CWI IN GERMANY | Theory & Practice Go Together at Motivating Education Seminar

Over the weekend of 8-9 June we held a Sol (Socialist Organisation Solidarity – CWI in Germany) educational seminar in Berlin, attended by over seventy comrades from 16 cities from all over Germany, as well as a representative of the International Secretariat of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) and – via Zoom – comrades from Austria. The meeting was the culmination of an internal education campaign that familiarised newer comrades in particular with the programme, method and history of Sol and the CWI.

Twelve workshops were held over the weekend in four thematic blocks:

The first block dealt with the left opposition to Stalinism and the emergence of the Fourth International around Leon Trotsky, its development and the orientation of Trotskyist organisations today. The second block dealt with the split of the CWI in 2019, in which the Sol in Germany also emerged from its predecessor organisation SAV. There were presentations and discussions on how the split came about, what the differences were and how we were able to re-form as an organisation on the basis of the political clarity we had gained around the disputed political issues. The third block was about the (failed) revolutions or revolutionary movements in France in 1968, Portugal in 1974 and Iran in 1979. We discussed the lessons from these important historical events in order to be prepared for future struggles and revolutions. The fourth block included the Arab Spring, Latin America’s left and the euro crisis in Greece. For example, in the workshop on Latin America, the election victory of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 1998, the subsequent pink wave and why it failed or could not solve the social crises in Latin America were examined. On this example, proposals for the working class and revolutionary movements to overthrow capitalism were discussed.

In addition to the workshops, three plenary sessions were held in which the history of the CWI, the Sol and its current development were discussed. The strong internationalist orientation of our organisation was made clear by the lead-off of comrade Sean Figg from the International Secretariat of the CWI on the history of our international. So we see it not only as our responsibility to build Sol, but also the other sections of the CWI. In the evening, Sascha Staničić, Sol’s national spokesperson, gave a talk on the history of our organisation in Germany. He recalled the struggles we have already fought and explained the difference we have been able to make in workplace struggles and movements.

Learning Lessons

In order to apply all these experiences and theoretical lessons and to put them into practice, the further development of Sol was discussed in the third plenary session. Comrades from different places reported on the development and local work, for example in alliances against the war on Gaza, in trade unions and workplaces, against profit in the health sector and for the preservation of hospitals, in tenant initiatives and in “Youth for Socialism”.

In the various discussions, it became clear how important the foundation of our organisation is, which we must defend again and again: political clarity, class position, Marxist method and revolutionary transitional programme. In this way, we are following in the footsteps of Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Liebknecht, Lenin and Trotsky and applying the Marxist method in order to develop the right analyses and the resulting perspectives. The seminar was a great success, with everyone learning and discussing a lot and creating the basis for further and deeper engagement with many of the topics discussed, as well as for passing on this knowledge to new members in the future. At the same time, we were able to gather a lot of inspiration and motivation for the local development of our organisation, as the weekend confirmed how important organisation is in a Marxist organisation that acts as a collective and can properly process experiences and lessons from past class struggles and put them into practice.

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June 2024