The future is socialism, but it must be fought for

the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (US)
27 August 2019

Campuses across the US are opening amidst a growing wave of social protests and working-class struggles throughout the world.

In July and August, mass demonstrations involving over one million people broke out in Hong Kong and Puerto Rico, filling the streets on islands off the coasts of the two largest economies in the world. Protests of a similar scale have taken place in recent weeks in Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua and elsewhere.

The eruption of social unrest and class struggle internationally coincides with a growing interest in socialism, and especially among the younger generations. Polls repeatedly show that young people in particular prefer socialism to capitalism.

This source of this radicalization is not hard to find. This generation of youth are coming of age in a world beset by wars, militarism, unprecedented social inequality, rising unemployment, and a global climate crisis that threatens the existence of humanity.

The radicalization of workers and youth terrifies the ruling class of every country, who rightly see socialism as an existential threat to the capitalist system. In response, the ruling elites are turning ever more openly to authoritarian forms of rule, including the promotion of fascistic and ultra-nationalist organizations.

In France, Emmanuel Macron has utilized emergency state powers to send the army against the “yellow vest” protesters. In Germany, the government of Angela Merkel continues to cultivate and protect the far right, presiding over the emergence of the extreme right-wing AfD as the main opposition party in the Bundestag. In Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), 13 million people are currently suffering under a regime of extraordinary repression by India’s Hindu supremacist BJP government.

In the US, the center of world capitalism, the Trump administration is implementing ever more draconian measures against immigrants; encouraged the fascistic conceptions that animated the mass shooters in El Paso, Texas, and Gilroy, California; and threatened to cancel elections and extend his term beyond the constitutional limits. It is pursing an “America First” foreign policy focused on China that threatens to develop into a global military conflict.

The election of Trump was not an accident. Trump is the personification of the oligarchy that rules America. Within the ruling class there are bitter conflicts over how American capitalism should respond to its national and international problems, but these are divisions within the financial oligarchy.

The Democrats have done everything they can to suppress mass opposition to the Trump administration and channel it behind their own right-wing and militarist agenda.

In the midst of Trump’s unprecedented actions, the Democrats have focused their entire opposition on questions of imperialist foreign policy, in particular, the demand for more aggressive military action in the Middle East and against Russia. They have served as mouthpieces for dominant sections of the military and intelligence apparatus in demanding an escalation of internet censorship in the name of combating “fake news.”

Just last month, the Democrats overwhelmingly voted to expand military spending to the greatest amount in history. They gave support to ensure the passage of Trump’s bill to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

In a conscious attempt to divide the working class, the Democrats relentlessly promote divisions based on identities such as gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and above all, race. This campaign has involved slandering the workers who are white as backwards and “privileged” and promoting the racist view that white and black workers have “intrinsic” differences because of the color of their skin.

As young people seek to oppose the policies of the ruling class, they must be on guard against organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America, who promote the lie that the Democratic Party and individuals like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can be instruments for opposing inequality and even achieving “socialism.”

Both Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have thrown their full support behind the Democrats’ phony anti-Russia campaign and have remained silent on the illegal and vicious persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning. They have said nothing about the Democrats’ subservience to the CIA and the military. Most recently, Ocasio-Cortez exposed the real character of her politics and the politics of the DSA when she voted for Trump’s budget that included a record $738 billion in military spending.

What the IYSSE fights for

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality, the student and youth movement of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Committee of the Fourth International, is fighting to turn young people to the building of an independent political movement of the working class, based on a revolutionary and socialist program.

The ICFI is the leadership of the world socialist movement, initiated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, fought for by the leaders of the Russian Revolution of 1917, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, and defended through the implacable struggle, led by Trotsky and the Fourth International, against the bureaucratic degeneration of the Soviet Union under Stalin.

The IYSSE fights to orient students and youth to the working class, the only revolutionary class in society capable of carrying out the socialist transformation of the world.

We fight for internationalism, for the unification of workers of all countries based on the principle that workers in every country have the same social interests and the same class enemies regardless of skin color, nationality, ethnicity, gender or any other “identity.”

We oppose all those tendencies that take as their starting point the nation-state system. The fundamental issues facing workers are the same in every country: economic instability, the threat of war, climate change, the need for health care, good education, access to art and culture, democratic rights and many more. We fight to show workers that to address any one of these issues, they need their own international strategy.

We call for the abolition of borders in order to bring the world’s political map into harmony with the international character of the process of production. A socialist movement must take up the defense of immigrant workers on the basis of the fight for open borders—that workers everywhere should be able to live and work where they choose.

We fight for workers control of the means of production. The major banks and corporations must be placed under international social control and run democratically by the workers themselves to meet the needs of society, not private profit. We must get rid of the system of exploitation which has created a situation in which the three richest Americans—Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett—now own more wealth than the poorest half of the US population, some 160 million people. This vast wealth, made through the exploitation of millions of workers, must be expropriated.

We fight against the growing threat of war and the return of fascism. The American war machine must be dismantled. US imperialism, seeking to reconquer the globe, threatens a third world war, this time fought with nuclear weapons. The vast sums expended on militarism by all the capitalist powers must be used to meet pressing social needs, including education, health care, and social programs.

We fight for the defense and expansion of democratic rights. This fight necessarily includes an unrelenting campaign to defend WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange and anti-war whistleblower Chelsea Manning against their vicious persecution by the state.

We fight for historical truth and against the falsification of history. The development of a socialist movement today requires that workers and youth understand the essential experiences and lessons of the 20th century, above all the real history of the socialist movement, from the Russian Revolution through the Trotskyist opposition to Stalinism and social democracy.

To achieve socialism, the working class must be organized as an independent political force, in opposition to all the parties of the ruling class, in a revolutionary movement to take power and reorganize society on the basis of social equality. Without such a movement, workers and young people throughout the world confront a future of fascist dictatorship, impoverishment and world war.

The future is socialism, but it must be fought for. There is no time to lose.