[Marxism] Germany: Beginning of a rupture between unions and SPD

Einde O'Callaghan einde at gmx.de
Mon Jul 5 13:50:19 MDT 2004

Johannes Schneider wrote:
> On Mon,  5 Jul 2004 21:43:53 +0800 (WST), Fred Fuentes  
> <fuentf01 at tartarus.uwa.edu.au> forwarded:
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> FI-press-l                             Fourth International Press List
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Germany:
>> Beginning of a rupture between unions and SPD
>> Thies Gleiss*
> While the article gives an excellent overview over the last two decades 
> of  union politics in Germany, it is (in my eyes) a bit too uncrutical 
> towards  the SPD dissidents.
> As an antidote comrades might want to have a look at these articles 
> from  the WSWS which provide a much more critical perspective:
> Election Alternative meets in Berlin
> Another safety valve for German social democracy
> By our correspondent

I feel that the WSWS reports on this question should be treated with a 
pinch of salt, since the tradition they come from is notoriously 
ultra-left when it comes to new initiative - some older people on this 
list may recall teh notorious leaflet "Why the SLL is not marching" 
distributed at the largest anti-Vietnam demonstration in London in 
October 1967.

I'm afraid Johannes is in danger of adopting an abstentionist attitude 
to potentially the biggest break with German social Democracy since the 
emergence of the USPD during World War I. this isn't to deny taht there 
aren't problems but I don't think standing on teh sideleines carping is 
the way to influence the people who are attracted to this new movement. 
As an active participant in this process of regroupment I hope at some 
stage to get time to give what I would consider to be a more balanced 
evaluation of what is going on, but at the moment I'm too busy replying 
to people who want to join this movement - I'm a regional contact - to 
sit down and write anything that is more than a relatively uncoordinated 
amalgam of impressions.

All I can say is that there is a profound rupture between the unions and 
the SPD and a serious split between elements in the union bureqaucracy 
that want to hang on to the link with the SPD at all costs and those 
responding to the anger in teh union ranki and file and in teh 
population in general aboue the effective destruction of the welfare 
system. Socialists in Germany can't ignore the opportunities raised by 
process and complain from the sidelines that the political ideas behind 
this movement aren't pure enough for them. We have to get stuck in and 
actually engage with the consciousness of those who are moving from 
theri traditional allegiances by working together with them.

Einde O'Callaghan

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