Communist Party USA

  Over 30 years on from the dissolution of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), British communism has reached a new juncture, characterized by defiance of the anti-communist myths of the past and faith that Marxism-Leninism is the political path best suited to turning the looming contradictions in contemporary capitalism — climate collapse and rapidly rising inequality — into a revolution. The end of the beginning November 1991 marked the end of the CPGB. A party once feared by the British establishment was disbanded and its assets transferred to Democratic Left, a mere pressure group, by the more hard-line section of the Eurocommunist political tendency who controlled the leadership — the Young Communist League (YCL) had already been illegitimately liquidated in 1989. The dissolution of both the CPGB and YCL were part a paradigmatic shift in the Western world following the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Block that saw many on the left shift their support from the seemingly archaic and discredited ideology of Marxism-Leninism towards broadly liberal ideas around humanitarianism, namely that of think-tanks and NGOs. In 1991, the final CPGB general secretary Nina Temple proclaimed: “The internationalism of the 1990s will be as much informed by Greenpeace and Oxfam, as communism once was by Marx and Engels.” The liquidationists followed the mainstream, establishment view that communism was a failed experiment that had not been able to compete with the dynamism and creativity of capitalism. The retreat from materialist analysis and class struggle amongst the dominant faction of the CPGB had been clear for some time. Internal opposition towards elements of Marxism-Leninism within the CPGB had existed as far back as the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. By 1991, the majority were in favor of dissolution, whilst a minority of organized Marxist-Leninists in the Party who stayed on until the bitter end went on to found Communist Liaison and the Communist Trade Unionists group. In reaction to the Eurocommunist leadership’s disavowal of the basics of Marxism, the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) had been founded in 1988. Made up of former members of the CPGB who had been expelled, and later ushering in the remaining Marxist-Leninist members of the original party after its dissolution, the CPB became the de facto Communist Party, a continuation of the party founded in 1920, with the Democratic Left crowd having vacated this space entirely. Under extreme pressure, with most of its property and assets effectively stolen, and struggling against widely held misconceptions about communism that even supposed Marxists now saw as common sense, the CPB refused to surrender their politics to appease triumphal liberals and fought to defend the influence of communism by holding onto their networks within the labor movement, maintaining the Morning Star daily newspaper, rebuilding an openly communist presence in political movements and re-founding the YCL. Being a Marxist-Leninist in Britain in the period between 1991 and the financial crisis in 2008 was not an easy task — but now, over 30 years on from this rebirth, the fruits of this ideological commitment by older comrades have begun to flower with a new generation of members in both the CPB and YCL, solidifying Marxism-Leninism’s relevance in contemporary British politics. In 2021 the CPB’s 56th party congress — counting, as it should, the congresses of the original CPGB as its own — was its biggest since the 1980s, with party membership increasing by 63% that year alone. The YCL’s growth has also been rapid, going from 100 members in 2016 to over 500 in 2021. How has this resurgence come about? Structural factors In 2020 the Communist Party’s program, Britain’s Road…

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The Young Communist League in Great Britain is growing — here’s why.