The following greetings from the US, Russia, Britain and France were read out at the February 4 anti-war rally organized by the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP-Socialist Equality Party) at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.
Joseph Kishore, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States
Dear comrades and friends,
On behalf of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States, I would like to extend my greetings to the final rally of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei for the Berlin elections.
In these elections, the SGP has placed at the center of its campaign the fight against war. The relentless escalation of the US and NATO powers in its war against Russia threatens all of mankind. As the war has dragged on, now for nearly a year, the incidental and conjunctural causes give way to the more fundamental aims. The NATO powers, and above all American imperialism, seek the military defeat and subjugation of Russia. They used the Putin regime’s reactionary invasion of Ukraine, instigated by the US and NATO themselves, to pursue this aim. The logic of the war, arising out of the aims of the capitalist ruling elites, increasingly dictates the course of events. With the ink hardly dry on the agreements to send battle tanks, the demand is now raised for fighter jets. And what will be next? And even as weaponry and money are flooding into Ukraine, US military planners are talking about war with China within the next two years.
The blood-soaked American ruling class speaks about defending “democracy,” “freedom,” “national sovereignty.” Who do they think they are kidding? The Biden administration heads a state that has waged three decades of unrelenting militarist violence, destroying entire societies in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, deploying the most barbaric methods to achieve its aims. As for the German ruling class, it will not be lost on workers throughout the world that the last time German tanks were deployed against Russia they were directed by a Nazi dictator.
The recklessness of the capitalist ruling elites threatens disaster—and not only in the form of world war and a nuclear apocalypse, but also the ongoing pandemic, environmental crises, mass poverty and the return of fascism and dictatorship. The perspective of the International Committee of the Fourth International, however, is based on profound optimism. This optimism is rooted in, first, the revolutionary role of the international working class. Throughout the world, workers are entering into battle against conditions of exploitation enormously intensified by the war itself. Here in the United States, a mood of anger and opposition prevails that finds only a pale expression in the significant growth of strikes over the past year. The corrupt trade union apparatus is struggling to contain the class struggle—a task that it will prove incapable of carrying out.
Second, the optimism of the ICFI is rooted in the lessons of history and the program and perspective of the Trotskyist movement, which is the Marxism of the 21st century. It is the intersection of this program with the powerful struggles of billions of workers throughout the world that will change the course of political events and open a path to the future, open the path to socialism. In achieving this end, the workers of Germany and the United States, and the workers of the entire world, will march hand in hand.
Andrei Ritsky, a representative of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists in Russia
In the last week, a very important event has occurred that will affect the current status of the war between NATO-backed Ukraine and Russia. The situation is such that the supply of tanks by NATO countries may change the current status of the war: from an indirect or proxy war, it will become a direct conflict between NATO countries and Russia. This development does not exclude the use of nuclear weapons.
Throughout the war, NATO countries have continually expanded aid to Ukraine. If current aid includes tanks, then what might future aid include? How long until NATO countries decide to close the skies over Ukraine with their fighter jets? To directly support the seizure of Crimea and even a nuclear strike?
Although the Western media periodically try to convince readers that NATO will not use nuclear weapons first, this does not in any way negate the possibility that NATO’s policy could lead to the use of nuclear weapons by Putin’s regime, which is in danger of being overthrown.
The Western media are trying to show Russian society as a country of monsters united by an intoxicated thirst to take over Ukraine. I am obliged to refute this slander. Russian society, just like NATO countries, is composed of two main warring classes—workers and capitalists. It is far from being as monolithic as the media try to make it out to be.
The Russian working class supports the anti-war struggle in NATO countries in every possible way. This support can become a bridge to strengthen the international unity of the working class in Russia, Ukraine, Europe, America, Asia and Australia. In Russia, as in every capitalist country, opposition to war exists and will expand, but this opposition can only gain real strength on the basis of a scientific program of socialist internationalism.
We see that a genuine struggle to build and expand the International Committee of the Fourth International as the World Party of the Socialist Revolution is only possible through educating the working class of each country on the basis of bringing clarity to the history of the October Revolution, the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism, which is impossible without studying the history of the struggle of Trotskyism against Stalinism and Pabloism. This means that our section-building activities in Russia and throughout the former Soviet Union are faced with a very important question: the elimination of all Stalinist and Putinist filth from the consciousness of the working class and the introduction of revolutionary clarity into it.
(The full letter of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists to the International Committee of the Fourth International is published here.)
Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in the UK
Socialist greetings to this election rally of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei.
At this time of grave danger for the German, European and international working class, the Socialist Equality Party in Britain salutes the brave stand taken by those here today in opposing the escalating NATO-led war against Russia and fighting to mobilise the working class against it.
As in Germany, the UK ruling class is gripped by war fever, ready to spend billions, supply missiles, tanks, fighter planes and send soldiers to kill and die, even if this threatens nuclear war. The criminal Conservative government declares that the UK will not shy away from using nuclear missiles. Labour leader Keir Starmer agrees and boasts that his is the real “party of NATO.”
All demand with one voice that wages must be slashed and social services destroyed to pay for war.
Workers are fighting back, with national strikes involving millions. Yet no trade union leader opposes the war, while the Labour “left” around Jeremy Corbyn and the pseudo-left groups go along with this historic crime.
This, their ultimate betrayal, must be answered. The SGP is giving that answer: “Two World Wars are enough! Stop the warmongers!”
German workers must join this party and build it. We in Britain are your steadfast comrades in this life-and-death struggle.
Alex Lantier, national secretary of the Parti de l'égalité socialiste in France
Dear friends, it is a pleasure to bring the greetings of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste, the French section of the ICFI, to this historic event.
This rally in Berlin, the historic epicenter of European imperialism and militarism, is of enormous significance for workers in every country. Eighty years after Soviet forces defeated the Nazi armies at Stalingrad in World War II, Berlin is, with Washington, leading NATO’s attempt to trigger a Third World War with Russia. In every country, the war is at the center of political life.
In France, millions of workers are striking and marching against President Emmanuel Macron’s overwhelmingly unpopular policy of slashing pensions. Almost all the money Macron plans to cut from pensions is to be spent on a €413 billion military spending program to arm French imperialism for war. There is explosive anger among French workers as Macron pledges to sacrifice their living standards to the war, and to unleash French riot police on anyone who dares protest.
The working class cannot halt the attacks on its basic social and democratic rights unless it unites internationally in struggle to stop the NATO-Russia war in Ukraine. This reality underlies the extraordinary significance of today’s rally.
The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei is the only party in Germany waging an irreconcilable struggle to rally workers and youth against this war.
Eighty years ago, the French Trotskyists in the underground resistance to Nazi occupation worked with German Trotskyists, and sympathizing German soldiers, to build united revolutionary opposition in the European working class to the unparalleled crimes of Nazism. Not even the Hitlerite regime could annihilate the deep impact of Marxism on Europe and on Germany.
It is these traditions of irreconcilable internationalist struggle that underlie the work of the SGP, the PES and the entire ICFI to oppose the NATO-Russia war in Ukraine.
On this basis, I urge all those attending this rally to give the SGP your support.