YCL New Year 2018 Address

Comrades

Leaving behind the historic centenary year of the Great October Socialist Revolution we enter the second century in this chapter of the human journey – the era of international working class revolution.

Looking back on 100 years of global socialist and antiimperialist struggle it is apparent, now more so than ever, that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Since the world changing events of the Russian Revolution, oppressed peoples everywhere have flocked to the banner of Communism, many making the ultimate sacrifice in service of human progress. But as Communists we cannot navel gaze. We are not custodians of the past. We fight and struggle to be the vanguard ushering in a new era. A society free from the exploitation of man by man. The socialist era.

In a time and a country when we are consistently told revolutionary and communist politics are a thing of the past, there are many reasons to be hopeful at the beginning of 2018.

For the first time since the counterrevolutions in Eastern-Europe, events which occurred before the vast majority of our members were born, the momentum globally has shifted back to socialist and progressive forces. The socialist camp continues to strengthen and develop our understanding of the construction of socialism and socialist democracy. Imperialism faces more concerted challenges wherever it attempts to exert it’s force. The position of the major imperialist powers seems increasingly precarious, riven by internal class contradictions and economic stagnation.

As Communists however we recognise that none of this will inevitably lead to socialism. Far from it. The nuclear armed imperialist powers are at their most volatile when they are at their most vulnerable. Moreover, in the absence of a strong Communist movement these conditions can lead to the resurgence of fascism as we have seen in Eastern Europe. Only a Marxist Leninist party, grounded in the working class and in the trade union movement can win socialism in these times. History has proven this.

Globally, the Communist movement has be energised by the historic 1917 centenary. Parties everywhere are growing and mobilising in exciting and inspiring ways – over a quarter of a century after “the end of history”. Our movement truly is the only international ideological tradition of it’s kind. In Britain too the Party and the League continue to grow and take on new members, aiming to expand the struggle and our presence in working class communities.

The priorities in the coming year will be removing Theresa May and her despicable Tory government who are determined to continue and cement austerity and attacks on working class people. The ongoing Brexit negotiations will be a central of political focus this year and must be a focal point for attacking the government and ensuring that we achieve a left exit and a people’s Brexit. A complete break with Brussels, the Single Market and the unelected European Commission. Only then can Britain rebuild it’s shattered economy along lines of public ownership and nationalisation and forge an independent foreign policy.

As Communists it is not our duty to the class to shout empty slogans and preach revolution in the abstract. We must be pragmatic and analyse the political situation as it actually stands. The recent advances in the Labour Party are to be welcomed and represent a vindication of the the Party and the League’s strategy outlined in our programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism. In closing, the Communist Manifesto notes that Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims of the working class but that in the movement of the present, they also represent and defend the future of that movement. In the immediate context, the election of a Labour government would fulfil a number of the immediate aims of the movement in removing this government, coupled with many of the promises of nationalisation.

However, as Communists we recognise that the future of the movement is revolutionary socialism and not social democracy. The historic role of the British Labour Party, as with all social democratic parties, has been to dampen working class militancy, conceal class exploitation and avert revolution. The Labour Party has always betrayed the working class when the struggle with capital becomes most critical. Even when in power under a radical leadership Labour has adopted an imperialist foreign policy. We must continue to be clear and vocal in our Marxist analysis of the nature and limitations of social democracy. Our goal in 2018 remains winning the labour movement and the entire working class for revolutionary socialism.

Our fundamental priority over the coming year, which goes hand in hand with fighting to remove the Tories, is building the YCL and building the Communist Party. We must do this by throwing ourselves even more vigorously into the struggle against austerity and by adopting new strategies for winning more and more young workers and students to the League.

Start your 2018 in a revolutionary fashion. Dedicate yourself to the finest cause in all the world – the liberation of humankind.

If you are not a member already, join. If you are a comrade, rededicate yourself to the struggle. Ask yourself, in 2018, what can I give and give more effectively in the struggle for socialism? There is no room for armchair socialists on the train of history, comrades!

Lenin! Party! YCL!

Peace and Socialism!

Executive Committee
Young Communist League

1 January 2018
London, Britain