For the international unity of the working class!

21 April 2010

This resolution on internationalism was passed unanimously at the SEP Emergency Conference on the Social Crisis & War, held April 17-18 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Further resolutions and articles on the conference will be posted in the coming days. (See “SEP Emergency Conference advances strategy for struggle against social crisis and war” .)

The financial crisis that erupted in the United States in September 2008 triggered a chain reaction that has engulfed the world in the deepest economic recession since the 1930s.

In virtually every country, unemployment is rising, wages are being cut, inequality is growing and the government is demanding massive cuts in social programs.

In recent weeks, the initial signs of working class opposition to these attacks have emerged.

* Europe has been convulsed by militant strikes. Greece has been at the center of these mobilizations, including two one-day general strikes involving millions of workers. But major strikes have also occurred in France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Portugal.

* Over the same period, large protests occurred in Russia, plantation workers struck in Sri Lanka, jute mill and government workers went on strike in India, steel workers struck in the Philippines, tire workers walked out in South Korea, telecom workers struck in Israel, and textile workers went on strike in Egypt.

* There were strikes of teachers and coal miners in Australia, oil workers and teachers in Nigeria, and dock workers and miners in Argentina and Peru.

* There are signs of mounting working class opposition in the United States. Hundreds of workers at a meeting of the United Auto Workers in California erupted against the treachery of the union leaders, who refused to oppose the closure of the Nummi plant.

* Last month, tens of thousands of students, teachers, professors and workers demonstrated against cuts in education in California and across the country. On March 21, hundreds of thousands of immigrants demonstrated in Washington to oppose the Obama administration’s attacks on undocumented workers.

All over the world, the working class is seeking to fight, but it requires a new perspective. The struggle in each country must be seen as part of an unfolding international struggle of the working class.

In every country, the enemy of working people is not only the corporations in that one country, but a global network of corporations and banks. They operate on an international scale to extract the greatest possible profit from the labor of the working class.

What is required is a high degree of solidarity between workers of all countries—in united industrial and political action. The struggles of workers around the world against common attacks, common problems and a common enemy must be brought together on the basis of a common program.

The trade unions have no answer to these attacks. In every country, they collaborate with the corporations and the government to impose layoffs, wage cuts and austerity measures on the working class. This is because they are based on a nationalist perspective and the defense of the profit system.

Jobs and living standards cannot be defended in the US or any other country outside of a struggle to unite the international working class against the capitalist system.

The Socialist Equality Party fights for the closest unity between workers of all countries and the coordination of their struggles on the basis of a socialist and revolutionary program. Within the US, the SEP fights for the unity of all sections of the working class—white and black, native-born and immigrant—and opposes all forms of nationalism and chauvinism.

To unify the struggles of workers on a world basis, a new international leadership must be built. The SEP fights to build the International Committee of the Fourth International as the international socialist party of the working class.