On 23 April, 152 comrades of der Funke/l'étincelle (the Spark) – the Swiss section of the International Marxist Tendency – met in Bern to discuss the crisis of capitalism and clarify the tasks of Marxists.
The congress was the biggest ever organised by the Spark. The Marxists of the IMT are on the march! This congress was fortunate to welcome international guests from Germany, Austria, Britain and France. The mood was one of great professionalism, combined with bold enthusiasm. While the whole so-called left is sinking into the swamp of pessimism, the mood of the Marxists is precisely the opposite of this. There is exactly one reason for our optimism: our understanding of Marxist theory! Our optimism stems from the clarity created by the scientific analysis of the crisis of capitalism, which shows that the period that is dawning is a period of revolution, full of opportunities for revolutionary Marxists. All the comrades who participated agreed that this was the best congress that the Spark has ever held.
The class struggle is developing worldwide
The congress opened with a discussion on the worldwide class struggle. It was introduced by Niklas Albin Svensson, editor of the IMT’s website: marxist.com.
We recommend this document from the IMT for a more developed analysis of the world situation.
Niklas showed how capitalism is at a fundamental impasse on a global scale – for the second time in its history. This is reflected, among other things, in the formation of different imperialist blocs and the sharpening of international contradictions, the war in Ukraine and the explosion of inflation. The impasse of the system means the impasse of the ruling class, which is attempting to make the working class pay for the crisis. This has already led to mass uprisings in Sri Lanka, Peru and elsewhere. These processes will intensify and generalise.
The analyses of the international comrades of the class struggle in their respective countries made clear how deadlocked the situation is in Switzerland’s most important neighbouring countries. In Germany, a “mega-strike” of public transport workers took place last month and in France, the powerful movement against pension reform continues to challenge Macron's government.
All contributions to the discussion pointed to the lack of revolutionary leadership in these countries. It is up to us – the Marxists of the IMT – to build it. This will determine whether these struggles end in victory or defeat.
The special crisis of Swiss imperialism
The majority of Saturday was dedicated to the discussion on the class struggle in Switzerland.
You can find the document that served as a basis for the discussion here, in German.
Caspar Oertli's presentation emphasised the role of the Credit Suisse (CS) crash as a symptom and accelerator of the impasse in the relative decline of Swiss imperialism. In the recent period, Swiss capitalists have amassed super-profits by manoeuvring between the major powers and carving out a certain niche for themselves. But this “model of success” has been crumbling for decades. In the current period of the return of protectionism and the creation of trade blocs, Swiss imperialism will now be increasingly ground down. The economic niches, which were previously available to Swiss companies, are being smashed one by one. The CS crisis and the decline of the Swiss banking centre are one expression of this – by no means the only or the last.
Switzerland, for instance, has been hit particularly hard by the global crisis. The crisis in Switzerland is accelerating at a rapid pace, undermining the relative stability that characterised the country in the past. The new stage of the global crisis has arrived in Switzerland with a bang – in the form of the CS crash or the crisis of Swiss neutrality, for example.
Am 23. April trafen sich 152 Genossen des Funken (der Schweizer Sektion der Internationalen Marxistischen Tendenz) in Bern, um die Entwicklungen der Krise des Kapitalismus sowie die Aufgaben der #Marxisten in diesen Prozessen zu klären. #derfunkehttps://t.co/8noCVQES1p pic.twitter.com/tQuqMH9t03— der funke (@derfunke_ch) April 28, 2023
The capitalists have no choice but to pass the costs on to the working class. This is a recipe for the coming social explosion in Switzerland! The mobilisation of the working class is becoming more and more urgent in order to defend living conditions. Throughout the discussion, the importance of the current strike among public sector workers in the canton of Vaud was highlighted as a first taste of future mobilisations.
Following the discussion on Swiss perspectives, Niklas Albin Svensson provided a report on the most inspiring developments in the IMT worldwide. This showed that the IMT is growing everywhere, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The report was received with enthusiastic applause by the comrades and once again underlined the necessity of internationalism in the building of a revolutionary organisation.
Financing the revolution
Saturday concluded with a financial appeal aimed at raising 50,000 francs for the fighting fund. This collection was also an opportunity to gauge the enthusiasm and willingness for revolutionary sacrifice of Swiss Marxists. The final result of 70,000 francs clearly shows the extent of this enthusiasm!
3 Tag des Kongresses der Marxistischen strömung @derfunke_ch @marxistcom— Bolschewist (@MarxistNils) April 23, 2023
Die leute sind voller energie und Motiviert nächste woche mit viel Power im 1 Mai zu Intervenieren. #Marxismus #Kommunismus pic.twitter.com/HvHLLa8vRF
This money will be used entirely to build a Marxist leadership in Switzerland, capable of playing a role in the great events to come and making the ideas of Marxism a material force.
Forward to 500 Marxists in Switzerland in 2025!
Sunday was entirely dedicated to building the revolutionary organisation. The presentation by Dersu Heri stressed that the revolutionary party is based first and foremost on Marxist ideas. The task of Marxists is to internalise the Marxist method in order to be able to intervene in the movement.
The comrades of the Spark fully understood this task. This was reflected in the sale of revolutionary literature. The comrades bought almost 3,000 francs-worth of Marxist books!
The congress set itself the goal of reaching 500 Marxists in Switzerland by the end of 2025 – so that we will be ready to play a role in the significant events that are around the corner.
In this context, the creation of a new layer of young revolutionaries who are taking big steps forward in their Marxist education was celebrated as an important achievement. These will form the basis for the next leap in the growth of the Marxist tendency in Switzerland.
Comrades from different regions – Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich, Thurgau and Basel – brought inspiring reports and lessons from their regional work to the discussion.
The importance of building a truly national organisation was highlighted, with a particular focus on the building of our work in Geneva. The congress set itself the goal of carrying out a financial campaign to rent an office in Geneva. All our sympathisers are called upon to support our comrades in Geneva with a monthly contribution, so that this office can be rented. This will put the Marxists in Western Switzerland on the map!
We need you, you need us!
Revolutionary upheavals are coming. Our generation has the chance to sweep capitalism off the face of the earth for good. To do this, a revolutionary leadership must be built. We in the IMT have set ourselves this task.
We urgently need to grow. For this we need you! If you are serious about revolution, then you also need us. The IMT is the only organisation that has the ideas and methods to build that leadership. Join the IMT today!
Forward to 500 Marxists in Switzerland!
Forward to the socialist revolution in Switzerland and around the world!
Long live the IMT!