The Young Communist League recently convened its 46th Congress. Founded in 1921, the YCL has brought together generations of young revolutionaries and other working class activists in campaigns that have set the pace in the labour, solidarity and anti-racist movements. If you want to apply to join or get involved let us know.

1. The threats identified by the 45th Congress of the Young Communist League of Britain (YCL) have now materialised. 
2. It is clearer than ever that the crisis is a crisis of capitalism. It has been caused by over-production and over-accumulation by the capitalist class. We reject any analysis that places the blame for the crisis on any individual, or group (most especially professional groups such as bankers) as a distraction from the reality that it is a systematic crisis of the capitalist system.
3. It has also become clear that the crisis, and the capitalist response to the crisis, has had a disproportionate impact on Britain’s youth. 
4. This impact is most especially reflected in youth unemployment levels, the decline of genuine youth training schemes and the increased barriers to education. The reasons for this are obvious:
5. At a time of a crisis of capitalism, inter-imperialist rivalry is intensified. The attacks on the working class, the austerity measures, have nothing to do with finding a temporary solution which will lead to ‘growth’. Whilst the call for ‘growth’, or an increase in GDP, is itself a call for the return to super-profits of British monopolies, it is not accompanied by any call for the return to the limited rights, and employment levels, which were available to the working class prior to the crisis.
6. The so-called return to growth has rather been accompanied by an intense drive towards greater competitivity by the various national bourgeoisies, demonstrating the nature of the inter-imperialist rivalries. This is made clear through the current ruling class assault taking place across Europe, where similar measures are being proposed in countries such as Britain, France, and Germany as they are in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain despite vastly differing national conditions in those countries.
7. Therefore, the current assault can only be understood as a permanent restructuring of society while maintaining the long established class divisions. The working class, and the youth in particular, are not only being made pay for the crisis but will be condemned to permanently lower rewards for their labour, and a permanently lower standard of living in the interests of strengthening the position of the British capitalist class globally.
Electoral issues
8. Since our last Congress, the people of Britain elected a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. This coalition has pursued the ruling class agenda, and implemented the ruling class assault in Britain.
9. It must be noted that regardless of which capitalist political party won the last general election, or which coalition of those parties may have been formed, the same agenda would have been pursued and the same assault on the working class undertaken. The assault is a ruling class assault, and all of the bourgeois parties pursued the ruling class agenda throughout the election campaign.
10. A working class alternative was not presented in a sufficient number of constituencies to have any bearing on the outcome of the election. This can only be viewed as a failure of Britain’s Communist movement. The YCL must therefore work to reinforce the presence of Communists as a viable political force in all communities, and work to support Communist Party candidates in future elections.
11. Additionally, the YCL notes with concern the development of the separatist nationalism in Scotland and Wales with their current characteristics. These separatist nationalisms are not proletarian in orientation, as is clear through their false claims for independence within imperialist structures such as the European Union. Whilst the YCL supports the rights of all nations to self-determination, we will not advocate separatism when it is counterpoised to the interests of the working class. At present capital and the British ruling class operate at a British level, so to must the labour movement and working class counter and push forward at British level.
Young Workers
12. The tasks faced by the YCL is organising young workers are amongst our most important.
13. Specific changes to employment rights, such as the extension of the qualifying period for unfair dismissal will have an immediate and highly detrimental impact on young workers and in particular those entering the labour force for the first time. Such attacks are designed to increase the compliance of young workers, and to act as a safeguard for the capitalist class against militancy in the workplace.
14. In addition to the changes faced by the working class in general through changes to their employment rights and terms and conditions, young workers have been strategically targeted by Britain’s bourgeoisie.
15. Proposed revisions in the minimum wage, additional assaults on job security, workfare and other unpaid employment schemes, and low quality but expensive training schemes all place young workers in a position where their vulnerability to intimidation increases alongside the level of their exploitation. Additionally, removing rights such as health and safety from apprenticeship schemes underlines the scale of the assault.
16. The YCL notes the disproportionately low level of youth membership of trade unions, and understands that this can only be challenged through the development of a genuine class consciousness among Britain’s youth.
17. It is clear that the attack on young workers is an obvious and easy strategic choice for the capitalists. Exploitation occurs at the point of production, and so the destruction of the rights and aspirations of the producers of the future opens the gateway for increased exploitation.
18. Since our last Congress education has been further undermined in both terms of its quality and its status as a right. It is has become increasingly commodified, and as a direct consequence its social value has been substantially reduced.
19. The process of privatising secondary education through the establishment of academies has further devalued the social value of education. It is clear that the establishment of academies is an initial step towards fully fledged privatisation, which will not only see a huge portion of public expenditure transferred into the direct control of the monopolies but also will see the syllabus massively distorted in the interests of monopolies.
20. There has been an unprecedented attack on progressive and scientific thought which has manifested itself in faith schools. The YCL recognises that government promotion of faith schools is purely ideological and does not reflect the educational needs of school children.
21. The impact of monopoly funding of higher education institutions has become obvious. The destruction of progressive, scientific academic work in the interest of profits for monopolies will severely stunt the ability of universities to produce research and technological innovation for the benefit of the people.
22. The huge increase in tuition fees has already been proven to exclude large portions of the working class from higher education. The YCL will, true to principle, continue to campaign for free access to education for all, and for education to be established as a right and not bought and sold as a commodity.
Social unrest
23. The YCL has a positive vision for Britain’s youth. We must remain optimistic that the forces of progress will be successful. 
24. The various social diseases created by capitalism, and purposefully maintained by its collaborators, should never be celebrated. They must be challenged. This is what distinguishes the YCL from left opportunist organisations in Britain. 
25. The YCL recognises the great achievements of the student movement last year, but did not welcome the disruptive and counterproductive approach to mobilisation which took place during the student demonstrations and the national trade union marches. Such an approach, guided by petty-bourgeois individualism and state provocation, serves only to distance some elements of the popular strata from their own organisations, those of organised workers and students.
26. We did not welcome the riots in 2011, we condemned them. The YCL stood alongside the working class communities of Tottenham, Hackney, Manchester and elsewhere in clearly stating that our role is to defend the working class and our communities and not support looters and vandals who, in many cases, victimise our class on a daily basis. The YCL recognises the ever increasing impact of alienation amongst the dispossessed but this is no reason to tolerate or even celebrate anti-social behaviour.
27. In this way the YCL remained true to its principles and never placed opportunism for its own ends above the needs of the working class. The YCL will continue to carry itself with the same dignity, values and discipline as our predecessors.
28. The YCL recognises that attacks on the young are the thin end of the wedge in the current assault, and that our role of building an organisation to defend and promote the interests of Britain’s youth is now more important than ever because the future of Britain’s youth is now more precarious than it has ever been. 
29. Our organisation must place itself in the centre of working class and student struggle and dedicate itself, with greater commitment than ever before, to the dissemination of the ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin in every workplace and place of learning in Britain. It is only through the application of Marxism-Leninism that the YCL can openly and honestly explain the reasons for the current crisis, and the current assault and build amongst working class youth the consciousness necessary for a response which will secure a peaceful and dignified life for all.
30. It is in the task of explaining the current condition of our class, that our potential for growth and ultimately victory lies.
31. The Young Communist League of Britain is Britain’s only revolutionary youth organisation. Through campaigning openly, democratically and with militancy we, along with the Communist Party of Britain, are the only organisation capable of defending what previous generations have won, and of advancing the position of our class to our ultimate goal of a communist Britain.