[Marxism] Re: Quoting Winston Churchill and not looking like a "nut"

Lueko Willms l.willms at jpberlin.de
Thu Aug 12 15:20:08 MDT 2004

.     Am  12.08.04
 schrieb  ffeldman at bellatlantic.net (Fred Feldman)
      in  000001c48065$8fb2f9e0$6401a8c0 at fredpc
   ueber  [Marxism] Re: Quoting Winston Churchill and not looking like a "nut"

FF> Lueko wrote:

  I should have added that I did not follow all the discussion under  
this topic

FF> Breaking open the class divide, not plastering over it ("WE have a
FF> budget crisis" - Camejo) is on the order of the day.

   That was a quote from the California governor election campaign.

FF> But contrary to what is preached by the SWP today,  "breaking open
FF> the class divide, not plastering over it" is not primarily a matter
FF> of formulation and still less of revolutionary etiquette.

   Sure, that is why I referred to the mass mobilizations here in  
Germany and not to any US-american political party.

FF> When you get past that kind of politics, you find that the middle-
FF> class Nader campaign stands closer to the working-class standpoint
FF> than the [SWP]

    You know, not living within the monster itself, I did not care to  
study all the campaign material being issued by the Nader campaign.

    I enjoy that the US-american twin-party-system gets a crack by  
this campaign, and I think selecting Peter Camejo as running mate is a  
step forward for Nader.

    What do you mean by "closer to the working-class standpoint"? That  
the Nader campaign has a campaign platform whose demands could be  
demands by the working class movement? Or that it actually expresses  
working class independence?

   I should mention that I see it as quite probably that one of the  
side effects of the Nader-Camejo campaign is to create more political  
space for our class to develop her own organs.

FF> When middle-class forces take an initiative in politics that
FF> challenges the imperialist parties on the war, it is a mistake to
FF> reject it unless you have a better class alternative to offer.

   Not even then. Why should I reject such middle-class forces? One  
should welcome it, even more in a case where there would exist a  
strong workers party. One should welcome and even applaud each and  
every positive step, and that is no reason to stop "doing the right  
thing" as revolutionary socialists or, say, advocates of the working  
class taking power and revolutionizing society. But one should not  
fall into the illusion that the task of proletarian revolutionists  
will be performed by other forces.

   As I already mentioned, here Germany, there is actually quite some  
political turmoil. While the governments from Helmut Schmidt, over  
Helmut Kohl to Gerhard Schröder (and Josef K. Fischer) pursued  
policies of eroding the social conquests of working people, the latest  
"reforms" regarding health insurance at the beginning of this year and  
now the "Hartz IV" law which liquidates unenmployment compensations  
after 12 months, and after that puts people on public welfare with 345  
Euro per month, well this year they went to far. They were encouraged  
by the cowardice of the trade union misleaders who liquidated the  
fight for the 35-hour-week in East Germany, they agreed to returning  
to a 40-hour-week for 36 hours pay at some Siemens plants -- Siemens  
is one of the largest and most profitable German companies -- and they  
agreed to a "saving" of 500 million labor costs at DaimlerChrysler,  
dispite very vigorous protests and strikes by the workers concerned.

   They passed the Rubicon, and now people take to the streets, the  
pundits debate every night on TV how to get the people off the streets  
again, and the government is starting to make concessions.

   At the same time, there are political devolopments originating in  
the Social Democracy, a first wave whose initiators have been expelled  
from the SPD in the mean time, and who have formed an association  
called "Wahlalternative Arbeit & soziale Gerechtigkeit" -- "Electoral  
alternative Work and Social Justice" which now has more than 2800  

   A second wave is a chain letter and petition circulating among SPD  
members demanding a reversal of the anti-social policies and the  
resignation of Chancellor Schröder (Schröder had explained that he  
will stick to his program, because he is not able to follow any other  
political course). This chain letters takes its distance from the  
before-mentioned Electoral Alternative, because they do not want to  
break organizationally with the SPD.

   The SPD has suffered severe losses in all elections in the past  
months, the most marked one being the election to the European  
Parliament. The PDS was able to win a minimal number more votes than  
four years ago; latest opinion polls, resp. their interpretation by  
the pollster gurus, indicate that the PDS might even become the  
strongest party in the coming regional elections in several East  
German federal states.

   Why do I tell all that, besides that it is interesting?

   Because I do welcome all those developments, but I would not call  
out, that just one of the various forces mentioned is the banner to   
follow and the group to join and build -- when those people of the  
Circular Letter do not want to break with the SPD -- OK, I would not  
want to force them.

   The most important task today is to strenghten those demonstrations  
protesting against the wage cutting and working time extending  
policies of the state and all parliamentary parties.

Lüko Willms
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