Russia: Reviving the Komsomol

Like all totalitarian regimes, the Soviet Union attempts to seize and shape the minds of its young at an early, formative stage. For the group between the ages of 14 and 28, the instrument to that end is the Communist Youth League, or the Komsomol. Last week, as early snow and biting cold embraced Moscow, thousands of Komsomoltsy marched through the capital to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their organization and to pledge, amid red banners and slogans, unsparing efforts in the struggle for Communism.

The Komsomol boasts a proud heritage. In 1918, when Russia's civil war was at its...