The Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party, PSG) presented its posters on Friday for the Berlin state election to be held September 18. “We have consciously placed at the heart of our campaign the central political questions confronting workers in Berlin and throughout Europe,” explained Ulrich Rippert, who leads the party’s list of candidates.
The political situation in every country is marked by the intensification of class conflict and the growth of the danger of war, he continued. The ruling elites were responding everywhere to the deep crisis of capitalism with militarism and nationalism.
“The opposition among workers and youth to this development is enormous,” stated Rippert. “But to be able to oppose the social attacks and drive to war, a socialist and internationalist perspective is required.”
This is the significance of the PSG’s participation in the Berlin state election. It connects the struggle against social cuts and war with the struggle against their source—capitalism. This is why the PSG is irreconcilably opposed to all of the established parties.
It is precisely in Berlin where the former Social Democrat-Left Party government showed that they defend the interests of the rich no less than the CDU and Greens. Berlin is not only the capital with regard to poverty, but with the return of German militarism, it is also increasingly a centre for preparations for war.
“No more war, ever!” was the battlecry of the workers’ movement after the horrors of the First World War, and after World War II it was taken up again. “We consciously chose this historically significant slogan,” Rippert said. “Because all of the fundamental questions of the 20th century are reemerging today.”
The crisis of capitalism is driving the major powers into conflicts, threatening a third world war. Germany is participating in the destruction of societies in the Middle East and in the Mediterranean, in Syria and in Iraq. The German army is also playing a leading role in the stationing of NATO troops on Russia’s borders, and German troops are also involved in the encirclement of China.
As before both world wars, a military conflagration can only be prevented if workers come together internationally and take up the struggle against the roots of war—capitalism.
The second placard takes the issue up from another standpoint, and refers to the deep gulf between the war policies of the political establishment and the deep-rooted antiwar sentiment among the population.
Over recent years, the revival of German militarism has been systematically prepared and implemented. Universities in Berlin are playing a leading role in the ideological preparations for war, and media outlets seek to outdo each other with war propaganda.
The white paper published by Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen last week represents another step in the preparation of government policy for war, as was announced three years ago by Foreign Minister Steinmeier and German President Gauck.
The crisis of the European Union has deepened further with the Brexit vote in Britain. The German elites are responding by expanding their austerity policies, already implemented in Greece, throughout the continent and by seeking to consolidate their predominant position on the continent. The EU is the most important instrument of the banks and major concerns to conduct attacks on the social and democratic rights of the working class.
The growing nationalism is also directed against the working class, as is shown in Britain. The new prime minister, Theresa May, is well known for policies of brutal social cuts and ruthless law-and-order. She intends to strengthen the position of the British economy on the world stage at the expense of the working class.
The EU’s social attacks, the striving by German imperialism for hegemony, and the growth of nationalism demonstrate that the continent cannot be united on a capitalist basis in the interests of its inhabitants. The PSG therefore calls for the fight for a united socialist Europe. The banks and major concerns must be nationalised and placed under the control of the working population.
The consequences of decades of war have arrived in Europe with the refugees. The western powers have destroyed entire societies in the Middle East and killed millions of people. The desperate people seeking to escape such hellish conditions are being confined to camps, bullied and ultimately deported.
The attacks on the social and democratic rights of refugees are directed against all workers. The PSG therefore calls for a united struggle of refugees and workers living in Europe against war and capitalism. Only if the masses intervene independently in political events can they defend their own social interests and stop the war-mongers.
At the beginning of August, PSG supporters will put these placards up around Berlin. To put up as many placards as possible, the party requires generous donations. For €40, 10 A1 placards can be printed and hung. For €450, the PSG can put up a large-scale placard. Donate today to make a comprehensive election campaign possible. The placards can also be ordered via this contact form. Simply put the number of desired placards under the “comments” heading.