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Leon Trotsky 19381130 For an Independent Youth Movement

Leon Trotsky: For an Independent Youth Movement

November 30, 1938

[Writings of Leon Trotsky, Vol 11, 1938-1938, New York ²1974, p. 136]

Dear Friend:

I am a bit disquieted about my correspondence with Europe and especially with France. The comrades working on the Russian Biulleten complain that my correspondence arrives after a great delay, which makes the regular publication of the Biulleten very difficult. I send most things from here by airmail, but it is essential then that the letters be sent immediately on the fastest and most direct ship. It can be done only by someone who follows very closely the itinerary and who understands the importance of the matter.

If I am not mistaken, the matter is now in the hands of Comrade Isaacs, who is busy with too many things and therefore can hardly accomplish this technical work with the necessary efficiency. Would it not be possible to find a comrade whose time is less occupied and arrange the matter?

I wait with a great deal of interest for the news of the youth conference. It seems to me that the youth is guided a bit too firmly; that they do not feel their independence and their right not only to obey, but also to make their own errors and stupidities, not leaving this prerogative to us older ones. I guess that the overly firm direction does not give sufficient encouragement for personal and local initiative and this is one of the reasons for the losses in the youth during the past year. It is my opinion that in the various directing bodies of the youth, national as well as local, there should not be more than one-third party members. These comrades should impose party decisions not by arithmetical predominance, but by discussion and conviction. We will never have a good youth movement if we deprive it of the possibility of independent development.

My warmest greetings to you both.

Comradely yours,

Leon Trotsky