The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) is holding a national public online meeting in Australia on Saturday, August 14, at 4 p.m. (AEST), to discuss the growing wave of working class struggles internationally, and the role of students and youth in the fight for a socialist perspective within them.
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Young people are living through an unprecedented crisis of capitalism on a world scale. The coronavirus pandemic is not only a public health disaster—it is an indictment of the capitalist profit system and all of the governments that defend it. Around the world, they have resisted lockdowns and other necessary health measures to protect corporate profits. Now governments are insisting that the population must “learn to live with the virus,” ending mask mandates and other minimal safety measures. The consequence is a catastrophic global spread of the more virulent Delta variant of the virus, including in Australia.
Domestically, governments, while jeopardising the health and lives of working people, are escalating an assault on jobs, wages and conditions. The aim is to return to the conditions that existed in the 1930s, and to force workers, including the young, into unsafe workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.
Meanwhile, the major imperialist powers, led by the US, are seeking to offset their own crises through military aggression and preparations for war. The Biden administration, with the full support of the entire Australian establishment, has dramatically ratcheted-up US provocations against China, threatening a disastrous war that would involve nuclear weapons.
The ruling class program is provoking resistance from the working class. There is a growing international wave of struggles, from thousands of Volvo workers in the US who repeatedly rejected company-union concessions contracts, to teachers and nurses around the world fighting for adequate PPE and safety, and many who are fighting against the suppression of wages.
These struggles are developing into a rebellion against the corporatised trade unions which function as an industrial and political police force of governments and the employers. This resurgence demonstrates the increasing breakdown of the mechanisms developed to suppress the class struggle over the past 40 years, above all, by the unions.
The IYSSE meeting will explain the significance of this shift in its historical context and will outline its political implications. Students and young people must turn to the emerging movement of the working class and take up the fight for new organisations of struggle, including independent rank-and-file committees, to break the isolation imposed by the unions, coordinate international action across industries, and to discuss the burning political issues confronting workers.
Above all, the re-emergence of the working class raises the need for a fight for a socialist, internationalist and revolutionary perspective aimed at abolishing capitalism, establishing working class political power and the development of a global socialist society organised in the interests of social needs, not private profit.