A Revolutionary Communist Monthly
ORGAN OF ALLIANCE MARXIST-LENINIST
Volume 1, Issue 1. January 2003
"Kick Start My Heart" By Dita Behn
When one of my comrades suggested that I write an article describing
my experience attending the Young Communist League's National Convention
I felt that it was an exceptional opportunity to showcase many of the problems
that are plaguing, not only the YCL, but also the Communist Party in general.
I also felt a great deal of disappointment, thinking back to when I joined
The Party four years ago, and how I thought that I'd finally found a group
that would be willing to work towards revolutionary change. However,
what I've dealt with over the years from the C.P. has ranged from neglect
to petty career opportunism to blatant revisionism, and unfortunately,
one of the worst aspects is the lack of cultivating their own youth into
strong-minded and willed communists.
I ran into many problems before the convention even occurred, two of
the worst being the lack of shared information, as well as, the C.P.
Chapter being unwilling to financially support the trip to Chicago.
First of all, while trying to plan the trip out I continually emailed
a comrade in a nearby city who refused to give me even the most simple
information, such as, how much the registration fees were, where the check
is mailed to, etc. This eventually was settled when I had to send
an email to everyone in the YCL begging for this information in order to
alert my work and get plane tickets.
This did not gain me an award for punctuality; instead I was
bombarded with emails blaming me for not having the information in the
first place and that "if I was really active in the YCL I would have been
given the information". This was completely shocking to me on so many levels
especially since I
had been in The Party for over four years, and was one of the two active
members in my city, as well as, having just attended the National Convention
in New York. Another issue was that the C.P. Chapter in the city
decided that it was more important to use funds towards "The Paper" instead
of encouraging its two members of the YCL to attend the conference, which
was supposed to
be an educational and amazing experience. Because the comrade
that attended the convention with me did not have a financially supportive
job, I shelled out $700 for the two of us to go to the convention in hopes
of being reimbursed at some point. Unfortunately, to this date I'm
still out the money and the person in charge of reimbursement is the very
comrade who would not give
out the convention information in the first place.
It's seems like through most of my life I've
had what I call an "allies complex", most of which stems from the lack
of comrades and a certain anti-intellectualism that seems to have been
present in society since my birth. Even when I was involved in Riot
Grrrl, as well as, other feminist organizations I never felt that there
was a sense of unity or seriousness within these groups. If anything
there was always backstabbing and a certain pettiness that emanated
within its members, and I was determined that the club I'd formed with
a young comrade would be an example of communist youth.
However, when we arrived in Chicago it was unknown
to us at that time that we would be witness to one of the most disturbing
weekends of Democrat ass-kissing revisionism.
When my comrade and I arrived at the convention
center it was the very essence of high school cliques, and the same people
that I had met previously at the New York Convention were now the
same people asking to see my "credentials" before I was admitted into the
conference area. At fist I
thought that this was some lame joke, but instead it was a serious
attempt at bureaucracy being perpetrated by the very people that were supposed
to be tearing it down. My comrade and I settled down for the lengthy
introduction and plenary that was over 3 hours long and included the use
of the word "Socialism" over 50 times, but never once "Communism" or "Marxism-Leninism."
I felt shocked and embarrassed that I was supposed to call these people
that were in arrested political development, my comrades. I thought
to myself about how I would fight and die for the chance to actualize
revolutionary change, and that I could not trust these people with getting
out emails, let alone having my back. As the verbal barrage continued
from YCL groups across the country lacking any sort of inspiration
or even clarity for that matter, my comrade and I sat back passing each
other looks that assured me that I wasn't alone in thinking that this entire
convention was just a sham and a disgrace. Meanwhile, throughout
the entire convention no one introduced themselves or even attempted to
maintain simple rules of etiquette, leaving the two of us in a very solitary
position. It seemed as though I was still being punished for speaking
against the group and their unorganized structure of setting up a national
convention without even providing basic information to YCL leaders.
One of the most ridiculous aspects of the
Convention weekend was the "Demonstration" that occurred down the streets
of Schiller Park. There was no exact point or subject that we were
supposed to be demonstrating against, yet for some reason we all
walked over 3 miles to try to illegally hang a banner over a highway pass.
At this point I was so embarrassed by their hodge-podge banners and half-assed
chants that all I could do was wait until this entire weekend was over.
So far the Convention hadn't even displayed any sort of interaction or
discussion within its members, all of that changing with the "Workshop"
schedule which included such topics as "Defending the Ultra-Right at the
Ballot Box" and "Socialism USA". While attending the workshop on
"Building YCL Clubs on Campus" I came to the sudden realization of just
how isolating and bourgeois these kids truly were, exemplified by the fact
that the comrades who were running the workshop completely excluded anyone
who didn't go to an ivy league and had to work.
Throughout the entire conversation the discussion remained directed
only to those in school that didn't have to support themselves to live,
and those that had the privilege of attending State funded or Private schools.
I found it hard to believe that it was so easy for these people to
discredit the working class in college with their anti-proletariat banter
when they were supposed to be fighting for the masses to begin with.
It seemed as though the group couldn't wait to become exactly like their
parents living the Middle Class American Dream, except with the twist of
maintaining a sense of
rebellion. My comrade and I were disgusted by their entire attitude
and spent a lot of time by ourselves in the hotel room trying to plan out
the actions that we would take to build our own club once we arrived home.
In fact, for the most part of the weekend all I looked forward to was getting
back on the plane and away from these revisionist traitors.
The worst aspect of the entire trip was witnessing
the utter disappointment that both my comrade and I endured realizing that
the Party we so strongly joined and pledged to was, in fact, a disgrace
to the masses it claimed to represent. I personally felt as though
I dragged my comrade half way across the country only for him to not feel
one ounce of camaraderie or unity, and that if he was a man of lesser convictions
he would have walked away and never been involved in Leftist politics again.
This seems to be a crime that the YCL perpetuates over and over again;
by not contacting potential members for years, by forming cliques but claiming
to be non-sectarian, and worst of all, by snuffing out the fire of it's
members through it's ineffective attempts at being politically active.
The YCL Convention was a sham and a disgrace not only because of its straying
from the very concept of "communism", but because the people involved are
the very one's who are poisoning the political climate with their tepid
and unserious nature. I'm lucky that I was able to witness first
hand the true face of the youth of the Communist Party, that being, closet
bourgeois Democrat sympathizers who have been the demise of the Communist
Alliance Issue 1, January 2003.