Vote against war! Vote SGP!

The international significance of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei election campaign in Berlin

NATO’s reckless escalation of the war with Russia and the US preparations for war against China are leading towards a nuclear catastrophe. Even UN Secretary General António Guterres, a thoroughly bourgeois politician, warns that the Doomsday Clock is “at 90 seconds to midnight, which means 90 seconds to total global catastrophe.”

Against this madness and the social devastation that accompanies it, a powerful working class movement is developing around the world. In France, Britain and Germany, millions are participating in strikes and protests against social cuts and the decimation of their wages.

Central election closing rally of the SGP on Potsdamer Platz

This lends enormous significance to the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) campaign for the Berlin House of Representatives (state legislature) election. The SGP is the only party that consistently opposes the war policy of the German government without aligning itself with the reactionary Putin regime. And it is the only party that bases the struggle against war on the mobilization of the international working class, the only social force that can prevent a total global catastrophe.

Our election campaign was aimed at providing a voice and a socialist perspective to the opposition to war. We have opposed militarism and linked the struggle for workers’ rights with the struggle against war and its cause, capitalism.

We countered the incessant war propaganda with the great German socialist Karl Liebknecht’s battle cry: “The main enemy is at home!” and “For the unity of the international working class.” The SGP’s election statement reads: “War cannot be stopped without breaking the power of the banks and corporations and putting them under democratic control.”

While the ruling elites incite workers against each other with nationalist slogans and put them in uniforms to slaughter each other, we fight together with our sister parties in the Fourth International to mobilize workers against the warmongers at home. We are doing this in Germany, in Europe, in the US, in Russia, in Ukraine and around the world.

We have put up nearly 10,000 posters across Berlin in the last six weeks, distributed tens of thousands of election statements, organised dozens of info tables, and shared over 20 videos on social media. We intervened in the numerous strikes and protests against wage cuts, declared war on the union bureaucracy and armed workers with a socialist perspective.

Through the World Socialist Web Site, workers around the world have closely followed our campaign in Berlin, the city where the monstrous crimes of World War I and World War II were planned.

Last Saturday, we held a final rally on Potsdamer Platz under the slogan “Stop rearmament! Stop the war in Ukraine!” On the same spot, on May 1, 1916, Karl Liebknecht held the first mass rally against World War I. Liebknecht was arrested at the time, but his actions had an effect. Two years later, he was at the forefront of Germany’s November Revolution.

Our election campaign made clear that there is a party that opposes the war cartel of the governing parties, all of which support German militarism. The Social Democrats (SPD) have set in motion a €100 billion arms program, the Greens have become the worst warmongers, and the Left Party also supports supplying arms to Ukraine. Its lead candidate in the Berlin election, Klaus Lederer, slanders any criticism of this as a “left-wing reactionary love of peace.”

They all support the insane war policy because they all defend the capitalist profit system. As in 1914 and 1939, world war results directly from the contradictions of capitalism. Then, as now, the ruling elites respond by waging imperialist wars of conquest, exploiting and oppressing the workers to the maximum.

After Hitler’s criminal war of extermination in the East, and the Holocaust, Germany’s ruling class is once again grasping at world power. With the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, German battle tanks are once again rolling against Russia. The tripling of the defence budget is supposed to make the Bundeswehr (armed forces) the most powerful military power in Europe.

The SGP’s campaign has proved that the fight against fascism and war, through the mobilization of the international working class based on a socialist program, is not some beautiful utopia.

All over the world, mass protests are developing against war and its social consequences. In France, millions of workers are taking to the streets to protest the pension cuts that Macron wants to use to finance horrendous rearmament spending and make the rich even richer. In the UK, too, hundreds of thousands are striking against cuts in real wages and the restriction of the right to strike.

In Berlin, last week alone, postal workers, teachers, nurses, refuse collectors and many other workers went on strike. They will not accept cuts in real wages of 20 or 30 percent to finance the government’s war policies. While the corporations listed on Germany’s DAX index are raking in record profits and the number of millionaires is growing, tens of thousands of workers are being thrown onto the street.

During World War I, almost two years passed before the first mass protests and strikes against price increases and war took place. Today, even as NATO is escalating the war against Russia, a powerful social movement is developing around the globe that is objectively revolutionary. The main task is to unite this movement internationally and arm it with a socialist perspective. The program of international socialism, defended by the world Trotskyist movement against Stalinism and social democracy, now takes on decisive significance.

Therein lies the importance of the election campaign of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, the German section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). We call on all those who can to vote for the SGP on Sunday! A vote for the SGP is a vote against the warmongers and for a socialist perspective.

But the election campaign is only one step in building an international movement against war. The struggle does not end on Sunday and certainly not at the ballot box. The ICFI will expand and intensify its campaign to build an anti-war movement and organize numerous rallies against the war internationally in the coming weeks.

We call on WSWS readers: Support our campaign fund and become a member of the ICFI!