Last Friday, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) held its first online campaign rally for the student parliament election at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Titled “Stop right-wing terror! For an international movement against fascism and war,” 150 participants joined the live stream and the discussion that followed it.
“The subject we want to discuss today is very serious and could hardly be more relevant,” said Gregor Kahl, student parliament deputy and candidate for the IYSSE at KIT.
In face of the latest revelations of right-wing terror networks within the German special forces (KSK) and continued death threats against journalists, artists and members of parliament, the IYSSE determined to centre its campaign on fighting the danger posed by the far right. Just one day before, investigations by the weekly Die Zeit revealed the existence of a further ultra-right network of soldiers whose members are preparing the murder of political enemies.
The invited speaker at the IYSSE rally was Christoph Vandreier, author of Why Are They Back?, which examines the question of how the reemergence of the extreme right has been prepared and carried out in Germany.
Vandreier, who addressed the participants from Berlin, began by underscoring the importance of the event: “Even as we speak, peaceful demonstrators in the US are being pursued and abducted by unidentified paramilitary units, attacked with tear gas and blinded by flash-bang grenades.” The images coming out of Portland, Oregon, are clearly reminiscent of a military dictatorship, he noted.
“But it is no different here,” Vandreier continued. “The danger of fascism in Germany is greater today than at any time since the collapse of the Nazi regime. In the police, army and secret service, active right-wing radical networks exist protected by the highest echelons of the state apparatus and intended to suppress any opposition to the right-wing politics of the Grand Coalition.”
The deputy national secretary of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP—the German section of the International Committee of the Fourth International) then proceeded with an exposition of the extreme right-wing networks within the state uncovered in the past year.
Terrorist attacks by armed neo-Nazis in the cities of Kassel, Halle and Hanau, the plans for the fall of the government made by the “Hannibal” network, and the death threats of the NSU 2.0 were systematically covered up and trivialised by state officials. No serious criminal prosecution, much less liquidation, of these groups is taking place.
Quite the opposite: the Verfassungsschutz (Secret Service), which holds a protective hand over these right-wing networks and criminalises any left-wing and anti-capitalist opposition, is characterised by Vandreier as the “cockpit of right-wing terrorism.”
Based on Leon Trotsky’s analysis of fascism, Vandreier elaborated the similarities and differences between today’s situation and the time of the Weimar Republic. Then, the ruling elites were able to base their conspiracy on a fascistic mass movement, whereas today the growth of the extreme right is a direct result of the conspiracy itself.
Vandreier concluded by emphasising that as in the 1930s, in order to stop the far right today it is essential to build a socialist movement within the international working class based on a socialist perspective, as it is thoroughly set out in the book Why Are They Back?
Following the comprehensive presentation, a lively discussion across a broad range of questions ensued: about the importance of a socialist perspective, the character of the unions, the building of workers’ parties and factory committees, and the role of the so-called “hygiene demonstrations” in the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the conclusion of the discussion, Vandreier quoted from the platform of the IYSSE, which explains:
“We call for the connection of this movement with the nascent labour conflicts and their unification internationally. The crucial question is that of political perspective. Only a socialist movement against capitalism can stop the rise of extreme right-wing forces and a repeated devolution into barbarism. This is what we, as the youth and student organisation of the Fourth International, are fighting for, not only in Germany, but across the world.
The IYSSE will hold its final campaign rally on Thursday, July 30. Titled “How War and Dictatorship Are Prepared at the Universities,” the rally will host speakers from Humboldt University in Berlin and the Karlsruhe Institute o f Technology as well as a representative of the IYSSE in Britain in a podium discussion. The IYSSE calls on all students of the KIT participating in the student parliament elections that begin today to vote for the IYSSE (List 3). Support our election campaign and become a member of the IYSSE!