Report from Germany - Answering Carlos's questions

CEP iwp.ilo at ix.netcom.com
Mon Feb 5 01:48:07 MST 1996


You(Luciano) wrote: 
>
>
>I believe that there are several levels to keep in mind when trying to
>address the above questions. (A) Political (B) Economical (C) Social.
>(Around this list I give for understood that Marxism is not economical
>determinism).

    Carlos:

    First of all, Luciano, mille grazie per la riposta to my questions.
    I think they were pretty good and intersting.  So, I'm going to
    abuse of your knowledge and ask you more questions if that's all
    right with you.

    Luciano:

>(A) Political. This comes first, IMO, because the aims of German 
imperialism
>to play a central role in Europe - to which end they took Europe and 
the
>world through two world wars... - is somewhat hampered by that legacy. 
    (examples sniped)

    Carlos:

    I understand the question of the legacy. I'm certainly aware of it
    and, in many aspects, I found the memories of the peoples of Europe
    in regards of fascism one of the fundamental barriers for new
    fascist movements to emerge.  But ...

    Is that sentiment homogeneous throughout Europe?  In Russia,        
    Hungary, the Zchek republic, Croatia, certainly in significant      
    sectors of Eastern Germany, Slovenia and some other Eastern         
    European countries German capital is pretty much welcomed and
    it is accomplishing important investments and expansion.
    It was my impression that Germany targeted specifically the 
    countries named above for economic investment and not Poland
    or Romania and others which were considered without the minimum
    infrastructural capacity to adapt to to the german productive
    apparatus ...

    Certainly, Germany had achieved enormous advantages of belonging
    to the European unity and while the Union is still rsisted by
    Brittish and others, has gained momemtum (at least for Germany
    and other countries) and has helped to dissipate some of that
    criminal aura of the Germans, deservedly won during Second WW.

    My ppoint being, we should not understimate German imperialism,
    nor its ability to gain, in the next two years through economic
    expansionism what it could not achieve in two wars ...
    
    On the other hand, what kind of political movements exist in
    Europe actively organizing against German expansionism based
    on their past behavior and present strategy?  Living in the
    US I didn't read anything concerning this.  Is anything going
    on?  If not, how the "legacy" issue is manifested as a barrier
    to german imprialism if it doesn't express itself in a concrete
    political movement?

    Luciano wrote:

>(B) Economical. Had the West-German imperialists approached the 
situation
>from the standpoint of what made most sense, they would have behaved 
quite
>differently. I will give you one example. In Jena, not far from 
Dresden and
>Leipzig, there was a beautiful plants, Carl Zeis. They used to make
>wonderful optical instruments, one of the very few Eastern bloc 
productions
>that were technologically really advanced. Once the Wessies took over, 
they
>managed to take it over in order to dismantle it to bits, because it 
was a
>dangerous competitors for the Western companies in the same field. (I 
don't
>know its current status).

    Carlos:

    I read about some other examples.  But your assertion that West
    Germany was acting ideologically in its re-tooling of East
    Germany contradict the above-written example.  The buyout of
    a company to dismantle it in order to benefit an existing           
    competitor is a more than normal, day to day operation in the
    capitalist system.  Similar examples happens *everyday* in the
    US and takeover of companies, consolidations followed by
    rationalitaziont and outright destruction of enterprises are not
    directed towards any former form of centralized economy.

    The question is:  Do you have figures to prove that the             
    *ideological* or any other form of destruction of infrastructure
    in Eastern Germany has offset the building of new infrastructure
    both in value, GNP potential increase, rate of production and
    prfit for German imperialists?  

    I'm pretty sure that if we look at the hard numbers we will find
    exttremely interesting facts.  Is any way for you to find out?

    Luciano:

>(C) Social. In Nazis' time the ideal behaviour of women was sussumed 
under
>the slogan of the 3 K's - Kirche, Kuche, Kinder (Church, Kitchen, 
Kids) -
    (example of women in today's Germany follows -- snipped)

    Carlos:

    I have no doubt that German unification will mean an overall        
    attempt form the part of the German imperialist bourgeoisie to
    depress wages (for all Germans) and to cut social services and
    what they call "waste".  That's an international trend.  I think
    they had been trying for years now and they found some resistance
    from unions and the working class.  

    I do agree with you, then, than the working class will benefit      
    little or nothing from the unification.  My original point was
    precisely that and that the main *beneficiary* of unification is
    and will be the German imperialist bourgeosie.

    Luciano:
>As for the capitalists and their imperialist aim of domination over 
Europe,
>in the long run it should. But class struggle in Germany has gone up 
as a
>result of capitalist unification, and there may still be hope that the
>German proletariat would do us all a big favor...
>
    Carlos:

    Seems to me we have agreement on this.  Except for the fact that
    I never hope for the German or any other proletariat to do          
    anything.   But I guess is just a question of style.  I kind of 
    grim at the word hope.  Sounds to .... CATHOLIC FOR MY TASTE.


    What I'm afraid of is that many left-wing annalysis of German
    imperialism, such as the Workers World piece you posted only
    focus on narrow economica, short term annalysis (Workers World
    had been doing it for decades and always predicted sudden revolts
    against and serious internal problems of the Reagan and Bush
    governments and economic policies -- and the truth is, most         
    Americans not only swallowed for a decade but they didn't even
    noticed that they elected a "liberal" (Clinton) that have a
    program to the right of Nixon's and they still call him a           
    "liberal").

    The real challenge for Marxists is to anticipate the general
    movement of classes, regimes, governments ... we need to prepare
    the ground for our intervention years before things happen.         
    Otherwise we will remain reacting to facts "accompli".  The new
    raise of German imperialism maybe one of those things we are not
    really prepared to deal with.  THat's why I'm asking all these
    questions.


    Comradely,
    Carlos


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