Statement of the IYSSE Karlsruhe: Against militarism, fascism and war! For socialism! Vote IYSSE!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality
4 July 2019

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality ( IYSSE ) is standing two candidates for the Student Parliament elections (StuPa) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), which take place from July 8 to 12. We are publishing the election statement and information about the two events the IYSSE is holding as part of its campaign at the KIT.

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The IYSSE is participating in the Student Parliament election to build a socialist movement against militarism and war, social inequality and the extreme right. We want to prevent the universities from becoming state-run cadre schools for right-wing and militaristic ideology, as they did before the First and Second World Wars.

We are building a worldwide anti-war movement that unites workers and youth on a socialist basis, regardless of origin, nationality, skin colour or religion.

The danger of a third world war, involving nuclear weapons, has never been so great as it is today. President Trump is threatening Iran with annihilation and preparing for war against China and Russia. The European Union (EU) is seeking to become a major military power that can wage war independently of and, if necessary, against the United States. The joint European Air Combat System (FCAS) alone, which Germany, France and Spain agreed to build this month, will devour €500 billion by the middle of the century.

The grand coalition of the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) is the most right-wing German government since the end of the Nazi dictatorship. It wants to double the military budget. Even the construction of aircraft carriers, the acquisition of nuclear weapons and the reintroduction of conscription are being discussed in government circles. Less than 80 years after Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union, German tanks are back at the Russian border.

Against dictatorship and the right-wing danger!

The ruling class cannot rearm and wage war without establishing a dictatorship. That is the reason for the sharp shift to the right by official politics around the world. Capitalist governments from Trump to the EU are dragging refugees into camps and letting them die in the desert and the Mediterranean. French President Macron uses the army against the protesting yellow vests. Google and Facebook, in close consultation with governments, are censoring left-wing websites. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistle-blower Chelsea Manning are being persecuted and threatened with life imprisonment for exposing the war crimes of those in power.

The murder of the Kassel district president Walter Lübcke is a warning sign. It is the result of the systematic dismissal of the danger of right-wing extremist politics and networks by the state, which actively supports and facilitates them. This ranges from the trivialisation of right-wing extremist acts of violence (almost 200 people have been murdered by right-wing extremists since 1990), the blindness of the judiciary in its “right” eye, the targeted promotion of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the toleration of right-wing terrorist groups, whose tentacles reach deep into the secret service, the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) and the police, up to the revival of far-right ideologies at the universities.

Scholarship instead of war propaganda

In recent years, the IYSSE has shown that we will not stand idly by and accept a return to militarism and fascism and the imposing of political conformity at the universities in the service of war and dictatorship. At Humboldt University in Berlin, we have opposed the eastern European historian Jörg Baberowski, who claimed that Hitler was “not vicious” and who agitates against refugees in the media. That is why we have received broad support from students and workers across the country. On the other hand, we have been slandered and attacked by the mainstream media, the university management and the establishment parties.

We will not allow the militarisation of our university as well. Professors at the KIT at the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Analysis and Image Processing (IOSB) are researching for the German government and the military into target-tracking systems, night-vision devices, armoured tank technologies, automated systems to repel refugees and intelligent video surveillance. The head of the IOSB, Professor Beyerer, presides over the entire surveillance and war weapons research of the German Fraunhofer Institute as chairman of the Fraunhofer Defence and Security Research Association (VVS). Among other things, this includes the development of rocket and gun propellants and explosives at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Karlsruhe.

For a socialist perspective

The causes of war and dictatorship, and the transformation of universities into militaristic research centres and right-wing think tanks, lie in the deep crisis of the capitalist system, which is based on the exploitation of the working class and the division of the world into rival nation states. Two hundred years after the birth of Karl Marx, however, the words of the great thinker and revolutionary, that the history of humanity is a history of class struggle, have been confirmed. Whether in France, Sudan, Algeria, the Czech Republic or anywhere else, there are mass protests against dictatorship and social attacks, against exploitation and unbearable working and living conditions. In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent months against the AfD, the right-wing politics of all the bourgeois parties, the new police laws, the EU’s regressive new copyright regulations and for more climate protection.

However, this movement needs a socialist perspective. A relapse into war and barbarism can only be prevented if capitalism is overthrown and replaced by a democratic and rationally planned world economy. This requires the building of a mass movement of the international working class, the vast majority of the population, to break the power of the banks and corporations and place their enormous assets under democratic control. This is what we fight for as the youth and student organisation of the Fourth International, founded in 1938 by Leon Trotsky and which has defended socialist principles against social democracy and Stalinism.

IYSSE Events:

I. Why are they back?

The murder of the Kassel district president Walter Lübcke has shown that 75 years after the fall of the Third Reich, Germany again has a Nazi problem. The book Why Are They Back? by Christoph Vandreier shows how the rise of the AfD was ideologically and politically prepared by professors, the media and the establishment parties. The author, as the spokesperson of the IYSSE, was heavily involved in the fight against the right-wing offensive. He will explain why the fight against the right requires a socialist perspective.

Friday, July 5, 2019, at 6 p.m.

Karlsruhe Institute for Technology

Building 30.28, Room 008 (Learning Centre at Fasanenschlösschen)

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2187543324647748/

II. Stop the war preparations against Iran!

On June 20, President Trump cancelled a military strike on Iran at the very last minute. The danger that the US will still launch a military strike and plunge the whole world into disaster remains high. We will discuss the background to this and explain why the fight against war is inextricably linked to the struggle against its cause , capitalism.

Friday, July 12, 2019, at 6 pm

Karlsruhe Institute for Technology

Building 30.28, Room 008 (Learning Centre at Fasanenschlösschen)

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/360234237907742/

Contact the IYSSE Karlsruhe University Group to support the election campaign and become a member.