On September 17, the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party—PSG) held a European workers rally against racism, war and social cutbacks at the conclusion of the party’s election campaign in Berlin.
These are the fraternal greetings to the rally from Joseph Kishore of the SEP in the US.
On behalf of the Socialist Equality Party [SEP] in the United States, I would like to extend my warmest fraternal greetings to the final meeting of your very important election campaign. This campaign has been followed by workers and young people throughout the world and is an important step forward in the fight to establish the political independence of the working class.
At the heart of your campaign has been the fight for internationalism. This could not be more important, under conditions of a deepening crisis of the world capitalist system that is generating conflicts among the European nations and all over the globe, reigniting tensions that created such horrible catastrophes in the 20th century.
It is now three years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers sparked a financial panic and a global economic recession. Where do we stand today? It is increasingly clear to millions of workers throughout the world that the measures adopted by bourgeois governments, centered on the bailout of the financial system and the defense of the pocketbooks of the wealthy, have resolved nothing.
Europe is mired in an intractable debt crisis, and the financial wolves are demanding unending sacrifice from workers. This only deepens the economic crisis, leading to new demands for austerity. Economic growth on a world stage is faltering, including in Asia. Here in the United States, we are in the midst of an historic jobs crisis, and last month there were zero new jobs created. The political establishment, led by the Obama administration, is shifting decisively to a policy of austerity, including trillions of dollars in planned cuts to basic federal health care and retirement programs.
The experience with Barack Obama has been a decisive one for workers and young people, not just in the United States. Obama was, after all, the candidate of “change.” The myriad “left” organizations—the American equivalent of your Left Party and Green Party—hailed his election as marking a historic transformation in American politics.
And what has come of this presidency? The bailout of the banks and an unprecedented attack on the jobs and living standards of the American people. The number of people living in poverty is more than at any time since the 1950s. Wages are under relentless assault, with corporations seizing on mass unemployment as an opportunity to demand concession after concession. At the same time, Obama has overseen an expansion of militarism abroad, including organizing, along with the governments of Europe, the bloody subjugation of Libya. It is notable that in Germany, the most vociferous advocates of this latest imperialist venture are to be found on the so-called “left.”
The experience of Obama is a crucial lesson on the decisive significance of class. It is not the color of the US president’s skin that has determined the policy of his administration, but rather the social interests that he, along with the entire two-party system in the United States, represents—i.e., the corporate and financial elite.
The struggle for the political independence of the working class is the central issue of the day, and a task that you are working to resolve in Germany. This means a fight against those political forces—the trade unions, the parties of the affluent middle class—that work with all their might to prevent workers from drawing the necessary political and practical conclusions. However, these political tendencies represent, in a fundamental sense, the past. The future lies in and with the working class, which already this year has shown its capacity to fight, from the revolutionary uprisings in Egypt, to the social convulsions in Europe, to the initial eruptions of working class struggle in the United States.
Capitalism is leading mankind into a catastrophe. It holds out for the vast majority a future of unending war and barbarism, the resurrection of all that was most filthy and vile in the last century. The ruling class that oversees this system demands that workers accept their own impoverishment, that they give up everything they have gained through bitter struggle. The working class will have its own say in the matter.
The most important task is building of a new revolutionary leadership, a leadership that can forge the closest unity of workers as they fight to defend and advance their interests; a leadership that can direct this fight against the basic source of the crisis facing mankind: the world capitalist system. We in the SEP in the United States look forward to forming ever closer bonds with our comrades in the International Committee of the Fourth International—in Germany, throughout Europe, and around the world—as we carry out this great task.