First Published: The Young Communist, Vol. 1, No. 6, October 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Are there going to be two Communist Youth Organizations in the U.S.? This question has come up recently as the Revolutionary Communist Party has initiated the building of a “National Communist Youth Organization”.
They are proposing to bring the “student section” headed by the Revolutionary Student Brigade (RSB), together with the “working class section” headed by Youth In Action (YIA), to form their version of a Communist Youth Organization.
To confuse things even more, the founding of this organization will be taking place at the same time that the CYO, along with anti-imperialist organizations and activists, will be holding the Youth Conference ’77 “The Future is Ours!” It is high time that this confusion is cleared up and the differences between the RSB/YIA version and the real CYO be explained.
While the CYO, since its birth two years ago, has boldly taken communism to the youth in leading their struggles, the RSB/YIA has consistently spread their view that the young people are backward and hate communism. Nowhere does this come out clearer than in the newspaper of the YIA, The Young Red. The form as well as content of this paper does its best to hide communism from the masses of youth and it gives a distorted picture of what communism is by calling it “some kind of dream world.”
One of the most blatant examples of how the YIA sees youth as ignorant comes out in their comic strip of the working class hero, “The Bionic Kid.”
The story is of a young Burger King worker who, upon seeing a demonstration on his way home from work, immediately thinks, “trouble makers!”, (as if this would be the normal response of all young people). No wonder the YIA has such a hard time organizing the youth, they think that young people naturally line up somewhere between the cops and the KKK.
The Young Red is nothing but a blatant slander to the working class youth. The Young Red like the YIA is supposed to be for the working class youth while the RSB and their newspaper Fightback are aimed at students. While the RCP is screaming about uniting youth, they have continued to put up barriers between students and working class youth.
The CYO, on the other hand, sees that the struggle of working class youth and students are not separate. Working class youth and students are oppressed by the same system, a fact that the RSB/YIA will not mention, as they feel that the youth are “too backward” to understand.
In a four page article in May ’77’s Revolution, the RCP’s newspaper for “intellectuals,” about the building of their youth group, they pointed out how the RSB “will make important contributions to the formation of a powerful young communist organization.” Then, in the same breath, they go on to say, “At this point, in terms of building on-going struggle and political organization, the working class youth section is much more undeveloped and fragile.”
To the RSB/YIA one of the main obstacles in building their organization is the level of anti-communism among the masses. As they said, “Another key question that came up was around the level of anti-communism among the people, and what would the response be as the groups went into the streets and neighborhoods as an open communist organization.” Heaven forbid bringing communism out front to the masses!
Mind you, this quote did not come from the mouths of the KKK or the Nazis that are always promoting the view that communism is something to be afraid of and that the real communists are very isolated from the people. No, these words came directly from the pages of Revolution, the newspaper that calls itself communist.
But disdain for the masses in general is not the only matter of grave difference between the RSB /YIA and the CYO. The RSB has been notorious for its white chauvinism when it comes to opposing national oppression. They have continually opposed raising special demands for minority and foreign born students when fighting cutbacks on the campuses.
When it came to uniting with the Black United Students at Kent State, the RSB refused to take up any of the special demands of the minority students around cutbacks in minority admissions and Black Studies. This, as well as similar actions on other campuses, has won the RSB the hatred of many minority organizations around the country.
The Young Red goes right along with the RSB on this question also. On a review that they did on the movie Carwash, the YIA summed it up as great and “where its at!”, they find full agreement with the capitalist’s portrayal of Blacks. They don’t expose that the movie shows Blacks as happy and content with being oppressed. The movie is the typical stereotype the capitalists have of Black people which the RSB/YIA find complete unity with.
A good example of how the RSB/YIA refuse to fight for the democratic rights of minorities can be seen in their stand on busing. Along side the KKK and other racists, the RSB/YIA oppose busing. The right to busing is a democratic right of minority people, it is a chance for an equal education. By opposing integration they line up with the segregationist movement in keeping the schools segregated and inferior for minorities.
The test of a true communist organization can only be born out in practice. So far the practice of the RSB/YIA has proven to be in opposition to communism and judging from their continued white chauvinism towards minority youth, and their slanders of the youth in general, they are continuing to peddle their opportunist lies to the youth. While exposing these phony communists, the CYO will continue to fight under the proud banner of communism and prove to be worthy of the name, Communist Youth Organization.