At its recent 46th Congress, delegates of the Young Communist League discussed the role of British capitalism in the world and the need to oppose imperialism with real internationalism and popular sovereignty. Read the YCL international resolution here.

1. Since the 45TH Congress of the Young Communist League of Britain (YCL) we have witnessed the deepening of the crisis of capitalism, and the intensification of imperialist aggression. This ruling class assault is global, but as members of Britain’s revolutionary youth organisation our priority must be to analyse the role of British imperialism, both at home and abroad, and the dangers it poses both to the working class of Britain and the working classes of other lands. We note that there is no real division between the two strands which can only be addressed through a unified struggle against imperialism as a whole.
 
2. Additionally the aggression faced by the British working class is heightened during a time of such intense inter-imperialist rivalry.
 
3. Since our last Congress have seen all qualities of the imperialist system, which is the highest stage of monopoly capitalism: the internationalisation of capital, the aggressive spreading of monopolies and big corporations, the deepening of rivalries for shares of the markets, and the more frequent application of reactionary policies against the rights of the people and the youth.
 
4. The attacks against the rights of the people, such as the attack against the right to work, to labour rights, to health care, to education, to life with dignity, are directly related to the aggressive, deadly attacks against the sovereignty of independent states, by military threats, occupations, invasions, by the oppression of any democratic forces and fundamental human rights. These attacks are interrelated in the fact that that they all serve the same interests and ultimate goal which is the expansion of the global and domestic domination of the ruling economic monopolies.
 
5. The argument presented throughout this resolution is that defending and promoting national sovereignty must become the cornerstone of the YCL’s international work.
 
 
Britain and the crisis of capitalism – an international perspective
 
6. The crisis of capitalism has had a deeper and more prolonged impact on the economy in Britain than in many other developed capitalist countries because the financial sector occupies a comparatively large share of the British economy. This deep impact has led to heightened British imperialist aggression on the peoples of other countries but also on the British working class.
 
7. The City of London, especially since its liberalisation, has continued to serve as the entry point for US and British finance capital into the European Union where, alongside German and French financial monopolies it has played a central role in the subversion of democracy and the stripping of national sovereignty from weaker capitalist countries such as Ireland, Portugal and Greece.
 
8. The blatant role played by the bourgeois classes of Europe through their institutions, particularly the troika - the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank - has seen national democracy all but destroyed in many of Europe’s weaker economies. 
 
9. Additionally, the prevalence of French and German monopolies, often state enterprises in their country of origin, in the ownership of elements of Britain’s critical national infrastructure is of major concern especially at a time of heightened inter-imperialist rivalry.
 
 
British military activity
 
10. Since our last Congress we have seen British military withdrawal, but continued imperialist interference in Iraq, and the continued occupation of Afghanistan and the unprovoked imperialist onslaught on the people of Libya, both under the auspices of NATO.
 
11. Additionally “low-level” British military operations are ongoing in Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Ireland, Sierra Leone and Pakistan. British military bases in Belize, the Falkland Islands, Brunei, Canada, Germany, Kenya and elsewhere continue to defend the interests of British imperialism.
 
12. We have also witnessed the development of new military alliances. For example the cooperation agreement for the supply of aircraft carriers by Britain to be manned by French forces in addition to agreements between the two countries for the sharing of nuclear energy infrastructure. Such developments are a direct consequence of inter-imperialist rivalry and can only be viewed as a response to growing tension between the imperialist powers in Europe.
 
13. The YCL reiterate the call for the return of all British troops to Britain, and ceasing of all British military aggression, the closure of all British military bases on foreign soil and Britain’s exit from all military alliances. We argue for British neutrality and for democratic control of its armed forces.
 
 
European Union – an imperialist power, destroying democracy and fostering fascism
 
14. One of the most significant and dangerous developments since the 45th Congress of the YCL is the fact that the Lisbon Treaty has been imposed on the peoples of Europe.
 
15. The imposition of this Treaty, compliments every other move towards European integration, in that it shares the common approach whereby the youth of Britain have had no say whatsoever.
 
16. It can only be understood as an attack on the sovereignty of states and the right of the peoples of those states to determine their own destiny.
 
17. The YCL recognises that internationalism rests upon the free cooperation of independent sovereign nation states, and so requires resistance to all forms of imperialism, military or otherwise.
 
18. Additionally, the principle of democracy is based upon community and must operate at the level of the nation before it can operate internationally. 
 
19. On that basis the YCL notes that the attacks on democracy, and the decimation of democratic rights taking place across Europe, further underlines the anti-democratic character of the European Union and in addition to attacks on democratic rights, most especially employment and legal rights, at home places us on the trajectory to the open dictatorship of finance capitalism, and therefore the resurgence of fascism in Europe.
 
20. A crucial objective of the EU elite is to force through a fiscal, monetary and economic union of the 17 euro Member States and to put in place yet another Treaty for the Eurozone, - the European Stability Mechanism – designed to form an economic and monetary union governed centrally.
 
21. The European Stability Mechanism is part of the two-tier Europe which Britain’s own troika – the Conservative, Liberal Democratic and Labour parties – openly support and promote.
 
22. Such moves would remove all national democratic control of fiscal policy and would be a further step towards a fascist super state in Europe. They will also deepen, in economic terms, the partition of both Ireland and Cyprus.
 
23. It is in this context that we must develop our work as both patriotic and internationalist, whilst of course rejecting any development of national chauvinism or racism. On this basis the development of power blocs, such as the European Union or BRICS, must be opposed as they undermine national democracy and are tools of imperialism.
 
 
EU militarism
 
24. The rapid development of EU militarism further highlights the imperialist character of the European Union. Part of this has been the creation of Eurocorps – where Britain was instrumental in the formation of the first battle group – in addition to the Nordic Battle Group and a rapid-reaction naval EU Maritime Task Group.
 
25. Additionally, Eurogendfor, which has all the powers of a secret service and whose troops are immune from prosecution,  has been activated and have been involved in quelling “civil disturbances” (which arise as a direct result of troika diktats) in EU countries other than those which supply troops to the organisation.
 
26. Most important, however, is the now formalised relationship between the EU and NATO as outlined in the Lisbon Treaty and which has become increasing dangerous since the 2010 NATO summit.
 
 
NATO
 
27. Since our last Congress, NATO has held summits in both Lisbon and Chicago. 
 
28. The New Strategic Concept which was adopted in Lisbon in 2010 clearly demonstrates the expansionist and imperialist character of NATO. This New Strategic Concept, which has been further promoted at the Chicago summit strengthens imperialist operations outside of the sphere of the member countries, collaborates with EU military forces and the so-called Partnership for Peace, expands NATO’s remit of justifications for war to include Cyber-attacks, piracy, “terrorism”, proliferation of ballistic and nuclear weapons, “energy security”, climate changes, immigration, water shortages etc.
 
29. The Partnership works towards the formation of state mechanisms for repression and aggression, includes provision for “first nuclear strike” and extension of “pre-emptive wars” and allows for intervention in any country. 
 
30. Far from changing the imperialist character of NATO, the New Strategic Concept has greatly increased its remit and the danger it poses to the people of both Britain and the world. 
 
31. In the interests of peace and against imperialism, the YCL demands Britain’s immediate disengagement from NATO and the European Union. This is a necessary condition for the development of a peaceful and progressive society.
 
32. The YCL declares: NO to NATO, NO to EU, NO to Imperialist Aggression. YES to peace and democracy. 
 
 
Social dumping
 
33. The YCL notes that the free development of each is the precondition for the free development of all. This is contrary to the so-called Free Trade Agreements – essentially imperialist coercion – that exist now and that are currently being negotiated by the European Union. Such agreements require mass privatisation and liberalisation of the economies of developing countries whilst promoting social dumping in Britain.
 
34. It is important to underline that the ruling classes of Britain and the European Union both use the labour force of immigrants to intensify the exploitation of workers (both in Britain and in the source countries of the immigrants). It is also important to note the hypocrisy shown by Britain’s capitalist class when on the one hand they speak of “selective immigration”, “reducing net immigration” and “capping immigration” whilst on the other hand actively promoting free movement of labour as a means through which to intensify exploitation.
 
 
Anti-communism
 
35. The YCL recognises that anti-communism is an international problem but one is has become especially problematic for progressives in Europe.  The Prague Declaration and EU promoted anti-communism must be challenged directly.
 
36. The illegalisation of fraternal organisations of the YCL, the use of provocateurs to discredit communist youth organisations and the use of repressive laws to attack members of communist youth organisations must all be challenged. 
 
37. The YCL must remain fully vigilant that alongside the deep anti-communism actively promoted by Britain’s capitalist class the current attacks on democratic rights put our organisation’s future in a legally precarious position. 
 
 
Our international work
 
38. The YCL resolves to continue its work in the World Federation of Democratic Youth, to do all in its power to strengthen that organisation, and also to continue to cooperate with and participate in the meetings of European Communist Youth Organisations.
 
39. In addition to continuing our work and strengthening our relations with fraternal communist youth organisations, the YCL recognises the need to actively build support for the World Federation of Trade Unions, the Women’s International Democratic Federation, and the World Peace Council as the most appropriate international organisations through which to challenge imperialism.