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Young Socialists

From Academic Kids

The Young Socialists is the name given to the youth sections of several socialist and social democratic political parties.

The national youth section of the British Labour Party was called the Young Socialists from 1960. Initially it had a flourishing and democratic internal life dominated by competing Trotskyist tendencies but as with earlier Labour Party youth sections this life was gradually stifled as the youth were considerably to the left of the parent party.

Most important of the various tendencies in the YS in the early 1960's was the Keep Left tendency organiseda round the paper of the same name. This grouping was allied to the Socialist Labour League and took its supporters out of the Labour Party in 1966. The SLL and its succesor the Workers Revolutionary party meantained their own Youngs Socialists until that group finally fell apart in 1985.

The Labour Party Young Socialists (LPYS) were renamed as such in 1965 to stress their relationship with the adult party. However the domination of Keep Left was replaced by the domination of Young Guard a paper supported by both the International Socialists and the Revolutionary Socialists although the former contribute little material and quit to found their own paper, The Militant, in 1964. Before Young Guard the IS had supported a smaller publication called Rebel and the RSL had organised around Rally, th title coming from an earlier era stood for Read all About the Labour League of Youth. By 1968 Young Guard was discontinued as IS supporters drifted out of the labour Party and LPYS.

Thereafter from 1970 onwards it was under the control of the Militant Tendency acheiving a highpoint of 581 branches in 1985. In 1987 the Neil Kinnock Labour Party leadership removed the LPYS's leadership and effectively closed it down down by dissolving most of its elected structures and reducing its upper age limit from 26 to 23. By 1990 the number of LPYS branches had fallen to 52. In the mid-1990s a new youth movement called 'Young Labour' was launched.

"Young Socialists" is also the name of the youth organization of the Socialist Workers Party in the U.S. and theCommunist Leagues in a number of other countries, informally known as the Pathfinder Tendency.

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