The federal elections in Germany on September 26 made it clear that only independent working class intervention can end reckless policies of collective immunity, militarism and inequality. The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) used the election campaign to give a socialist voice and perspective to such a movement.
The election results show that the vast majority of the working population is no longer represented in the bourgeois party system. No party was able to collect more than a quarter of the vote. The Chancellor’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), achieved its worst result in post-war history, and the Left Party also suffered a debacle with less than 5% of the vote cast .
There are currently many indications that the elections will produce a “traffic light” coalition led by outgoing Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. Preliminary talks are currently underway between the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens, and exploratory talks with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) are expected to officially start towards the end of this week. But no matter who ends up forming the next government, they will continue on the path of the Grand Coalition. The parties and their main candidates had already left no doubt about this during the election campaign.
In many debates, all parties have made it clear that they are preparing for a ruthless class war government from above. The candidates outdid themselves with calls for military rearmament and an aggressive course of war against Russia and China. The pandemic has been largely excluded from discussions as all parties are involved in putting the contagion policy into practice. In order to keep profits afloat, they sacrifice human lives.
In industry, the ruling class is planning a general attack on the workers. As wages are stolen on a large scale with rapidly rising inflation, millions of jobs must also be destroyed or replaced with low-paying jobs. In the automotive sector alone, 500,000 jobs are up for grabs.
The SGP prepared the working class for these class struggles in its election campaign. Each of the six Sundays leading up to the election, we aired an election broadcast in which we addressed all of the pressing issues that had been hushed up during the campaign. We did so from the standpoint of the interests of the international working class, and the meetings brought together representatives of the Fourth International from Britain, France, Turkey, the United States and other countries.
The show Corona Pandemic alone reached over 25,000 viewers. In it, we have shown how the death toll is systematically minimized and all parties agree to infect children. In doing so, they again offer the virus the chance to mutate and take many more victims. We have opposed this policy of “profit before life” with the scientific strategy of eradicating the virus, which can only be achieved by an offensive by the international working class, on the basis of a declaration by the International Committee of the Fourth. International.
In August, when the precipitous withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan revealed the full extent of the brutal war of occupation, we invited the Chairman of the WSWS International Editorial Board, David North, to our election broadcast. to discuss the historical dimensions of this debacle. North, the national president of the SEP in the United States, analyzed the deep crisis of American imperialism and warned that the defeats in the wars of the last 30 years increase the danger of a third world war.
The European powers, and Germany in particular, have concluded from the debacle that they must themselves rearm massively and gain “sovereignty”. Sending a German frigate to the Indo-Pacific is a foretaste of the megalomaniacal politics of the German bourgeoisie, which is reviving its historical traditions and is poised to reduce the world to rubble for the third time.
During the election campaign, we fought for the international unity of the working class. “With our sister parties of the Fourth International, we unite workers from all borders in their struggles against social inequalities, fascism and war,” declared our electoral appeal.
On this basis, we intervened in the struggles and protests of the workers that were developing across the country, expressing the enormous opposition of the workers to the policies of inequality and collective immunity. In dozens of articles and videos, we have explained the political background and argued for an internationalist orientation independent of the unions.
When the WISAG workers at Frankfurt airport fought the theft of wages and layoffs, we organized international solidarity and explained the need to organize the struggle independently of the unions. We sided with the striking Gorillas delivery men and opposed the bankrupt prospect of forming a works council with the independent mobilization of the international working class.
When the railway workers went on strike, we defended them against attacks by the DGB unions. We warned that the government wanted to make an example of train drivers in order to put the burden of the crisis on workers and force them into the union straitjacket for this purpose. We explained that it was necessary to develop a political movement against the government, which must be based on the whole working class.
The Berlin nurses, still on strike, also face the ruthless policies of the red-red-green Senate, which has privatized and cut hospitals to the bone and is pushing them to extremes with its mass politics. infection. The same issues faced by Berlin bus drivers, who are urged to risk their lives to sell tickets.
In all these struggles, we have stressed the need to build independent action committees, independent of trade unions, so that workers can take their struggles in hand, extending them across all industrial and national borders.
On May 1, the ICFI launched the International Alliance of Workers of Grassroots Committees (IWA-RFC) to unite the struggles of workers around the world. In addition to Safe Workplaces Action Committees at many of the factories mentioned above, we have launched Safe Education in Schools Action Committees, tackling the infection of children with COVID-19 .
Each of these initiatives was only possible because SGP members and supporters fought on social media and in the streets to clarify political issues. Now it is becoming clear how crucial this work and the building of the SGP as a German section of the Fourth International is.
The SGP is the only party that opposes the policy of “collective immunity” and advocates the scientifically sound program to eradicate the virus. It is the only party that systematically opposes the militarism and fantasies of the great German powers. It is the only party which, on the basis of its historical and international principles, represents the social interests of the working class.
As SGP chairman Ulrich Rippert explained in his contribution to the last electoral rally, the German section of the ICFI was founded 50 years ago on the basis of three central questions: 1. Trotsky’s understanding of fascism as a product of the capitalist crisis which can only be stopped by the independent intervention of the working class; 2. The rejection by the ICFI of Stalinism as a counter-revolutionary agency of imperialism; and finally, 3. The adherence to revolutionary power of the working class as an international class whose independence must be fought by building a revolutionary leadership.
This orientation was defended in the 1980s at the International Committee by the American Workers League against the degeneration of the WRP (Workers Revolutionary Party) and, after the split, developed globally. Today, in the face of the complete bankruptcy of all the old workers’ organizations, the global crisis of capitalism and the return of militarism and fascist danger, this historical perspective intersects with the growth of the working class struggle through the world.
“No social problem can be solved without expropriating banks and businesses and placing them under the democratic control of the working class,” we said during the election call. “Their profits and assets must be confiscated, and the trillions given to them last year must be recovered. The world economy must be reorganized on the basis of a scientific and rational plan.
It is the only gradual response to the pandemic, climate change, the threat of war and enormous social inequalities. It can only be achieved through the international mobilization of the working class, for which the SGP fought in this election campaign.
The SGP won 1,535 votes for its state lists in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, increasing the number to 244 votes compared to 2017. But the importance of the election campaign cannot be measured by votes. What matters now is to build the SGP within the framework of the Fourth International as a mass socialist party. Therefore, register today as active supporters and become a member of SGP!