What is the CJB?
A short introduction to the CJB
The CJB is the Communist Youth Movement (Communistische Jongerenbeweging) of the Netherlands. We are the youth organisation of the New Communist Party of the Netherlands (NCPN). The ideological basis of the CJB is Marxism-Leninism.
Young people between the ages of 15 and 35 can join the CJB. The CJB works for the interests of working and unemployed youths and students. We fight for peace, for a sustainable environment, for free and accessible education, for quality and affordable housing, for good and free healthcare, for full unemployment benefits, for regular jobs and paid work, for liveable wages and fair conditions.
All these interests stand opposed to those of big business. The bosses do not care if the youth make enough money, have regular jobs or a healthy environment and climate. Not because they hate us, but because they have to increase their profits. There is no perspective for us in this capitalist society: no good work, no peace, no future. Every day under capitalism proves this.
Since 2003 our organisation has been growing steadily, with branches in several of the major cities of our country. In the past years we have participated in several international events, such as the annual Meetings of European Communist Youth Organisations (MECYO). The CJB is also in the process of becoming a full member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, an international anti-imperialist and anti-fascist youth federation which unites progressive and left-wing youth organizations all over the world.
Another society is necessary. A society where the means of production are owned by the commons, where the wealth is not concentrated in the hands of a small group of capitalists. The CJB fights for a socialist society, where the workers control the means of production, which will develop into a communist society, free of exploitation of man by man. Socialism is timeless and necessary, now more than ever. Nothing can be achieved without struggle, but when we fight, we have a world to win. One finger can be broken, but five fingers can make a fist.
Frequently Asked Questions about the CJB
What does the CJB do?
We organise young people in the Netherlands in the struggle for a socialist society. The CJB brings together working, unemployed, and students in the class struggle for their rights and interests. We do this in the workplace, in student organisations, in neighbourhoods, and wherever else class struggle takes place.
What is the internal structure of the CJB? Are you a democratic organisation?
The CJB is organised according to the principle of “freedom of discussion, unity in action”. Functionaries are elected democratically, and decisions are made by majority after a free and open discussion. When a decision is made, everyone has to cooperate in the implementation, regardless of their positions in the discussion. In this way, we work in unison and we are more effective.
Can I support the CJB through social media?
Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. There, we share information and short-form news about the CJB. This way, we can show our work to a broader audience and spread our analyses. However, our actual activity is not based on social media, but in real life. We meet face-to-face and we try to organise our members in their places of work and study. It is not possible to be a member or participate in our political work solely through social media. We recommend everyone who wants to make a real difference to not only like us on Facebook, but also to contact us and become active.
How does the CJB work on the international level? Is the CJB part of any international organisations?
We believe that, since capitalism is international, so should the resistance against it be international. In Europe, we have a particular task in fighting against the European Union, the instrument of capital, together with other communist organisations in Europe. Most European countries have sister organisations of the CJB. We participate in the Meeting of European Communist Youth Organisations (MECYO), where we discuss common political issues and joint actions. We maintain close relations with our sister organisations in Germany, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. The CJB is also an observer member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), an international organisation of anti-imperialist and left-wing youth organisations recognised by the United Nations. In the long term, we will seek to attain full membership of WFDY.
How does the CJB relate to the NCPN? Why is there a separate youth organisation?
The CJB is the youth organisation of the New Communist Party of the Netherlands (NCPN). The CJB is an autonomous youth organisation, but we are aligned with the NCPN politically. The NCPN has the task of organising the working class as a whole; we have the particular task of developing the class struggle amongst the youth, to allow them to take a militant position and to develop demands pertaining to their interests.
As a young person, you enter the labour market for the first time, or you go to school or university. Capital seeks to use young people as cheap labour with no rights. It does so through lower wages, reduced chances of regular work, and an educational system where you have to incur debt in order to pay your fees. This gives young people less security and makes them more dependent on their employers and the government. As a youth organisation, we specifically appeal to young people in relation to their position and interests, and we try to move the labour and student movements towards that orientation.
What is the difference between the CJB and other political youth organisations?
Most political youth organisations are not actually accessible for all young people. They are often political student fraternities, lobbying organisations, or a vehicle towards one’s own political career. Young people are often accused of being apathetic towards politics, but the real reason for this is that politics is often considered a hobby for the elite, which only highly-educated individuals are smart enough for. Bourgeois political youth organisations are an example of this mentality.
The CJB distinguishes itself by organising young people on the basis of their common interests as young workers or students, rather than as a starting point for a political career. Together, we fight for a different society.
What is Marxism-Leninism?
Marxism-Leninism is the theory that explains what capitalism is and how we can fight it. The classic works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and other theoreticians, provide us with insight in how capitalist society is structured, how the working class are exploited, and how we can achieve a socialist society where the working people are in power.
What is the difference between socialism and communism?
Communism is a society in which class differences, exploitation, oppression, and the state have been abolished, where the means of production are commonly owned, in which each individual can develop themselves to the fullest extent possible. Socialism is the first stage of this new society. In a socialist state, the working class are in control of the workplaces and the state. Under socialism, class differences and the state wither away in the transition towards a communist society.
What is the difference between the CJB and social-democratic organisations?
The CJB supports reforms and improvements of people’s living standards. However, we are aware that such reforms can only be won through class struggle, and have to be defended through struggle. Such victories are only temporary; there is no permanent solution to the problems of the people under capitalism. The capitalist system ultimately cannot be reformed. The ruling class may offer reforms and improvements in order to avert a deepening struggle, but if the economic situation necessitates it, they will abandon them just as easily. The struggle for reforms should therefore always be combined with the struggle for socialism.
In the Netherlands, we have both the old social-democracy of the Labour Party (PvdA) and the new social-democracy of the Socialist Party (SP). The SP increasingly takes the positions that used to belong to the PvdA. They assume that a social capitalism is possible, and that a pro-people reform of organisations like the EU or NATO is possible. They therefore try to trap every manifestation of class struggle inside a parliamentary framework. They want to win seats and govern at every cost, even with right-wing parties.
What is the difference between the CJB and other tendencies to the left of social-democracy?
There are all sorts of groups in the Netherlands and worldwide calling themselves left-wing, revolutionary, socialist, or even communist. They all have different social and ideological backgrounds that cannot be generalised easily. However, they all share an ultra-leftist radical position. In this vision, socialism is not a real movement arising from the concrete circumstances of the working class, but a utopia; a perfect picture that reality needs to adapt itself to, and therefore unattainable.
Because of this, ultra-leftists tend to oppose all cooperation or compromise with those perceived to be impure. They therefore play a generally negative role in the labour and student movement. They make impossible demands, they separate themselves from the masses, they instigate splits, or they take actions that are not supported by the majority, thus scaring the masses away from the labour and people’s movement.
In mass movements, the CJB fights both the right-opportunist strategy of the social-democrats and the ultra-left radical positions.