The political contributions made at the meeting in Berlin by leading members of the Fourth International from Germany, Great Britain, France and the US were closely followed by the audience and found a very positive response.
“I must say I completely agree with everything said, and I am very motivated to become active,” declared Gregor (22), who came to the Berlin meeting from Karlsruhe. Gregor was particularly impressed by the international character of the meeting, which was evident from both the podium and the content of the contributions. “I was impressed by the clear-sightedness of the analysis, how precisely everything was dealt with, really in a very unique way.”
Gregor studies at the University of Karlsruhe, and first came into contact with Mehring Verlag and the SGP at last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. “I had begun studying socialism and wanted to know exactly what socialism was and who are its genuine representatives,” he recalled. It was a happy coincidence he met the SGP. Since then he has studied the perspective of the SGP and WSWS.
What particularly attracts him to Marxism is its scientific approach to political development. “I was around Greenpeace and other movements, but was concerned by the fact that these movements were not scientific. There was a strange taboo about addressing genuine causes. It was bizarre what a song and dance was made to avoid addressing the principal cause of all major problems–capitalism.”
Gregor regarded the far-advanced development towards war, which was at the center of the meeting, as “very real and dangerous.” There is a close link between war and social inequality. In his view, “it is basically criminal to spend money on killing machines” when there are so many social problems. Instead of tackling these problems, war creates new problems.
“War and inequality mutually reinforce one another,” Gregor said. “It follows from social inequality that the oppressed must be monitored more closely so that they cannot effectively defend themselves. War, in my opinion, is carried out to secure resources and expand spheres of influence. One does not have to be a socialist to recognise this, one just has to open one’s eyes.”
Gregor was utterly opposed to the latest steps to suppress and monitor the working class, expressed in the censorship of the World Socialist Web Site and other left and progressive websites by Google. But he also sees a political logic behind it: “When I read of the Google censorship it strengthened my conviction. This is a movement which can be genuinely dangerous for the powerful.”
Darren, 35, said he believes that the Google censorship has political roots. “The ruling elite are preparing for social resistance,” he said. “This holds them together.” As was shown by the reaction to the polemics at Humboldt University, this stance on the part of the German elite has a long tradition. “That the established parties support such a professor [Jörg Baberowski] indicates a certain repetition of history,” Darren declared.
He followed the election campaign primarily via the analyses of the WSWS. He comes from the US and encountered the website in the States ten years ago. He now works as an engineer in Germany. “It was only through the WSWS that I realized how similar the major parties are,” Darren said. They all have the same position regarding increased arming of the state.
Rosmarie, 53, works in a refugee camp in Berlin Spandau and is disgusted with the politics of the other parties. They are “all hypocritical and agree on militarisation at home and abroad.”
In her work as a refugee aid worker, Rosmarie has made many shattering experiences. The way in which refugees were dealt with was shocking. Many were crammed together in temporary lodgings, only to be deported shortly afterwards. The owners of the refugee homes are usually “just in it for the money,” Rosmarie says.
She was convinced that, today, none of the problems arising under capitalism could be solved within a national framework. Workers everywhere were confronted with the same questions, for example, in Greece, where the pseudo left Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) had betrayed workers. Rosmarie maintained that “what happened to the Greeks can happen here.” That is why she now supports the SGP: “You are assured of my vote.”
Michele, a 22-year-old student from Bochum, agrees. In times like these, when climate change and finance capital have become global phenomena, and the exploitation of transnational corporations knows no boundaries, “there can be no doubt that one has to organize internationally.”
He found the meeting to be very good, but also frightening: “If you consider what has been said about the world situation today, then mankind is really on the brink.” A progressive solution was only possible based on the perspective of the Socialist Equality Party, according to Michele, who studies German and philosophy at the Ruhr University. That is why he now wants to become politically active.
What was particularly clear from the meeting was the growing danger of war, which “does not come out of the blue or is accidental,” he said. “At the back of it is a conscious policy,” he added. There were reasons and causes for war that must be recognised and consciously opposed.
The SGP distinguished itself from all other parties by its “principled character” and “irreconcilable attitude” towards the other parties, based on its historical tradition. Michele has already read the Historical Principles of the SGP and is now studying the Russian Revolution and its development.
According to Michele the October Revolution was “the greatest shock imaginable for the ruling class.. That is why a deliberate falsification of history is being carried out today in the media and books. For Michele, the revolution includes an important lesson for today: “It is possible to conquer power and shape society on the basis of socialist principles. This is not a utopia or a fantasy. “