Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Youth are a revolutionary force

First Published: Documents from the Founding Congress of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

In the U.S. and throughout the world, the youth constitute a vast resource which makes up over half of the population. Young people have historically played a vanguard role as courageous and relentless fighters against oppression and exploitation. The youth movement, which comprises young workers as well as students, is made up of people from different classes and strata in society. But the majority of youth in this country are from the working class. Taken as a whole, the youth movement constitutes a social movement that is a direct reserve of the working class. Youth are a great force for socialist revolution. To the imperialists, the young people are simply one more grouping to exploit and oppress. Hit especially hard by unemployment, forced into the position of a reserve army of labor and used as cannon fodder in every imperialist war, the youth are left with a dim future under this system.

Minority youth are special targets of the imperialists’ assaults. Denied their basic democratic rights, they are faced with racist attacks, including the highest unemployment rates, jailings, police brutality and segregation.

In response to the attacks on youth by the ruling class, young people and students have always waged powerful struggles for their rights, which have shown their revolutionary potential. These struggles have often been closely united with the working class struggle against capitalism and the movements of the oppressed nationalities.

In the early days, the Young Communist League fought under the leadership of the then-revolutionary Communist Party for socialism and against war and fascism. In the 1960s, groups like the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and Students for a Democratic Society mobilized masses of people against racial discrimination and the war of aggression in Indochina. Today, thousands of young people are surging forward in the movement against the cutbacks and the effects of the crisis.

The youth, while often sparking struggle against imperialism, cannot by themselves carry the struggle through to the end. To be revolutionary, the youth and students must closely integrate themselves with the masses of working people, follow the leadership of the vanguard Party, and link arms with the international movement against imperialism.

This must be done in the course of the struggle against the revisionists and other opportunists who preach various reformist and counter-cultural schemes for young people under capitalism and divert them towards pacifism and away from the class struggle of the workers.

The revisionists of the CPUSA and their youth group, the Young Workers Liberation League, are imperialist agents in the youth movement. Because of youth’s never ceasing desire for the truth and their militant fighting spirit, the revisionists, Trotskyists, and opportunists of all shades view the youth movement as a threat. In the name of “socialism,” they promote reliance on the USSR and “detente,” and channel youth into electoral struggle and other reforms.

Our Party does special work to combat imperialism’s decadent counter-cultural assault on the youth, such as drugs, religious fads, and back-to-nature lifestyles that direct youth toward acceptance of capitalism and away from the struggle against imperialism. It combats bourgeois myths like the “generation gap” which are aimed at pitting old against young workers. It helps the youth develop a revolutionary culture of class struggle and anti-imperialism.

We boldly organize the resistance among the youth to the demagogic calls of the fascists and racists who try to mobilize them into reactionary gangs to attack the workers and minorities.

The Party fights for leadership of the student movement. It organizes and supports the struggle for the right to an education for all youth, opposes school segregation as well as the overall use of the schools and universities as the propagators of reactionary, fascist and imperialist ideology.

The CP(M-L) works inside the military to organize the resistance of the G.I.’s to imperialist war and against the system of imperialism.

In the course of fighting for the rights of youth and raising special demands against youth oppression, our Party develops special forms of youth organization best suited to mobilizing and educating them.

The Communist Youth Organization is the mass organization of advanced youth which the Party must build, support and lead. It is a fighting detachment of the youth and student movements, armed with the science of Marxism-Leninism. The backbone and leadership of the CYO is its proletarian core composed of young workers and working class fighters from the communities and schools. While maintaining its own organizational independence, the CYO is an arm and reserve of the Party and serves as a training school for successors to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat and its Party.

While our Party must combine old, middle-aged and young in its ranks, it must be a party predominated by the youth. Our Party represents the future, the liberation of mankind, and opposes all that is reactionary and seeks to hold back human progress. Our Party is the revolutionary ideal of youth.

The CP(M-L) further demands: jobs for youth; end job and wage discrimination against youth; cover young workers in the minimum wage laws; job-training programs for young workers; no draft for imperialist wars; full adult rights at age 18; end the propagation of chauvinist, reactionary ideology of the imperialists in the schools; the right for all youth to an education; stop the cutbacks in education; and end child labor.