Class Struggle Recognises no Borders: We Win Internationally or We Lose Patriotically

Redundancies, cuts in benefits, growing youth unemployment, insecure jobs, tax rises for the low paid as well as pension and welfare cuts for each and everyone. In the supposedly so "advanced" capitalist countries the solution to the crisis is the same everywhere. Many suspect that the worst is yet to come and even parts of the ruling class say it straight out. The attack on our living and working conditions will continue in this way, if we let it. The crisis is far from over. This is not simply a "debt" or a "banking" crisis, but a structural crisis that has been growing for decades (in fact, since the 1970s). At the same time the working class has been on the defensive for thirty years. Only in the worst affected countries like Greece and Spain are signs of resistance stirring. So to nip these in the bud, the capitalists are attacking hardest in these places. They know only too well how to deal with us. Their principle is Divide and Rule.

Today it is our fellow workers in Greece who must bleed for the crisis, tomorrow they will pick on their next victims. As they do this, no lie is too shameful. Workers in Germany and elsewhere are being force-fed the lie that the living standard of the Greek population is responsible for the crisis. Vice-versa, people in Greece will be spun a tale of the German population profitting from their misery. It is obvious — the ruling classes of our two countries are trying to divide us. They are trying to play us off against each other. If we get in each others’ faces, we cannot defend ourselves against their oppression. The idea of the "nation" is their most important weapon in their game. It hides the class character of the capitalist system and gives the impression that the existing circumstances are an expression of the common interest of the "people". But we must not let ourselves be split! An attack on one is an attack on all of us! We will be able to resist the worldwide attacks on our living conditions only if we make a common defence against them, if we understand that every resistance against the austerity politics of our rulers is part of our fight. We must be clear in our rejection of all nationalist ideology and find ways of uniting over all boundaries of age, profession and sector, as well as those between the employed and unemployed.

To bring this unity about, we must break with the old union and parties’ politics and their frame of reference fixated on the national state, which sets everything on negotiations and compromise with the existing order. Our aim is for the working class itself to decide the aims of its struggles, and for the organisation of these struggles to remain firmly in our own hands. For this, we must firstly develop our own forms of struggle and organisation, like, for example, strike committees which are subject to the control of mass meetings of everyone involved. Secondly, we must be clear that the struggle must take on a political thrust. Capitalism has nothing more to offer us but even more exploitation, misery and war.

The only solution is a society in which money, exploitation and profit have been overthrown and production is in harmony with humanity and the environment. A society in which the means of production are socialised and no longer in the hands of state or private capitalists. It is a question of a new society, an "association of free producers", in which production is for the satisfaction of human needs and not for profit. A society without nations, states, borders and wars. In short, we mean communism!

It will not take shape overnight. Before us lies a long struggle. It is a question of showing our fellow workers an alternative to capitalism and of being able to organise to combat and defeat the ruling class. This demands an organisational framework. As we understand it, this can only be a political structure, an international and internationalist revolutionary organisation. International, because capitalism can only be fought and overcome on a world scale; internationalist, because the rejection of all nationalist ideologies is the fundamental pre-condition for the creation of class unity; revolutionary, because only in a radical break with capitalism is there the prospect of living as humans at all, let alone in conditions fit for human beings.

Athens/Berlin, 10th November 2012
Internationalist Comrades (Greece)
Gruppe Internationaler SozialistInnen (Germany)
Thursday, November 15, 2012