12-13 November saw a whole weekend of discussions on Marxist theory and revolutionary strategy, involving more than 120 school and university students, apprentices, and workers from all over Germany, as well as Austria, Switzerland and Great Britain. This was a great success for the German Marxists!
Capitalism’s senile decay is a daily nightmare for billions of people, characterised by economic and climate crises, wars, pandemics and famine. The capitalists and their governments have no answers, and their interests do not correspond to those of the majority. Production for profit, competition between companies and nation states, and the regime of private ownership over the means of production, are wrecking society. Capitalism no longer offers any hope of progress to humanity.
Social contradictions are coming to a head all over the world. This crisis of the system is creating unprecedented social and political instability, and the working class and the oppressed masses are starting to fight back. From Chile to France, from Sudan to Kazakhstan, from Iran and Sri Lanka to Britain, we see resistance and rebellion. We are in the middle of a historical turning point. An epoch of enormous class struggle is opening up. Mass protests, strike movements, uprisings and revolutions are on the agenda. Therefore, the decline of capitalism does not make us pessimistic – on the contrary!
But the history of the workers' movement also shows that it is not enough to take to the streets en masse, or even to overthrow governments. The capitalist class has enormous means at its disposal to bring even the strongest mass uprisings, sooner or later, to defeat. That is why there is a need for a worldwide revolutionary party. The working class must consciously overthrow capitalism and establish socialism. For this it needs the only genuinely revolutionary ideas of the time: Marxism.
The International Marxist Tendency has set itself the task of building this world revolutionary party. Today we have sections in over 30 countries around the world and revolutionary class fighters are building new sections in many more. As part of the IMT, Der Funke (The Spark) in Germany holds high the banner of Marxism and socialist revolution in this country.
In order for Marxism to take a deeper root in the youth and workers' movement in Germany, we organised this year's Karl Marx Seminar in Berlin, which was a great success. This was our first in-person seminar since January 2020, when around 50 revolutionaries took part. This year, the number was more than double. This leap is the result of the patient and determined work of all our comrades. It is also an expression of the fact that the revolutionary ideas of Marxism are attracting more and more interest. This thirst for theory is shown by the sale of our literature at the seminar, which raised over 2,000 euros.
The majority of participants were attending one of our nationwide seminars for the first time. Many got to know us in the past months at one of our numerous actions on demonstrations, and activity at universities and schools: part of our international campaign, #CommunismOnCampus.
The seminar showed optimism and confidence in the power of the working class, which has the potential to throw capitalism in the dustbin of history. That is its historic task. For our part, in the course of many discussions, we sharpened the revolutionary weapon crucial to achieving this goal – our understanding of Marxist theory.
A world to win
The seminar was opened by Francesco Merli (editor at marxist.com), with an intense discussion on the global decline of capitalism. No stone was left unturned in analysing this epoch of crises, wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions. The dynamics of crisis are sharpening and for Marxists it is important to keep an eye on the central lines of development and orient ourselves in these turbulent times.
In the workshops that followed, we discussed the revolutionary philosophy of Marxism – dialectical materialism: the basis of scientific socialism. Without this philosophy, everything about this world of constant change and development is incomprehensible. Further, we dealt with Marxist economics, without which it is impossible to understand the crisis of capitalism, or how to overthrow it.
Capitalism can only be brought down through the revolutionary struggle for socialism. In order to prepare ourselves for future revolutions, we looked at the Bolsheviks and the successful Russian Revolution of 1917; as well as the revolutionary legacy of Rosa Luxemburg, who was tragically killed following a failed insurrection. From these historical events, and the ideas, programmes and strategies behind them, we have drawn important lessons for our struggle today.
We stand in the best traditions of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg. Their struggles and ideas are the foundation stone for every Marxist. And it is in their spirit that the IMT is building the embryo of a revolutionary international today. But how are we to do that?
That was the focus of the first evening of the event. We heard an inspiring report on the work of our comrades from different countries, culminating in a fundraiser for a new office for our international centre, to accommodate the growth of our tendency and the new and more extensive tasks that come with it. This will be a decisive step in building the forces of revolutionary Marxism around the world.
On Saturday evening, we sang workers' songs to uphold the traditions of the international workers' movement and draw inspiration from our heroic past. Over drinks, we continued our discussions in a more relaxed atmosphere. In many conversations we were able to exchange experiences and ideas about the work in the different cities and countries.
The seminar ended on Sunday afternoon with an analysis of the crisis of capitalism in Germany. Here, too, a turning point in the class struggle is approaching. The conditions for massive resistance from the working class and youth are maturing. Thousands of youth and workers are looking for answers to the crisis and for the possibility to fight for their interests. Socialist, communist and revolutionary ideas are coming into the field of vision of growing layers of society. These are perfect conditions for building the Marxist tendency in this country. We are taking up this task!
The seminar was a decisive milestone for Der Funke. Now we will translate the revolutionary optimism and enthusiasm of this seminar into seriousness and discipline, and take the next important steps in building our revolutionary tendency.