Resolutions of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Fourth National Congress

Build the International Youth and Students for Social Equality!

21 April 2018

The following text is the last of four resolutions passed unanimously at the Fourth National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) held in Sydney from March 30 to April 2, 2018 (see: Resolutions 1, 2, 3). Greetings to the congress were delivered by delegates from Socialist Equality Parties in the US, Europe and Sri Lanka and the Socialist Equality Group in New Zealand. The incoming national committee re-elected James Cogan SEP national secretary, Cheryl Crisp assistant national secretary and Peter Symonds World Socialist Web Site national editor.

1. For the Socialist Equality Party, building the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), the youth movement of the ICFI, is a strategic task. As in every revolutionary period, young people, with their enthusiasm, energy and audacity, will be in the forefront of the emerging class struggles. The task of the IYSSE is to recruit, educate and train young workers and students who, as members of the SEP, will become an essential component of the revolutionary leadership of the working class.

2. The IYSSE is the only youth organisation that unequivocally explains to young people: you have no future under the capitalist system, other than war, environmental disaster and deepening social deprivation. The IYSSE will energetically intervene on university campuses, in the schools and among working class youth, to build an international anti-war movement and develop a political struggle for free, high quality education at all levels; for the right to secure, well-paid employment, and for all the social and democratic rights of the working class.

3. The IYSSE will only be built in a fight for the perspective of socialist internationalism against every other political tendency, which, in one way or another, defend the profit system. In order to establish clubs on university campuses, the IYSSE has had to wage a series of struggles against the concerted attempts of university administrations, student unions and the pseudo-left organisations to block its presence. The IYSSE’s political fight against war and for socialism cuts across the transformation of universities into centres for militarism and war, and their subordination to the interests of the corporate and financial elites.

4. This is part of a global process, which finds its sharpest expression in Germany. In that country, the IYSSE has come under repeated attack for its powerful opposition to attempts to transform university campuses into bastions of pro-war propaganda, aimed at legitimising the revival of German imperialism. The IYSSE in Australia will collaborate with its sister organisations internationally in building a socialist youth movement against the political preparations for military conflicts, which threaten to drag the younger generation and all mankind into a catastrophic world war.

5. The IYSSE opposes every attempt to divide workers and young people through the promotion of racism and nationalism. The IYSSE has a particular responsibility to combat the mounting vilification of thousands of Chinese international students, who are being witch-hunted by the political and media establishment as a potential “fifth column of the Chinese Communist Party.” As with the demonisation of Muslim youth in the bogus “war on terror,” this xenophobic campaign is aimed at cultivating a pro-war atmosphere and justifying Australia’s central role in the US-led plans for war against China. The IYSSE will likewise fight the growth of far-right and fascistic tendencies, above all by clarifying that their emergence is a product of the betrayals of the working class by the Labor Party and the corporatised trade unions.

6. A central task of the IYSSE will be to combat attempts by the pseudo left to divert the emerging oppositional movement of students and young people behind false claims that capitalist parties such as Labor and the Greens can somehow be pressured to the “left.” The bankruptcy of “protest politics,” and the fraud that Labor is some kind of “lesser-evil,” have been demonstrated time and time again. The National Union of Students, along with Socialist Alternative and Socialist Alliance, continue to promote such falsifications. These organisations, representing the material interests of a grasping, selfish, upper middle class layer, seek to suppress any independent struggle by students and working class youth against the ongoing assault on education, against the myriad expressions of the social crisis and against the drive to war. The reason is that any such struggle could rapidly become a threat to the existing social order. The IYSSE will fight to educate young people in the understanding that all the political, economic and social issues they confront have their source in the outmoded capitalist profit system, which must be replaced, through a revolutionary movement of the working class, by socialism, not only in Australia, but internationally.

7. The IYSSE will continue to expose the pseudo-left’s promotion of identity politics, which is used to divide students and young people on the basis of gender, race and sexuality, and to deny the centrality of class as the primary division in society. The #MeToo movement, which is attacking key democratic rights, including the presumption of innocence and due process, underscores the right-wing, anti-democratic character of identity politics.

8. The IYSSE will fight for historical truth in opposition to post-modernism. Developed by ex-left professors and intellectuals in the late 1960s, post-modernism is directed against the scientific and historical Marxist understanding of the law-governed historical process, and of the revolutionary role of the working class. Against every form of philosophical irrationalism and historical falsification, the IYSSE fights to bring the great lessons of the strategic experiences of the working class throughout the 20th century to the younger generation. Chief among these experiences is the October 1917 revolution, the opening shot of the world socialist revolution, and the struggle waged by Leon Trotsky and the Fourth International against its Stalinist, i.e., nationalist, degeneration.

9. The IYSSE will fight to turn students and young people to the working class and its struggles. It will clarify that the working class is the only revolutionary social force capable of abolishing capitalism and beginning the socialist reorganisation of society. Above all, the IYSSE will educate and train students and young workers as fighters for the ICFI’s perspective of socialist internationalism in the convulsive class struggles that are already beginning to emerge.

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