Students and Youth for a New America (SYNA)

Students and Youth for a New America (SYNA)


Founded in 2016 and allied ideologically with the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party, Students and Youth for a New America (SYNA) is an organization of young people who claim that their “love for America” and their “patriotism” motivate them to reject “mindless conformity” and to “work hard toward building a better future for the people of the United States, as well as the rest of the world.” Lamenting that the “increasingly difficult lives” of young Americans “are of little concern to [the] rich and powerful,” SYNA asserts that many people under the age of thirty “have become discouraged” by a host of items including the following: “living conditions are declining, and wages are far too low”; “the costs of higher education have increased exponentially, while the opportunities opened up by a college degree have significantly decreased” and graduates “struggle to make payments on astronomical student loan debts”; “far too many young Americans are locked in prison”; “our highways and bridges are crumbling”; “our fire departments, power plants, water treatment facilities, and hospitals are in a chronic state of dysfunction”; “formerly prosperous neighborhoods are now flooded with foreclosed homes”; “rising rates of drug addiction consume and destro[y] the lives of millions”; “acts of terror occur so frequently that we have become almost desensitized to their horror”; “millions of people have become refugees as their homelands are reduced to chaos”; and “the failure to adequately address the problem of global climate change has yielded many serious consequences.”

According to SYNA, “the time has come for American Rebirth,” whereby “an upsurge of people’s democracy” will usher in an era of “global stability and a prosperous, peaceful tomorrow.” This can only be achieved, SYNA explains, if American youth “take history into their own hands” and lead the way in rejecting the “selfishness,” “individualism,” and “senseless greed” associated with capitalism, and instead “embrace” the “sense of community,” “egalitarianism,” and “universal human values and cooperation” allegedly inherent in socialism. SYNA also contends that capitalism breeds “hate,” “racism,” “sexism,” “bigotry,” “police state” tactics, and “new aggressive wars.” “The focus of the organization’s activism, therefore, is to bring “anti-capitalist politics out of the small radicalized enclaves and toward [the] working class majority of American society,” and to prevent “any more lives” from being “destroyed by a failing [capitalist] economic order.”

In its pursuit of transformational social and economic change, SYNA lauds the “revolutionary heritage” of the “working people,” “abolitionists,” “labor organizers,” “suffragists,” and “revolutionary warriors” who, in times past, courageously challenged the “slave-owners, racist settlers, and cowboys” who had cultivated what SYNA views as an ugly, hateful American culture. That revolutionary zeal, says SYNA, will help today’s young radicals “firmly take hold of history,” “march triumphantly into the future,” and “counter the rising menace of fascism” – by which SYNA means conservatism.

SYNA proclaims that it is “greatly inspired by the anti-fascist struggles of the 1930s and ’40s,” particularly those of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), an organization founded in 1945 as a front group to promote Soviet foreign-policy goals. As part of their initiation into SYNA, all of the group’s members take the same pledge that WFDY members originally took:

“Until we have built the world we have dreamed of and fought for,
We pledge ourselves to build the unity of youth of the world, all races, all colors, all nationalities, all beliefs;
To eliminate all traces of fascism from the earth;
To build a deep and sincere international friendship among the peoples of the world;
To keep a just lasting peace;
To eliminate want, frustration and enforced idleness;
We have come to confirm the unity of all youth, salute our comrades who have died, and pledge our word that skillful hands, keen brains and young enthusiasm shall never more be wasted in war.”

SYNA candidly supports “Black Nationalism” as well as “other revolutionary movements of the oppressed.” It claims that American racism “incit[es] white workers to hate people of color, immigrants, Muslims, [and] other oppressed people,” in an effort to ensure that “their [white people’s] anger is directed away from the Wall Street monopolists and the international financial cartel which is destroying the country.”

In a May 2017 interview, Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked SYNA member Dakotah Lilly whether he thought it was significant that so many socialist nations — including Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Cuba, North Korea, the Soviet Union, and present-day Venezuela — had suffered economic collapse over the years. Lilly responded by blaming Venezuela’s problems in particular on “the sanctions that the United States has put on Venezuela, and the hording done by multinational corporations in Venezuela.” He further claimed that “very few if anyone in Venezuela want to go back to the pre-[Hugo] Chavez years of unbridled capitalism.” Also contributing heavily to Venezuela’s problems, said Lilly, were right-wing “violent extremists hell-bent on taking away the progress Venezuela has made over the past few years.” The principal victims of that violence, he said, were “dedicated Chavistas” and “people on the left” who “support the government.”

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