Socialist Equality Party April meeting series: “The Threat of Fascism and How to Fight it”

Christoph Vandreier, German Trotskyist and prominent opponent of fascism, to speak in US

The Socialist Equality Party (US) will be holding a major meeting series in April featuring Christoph Vandreier, Deputy National Secretary of the Sozialistiche Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) and author of the newly released book Why are They Back? Historical Falsification, Political Conspiracy and the Return of Fascism in Germany, (Mehring Books, 2019) available for pre-order purchase.

Vandreier is a widely respected leader of the fight against fascism in Europe, and his US speaking tour is a significant political event. The meeting series is titled, “The threat of fascism and how to fight it.”

In Germany, the scene of the holocaust and Hitler’s Nazi movement, a neo-Nazi party, the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD), is now the country’s main opposition party, with 91 seats in the federal legislature and high-level support within the state apparatus and academia.

The meetings will address the role of the SGP in exposing the network of pro-fascist academics and state intelligence operatives who are paving the way for the far-right. The meeting series will also take up the historical lessons that must be learned in order to build a mass working class movement capable of preventing the disaster of Nazism from taking place on an even greater scale today.

Vandreier told the World Socialist Web Site: “I am very glad to have the opportunity to speak about the developments in Germany to an American audience because the threat of the far right is not limited to Germany, but is an international phenomenon that is connected to the global crisis of capitalism. Donald Trump is the sharpest expression of that in the US, the most powerful capitalist country in the world.”

Trump and his advisers are conducting a fascistic political strategy, combining vitriolic denunciations of socialism with unprecedented attacks on the democratic rights of immigrant workers and threats of war abroad.

Across the world—in Brazil, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Israel and the Philippines—the far right occupies positions of power it has not held since World War II. With social inequality reaching astronomical proportions, the ruling elites are resurrecting all the political filth responsible for the worst crimes of the 20th century.

In Germany, Vandreier said, “In order to carry out an aggressive foreign policy, history has to be rewritten and the crimes of the Nazis have to be trivialized.”

He explained, “In the SGP’s fight against these ideological preparations it became very clear that the ruling elite as a whole and the majority of the academic establishment substantially shifted to the right, while the huge majority of workers and students are heavily opposed to this development.”

In response to the SGP’s campaign and the party’s anti-capitalist program, the German government placed the SGP under surveillance by the secret service.

In a July 2018 annual national security report, the German Federal Agency for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) labeled the SGP “left-wing extremist.” The report was a calculated political attack compiled in close collaboration with the neo-Nazi AfD. In January 2019, the SGP filed a lawsuit challenging this attack on basic democratic rights.

Though the threat of the far-right is real, fascism does not have a mass base in Germany, the US or elsewhere. Tens of thousands of workers and young people have taken to the streets to protest the AfD, far surpassing far-right demonstrations in size and strength. In the US, Trump remains a deeply unpopular president.

The fight against fascism must be based on mobilizing the great social power of the working class against the capitalist system. This requires a serious study of the lessons of history—above all the 1930s—which Leon Trotsky meticulously explained in such monumental Marxist works as Fascism: What It Is and How To Fight It and The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany.

“The decisive issue now,” Vandreier said, “is to make this opposition a conscious political movement with an international and socialist perspective. That is why I appreciate so much the ability to speak at the meetings of the Socialist Equality Party in the US.”

The meeting details are as follows:

Berkeley, California
Monday, April 8, 7:15 p.m.
UC Berkeley Moffitt Library Room 101
350 Moffitt Library, Berkeley CA 94720
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San Diego, California
Tuesday, April 9, 7:30 p.m.
San Diego State University Student Union, Templo Mayor
6075 Aztec Cir. Dr., San Diego, CA 92182
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Detroit, Michigan
Thursday, April 11, 7:00 p.m.
Wayne State University Student Center, Room 285
5221 Gullen Mall, Detroit, MI 48202
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Monday, April 15, 7:00 p.m.
University of Michigan Weiser Hall Room 182
450 Church St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Wednesday, April 17, 7PM
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Building 6, Room 120 (6-120)
77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
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New York, New York
Thursday, April 18, 6:30 p.m.
New York University Global Center Lecture Hall 95
238 Thompson St., New York, New York 10012
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Organizing this meeting series entails substantial costs. The SEP is not funded by the banks and corporations or wealthy non-governmental organizations. If you believe this meeting series is important, donate whatever you can to pay for international travel, printing, promotion and other costs.