We 63 young people participated in the International Meeting of Revolutionary Youth (1), organised from 29 August to 1 September on the initiative of the Organising Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International (OCRFI). We come from countries where the situations are very different, but the problems we all face unite us.
Appeal by the International Meeting of Revolutionary Youth
We hereby affirm that the cause of all the problems we are all facing has a name: the capitalist system, based on the exploitation of humans by humans and on private ownership of the means of production.
As we come together in our international meeting, the Amazon rainforest is burning. But who is responsible?
The big private landowners who are lighting the fires, serving the demands of the big multinationals that are pillaging the rainforest in the name of making profits, with the blessing of Bolsonaro and Trump.
As for those who – like Macron – have voiced protests, we are not being fooled, because the French multinationals are taking part in that pillage. It is indeed the capitalist system that is destroying humankind and its environment!
War is ravaging whole continents, destroying whole nations, forcing hundreds of millions of people to flee their homes, and is causing the death of thousands of others on the road towards exile. Those wars and those imperialist interventions are the consequence of the policy of pillaging the peoples and of the growth of the arms economy, which has become one of the major sectors of the global capitalist economy. More than US$1.8 trillion was devoted to it by states in 2018!
In every country, whatever the particular forms it takes, young people are facing unemployment, insecure work, informal work, and the threat to the right to a free high-quality public education, where it exists. All of the “reforms” that are affecting both young people and workers are being carried out in the name of the demands by the capitalist institutions: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Union and others.
All over the globe, racism, the oppression of women and every form of discrimination are growing and getting worse. But what is the point of this, if not to serve the interests of the capitalists, who have every incentive to divide the youth and the working class?
Throughout the world, young people are facing violence and every form of repression. But what is the aim of that repression? Where do its roots lie? It is especially targeting all those who are fighting for their rights, who are taking strike action, who are holding protests, who want to form trade unions or to organise. There again, it is the capitalist system, its governments and its institutions that are the root cause.
We hereby affirm that when a system reaches such a degree of barbarism, when it causes 3 million children to die from hunger while it pays more than US$500 billion in dividends to shareholders in a single quarter, capitalism has had its time. Other systems have come before it, and others will come after it.
This system must be swept away, overthrown and replaced with a new system based on satisfying the needs of humankind. A system that has been rid of the rule of profit and exploitation, and therefore rid of war, oppression, discrimination and injustice.
This is why we are fighting for socialism.
Young people are not indifferent to the demands of the workers – quite the opposite, and all the more so because they themselves are workers of the future. This is why we are fighting for unity between the youth and the working class.
Socialism has nothing to do with Stalinism, its acts of repression and its prisons (2).
Socialism has nothing to do with those big “left-wing” leaders who participate in capitalist governments because they have declared that capitalism is an “impassable horizon”.
Socialism is not a utopia, it is quite simply the only possible way to protect humankind and its environment, and to once again open up the path to progress.
Socialism is democracy in all areas: both in the area of equal rights and individual and collective rights, as well as in the social and economic area through the production of wealth in the service of the vast majority and under the control of the vast majority.
This is why we, young revolutionaries from all over the world, hereby affirm that there will be no future for young people that is separate from the workers’ fight against exploitation.
As young revolutionaries, we – like all young people – are appalled by any form of injustice and oppression. We cannot tolerate them and we fight back against them wherever they exist. But we refuse to separate or to counterpose this or that particular fight from/to the central fight against capitalist exploitation, which is their root cause.
In each of our countries, we are involved in the mobilisations by the youth and the workers on their demands.
In all circumstances, we are in favour of young people taking their own affairs into their own hands, themselves defining their demands, themselves choosing who represents them, and themselves choosing how to organise. We seek to help them in that process and to achieve unity with the workers.
Our struggle has no borders; there is only one youth, and it is international.
We call on young people around the world who, like us, wish to build a new world that has been freed from the chains of exploitation and from all injustice, to join us and organise together, by forming:
The International Youth Alliance for Socialism.
Its first task will be to circulate throughout the world information and news on the struggles of young people against war, exploitation and oppression.
(1) The participants were young people from Algeria, Azania/South Africa, Belgium, Brazil, Burundi, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Palestine, Russia and United States. Some of the delegates from Algeria (who took part via live two-way communication) and Azania, as well as the delegates from Burkina Faso and Morocco, were prevented from attending due to the authorities’ refusal to grant them visas.
(2) As pointed out by a Russian comrade, this does not mean that there were no social gains in the Soviet Union.