In the remaining weeks of the German election campaign, the Socialist Equality Party (PSG) has gone onto the offensive and will hold four international online meetings plus a “European workers’ rally against war, dictatorship and social cuts”. The first meeting will take place in Berlin on Sunday, August 25, at 15.00 and will address the crucial political lessons arising from the events in Egypt.
All the meetings are aimed directly at a European and international audience. They will be transmitted live on the Internet and can be viewed with English translation. Online participants can, in real time, post questions and comments on the contributions, and thereby contribute to the meetings. All information and dates are available on the PSG website.
From the start, the PSG has regarded its participation in the election as a pan-European campaign. The German government is at the forefront of the attack on social rights in Europe, which can only be countered by a European-wide offensive by workers. In its election manifesto, the PSG writes:
“Our goal is the United Socialist States of Europe. Only through the unification of Europe on a socialist basis can the working class bring their own interests to bear, prevent Europe from relapsing into nationalism and war, and use the continent’s enormous wealth and productive forces to serve the interests of society as a whole.
“To realise this socialist programme, we fight for the unity of the European working class across all national, ethnic and other boundaries.... In order to fight against the social counter-revolution, workers must unite. When it resists all attempts to divide its ranks, the working class is an invincible force.”
On this basis, the PSG opposes the “one party” policy of all the establishment parties, extending in Germany from the conservative Christian Socialists to the Left Party, which all agree on the necessity for austerity and social cuts. After the elections, all of the parties represented in parliament are preparing to extend the social cuts carried out in Greece throughout Europe and conduct a fierce onslaught on the democratic rights of the population. The continent is on the eve of massive class struggles.
This is why all of the key issues are being kept out of the election campaign in favour of all sorts of secondary questions. Blatantly excluded from debate in the election campaign are the euro crisis and the revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the systematic mass surveillance of the world’s population.
For its part, the PSG has placed these issues at the centre of its campaign. This is in line with the perspective of the PSG to prepare workers for the coming struggles and provide them with a political orientation.
The series of meetings will begin on August 25 by addressing the main political experience made by the international working class in recent years: the Egyptian revolution. The dramatic events of recent weeks underscore the need for the independent intervention of the working class on the basis of a socialist programme.
More than two years after the uprising against the Mubarak dictatorship, the military is using brute force to turn back the clock to the period prior to February 2011. It is relying on liberal and pseudo-left forces who openly support the violent intervention of the army and thereby reveal their counter-revolutionary character.
The second meeting, on September 1 in Frankfurt-Main, deals with the social counter-revolution in Europe and the perspectives of the PSG. The assault on social rights in Europe cannot be explained simply on the basis of the policy of individual governments, but is rooted in the profound crisis of capitalism.
In addition to explaining the economic and political dynamic behind the crisis in Europe, the main speech at the meeting will also address the perspective of the United Socialist States of Europe and the need for a revolutionary programme.
The type of social attacks already carried out and the further attacks being planned are incompatible with basic democratic rights. This is the only conclusion that can be drawn from the Snowden revelations. The systematic monitoring of all Internet traffic has created the infrastructure for a police state that is directed against all forms of popular opposition. This is the issue at the heart of the third meeting on September 8 in Bochum. As was the case in 1933, there remains no constituency within the German ruling class for the defence of democratic rights. It is quite prepared to resort to authoritarian measures to defend its wealth and privileges.
On all of these issues, the extreme social polarisation that currently exists in Europe has forced all political tendencies to reveal their true colors. As the crisis deepens, pseudo-left organisations such as the Left Party in Germany and SYRIZA in Greece close ranks with the state apparatus and support attacks on workers ever more openly.
The Left Party has already offered its services as a prop for any new edition of the former Social Democrat coalition. It has supported bank bailouts, backs measures aimed at strengthening the state and favours military aggression against Syria. An independent movement of workers can only be built in a struggle against these parties.
Consequently, the fourth PSG meeting will centre on “The Left Party as a party of German imperialism.” It takes place on September 15 in Berlin.
On September 21, the PSG will conclude its campaign with a “European workers’ rally against war, dictatorship and social cuts.” The meeting will be transmitted over the network, but is also open to all interested workers who have followed the campaign and the previous meetings. The meeting represents an important stage in the construction of the Fourth International throughout Europe.