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A. Glotzer

The Youth Thesis

(September 1931)

From The Militant, Vol. IV No. 24 (Whole No. 83), 19 September 1931, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The future growth of the American section of the Left Opposition depends in a great measure upon our ability to win the youth to its banner. For this end we must understand correctly how to attract and secure their political and organizational support. The youth resolution, despite weaknesses of a minor character, correctly establishes our approach to this problem and a successful realization of its aim. On fundamental approach there is agreement. Our task at the present time is to set upon a practical solution to the problem of winning the youth to our banner.

At our first conference, over two and half years ago, we signalized our approach to this problem by asserting that the task of the youth members in our ranks, was to work as oppositionists in the general struggle of the Communist Left without concentrating on specific youth questions. We understood correctly that during those days our main task was the establishment of the Left Opposition in this country, to make known its position among the American Communists and to sink its roots as an organization. This continues to be our task on a much larger scale.

The exigencies of the first period of our existence have passed. Our problems remain basically the same – but that an organizational and political stabilization has taken place nobody can deny. The American Left Opposition is here to stay. Our problems today are broader. Our movement is much stronger and our foundation is a solid one.

An estimate of our membership will show that the youth make up one of its largest sections. They are a vital part of the organization, and have contributed a great share toward its growth. It is, however, necessary, in view of a changed situation, to organize the youth activity for our younger comrades who can now devote their attention to it. Our approach is based on the analysis that while hitherto our younger comrades were not in a position to devote their time and energy to youth activity – that period as changed and it is absolutely urgent that they participate in full force in youth work.

The general problems of a theoretical nature and political sphere find a unanimous opinion among all our comrades. This will help very much to facilitate matters in an organizational sense. But the most important problem is that of finding a form through which our young comrades can operate. In this pre-conference discussion it is necessary to consider various propositions. We submit here, the proposal for the organization of a series of youth clubs wherever possible throughout the country. We consider at this moment something tangible which can be realized: the organization of youth clubs, whose function it will be to win the Communist youth and young workers to our ideas and to our ranks. The work in such an organization must, consist in the main of education, social and sports. If properly understood and correctly organized this can successfully be carried through. It can serve as a basis for the advanced idea of a Communist Opposition youth movement. The proposal of Spartacus youth Clubs under the guidance of the organization, unified nationally through the efforts of our comrades appears to be at this moment the most logical step to take. In such organizations our young comrades must devote their main efforts.

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