German left

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at
Wed Aug 6 00:38:04 MDT 2003

Tom O'Lincoln wrote:

> I found the German left history site very interesting, and it reminded me
> that the KB (or KB-Nord -- they were based mainly in the north, in
> paper was called Arbeiterkampf (workers' struggle). This was mailed to one
> of the anti-nuclear or environmental groups here in Melbourne (FOE
> and given to me because no one else could read it. It was huge -- about 40
> or 50 tabloid pages each fortnight -- an amazing achievement in itself.
> Politically it struck me as a bit "soft" rather than "hard" Maoist like
> KBW.

Correct observation. KB always was the most 'liberal' of the Maoist

> It promoted the Alternative List and the "Bunte Liste" (multi-coloured
> list - candidates from various leftish backgrounds)

That is the reason why the KB is important beyond the narrow interest for
tiny sects. Without them the German Greens would have looked very different.

> My favourite part of the paper, I sheepishly admit, was the bit in the
> called "Die ML-Szene" about the Marxist-Leninist "scene". Here one could
> read all the foolishness, real or alleged, that various other Maoist
> got up to.

Yeah, everyone likes gossip.

> The key issue was "Vaterlandsverteidigung" - defence of the Fatherland.
> Some groups firmly rejected this on standard Marxist grounds. Others,
> following the Chinese government position which sought to line up all of
> the international bourgeoise against "Soviet social-imperialism", did
> believe in national defence. Given the division of Germany at the time,
> that was a position full of dangers and seemed to be a significant factor
> in the splits and collapses that plague the ML scene.

This was directed at the two Maoist KPDs. The KBW did quite a good work
among conscripts, trying to organize them in soldiers' comittees.

> Perhaps the German comrades on this list can add to the picture, or
> me (I'm relying on longterm memory).

Something to add about the KB, was its theory of "Fascification". At the
beginning it served as a tool to distance them from the other Maoist
tendencies, who maintained that the main tendency was toward Revolution. At
the same time it allowed the KB to forge alliance with other left groups.

I guess the KB's preoccupation with a alleged special German disposition to
fascism led one of their splinter products into the Antideutschen, who more
or less see all Germans infected by fascist ideology (Goldhagen is the
Antideutschen' prophet).


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