this Tory government. The number and size of these disputes, the resolve demonstrated by workers and the scale of public support is clearly a cause of great concern for Britain’s ruling class, demonstrated by how fiercely they are fighting back through their state and media.

The industrial battles taking place now must be lauded, supported and broadened – the fight against cuts to wages offers the labour movement the chance to show its relevance to and win a new generation of young workers and raise class consciousness across Britain. Any Tory attempts to pass further anti-union laws must be resisted at all costs and the fight for the repeal of all anti-union laws must be intensified.

Internationally, the Socialist camp, including China, Vietnam and Cuba, continue to take massive strides in human development and in developing Socialist societies. It is the Socialist camp that is the leading force in the world today fighting to save the planet and against war, the only force for an international order based on peace and cooperation, not war and exploitation.

Our Communist movement, a world historic movement unique in its scale, role and importance, is on the march as we begin 2023, in every country and on every continent on the planet. Our proletarian internationalism is our unique strength and a cornerstone of our movement. In all our battles and in all our struggles we are never alone.

For the YCL and the Communist Party 2022 has been a year of growth and lessons and successes. More and more young workers and students continue to join our ranks in increasing numbers. New branches and student societies are being established the length and breadth of Britain. Our comrades show an increasing determination to throw themselves into and play a leading role in the thousands of struggles taking place each and every day in our communities, campuses and workplaces.

We go forward with confidence in the struggle and confidence in our class. The next generation of Communist Party cadres are in good hands.

Forward together on all fronts!

2023 must be a year in which we build on these successes more intensively, with clarity and selfless dedication. 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.

But comrades, the reality is we must be a much larger and better organised force if we are to play the decisive role history asks of us. Building the YCL and the Party on every front, as part of the broad movement, must be at the forefront for each and every branch and each and every comrade.

In 2023 we raise the red banner of Communism to Britain’s young workers and say: another world is possible, a world free from the exploitation of human by human – Socialism.

A new year is often a time for reflection on the year past and resolutions for the year ahead. We can reflect on the famous words of Ostrovsky:

“Man’s dearest possession is life, and it is given to him to live but once. He must live so as to feel no torturing regrets for years without purpose, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; so live that, dying, he can say: all my life, all my strength were given to the finest cause in all the world – the fight for the Liberation of Mankind.”

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 comrade, should join our ranks. It is the privilege of a lifetime.

For those comrades already with us across Britain, now is the time to rededicate yourself to the struggle for Socialism and galvanise yourself for the year ahead.

In 2023, we say forward together on all fronts, comrades! We have a world to save and a world to win.

Long live the youth and the international working class!
For peace, democracy and Socialism in our lifetimes!
Communism is the youth of the world!

Forever, yours in comradeship,

Johnnie Hunter
General Secretary

Young Communist League
1 January 2023

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