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THE KOMSOMOL AFTER 70 YEARS NOTHING HAS CHANGED The Komsomol of the Soviet Union is a curious feature of that nations political system While having a unique relationship with the Communist Party it also exists as a typical product of the regimes totalitarian rule The Party has prescribed a certain amount of responsibility to the Komsomol but it is questionable as to how much political influence is vested there For a critical analysis of its usefulness a measure of its political influence is needed and also a specific description of what particular role it does play Unique to the All-Union Leninist Communist League as it is formally known is the extent to which the Party relies on it to fulfill its assigned tasks It is evident that the Young Communist League YCL is failing to perform as effectively as is necessary The YCL will be marking its seventieth anniversary this year Self-examination is presently being made and the problems which account for its failure will be realized if they have not been already These problems are essentially those which derive from the Partys insistent desire to circumscribe and even repress political interest and opinions In this respect the YCL is not an unusual Soviet institutional product What is necessary to realize though is that due to the importance of its ordained function it is a critical element of the Partys strategy for reaching an advanced stage of communism in the USSR The YCLs role in sculpting the youngest generations political attitudes of ideology as well as its natural tendency to influence the youths attitudes toward the Party and its methods of political repression give it peculiar significance It is especially interesting now to see if glasnost will give enough momentum to produce a change in the youths image or the YCL may become more favorable thus averting future problems and detours on the road to communism What is certain is that after
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