Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Youth Group

R.C.Y.B. Conference a Big Success

First Published: The Worker, for the Northwest, Vol. 3, No. 5, February 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Braving severe winter blizzard conditions, nearly 100 youth and students travelled long distances to attend a crucial meeting of the recently formed Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (RCYB) held in Cincinnati on January 21. The delegates were sent as representatives by a large majority of the RCYB’s chapters from all areas of the country – from Boston and New York to California and Hawaii, and everything in between. Although it had only been two short months since the RCYB’s founding convention, this Cincinnati conference was critical in determining whether the Brigade would continue under the basic principles unanimously adopted at the convention or whether they would be reversed by a small but arrogant faction. It was the unity achieved at that convention that forged the RCYB as a vital force in organizing youth to fight shoulder-to-shoulder alongside the working class for proletarian revolution.

One of the key questions that had been resolved by the 600 people at, the convention was why the RCYB had to be a communist organization – and openly named as such. There had been lively discussion describing the miserable conditions youth face under capitalism –the high unemployment, dead-end jobs with lousy wages, as well as discrimination, terrible schools and widespread drug abuse. In response to all this, many youth rebel, and boldly fight back—and any youth organization must join and lead these growing struggles. But this in itself is not enough, because fighting for merely partial “solutions” or a few piecemeal reforms never has and never will end these conditions and doesn’t answer the miserable life capitalism offers. This stands out starkly for the youth who have their entire life ahead of them.

The overall question faced by youth – which all these problems they face is only a partial reflection of – is that capitalism cannot provide them any real life with a purpose. Only a total overthrow of the existing system – a revolution – can accomplish this; not a vague “youth revolution” or drug-filled “youth culture,” but revolution in the interests of the vast majority of people in society: the working class. For this reason, the convention unanimously voted to openly proclaim the communist nature of the RCYB, determining that all the fights it waged would consciously be aimed at being part of the overall struggle for revolution.


RCYB members refuse to be stereotyped in the image that the rulers of America have given “commies,” sneaking around hiding their views, duping people in dark intrigue. Rather, the RCYB sees one of their major tasks to boldly propagate communism, bringing out that the only solution for youth is fighting shoulder-to-shoulder alongside with workers to overthrow the rich capitalists and to replace their decadent rule with socialism, the rule of the working class, where the laboring millions struggle together to transform all of society and bring about communism – the final elimination of all classes and forms of class rule.

For this reason, the RCYB was founded as the youth group of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), for as the political Party of the working class, it would be best able to insure, through its guidance and leadership, that the RCYB served the interests of the class of workers.


But in the two months following the convention, it became apparent that a few of the people who were elected as officers and leaders in the new organization had different purposes in mind for the RCYB. While they had claimed to agree with the RCYB’s principles, they underhandedly opposed them. They especially opposed calling it a communist organization, and tried to downplay the importance of members studying the science of revolution, Marxism, in order to keep people ignorant of the correct way to wage the struggle. To excuse this, they essentially claimed that working class youth (and by implication, all workers) couldn’t understand Marxism; that the best way to organize youth was through a few demonstrations plus “getting down” and partying, while hiding the politics of the organization.

They didn’t want an organization fighting for working class revolution –what they really wanted was an organization they could control from the top while the rank and file membership just blindly carried out their orders. In many ways, they acted just like some of the union hacks that control workers’ unions – self serving and arrogant, ready to crush all members who opposed their dictates.

They downplayed the importance of the RCYB linking up with and supporting workers struggles, claiming one of the most important aspects of the RCYB was its “independence.” This small faction, which included a few people who were members of the RCP at the time, used the RCYB’s temporary National Office as their headquarters and issued a document in early January that essentially called for Brigade members to split away from the RCP and the working class. This they did in collaboration with a group of people who were trying to wreck the RCP from within and use the RCYB as a pawn in their game.


The conference in Cincinnati, led by the RCP and leading members of the RCYB, was a severe blow to their arrogant plans. Clearly the vast majority of RCYB chapters had sent representatives, and they unanimously denounced this small group’s plans to seize control of their organization. Even though a number of RCYB members (a clear minority) had been swayed by these hacks, the conference realized that uncovering and removing the reactionary leaders actually strengthened the Brigade. For it was like cutting out a cancerous tumor –removing the sickness strengthens the patient. And this experience helps educate members about why certain people “go bad.”

The RCP has published a pamphlet including both its line and the views of these oppositionists. In the weeks to come, the RCYB plans to thoroughly study and discuss this question further, in order to better understand why things like this inevitably occur, how to analyze it and grow stronger in the struggle against it. But even more, the RCYB will study how the struggle between correct and incorrect ideas (and people who hold them) is an integral part of the struggle for revolution – in fact it’s the way that real understanding develops, and that’s a good thing!


Later, those at the meeting mapped out guidelines for the organization’s work during the coming months. This includes plans to fight the Bakke decision against affirmative action plans, and building nationwide support among youth for the people of southern Africa struggling for liberation from imperialism and racist rule. Another emphasis will be building support for the current coal miners’ struggle. Local chapters will investigate conditions facing youth in their areas, building struggle around such issues as jobs for youth and police repression. In addition, beginning plans were made for the RCYB’s second national convention to be held later in the spring.

THE WORKER sees the Cincinnati conference as a real victory – not only for the youth in the RCYB, but for the working class as a whole. This is the type of organization that can really serve the interests of our class, the type of organization our sons and daughters in the neighborhoods and campuses can join with pride. Not only will it fight for better conditions for young people, but it will provide a real alternative to the decadence and dog-eat-dog outlook the rulers try to instill in our youth.