Nadezhda K. Krupskaya
Source: Workers’ Weekly, July 3, 1925
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: David Tate
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2009). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
The bourgeoisie of all countries understands to a nicety what a great power the experiences of childhood have over people, and for this reason it endeavours to bring the children up in the bourgeois spirit from their earliest years.
The clergy, the teachers servile to the bourgeois Government, the unprincipled penny-a-line children’s authors and the grasping cinema proprietors all work feverishly in this direction.
During recent years the bourgeoisie has resorted to the Boy Scouts system for organising the children in detachments faithful to the old order, Camping, bivouacs, amusing games, sports—all these interests so engross the children that they do not know that in these organisations they are being quietly caught in the net of bourgeois ideas, and that they are being trained as the servile slaves of capitalism. The Fascist children’s organisation in Italy, the “Belilla,” is based on the same principles as the Boy Scouts.
On the other hand we see the Young Communist International, aided by the Communist Parties, striving to organise a Communist Children’s Movement.
In Germany the children’s groups are very well organised. The children do not let themselves be caned in the schools, refuse to say prayers, help the workers on strike, collect money for hungry children, and for all these things they are often taken to the police station, where they conduct themselves manfully. The Children’s Movement organises them and trains them in manliness and the will to struggle.
Here in Russia the Children’s Movement has also begun to grow. The participants in this Movement, aged from eleven to fourteen, are called the “Young Pioneers,” of which there are now already about a million.
It is important that the Children’s Movement be as closely as possible connected with the workers’ organisations, especially the women’s.
What can the working women do for the Young Pioneers? Conscious working women can, above all, carry on wide agitation among the women workers and peasants, who are not class conscious, explaining to them what are the “Young Pioneers.”
Participation in the “Young Pioneers” organisation gives workers’ children friendship with their comrades, many happy experiences and a knowledge of the working-class struggle. It also arouses their curiosity. This must all be explained to those working and peasant women who do not like their children joining the Pioneers and scold them for it.
It must be explained to them that it is no less important for the girls than for the boys to join the Pioneers. The girls must not be tied down to the home, but from the early years should be accustomed to being together, in one organisation with the boys—to be with them on a comradely footing.
Young Pioneers desire, to work, they want to have industrious hands; in fact, they want to be able to do a great deal, and they are prepared to learn from whoever can teach them. The working women are capable of a great deal, let them transmit their knowledge to the Pioneers.
The working women can find a thousand ways in which to help the Young Pioneers to grow up as steadfast fighters, capable workers for the future, and good Communists.