Entitled “Stop the war! 100 billion euros for education and health, instead of arms! ”, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) organized an online discussion with students from the Humboldt University (HU) of Berlin last Monday, in which around 60 interested parties took part . This was the first of two university group IYSSE campaign events for the university’s Student Parliament (StuPa) elections.
list candidate Gregory Kahl began by emphasizing the importance of the IYSSE’s electoral campaign: the Trotskyist organization of young people and students was building a socialist movement against fascism and war. She is the only competing list to have placed the fight against militarism at the center of her electoral campaign – and this at a university that plays a central role in the ideological preparation for war.
More recently, the deputy of the IYSSE Sven Wurm in an open letter to the presidium of HU demanded that support for far-right and violent professor Jörg Baberowski be permanently stopped. The open letter and announcement of the event were very well received by students as the event approached. Amid the daily escalation of the war in Ukraine and the unprecedented rearmament of the Bundeswehr, according to Kahl, the fight against German militarism is becoming increasingly topical.
For the main contribution, the IYSSE Christophe Vandreier invited the president of the Socialist Equality Party (SGP) and the authors of the book “Why are they back?”. Vandreier stressed that the danger of nuclear war is greater than ever. He explained in detail that the brutal war in Ukraine was a proxy war of the NATO powers against Russia, which the imperialist powers had been planning and provoking for years.
Since the Maidan coup – orchestrated by Germany and the United States and carried out by far-right forces – the right-wing regime in kyiv has been waging a war against the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine . The reactionary invasion by the Russian military, Vandreier said, was also an expression of the historical bankruptcy of Russian nationalism and must be strictly opposed. The struggle for the unity of the Ukrainian, Russian, European and international working class is necessary.
German imperialism, Vandreier concluded, is using the war to initiate the greatest rearmament since Hitler and to deploy militarily throughout Eastern Europe. Ideological preparations for war by HU professors like Münkler and Baberowski now form the basis of German government policy. The long struggle of the IYSSE against historical revisionism and militarist ideology, which is now being pushed into HU by a new generation, is therefore of crucial importance.
After the introductory contribution, a lively discussion developed on the central questions of the struggle against the war and for the unity of the international working class. A participant asked how the workers could end the war and prevent a further escalation in the world war. Another raised the question of how the cultural level and class consciousness of the working class could be raised to meet the challenges of the present time. A third contribution underlined the immense danger of nuclear weapons and imperialist war propaganda.
Gregor Kahl cited the example of the October Revolution, in which the Russian working class and peasantry, under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party, overthrew the capitalist class and thus made the most important contribution to the end of the First World War. The first successful conquest of power by the working class, which found a continuation on the international level, for example in the November Revolution in Germany, must be carefully studied by workers and young people.
Christoph Vandreier pointed out that Greek workers had refused to ship weapons to Ukraine and that Italian workers had gone on strike against rising prices and the war policy. The ICFI and its youth wing support the working class strikes as an important step towards an international anti-war movement.
On the question of culture, Vandreier explained that with the beginning of the decline of capitalism, the decline of the cultural level also began. A society in which fewer and fewer individuals possess more and more is incompatible with cultural development. Postmodern and irrational ideas thrive on this intellectual neglect, of which Baberowski’s work is a particularly poignant expression. To claim that there is no causality in history is a rejection of all science.
list candidate Helmut Wolff recalled that IYSSE resolutions against Baberowski’s tampering with history and against right-wing attacks on student critics still pass with large StuPa majorities. At the same time, Wolff gave a haunting report on the experiences of Berlin schools, which are being pushed to the brink of collapse by the red-red-green senate cutback policy amid the Covid 19 pandemic. a scientific and international plan instead of the official policy of “profit before life”, the virus could be defeated in a few months.
Christoph Vandreier concluded that without the intervention of the working class, the conflict would undoubtedly escalate into a world war and the pandemic would not end either. Just as international revolution ended World War I more than 100 years ago, today too the intervention of the working class must end war and overthrow the capitalist war profiteers.
The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its youth and student organization IYSSE arm the working class with an international and socialist perspective. Gregor Kahl called on people to vote for the IYSSE on July 12 or vote by mail to support the IYSSE’s fight against militarist ideology in universities and to defend it against right-wing attacks and the actions of the university management.
The next IYSSE event will take place on Thursday, July 7, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. register here.