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

Einde O'Callaghan 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  
> 1989.
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-Schröder 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. Schröder 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.

Einde O'Callaghan

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