[Marxism] Germany: Beginning of a rupture between unions and SPD
einde at gmx.de
Mon Jul 5 15:22:00 MDT 2004
Johannes Schneider wrote:
> On Mon, 05 Jul 2004 21:50:19 +0200, Einde O'Callaghan <einde at gmx.de> wrote:
> How I wish it were true...
> But "the potentially biggest break since the USPD" we are presented at
> least every decade in post war Germany: the 'Titoist' UAPD in the early
> fifties, the SDS break in 1959, the September strikes in 1969, the
> emergence of the Greens and the DS in the early eighties, the PDS after
I'm afraid that ypu're exhibiting a case of the hand that has been burnt
- whereas I think you underestimate the profundity of teh economic
problems facing the German capitalist class unless there is a revival of
teh eoconomy - and even then the proposed slashing of welfare is going
to effect an enormous number of people - the Hartz IV proposals will
deprive at least 800,000 people who are now receiving benefit of any
benefit whatsoever - and cut the benefits of many more including more
than half the unemployed in former East Germany by more than 50% thro0gh
teh cuts in entitlement for teh "long-term" unemployed - now re-defined
as "unemployed for more than 12 months".
If teh left doesn't get its act together then there are sinister forces
waiting to leap into the breach. Here in Chemnitz the Republicans (a
fascist organisation) were able to gain more than 11% in teh local and
Euro elections in a campaign based on taking up the social questions
being raised by more and more people - but with a nasty racist twist. In
some municipalities the NPD, an even more vicious Nazi party, gained
over 25%, becoming the second-largest party on some local councils -
i.e. potentially the "official opposition".
Here in the East we're at the sharp end of the stick. The ruling class
have been preparing and honing the policies they are now starting to
unleash in the West. the resluts are quite drastic - The SPD vote is
going down the pan - 14% in Thuringia, 10% in "Red" Saxony, the
industrial heartland of the GDR, tendency falling.
> Actually I doubt there are really that many people "moving from their
> traditional allegiances".
So ntehz mass abstention of traditional SPD voters in the Euro elections
doesn't impress you. There was also a mass abstention of CDU voters, but
it wasn't so noticeable because it wasn't as big and the CDU managted to
remain teh biggest party.
> In my eyes those behind the SPD dissident
> movement rather want to restore the old pre-SchrÃ¶der SPD.
What they want to achieve and what they can achieve are quite different
things. But if the left is outside this process we'll have absolutely no
effect on what's going to happen
> Those who
> are moving from the traditional political alliance of SPD and unions is
> the present SPD leadership. SchrÃ¶der and Clement have understood that
> their is very little political space for that old reformist SPD and
> that they have to transform the SPD into something like the US Democrats.
> Since post-war reformism is dead, I consider the SPD dissident's
> programme sort of utopian. If Marxist positions should regain any sort
> of credibility among the working class and society as a whole, we have
> to speak out such unpleasent truth, instead of engaging in the next
> illusory project after the Greens and the PDS.
So where are we going to gather the forces that will argue for a Marxist
programme? Abstentionism has never done so - preaching from the
sidelines is always so ineffective.
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