When was the Komsomol formed and what are its organisational principles?

Grigori Reznichenko ::: Young people in the USSR. Answers to questions

The Komsomol was formed by the 1st All-Russia Congress of workers' and peasants' youth unions on October 29, 1918. Founded on the initiative of the Communist Party headed by Lenin, the Komsomol

bccame the first youth organisation of a new type- communist in its aims and tasks, independent in its activities and mass in its scale. The Komsomol began with a membership of 22,000. Today more than half of the young people in the 14 to 28 age group are members of the Komsomol.

The basis of the Komsomol consists of its primary organisations formed at factories, offices, education­al establishments and on the farms. These organi­sations are joined into bigger ones-district, city, regional, etc., on the territorial principle.

The highest authority of a primary organisation is a general meeting of its members, and in the bigger ones-а conference or congress of members. In between, it is the Komsomol bureau or commit­tee that runs the work of the organisation, and on a national level this job falls to the Komsomol Cen­tral Committee.

The organisational structure and activities of the Komsomol are based on the principle of democratic centralism. What that means is that all bodies from top to bottom are elected, all of them being accoun­table to those who elected them and to senior bodies. It also means that the minority follows the line adopted by the majority, and that all decisions of senior bodies are binding on those below them.

In practice democratic centralism means combin­ing strict discipline and a high degree of organisa­tion with full scope for initiative and activity.