Mankind has entered the second decade of the 21st century to find itself beset by unemployment, wars, inequality and poverty.
Despite great advances in technology and communications, twenty-five million people in the United States are without jobs. Worldwide, billions live in hunger and humanity is beset by unending wars.
After giving trillions of dollars to the banks, the US government—at both the state and federal level—is pushing through unprecedented cuts in education and other social programs. Meanwhile the financial elite, with the arrogance and sense of entitlement of an aristocracy, has exploited the crisis of its own making to vastly enrich itself at the expense of working people. At every job, wages have fallen and the workload has risen, to the direct benefit of the rich.
This war against working people is coupled with war abroad. Continuing on Bush’s “wars of the 21st century,” Obama has launched a “surge” in Afghanistan and a new imperialist war against Libya, together with threats against even more countries, including Iran and China.
The crisis that began in 2008 has revealed itself as far more than an economic downturn; it is the failure of an entire social system—capitalism.
The ISSE is an organization of students around the world that insists that chronic social problems can only be solved through a socialist movement of working people. Human progress is blocked by the capitalist system, which subordinates all considerations to the drive for corporate profit and the accumulation of wealth for the few.
The issues students face—including high tuition, joblessness, debts, and the starving of resources for public education—are inseparable from the broader questions confronting the working class. None of these problems can be solved in schools and campuses alone. Students seeking to oppose social inequality, unemployment, and war must reach out to workers throughout the country and internationally.
A turn to the working class does not mean support for the trade unions. These organizations, supposedly defenders of the working class, are in reality dominated by well-heeled executives and partners of corporate management. They have collaborated to impose concessions while seeking to keep workers tied to the political establishment. Against the existing trade unions, the ISSE calls for the building of independent rank-and-file workplace, education, and neighborhood committees to unify various sections of workers and youth in a common struggle.
Above all, the working class needs its own political party, in opposition to the Democrats and Republicans, the parties of the ruling class. The ISSE rejects the position that these parties can be pushed to the left.
Three years ago, many young people voted for Obama hoping for “change” from the Bush administration. These hopes have turned to disillusionment and anger as the new administration has only expanded the right-wing policies of its predecessor.
The experience of the Obama administration shows that there can be no change through the existing institutions. The US is a democracy in name only; behind the façade of elections lies a completely corrupt political system beholden to the financial aristocracy.
The ISSE seeks to build a mass political movement of the working class that will fight for power, establish a workers’ government, and reorganize society on a democratic, egalitarian and rational basis.
The two basic features of capitalism—private ownership of the means of production and the division of the world economy along national lines—block the rational use and development of mankind’s productive forces. None of the problems humanity confronts can be dealt with on a national level.
The problems faced by working people and youth of every country are fundamentally the same. In all countries, the ISSE opposes nationalism, chauvinism, and racism, which are means to divide and weaken the working class. Working people of all countries must join together in a common struggle.
Socialism—the rational and democratic control of the economy to meet social need, not private profit—arises as a historical necessity from the breakdown of capitalism. The ISSE has unshakable confidence in the development of an international socialist movement because socialism corresponds to the objective interests of the working class, the vast majority of humanity.
The International Students for Social Equality, the student movement of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Committee of the Fourth International, fights for the revival of a socialist movement among young people throughout the country, as part of an international socialist movement of the entire working class.
The ISSE stands in the tradition of genuine revolutionary socialist internationalism, from the origins of Marxism in the 1840s, through the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the implacable struggle, led by Leon Trotsky, against the bureaucratic degeneration of the Soviet Union under Stalin. Throughout the 20th century, the Trotskyist movement opposed Stalinism, reformism and all attempts to find substitutes for the independent revolutionary mobilization of the working class on the basis of a socialist program.
In the 21st century, the ISSE, SEP and ICFI are fighting to unify and mobilize the working class and youth internationally, to prepare the working class for the conquest of political power and the establishment of a genuinely democratic, egalitarian and socialist society.
We call on students and young people to carry forth this fight and build the ISSE.
We urge all students to study the program, history and analysis presented on the World Socialist Web Site. Make the decision to join and build the ISSE and help build a club of the ISSE at your school or university.
|Downloadable Statement - Fall 2011||147.18 KB|
|Downloadable Statement - Fall 2011 - Black and White||145.28 KB|
|Downloadable Statement - Fall 2011 - Alternate||149.76 KB|