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Background: The GDR put enormous energy into raising young people so that they would become good socialists. This book was intended for those leading groups for older youth — those already working or studying. I translate the introduction, a section on getting the socialist worldview across in a persuasive manner, and several pages on dealing with Western mass media. The book was written by a group from the Zentralinstitut für Jugendforschung in Leipzig, the East German think tank for matters of the youth. This book, intended for a public audience, was rather more optimistic about the success of the GDRís youth propaganda efforts that were the confidential reports from the group to the GDRís leadership. Those secret reports are available at the SED party archives in Berlin.

The source: Jugend Weltanschauung Aktivität. Erkenntnisse und Erfahrungen in der ideologischen Arbeit mit der Jugend (Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben, 1980).


Youth — Worldview — Action

Knowledge and Experiences in Ideological Work with Young People


  Forward

 

Anyone who has any responsibility for the education and training of young people — be it as an FDJ leader [the Free German Youth, the official GDR organization for the youth], a government leader, teacher, propagandist, or in some other function — has certainly discovered that new and more challenging tasks must be solved. This is a normal process. The requirements of social development in the GDR and the nature of international class struggle are the reasons why our ideological work must be of higher quality today than it was yesterday, and why it must be still higher in quality tomorrow. Ideological work is and remains the heart of the whole efforts of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and of the Free German Youth, its active helper and fighting reserve. As Margot Honecker said at the VIII. Pedagogical Conference, our societyís advances force us to think continually about how to build the socialist consciousness of the youth, about how ideological work must be conducted with the new generation.

It is therefore entirely understandable that there is growing interest in the content and methods of effective ideological work on the part of many functionaries, leaders, and teachers.

This book addresses the how and what of political work with the masses. Based on the results of scientific research and of generalizations based on experience, it will provide advice on how ideological work is to be conducted in the collectives of the socialist youth organization in a way that helps each member, each young person, to become conscious of the time in which we live and of the demands placed on him. Without making any claim to comprehensiveness, the book provides suggestions of how FDJ collectives can meet the goal of helping young people to develop a combination of solid and practical knowledge, political conviction, and conscious participation in solving our societyís practical problems. That is what the title of this book suggests in the short phrase: “Youth — Worldview — Action.”

The central theme in every chapter of this book is the unity and relationship between the revolutionary worldview of the working class and encouraging social action on the part of the youth. The focus is on developing and strengthening the socialist consciousness and social action of working youth — in particular young workers, members of the intelligensia, white collar workers, and apprentices — who together with all workers share the great task of realizing the decisions of the IX. Party Congress of the SED.

This book has three major parts. In Chapter I, the fundamentals of ideological work with young people are outlined. It demonstrates that the higher demands on ideological education flow above all from two conditions: from the real social processes of the present and from the current level of development of GDR youth. The first condition will be discussed briefly. The numerous references to the literature will guide the reader to a deeper study. We examine the second condition, the level of ideological development on the part of the youth , in more detail. Based on extensive statistical data and the results of research, various aspects of the life style of GDR youth will be examined, in particular that of working youth. Particular attention will be given to the level of development of their socialist consciousness, their social activity, their education, and their material lifestyle.

Such knowledge of the situation of todayís youth is necessary if we want to pay attention to Leninís statement that the youth must necessarily reach socialism in a way different than that of their fathers. At the same time, the reader will recognize that we enjoy very favorable conditions in our ideological work with young people. Analysis shows that a healthy youth is developing in the GDR, a youth that plays a major part in strengthening our socialist fatherland, that has a secure future before it. It is a youth that daily proves its will to achieve, its sense of responsibility in its work, in its education, and in the defense of the homeland. It is a socialist generation that was not only born and raised under socialism, but is firmly bound to it, seeing socialismís goals and ideals as its own.

Chapter II considers the process of developing socialist consciousness in the personalities of young people. As broadly as socialist ideology is spread, as much also must socialist class consciousness be developed. In the end, it is after all the individual person who is to think and act in a socialist manner. Each person must himself take on these requirements in the course of his life. The effectiveness of ideological work depends on actually reaching each individual personality. Based on social scientific research, we will examine how a socialist class consciousness develops in each personality, and what factors influence it. Particular attention will be given to the relationship between the development of a socialist class consciousness on the one hand, and the social activity of young workers on the other hand. The most important link in the chain of effective communist education is to use this relationship, particularly advancing the development of consciousness by actively involving every single young worker.

Chapter III presents experiences and discoveries in practical ideological work in FDJ collectives of working youth.

Eight sections of the chapter examine aspects of ideological work. The range of issues discussed is intentionally broad. It includes advice on persuasively presenting the worldview of the working class in ways that draw young workers into the practical struggles of the working class, on the content and methods of historical propaganda, on the meaningful and educational use of free time, on the use of socialist mass media, on differentiated work with individual youth, and on individual assignments as a tested means of activity. The chapter concludes with a section on the work of youth brigades. The organization is not random. The reader should realize that youth brigades, youth collectives, are not one matter among many, but rather the main field of ideological work, centers of communist education.

The book is intended above all for professional and volunteer functionaries of the FDJ in factories and conglomerates, who bear major responsibility for the communist education of each member, as well as those young people who are not members of the FDJ. This book will help them to release the full potential of FDJ collectives for effective ideological work, providing them with a better theoretical foundation and a mastery of practical matters.

The book will also help government and economic functionaries in factories and conglomerates to understand their responsibilities under youth legislation so that they can support the FDJís educational work and take heed of the decisions of the youth organization. Mastering the basics of the content, form, and methods of the FDJ will certainly help them achieve this. Also, the book will help the leaders of the FDGB [the GDRís single national trade union] and other social mass organizations in factories better to help the FDJ fulfill its tasks as the most important organization charged with political activity on the part of the youth. Last but not least, the book is intended for propagandists of the FDJ study year [an annual set of discussion meetings on issues of socialist ideology], since the quality of a discussion group and its influence on the thinking and behavior of its participants depends to a critical extent on the propagandistsís knowledge and abilities.

This book is the result of the collective work of members of the Central Institute for Youth Research and the staff of the Youth University “Wilhelm Pieck.” The authors and publisher thank the reviewers, Prof. Dr. Walter Friedrich and Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Jahnke, for their critical and constructive suggestions.

Peter Förster

Presenting our worldview in a persuasive manner!

Let us begin with a look at history.

Soviet Russia in 1920. The young state is still defending itself with all its strength and resources against foreign intervention. Large parts of the country are still occupied by White Guards and foreign troops. The countryside is starving. The destruction is incalculable, enormous. As the victory of Soviet power over the interventionists and White Guards began to become apparent, as the teachings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin were for the first time proving their validity and truth in organizing a socialist state, Lenin spoke to the delegates of the III. All-Russian Congress of the Communist Youth Federation of Russia. We no longer know what the individual delegates expected as they came to Moscow. We do know that Lenin had their full attention as he began his speech with a question: “What are the fundamental tasks of the communist youth federation?” They will have remembered that every second member of the communist youth federation had volunteered for the front, and that the majority of them were among the first organizers of the communist subbotniks [“voluntary” labor]. They probably expected that he would call them to fight and watch out for the interventionists, and to work for their socialist fatherland, and that he would discuss with them how they could mobilize their friends and comrades, and also those who were still standing to the side. However, he explained to them that the task of the youth and of communist youth organizations, as well as all other organizations, “may be expressed in a single word: the task is to learn.” First, the youth “must study communism,” and indeed “that sum of experiences of which communism is the result.” Lenin told the youth to study “the basic facts,” for “communism is nothing but an empty phrase, a mere slogan, and the communist nothing but a crowing rooster, if all he has learned does not become part of his consciousness. Passionately, he called out to his audience: “If I know that I do not know very much, then I will work to learn more. But when someone says that he is a communist and does not need to have solid knowledge, then he is everything but a communist.”

The correctness of Leninís standpoint has lost nothing of its validity today. The door to a broad and comprehensive understanding of Marxist-Leninist education is open to them. Highly educated socialist personalities, in command of politics and the facts, are maturing in our republic.

We are guided by Friedrich Engelís fundamental principle: “...to remember that since socialism has become a science, it must also be approached like a science, which means it must be studied.”

Even in a developed socialist society, the socialist consciousness of the youth does not develop automatically. As Erich Honecker said to the delegates of the X. Parliament of the FDJ: “If one wants to successfully implement the teachings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, one must naturally study them thoroughly. One must master the experiences of revolutionary practice. To take oneís full place in socialist society, to orient oneself to international events, everyone needs our scientific worldview, its living spirit.

Scientific studies prove that comprehensive Marxist-Leninist knowledge is essential to stable socialist attitudes and — through them — a high degree of social action.”

What is particularly important in persuasively presenting our worldview?

Communicating Marxisn-Leninism in a vivid way

We live in an age that puts great demands on each of us, an age of the world-wide transition from capitalism to socialism. It is therefore important that our persuasive work is appropriate to the historic standards of our age! More and more workers are evaluating todayís problems and the struggles of everyday life over against the tremendous changes that have occurred, for example, in our republic over the last thirty years. We have to answer the questions that life asks. The answers are clearly to be seen in the development of our republic since its beginning, in the ever stronger community of socialist states, in the bitter class conflict with imperialism, and in our active engagement for peace and social progress. To present Marxism-Leninism as the scientific worldview of the working class is not to present a dry theory, but rather above all to encourage actions that will change the world. Our goal is to lead each individual youth to the conclusion that the world-changing force of socialism rests on its scientific worldview. Each propagandist, indeed each leader and each functionary of the youth organization has a wonderful, if difficult, task. He must realize that the consciousness of the youth develops at work, in the process of learning, in participating in social life, and under the influence of ideological work. Experienced propagandists thus realize that, in the ideological work of transmitting Marxism-Leninism, the questions and conclusions youth have result from their own lives. The goal is to help them to think through all ideological questions and problems themselves. In this way, the systematically and consciously work toward the unity of ideological work and intentional participation in practical matters that us characteristic of communist education.

Many of the questions youth have spring directly from everyday life. The complexity of our ears, reflected in the everyday experiences of life, necessarily lead the youth to ask many questions. Many ideological problems emerge in daily work in factories, while participating in the FDJís economic youth initiatives, in conversations with friends during free time. Experienced propagandists do not avoid such tough questions, but rather encourage young people to talk about their problems, and through discussion come to a Marxist-Leninist understanding of them. The best proof for young people of the correctness of our ideological work, for the scientific nature of Marxism-Leninism, and the policies of the party of the working class that rest on it, is social practice, their own experience, real life.

They test the answers we gave them in our ideological work against their own life. It is therefore not only understandable, but also desirable, that they ask all the questions that confront them at work and in their free time. They look for answers to their questions, which will show that that the transition to socialism and communism is a deeply dialectical process that proceeds through dialectical contradictions. But only he who is better able to see these contradictions as resolvable is able to engage himself fully in solving them.

It is characteristic of the dynamic character of socialist progress that a resolved contradiction brings about a new one. Many contradictions cannot be solved in the short term. They cannot be resolved by a one-time effort. Let us consider one example that is a sensitive one for many youth: the housing question. Never before in our peopleís history, and in the history of our own state, was the housing question addressed so clearly and forcefully. But even though our party and our government are concentrating enormous energy on housing construction, the housing question will not be resolved as a social problem before 1990 [Erich Honecker had promised that the GDR would solve its housing shortage by 1990]. For that long, there will remain a contradiction between the wishes and needs of part of the population and the material ability to meet them. For many who do receive an apartment, new problems emerge that still hamper a socialist lifestyle in the new housing areas. That, too, is a problem that can in principle be solved. These and other problems are not evidence of the defects, failures, or imperfections of socialism, as western mass media attempt to persuade our people. Contradictions are the driving force of development, and therefore cannot be avoided in our practical, realistic ideological work. Without struggle, without overcoming barriers, without getting rid of the old and consistently advancing the new, there is no way to reach a communist society. As Margot Honecker said in this regard:

“The youth must learn that nature, society, and science are constantly advancing, that contradictions are a driving force. Still, it would be an oversimplification to speak of all difficulties as ‘the driving force of contradiction.’ That led Schlendrian [purged from the SED] to justify difficulties and adopt a passive attitude toward them.”

Taking up the last part of Margot Honeckerís remarks, we want to mention that young workers also naturally raise questions resulting from subjective conditions, such as rejection their proposals or criticisms, or heartless or bureaucratic treatment of young workers. Such things do happen from time to time, and hurt relations with our citizens. Such questions must be answered honestly, not covered over. Our goal in ideological work is to help the youth to be critical, when that is necessary, and change things in a socialist way. Here, too, Marxism-Leninism is the foundation of our actions, and just as Marx and Engels were models, so must we set a personal example.

From what we have said so far, it is clear why experienced propagandists do not limit their ideological work to the few hours of the study year meetings. They carry on ideological work where young people talk with each other, where they work to solve problems. They do not wait until the youth come to them, but rather seek personal conversations, and are always ready to quickly, directly, forcefully and honestly clarify all questions and problems young people have in trusting conversations. They do not allow the enemy to establish his arguments in the consciousness of young people, which will hamper their social activity in school and on the job.

As Erich Honecker said at the 10. Plenum of the Central Committee of the SED, there is no reason to avoid any kind of problem. Our people, under the leadership of the party, have persuasively advanced the development of socialist society. “That enables us to answer every question that affects the lives of our citizens — from the fundamental issues of domestic and international politics to the problems of everyday life. We thus win new fighters for our common struggle.”

Effective Methods

FDJ leaders appropriately devote substantial attention to the content of ideological work in membership meetings, in the study year, and in personal conversations. That is a major part of our propaganda work. These leaders thereby fulfill an important prerequisite of our socialist ideology in working with the youth be relating every question back to the main questions, keeping them as the core of their ideological activity. However, even if we assume that the best method of propagating Marxism-Leninism is to present its actual content, there is still always the question of “how.” What are the forms, means, and methods of propaganda? Good propagandists know that the knowledge that must always be at the center of ideological work is not enough. The methods of presentation determine a large part of the effectiveness. That is as true for personal conversation as it is for the FDJ study year, for a youth forum, or for a monthly membership meeting.

Working with the problems of young workers

Good propagandists know from experience that they are always effective when they work from the real problems young people face, going from there to the gaps in their knowledge, to their as yet undeveloped abilities, using their socialist attitudes to activate their socialist values. They use such examples to show how necessary and personally significant it is for class-conscious action, for proper socialist behavior, that young people gain the missing knowledge or abilities.

Such an approach draws knowledge out of a problematic situation, which as a result of its contradictory character leads to lively discussion, to a debate that advances knowledge and attitudes. Through their own experiences as well as through the questions of the propagandist, the young people realize that they cannot solve certain problems, explain certain things, or adequately fulfill certain tasks because they lack the necessary knowledge or abilities. If young people are actually interested in such problems or in an assigned task, either because it is important to them or because it has become important to them because of the way it has been presented, they will be motivated to gain the knowledge or abilities necessary to solve the problem, and in the process will strength their attitudes.

Getting to know young people well

A Marzxist-Leninist propagandist will be effective when he knows young people well, particularly when his knowledge is based not only on what they say at meetings, but when he understands their whole personality. That includes not only their political statements in discussions, but also their occupational or educational activity, their interests, their social activity inside as well as outside the youth organization, and their family situation. This differs not only from one group to another, but also from one young person to another, so he will work hard to know each one individually. Only then will he not reduce their study of Marxism-Leninism to ready-made conclusions, but rather he will enable them to “think independently, solve real problems, recognize the laws and nature of social development, and lead a resolute struggle against bourgeois ideology.” [a quotation from Soviet leader Brezhnev].

Helping young people experience personally the significance of Marxism-Leninism

A constant duty of each member of an FDJ leadership collective, not only of propagandists, is to make young people aware of the personal significance of the knowledge they are receiving. Young people will accept it more readily, and make it the foundation of their behavior, the more they understand that it is significant for them personally. A functionary active in propaganda can achieve this only when he constantly considers why it is relevant to young people. Only when he has a satisfactory answer can he make young people aware of it during dialog. He thus avoids turning such knowledge into abstract information.

Scientific studies show that many young people have difficulty seeing the significance of Marxist-Leninist knowledge for their own behavior.

If we realize that the knowledge young people have of Marxism-Leninism does not automatically affect their behavior, that it must become part of their personality, we will understand that such an effect can only occur when young people clearly understand the real or potential function of such knowledge in their own lives. Such knowledge on the part of young people plays a not inconsiderable role in propagandaís effectiveness. To reach this goal, the knowledge chosen must be selected such that it has a direct, or at least some, relation to their daily life, to their social activities. This must be made clear to young people. It will not happen “automatically.” However, neither may one adopt a quasi-materialist cost-benefit approach. This will naturally vary from person to person and from group to group. The subjective attitude is the result of a political-ideological process of development.

Thus, young people will better understand the nature and actions of Soviet peace policies if they are shown how these peace policies help to guarantee their own existence and to advance the developed socialist society in the GDR, and if the propagandist shows them that their concrete living conditions are the result of the longest period of peace in Europe.

If someone understands that, he will perhaps be more ready to think about individual peace actions of the Soviet Union and the other socialist states, and to investigate what forces stand in the way of such peace policies, and contribute themselves to promote such peaceful activities. Such wide-ranging thinking is only possible when someone has clearly understood that peace ultimately depends on the strength of socialism, and that each individual at his workplace can contribute to the strengthening of socialism.

Helping young people to evaluate everything from the standpoint of the party

The goal of teaching Marxist-Leninist knowledge is to enable young people to properly evaluate events and topics in the past, present, and future, and to act accordingly. Simply reciting a list of facts is not enough. It is more important to know the causes, background, and motives that led to an event, or to the development of society, than it is to be able to recite the dates and the exact order of events.

Thus, evaluating the knowledge that young people have gained must always be part of education. Good propagandists take care in a conversation or a meeting never to leave unclear what the propagandist himself thinks of a matter, a person, etc. Experienced propagandists know that young people have the ability to distinguish between the knowledge of an object and the evaluation of the same object.

The factors that lead to the acceptance or rejection of something presented by the propagandist can change relatively rapidly. What is most important is that there always be agreement between the material previously presented by the propagandist and the evaluation that follows.

Using young peopleís experiences

This brings us to a further essential principle of propaganda activity. It is absolutely necessary for propaganda to take account of young peopleís own experiences. Each former experience includes evaluations based on actions that have proven themselves as effective.

An important foundation of any successful behavior is agreement between personal and social values. Experience is based on such agreement or lack of agreement, and the resulting necessary corrections. Going by experience requires a constant testing of a theory in life, a confronting of theoretical knowledge with the reality young people experience at work and during their free time. This testing of theoretical knowledge must be considered if ideological work is to be at a high level. Experienced propagandists know that not only does experience influence knowledge, but also that theoretically grounded knowledge stabilizes the personality.

What Margot Honecker said with regards to school children also applies to each FDJ collective: “Above all, we must present knowledge in a way that takes the social experiences of school children into consideration. The educational process must involve practical experience that children can make their own, which involves them in solving problems, in participating actively in social life at school, in their political organization, in life in the factory, and in their neighborhood. Communist education cannot be reduced to “moral lessons”: it requires educating young people to action.”

Building the unity of thinking and feeling

Realizing a unity of thinking and feeling, of the emotional and the rational, is of particular importance in daily propaganda work. It is an important foundation for success in bringing young people to a personal, deeply felt acceptance of what we have already spoken of. It provides them with the knowledge that helps them achieve a practical orientation toward life that will serve as a guide for practical work. Research shows that firm and applicable knowledge and a stable orientation to social values are characteristic of this unity of thinking and feeling. The majority of propaganda functionaries already have a good understanding of how to realize this in daily work. However, occasionally a tendency to neglect this unity becomes apparent, without the individual functionary being aware of it. But regardless of whether the knowledge that this or that basic conviction is only rationally or only emotionally held, whether that realization comes from personal conversation or scientific analysis, that realization is the first prerequisite for dealing with the weakness. It is generally not only necessary, but possible to take those basic positions which young people hold emotionally and provide a rational understanding of the facts and laws that support them, thereby stabilizing them. Consider an example. The majority of young people are very willing to practice solidarity. However, not all do this from a class perspective, but rather primarily for general humanitarian reasons. This by itself is a major success of our education toward a socialist personality, as it is an expression of our humanistic policies and worldview. However, when we compare those who do it for general humanitarian reasons with those who display solidarity for class reasons, we see that although the latter group also gives humanitarian reasons, it is aware of the class character of relations with other peoples. As a result, they are more active, are more willing to volunteer for solidarity shifts [unpaid extra work, the proceeds of which went to various worthy causes], and have reached in general a higher level in their solidarity behavior. The solidarity behavior of the first group comes primarily from emotional grounds, while the second group is based on both emotional and rational grounds, and is thus aware of the world-historical development processes that are at work. We therefore see that that providing rational foundations to stabilize the ideological foundations of young people is absolutely necessary in the work of political propaganda, and that it leads to political firmness and a readiness to fight. On the other hand, a stronger emotional component is just as important for those positions which previously were held only for rational reasons. Occasionally one still meets propagandists who, with the best of intentions, focus too one-sidedly on the scientific side. It it of course true that Marxism-Leninism is a science, and that a science must be studied, but that is only half of the truth. Our worldview is also a revolutionary ideology that filled and still fills the masses with enthusiasm. It is just that that led to changes throughout the world, and for which millions of people still risk their lives. This emotional side must also be reflected in ideological work.

As the result of scientific research, we can say that political-ideological positions that are based both in reason and emotion display a high degree of stability, and are almost immune to the enemyís ideology. Young people with stable social values are in a position to meet social developments, even relatively unexpected ones, from a class standpoint, and to act accordingly.

Good propagandists whose ideological activity always seeks a unity of thinking and feeling never separate events, facts, and developments from the viewpoint of social progress.

Following the aspects here discussed will lead to better conversations with young people, reach each individual with the help of the whole leadership group, and encourage a real exchange of thoughts and opinions, thus communicating our worldview in a persuasive way.

[I omit several sections on using GDR media in working with the youth.]

The battle against the influence of imperialist mass media

The GDR is open to the world, which requires particular attention to ideological class conflict. Around the clock, imperialist radio and television stations beam to the GDR, attempting to influence the citizens of the GDR with imperialist ideology by clever means and methods The opponent has openly stated that young people are a target group of his ideological diversion. He reasons that young people do not know the opponent through direct experience, and also knows very well that he who has the youth has the future. One can say that an ideological battle for the youth is being waged over the airwaves.

We know today that, despite his organized psychological warfare and his attempts at ideological diversion, the opponent has not succeeded in hindering the development of consciousness in our young people. In view of the successes of the policy of peaceful coexistence on the part of the socialist nations, and in view of high inflation, mass unemployment, and other signs of crisis in capitalist countries, the imperialist monopoly bourgeoisie is attempting “to subvert socialism from within.” The opponent pursues his goal of stopping, or at least slowing down, socialist development with a wide variety of means and methods of ideological diversion. Thousands of specialists, scientists, experienced journalists, artists, etc., work intensively on radio and television to reach various groups of our population, especially the youth. The palette ranges from political news, hit songs, entertainment programs and advertising to direct incitement against socialism, the party and the FDJ. It includes flattering words about those accomplishments of socialism that cannot be ignored, along with “good advice” for improving socialism, given by people who call themselves socialists or Marxists. The goal is not always direct influence. They want to get people used to tuning in to particular stations and programs at certain times, which can then turn to imperialist propaganda at the needed time.

This is not the place to list the whole arsenal of propaganda methods and techniques that can be used. The huge resources the enemy uses are necessary because he cannot simply state his ideological goals and intentions, but rather must “work behind the scenes,” concealing his true aims and intentions. The FDJ has always conducted a principled battle against bourgeois ideology and its lifestyle. One of its most important goals is equipping all members and young people to respond independently and actively to bourgeois ideology and its lifestyle. The ideological work of FDJ groups enables young people to see through the opponent, regardless of the mask he may be wearing. The best defense against imperialist mass media is lively ideological and intellectual-cultural work in FDJ collectives. Enabling the ability to respond to bourgeois ideology means supporting the youth in firmly establishing a Marxist-Leninist worldview, such that they not only know it, but can use it. The ability to actively use Marxism-Leninism independently in dealing with bourgeois ideology is of decisive importance. A high level of ideological work in FDJ collectives is therefore also an effective weapon in fighting the influence of bourgeois ideology. The ability independently to recognize the bourgeois ideology and its lifestyle depends on the level of independent and active mastery of socialist ideology. In the mass political work of the FDJ, it is important to make clear to each FDJ member the superiority of our worldview over against bourgeois ideology. Each day, the goal is to persuasively show, on the basis of concrete themes and the questions young people have that only Marxist-Leninism offers a scientific explanation of social processes, while bourgeois ideology is forced to conceal, twist, and distort the real processes, events, and connections in the class interests of the monopoly bourgeoisie. Our mass media help to present the corresponding facts, information, and arguments.

In the ideological work in FDJ collectives, and in the facts and evidence used, it is necessary to make all young people clear about the class character of the imperialist mass media. That also means providing clear examples of the content and methods if ideological diversion in imperialist mass media. The program The Black Channel provides important support by giving current examples. [This was a notorious GDR television program that provided commentary on clips taken from West German television. It was one of the least popular shows on GDR television.] Mass media are class media! This conviction must be strengthened and firmed up in all young people. That is a constant task of our ideological work.

 

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