Challenge has been the journal of the YCL since 1935. We survived the Second World War, the Cold War, the long nineties, and have now entered the 21st Century with this new digital edition launched at the beginning of 2020.
Challenge aims to be the voice of Britain’s young communists reporting on the latest domestic and international news from a Marxist-Leninist and anti-imperialist perspective.
We also work to represent the perspectives of Marxist-Leninists around the world, alongside that of workers and students, featuring in-depth contributions on working class culture and history, reviews, and reports on the different campaigns and struggles.
Additionally, Challenge features the YCL’s Back2Basics series on Marxist concepts made easy, an excellent resource for those interested in learning more about Communist politics for the first time, or refreshing what they know.
The YCL journal was originally called the Young Worker and later the Young Communist, which was selling 6,500 copies by the mid-1920s, before becoming Challenge in March 1935.
It was originally sold outside of factories, schools and on Saturdays in town centres alongside the Daily Worker. By 1971, Challenge was selling 9,000 copies per issue. 17,000 copies of a special summer edition were also produced that same year.
Since its foundation, Challenge has stood in solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the world. During the Spanish Civil War the publication demanded that the British government send food and arms to the elected Spanish government fighting a fascist rebellion. During apartheid in South Africa Challenge consistently called for an end to the racist regime.
Challenge protested against hostility towards socialist countries such as the Soviet Union and Cuba and has supported countless national liberation struggles such as the ones in Vietnam and the Congo. In Britain, Challenge has represented the working class by demanding better housing, higher wages, and an end to capitalist exploitation throughout the entirety of its lifetime.
From its first editions, Challenge has been a genuine voice for working class youth. In addition, the publication has made important cultural contributions, most notably interviewing The Beatles in 1963.
Today, Challenge continues to function as a voice for the working class youth in Britain – and encourages all those determined to build a better future to join the YCL. Challenge upholds the same principles that it has done so historically – Marxism-Leninism and anti-imperialism.
We stand against the conservative-liberal mainstream which, if it even acknowledges the existence of class, refuses to recognise the existence of classes with diametrically opposed interests and therefore the necessity of struggle between them. Challenge is still going strong today, with this online magazine able to reach readers around the world – and we’re always on the lookout for new contributors.
Published in London, Britain by the Young Communist League