For a European movement against capitalism and war

German voters: Support the participation of the SGP in the European elections with your signature

The Socialist Equality Party (SGP, Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei) is participating in the European elections in close cooperation with its sister parties in Britain, France and Turkey, as well as groups of supporters in Ukraine and Russia. We are building a European movement against war and in defense of social and democratic rights. We oppose capitalist barbarism with the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe.

Only an international mass movement of the working class can stop the madness of the great powers recklessly provoking a third world war. NATO continues to escalate the war in Ukraine, regardless of hundreds of thousands of deaths on both sides, in order to inflict a military defeat on Russia. It crosses one red line after another, risking nuclear war and the destruction of the entire planet.

The ruling class is acting with the same ruthlessness against its own people. While hundreds of billions flow into rearmament and the pockets of the super-rich, inflation decimates workers’ wages. The “profits before life” policy during the pandemic has cost the lives of over two million people in Europe alone. Millions more suffer from the long-term consequences. Capitalism has nothing left to offer the workers except sickness, cuts and war.

Resistance is growing across the continent. In France, millions have taken part in the strikes against the Macron government’s pension cuts and revolted against the police’s murderous crackdown. In the UK, hundreds of thousands are fighting against strike bans, in Germany, post workers, public servants and railway workers are on strike against wage robbery. We are running in the election to unite this movement internationally and to arm it with a socialist perspective.

Strikers in front of Frankfurt main station

Stop the war

The war in Ukraine is not about “freedom” and “democracy,” but—as in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria—about raw materials, markets, cheap labour and world power. The US, Germany and the other NATO powers want to control Ukraine and subjugate Russia in order to plunder the vast natural resources of the two countries and prepare a war against China.

Germany’s ruling class is reviving the same war aims of the two world wars and is organising the largest rearmament since Hitler. If the ruling class destroyed Europe 80 years ago, the nuclear destruction of the entire planet is now imminent. It’s not just Russia and China. The old hostilities between the NATO powers are also breaking out again—between Germany and the US, but also within Europe. As Berlin attempts to organise Europe under its leadership, conflicts with France, Britain and Poland are being aggravated.

The proxy war in Ukraine is part of the struggle of the imperialist powers for the redivision of the world, which is increasingly violent and bloody. It has entered the gravitational field of total war, that is, a war of unlimited destruction, of complete indifference to human life, to which all spheres of society are subordinated.

As in the 1930s, war externally means dictatorship and fascism internally. In Ukraine, the government is erecting monuments for Nazi collaborators and arming fascist forces such as the Azov battalion. In Germany, the highest authorities promote and cover up right-wing terrorist networks in the police, the Bundeswehr (armed forces) and the intelligence services. All parties are integrating the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) into parliamentary work and implementing its reactionary programme of state rearmament, viciousness and anti-refugee incitement. With the assistance of the fascists, anyone who opposes the war policy and social attacks is to be intimidated.

The fight against war must also be directed against the Putin regime. NATO provoked the war, but that does not justify Russia’s inhuman and reactionary military action. The Putin regime represents the interests of the Russian oligarchs, who have plundered the Soviet Union’s social property and are now outraged that the imperialist robbers themselves want to seize control of it.

The war is the result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union by the Stalinist bureaucracy. The restoration of capitalism did not mean the “end of history,” but rather ushered in a new era of wars and revolutions.

Ukraine Special Operations Forces fire a 122mm howitzer D-30 towards Russian positions in Kherson region, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 13, 2023. [AP Photo/Felipe Dana]

The only social force that can prevent another world war is the international working class—that is, the vast majority of the world’s population, which today is more numerous and more interconnected than ever before. Together with its sister parties in the Fourth International, the SGP is building a worldwide socialist movement against war and its cause, capitalism.

  • Stop the NATO war in Ukraine! No sanctions and weapons deliveries!
  • Two World Wars are enough! Stop the warmongers!
  • €100 billion for day care centers, schools and hospitals instead of rearmament and war!

For the United Socialist States of Europe!

Every area of social life is subordinated to the war and the greed for profit of the rich. While arms spending is going through the roof, the health budget was already cut by two-thirds last year in the midst of the pandemic. Further cuts are now being prepared. Horrendous inflation is decimating workers’ wages and hundreds of thousands are losing their jobs.

Already millions of people live in abject poverty and have to fight daily to make ends meet. In Germany, according to the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), the proportion of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion has risen by 3.6 percentage points in the last three years, to 20.9 percent, or 17.3 million people. The EU average is 21.7 percent. At the same time, the assets of the super-rich are exploding.

Across Europe, resistance to social inequality is growing. The continent is experiencing a huge upsurge of strikes and protests. This is not a series of national trade union struggles that can be resolved through negotiations with one or another capitalist government, but an international political struggle in which workers in all countries make similar demands. The workers face discredited and widely despised governments that respond with the use of the police and the judiciary.

Above all, the insurrectionary movement in France has made it clear that the working class is confronted by state power and cannot enforce any demand without overthrowing the government. Trade unions play a central role in defending the government and suppressing workers’ struggles. They isolate struggles according to countries and industries and enforce real wage cuts and layoffs on the workers.

Strikers march during a demonstration Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Marseille, southern France. Rail workers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and others joined another nationwide day of protests and strikes Tuesday to denounce French President Emmanuel Macron's plans to overhaul the pension system. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole) [AP Photo/Daniel Cole]

The SGP therefore supports the formation of independent rank-and-file committees to unite workers across borders in the fight against cuts and war. The committees must take the strikes into their own hands. They must be built up as new organs with which the workers engage in a political struggle for power.

Such a movement must be directed against capitalism itself. The war in Ukraine has shown that the peaceful unification of Europe under capitalist conditions is a reactionary illusion. The EU is being rearmed to the teeth, waging war against Russia and serving as an instrument for the attacks on workers across the continent.

The reactionary nature of the EU in refugee policy is particularly clear. “Fortress Europe,” which is constantly being expanded with walls, barbed wire fences and inhuman prison camps at the external borders, is killing thousands of refugees. According to official figures, more than 20,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean in the last 10 years. It is a deliberate policy of murder to deter refugees fleeing war, social devastation and misery.

Workers must counterpose the perspective of the United Socialist States of Europe to the EU of the banks and corporations, mass death and war. The war cannot be ended, lives cannot be saved and wages cannot be defended without breaking the power of the banks and corporations and putting them under democratic control. Instead of shooting at each other, Russian and Ukrainian workers, as well as workers across Europe, must fight the warmongers in their own country with this perspective.

  • Life instead of profits!
  • Defend all jobs! 30 percent more pay for all and automatic inflation compensation!
  • Expropriation without compensation of predatory landlords, energy companies and war profiteers!
  • Against the EU of banks and corporations, mass death and war! For the United Socialist States of Europe!

Workers need their own party

These demands cannot be realized with appeals to the rulers, because all capitalist parties back the war and social devastation. The Greens, who like no other party speak for wealthy sections of the middle class, were pacifists so long as this corresponded with Germany’s great power interests. After organizing the first German war of aggression since Hitler against Serbia in 1998, they have become the worst militarists.

The Left Party also supports the sanctions policy against Russia and the course of war. Emerging out of the Stalinist state party (SED) in East Germany, this party embodies the concentrated contempt of the apparatus for rank-and-file workers. Its sister parties, Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain, have enforced the EU’s policies of social cuts and war against massive resistance. The Wagenknecht wing of the party also has nothing to do with anti-militarism. It criticizes the war against Russia exclusively from a nationalist point of view and believes that the real enemy against which German-European rearmament must be directed is the United States.

Only the SGP consistently fights against militarism, fascism and war. We are not striving for lucrative posts, but use the European elections and seats in parliament to oppose the warring parties. We warn of the enormous dangers and organize the resistance against them.

In doing so, we base ourselves on the perspective of international socialism. As the German section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, we stand in the tradition of Marxism—of August Bebel, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, the Russian October Revolution and the Left Opposition of Leon Trotsky to Stalinism.

It is time to take action and build a new mass socialist party that will eliminate the evils of capitalism once and for all. We call on everyone who does not want to tolerate glaring social inequality, the destruction of the health and education system and the nuclear destruction of our planet: Share this statement as widely as possible and support the SGP’s campaign!