Joseph Carter Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Joseph Carter

Youth Day Must Prepare for Real Anti-War Fight

(September 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 41, 2 September 1933, pp. 1 & 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

At the height of the patriotic hysteria of the last World War, when the leaders of the Socialist parties proclaimed civil truce with the capitalists and supported their national master class, a small, but courageous group of revolutionary socialist youth met at Berne, Switzerland, July 1915, to organize the youth of the various European countries against capitalism and war. Undaunted by the war frenzy, in total disregard of the universal chauvinistic public opinion, with the single aim of furthering the movement for the emancipation of the working class, irrespective of personal consequences, these young revolutionary fighters considered the next steps to be taken, and proclaimed the first Sunday of every September International Youth Day – the day of demonstration against capitalist militarism and war.

The Young Communist International, the inheritor of the best traditions of the Socialist Youth International formed at Stuttgart in August 1915 and the militant traditions of the Berne Conference, continued the practise of International Youth Day. In the early years of its existence it succeeded in mobilizing broad masses of young workers on this day as a culmination to its regular anti-militarist propaganda.

Today the heavy clouds of war looms over the entire world. The threat of Japanese imperialism to the Soviet Union, its robber war and conquests in China, the consolidation of German Fascism, the conflicts between the imperialist nations, England vs. the United States, Japan vs. the U.S., Germany vs. France, Austria vs. Germany, and so on, brood an impending massacre. The capitalist nations are reaching an economic and political impasse. It is becoming more and more difficult for them to settle their problems peacefully.

France is armed to the teeth. Japan, England and the United States have been and are increasing their naval forces. Roosevelt is preparing the psychology of the American workers for a war situation. His national labor boards closely resemble those organized during the last war. Through the Civil Conservation Camps, the American bosses represented by Roosevelt’s government are preparing a reserve of several hundred thousand young workers for the new imperialist slaughter.

To counteract this process of militarization of the youth, little effective work is being done. The Stalinist Communist party and Young Communist League gives over to the Barbusses, Sinclairs and Dreisers the leadership of the struggle against war. In the trade unions, which are essential for war or anti-war purposes the Left wing is insignificant.

International Youth Day belongs to the militant and class conscious young workers. To give it real meaning to enshrine it in the hearts of the American youth an orientation of international revolution is necessary. Only on such a basis can an effective struggle against militarism and war be conceived of. The Left Opposition youth will dedicate itself to this and endeavor to carry on the tradition of the handful of bold young fighters who met at Berne.

Joseph Carter Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 3 January 2016