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U.S. young people show their discontent with capitalism

Added: Thursday, December 1st 2011 at 6:43pm by drDrjojo

November 29 2011



The following is Young Communist League leader Lisa Bergman's speech to the World Federation of Democratic Youth meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, Nov. 9-12.

The Young Communist League USA stands firmly, as it always has, united with all of you against U.S. imperialism, greed, and war.

I will do my best to paint a picture for you about what is happening with the youth movement in the United States right now, but please feel free to find me and ask me questions after my remarks if there is something specific you would like to know about that I do not cover.

Youth in the United States are shouting at the top of their lungs that the U.S. capitalist economic system has failed them. It offers them no future, no educational prospects, and no economic stability. High school students in urban communities are regularly losing their friends to violence. Students are graduating from university with record amounts of debt. Young people in general cannot find work to establish economic independence from their parents.

It is for these reasons and many others that thousands of youth in the United States are taking to the streets to demand a better world.

Inspired by the Arab Spring and other youth movements in Europe and Latin America, the Occupy Wall Street Movement began in the heart of the U.S. capitalist system, and has now spread to more than 300 cities in the United States. Occupy is predominantly a youth movement, calling attention to the unprecedented wealth inequalities that exist in our country. 

Indeed, in the U.S. now, the wealthiest 1% of the country's population owns 35% of the nation's wealth. While the participants in the Occupy movement are members of a wide variety of groups, they all identify as part of the 99% of people who do not have access to the country's wealth.

The U.S. labor movement has been one of the strongest allies to the Occupy movement.  Other participants in the Occupy movement include peace activist groups, veterans, elected officials, immigrant rights groups, and of course the Communist Party USA and the Young Communist League!

The Young Communist League, even though we are in a re-building phase, has participated in Occupy in every city where we exist, and has even initiated the Occupy chapters in some cities. Leaders of the Young Communist League and leaders of the Communist Party have been arrested in Chicago on two separate occasions during police raids on the Occupy movement.

Also, the networks of student-labor alliances in the country have achieved a new level of coordination and power. I had the privilege of attending the AFL-CIO's  "Next Up" conference in September, where 800 young workers and leaders gathered to plot the future of the union movement in the U.S. Student leaders there reported winning many victories on university campuses. For example, under the direction of United Students Against Sweatshops, students at over 15 universities nationwide have built a successful campaign to end their universities' contracts with the food service provider Sodexo because of corporate giant's violations of workers rights in the U.S. and elsewhere. The labor movement, in general, has made dramatic investments in young people over the last period of time.

Young people are also leading the fight for job creation. The Young Communist League has been collecting signatures nationwide in support of President Obama's "American Jobs Act", and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky's "Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act." If passed, these bills would create over 4.2 million new jobs in the U.S.

Last week, in the city where I live, the Young Communist League and other youth led a march of 200 people in support of jobs for youth and jobs for all.

I will highlight why the fight for jobs is so important.  Right now we have 25 million people who are unemployed and looking for work in the United States. This is therefore the worst economy we have had since the Great Depression in the 1930s. The youth employment rate has dropped to 48.8 percent, which is the lowest on record since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking this number in 1948. As racism remains a major factor in access to education and employment in U.S. society, for African American and Latino youth the employment rate is much lower. Students who take out loans to go to college are graduating with an average debt of over $25,000. College graduates have an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

Youth unemployment has also exacerbated violence amongst youth in urban communities. In my small city of New Haven, Conn., 29 people, mostly young men of color, have been killed this year. The most recently killed was only 13 years old.

In Chicago, in one May weekend alone, six people were killed and twenty-one were injured by gun violence. That same weekend, 1,000 youth were part of a gang-related fight on Carson Beach in South Boston. In general, the Center for Disease Control reports that youth violence is the second leading cause of death for young people in the U.S.

As I mentioned earlier, The Young Communist League is in a period of re-building in the United States, and has been for the last year and a half. We are making good progress. We held 5 YCL schools in the last year, in Los Angeles, New Haven, Chicago, Florida, and Texas. At the schools we taught classes about Marx and Lenin, the labor movement, ending racism, and other topics. Also, hundreds of youth are joining the Young Communist League every month online.

Because youth are so disillusioned with capitalism in the U.S. right now, this moment is a huge opportunity for building solidarity with and awareness of countries where socialism or communism exist as the dominant system. This includes Cuba and the growing anti-imperialist governments in Latin America. This past weekend the Communist Party USA and the YCL held a joint meeting on building solidarity with Cuba and the Cuban Five.

Finally, I will speak briefly about the 2012 elections in the U.S. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 was a tremendous victory for the people of the United States and indeed for people all over the world. The election of our first African American president has been a huge blow to the entrenched racism in our country. Young people are a reason that Obama won the presidency, as he earned 66 percent of the youth vote. Obama continues to push policies that benefit working-class people in the United States. And Republicans continually block these policies to make Obama look ineffective. 

Youth in the United States also have major disappointments with the Obama administration that cannot be ignored. These include the large number of people who have been deported during his presidency due to immigration issues. (The number exceeds the number deported during Bush's presidency.) These also include his foreign policy towards Libya, Cuba, Afghanistan, and other regions where aggressive imperialist policy has continued. We in the Young Communist League USA look forward to working with all of you to push the U.S. government to reach a cooperative, rather than imperialist, approach to foreign policy around the world.

That said the fight for jobs and for real solutions must include reelecting Obama in 2012. If youth, whether in the Occupy movement or elsewhere, do not want to work with any politician, then being absent from the political process is only allowing the ultra-right wing to build power.

Reelection will also allow working people to continue to focus on building a viable movement for themselves in the United States that will be in a position to stand in solidarity with working people throughout the world.

Activist and author Angela Davis, when visiting Occupy Wall Street on Oct. 31, said, "It is up to US to build a movement. And it is up to Obama to respond to that movement. But he cannot do it on his own."

Thank you so much for your time, Comrades ! Thank you again for having us at the assembly and we look forward to working with all of you in solidarity.

Photo: Occupy Chicago (John Bachtell/PeoplesWorld.org )


Lisa Bergmann

User Comments

Well I guess the Communists (12%) are more popular then Congress (9%)...lol...incredible....

LOL This has to be a first, Comrade Strider, you didn't one star this post. {#apploud.gif}

Why would I, I think it's amazing that Republicans have helped pull this down to an all time low...but hey, lower then the commies? lol...too funny..heil my friend

lol  You forgot about your Dear leader Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. 

Generic Republicans can beat your empty suit. Obama hit an all time low in polls last week, lower than Jimma Cotta

Obama - Carter


But who knows, he can buy a lot of votes with a BILLION DOLLAR war chest and corrupt unions and dead voters....

How many times have you signed the Walker recall petition?

You know, may be you should note that I'm an Independent as one who didn't vote for Carter..you're part of the foolery of two...two parties to vote for in the U.S. hell one more choice then the old Soviet Union...I don't give a rip about either of the Parties, they all fill their coffers with the same cronies...and they seem to have you fooled that they're actually different...but that's your narrow perspective thinking there's you the comedic Republicans and then those screw up a wet dream Democrats...well my friend there are people like us that are not fools like you that are not on either team...heil....

Man Claims He Signed 80 Walker Recall Petitions

Read more: http://www.wisn.com/politics/29958007/detail.html#ixzz1gZeSwujR

Strider, what do you think of all of the nasty attacks the democrats are doing to get signatures ? I saw where a mother took her child to school and was harassed for not signing the petition. Another lady was driving, she was approached by anti-Walker ppl and they egged her car when she said she didnt want to sign the recall petition. I have been following a lot of the things that have gone on and I tell WI folks I chat with you about it. LOL

I dont see you as an 'INDEPENDENT'... you are way to progressive.  I worry for our country.

Wow! Wisconsin Police Deck The Halls With Recall Holly In Honor of Scott Walker


One can be progressive and independent just like my conservative friend who hates the choices in the Republican Party and will support none of the candidates. As for the recall, there's always some people over the top...these people are all over the place...the question is, who runs against Walker?  They will have plenty of signatures...Walker is not well liked in the majority. We'll see...

sad ....he has a lot of support from across the country.

This isnt just a WI thing, other states are having budget problems too.  When will it ever stop if ppl vote out those who are trying to get their state back into a better fiscal state? The federal govt is broke, state govts are broke, local govts are broke.... it will all come crashing down sooner than later if 'unpopular measures aren't taken. 

Ha! The same young people who were raised to think that they were OWED everything. Their food, their clothing, the houses and beds they sleep in.

One sure-fired way for them to achieve their lofty whiner goal is to commit an act of violence.

They'll get 3 hots and a cot....fast. Even a nice cheery prison uniform.

Capitalism has not failed these kids.

But the Socialistic practice of robbing the rest of us for rampant entitlements has. That along with the horrible whiners who claim the planet is going to Hell because of Global Warming. All of the regulations that have been implemented over the past 50 years have sent businesses fleeing from the USA in droves. We have lost, due to egregious regulations, 60% of our manufacturing base in this country.

Obama keeps hiring more bureaucrats which fleece the private sector who actually produce products and make money. Under Obama the bureaucrats who make nothing have increased by 25% in only 3 years.

The audacity of whining has commenced...by the sheep our rotten education system has brainwashed.

"We have an administration that understands that the path from this crisis to long term economic health doesn't lead backwards toward the failed policies of the past."

"We must take advantage of this critical moment to have a new 21st century conversation that truly involves the American people and breaks out of the narrow debates that dominate our political discourse in Washington."

"As a country, like so many families, we are faced with difficult choices about how we are going to build a future for our kids and their grandkids, and about how we pass on the American dream and not America's debt." ----------

That is what Andy Stern wrote on his SEIU blog when he was appointed to Obama's National Debt Commission
He praised Communist China after a visit there recently.
China's Superior Economic Model


Remember when he was the top visitor to the WH. Obama said his agenda is that of the SEUI and ACORN. I hope ppl wake up before the election!

These thugs not only bite the hand that feeds them, (the taxpayer) but they have helped create a class in our country who have learned to leach off the rest of us while they insult us .

Stearn is as big a liar as Obama...and is just as big a Communist.

All these thugs do is teach how to take, steal while lying through their teeth.

And they never use the word EARN. It's counter to their agenda.

They want to kill the very system that keeps them alive and free,commie fools! McCarthy was right they should have listened to him back in his day.

You said it Rosie! A documented fact with release of the Venona papers. You notice a few of our more idiotic lefties are clinging to the myth, crying McCarthyism when they are exposed as communists. Thank God that being a known communist is still reprehensible to any who know their history.

Andy Stern: Free-markets are dead, American businesses must now embrace Communist China’s model

Did you see this?


Amen Neo! One of the ppl behind the OWS said McCarthy set the unions back 15 years. He is a leftist union acitivist and so is his dad.

Neo,lets hope we get it to stay reprehensible! Know too many Russians here that will tell you about mother Russia and how bad it really is there.But we could talk about that for a long time with many facts.

Should have listened to Eugene and I knew that in 1968!

Wow, thanks for the link Jojo! The publication below is an October 1949 edition. Look at the Chinese Manifesto starting on pdf page 59 (publication pg 249). It's a chilling read to say the least. AMERICAN AFFAIRS

You bet Rosie communism always has been and always will be reprehensible...we had all the warnings, but who would have believed then it would have gone this far, or that so much was going on that most Americans were not aware of. You know someone recently told me when Roosevelt was having those fireside chats with America, there was no one to tell the American people he was a lying communist. McCarthy knew, but they censured him and called him a radical for speaking out against the real radicals.

We were too trusting of our elected ones Neo,we became complaisant too.Yes Mccarthy knew that's why the elitists needed to silence him,he was in their way.Only evil would follow communism,Russian people aren't free in any way,they want out and can't get out now very easily.Those visiting always pray they get home to the US , the ones that I know do!

Communism,socialism boy I remember my uncles face when McCarthy spoke out!And he shook his head in disgust when McC was censored!

Thanks for the link Neo.  I will check it out.

"Because youth are so disillusioned with capitalism in the U.S. right now, this moment is a huge opportunity for building solidarity with and awareness of countries where socialism or communism exist as the dominant system."

How sad that such a statement can be made. I know we're not supposed to talk about a certain group of people here, but when they make comments that they are here because their professor requires it, and that they are required to watch videos in class of police brutality against OWS, and to visit or take part in [omitted city] OWS, we should begin to understand why so many of our young people have been turned into communists. The bright side is the number of students who visited the OWS encampment and provided cautious though honest accounts of how inept the entire occupy program and its occupants are. I would love to see how those radical leftist professors grade their student's. One would hope evidence of sound reason and quality of expression in their writing would reflect most prominantly in grading...but I doubt that's the case.

I read a few of their post, and was pleasantly surprised they weren't sold on the movement. Some of the former students  were encouraged to joined in protest for teacher raises last year. I was like 'Hey dude, you are protesting for higher tuition.'

And then the same thing happened in IL, and taxes were raised. I just don't get it!  Marxist have taken over the colleges and education systems as well. They paint a rosy picture of Marxism and leave out all of the gory details that go along with it. 

The girl who wrote this post has a lot to learn.  I watched some of their indoctrination videos a few months ago and it broke my heart to see youth in our country turning to Communism.



Typical Obama supporter

You know of that WIDE path?  That is their walk... {#basic-undecided.gif}


Drjo, there hasn't been any true free-market capitalism anywhere in the world in almost a century.

What the silly infantiles are protesting, although they don't know it, is communistic intrusion into, and the control of, capitalist systems. Economic equality based on nothing more than policy is a starvation system. It is the delusion of fools.

They dont know what they are asking for. They need to be voting out the ppl leading them to a path of destruction instead of protesting for more taxes and chanting death to capitalism.

Idealism is an infantile disease that torments everyone except the afflicted.

Drjo, young people haven't been on this planet long enough to have any idea about life here. The only view they've been taught, K-grad school, is the communistic dogma.

The intelligent ones keep their views to themselves. The stupid ones parrot the garbage they get from the liberal media.

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