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

Lueko Willms l.willms at jpberlin.de
Wed Jul 7 02:37:10 MDT 2004

.    Am  06.07.04
schrieb  einde at gmx.de (Einde O'Callaghan)
     in  40EA533A.7060401 at gmx.de
  ueber  Re: [Marxism] Re: Germany: Beginning of a rupture between unions and S

   The subject line covers more than what has become the focus of the  
discussion -- there are also the strained relations between the SPD- 
led government and the top union officialdom.

   Also the abstention in large numbers of voters who would otherwise  
support the SPD at the ballot box, as shown in all recent elections.

   Nevertheless, we were talking only about an intiative of SPD  
members to build a new _electoral_ formation. Five of the initiators,  
all full time trade union officials, have been expelled by the  
Bavarian SPD.

   I noted on this initiative:

LW>>    The main leaders of this "electoral alternative" are lower
LW>>  level trade union officials, but they do not wage a campaign for
LW>>  an effective trade union fight to defend wages, hours, health
LW>>  insurance, unemployment benefits etc. The only look at the
LW>>  elections, and this is a self-defeating outlook.

   to what Einde O'Callahan replied:

EOC> I think that like Johannes you're looking too much at the visible
EOC> top of teh initiative and have no sense of what is happening on the
EOC> ground.

   Surely not enough, but I know that there is very widespread  
dissatisfaction, but also a sense of helplessness, of not knowing what  
to do, of which the abstention from the ballot box is one expression.

EOC> Judging from my mailbox there is a large constituency out there
EOC> looking for an alternative.

   And what to you tell those people? "Let's start a mass fightback in  
the workplaces and the streets", or "wait for the next election, the  
'real socialdemocrats' will have a new slate ready by then"?

EOC> If socialists don't engage with this large group,

   I'm ready to talk to anybody

EOC>                                                  consisting of
EOC> disappointed traditional SPD supporters and some disappointed PDS
EOC> supporters, then we will leave the way open for the a repeat of
EOC> the failed SPD/PDS strategy (administering sick capitalism),
EOC> which in turn will open the way for the far right.

   But a purely electoral strategy -- and the name "Wahlalternative"  
shows this limitation -- does actually not allow anything else but to  
administer capitalism.

EOC> The "real" left may fail in its endeavours to win this party

   There is not yet a new party

EOC> for a more radical action programme involving mobilisation in the
EOC> workplaces, in the schools and on the streets. We certainly won't
EOC> be able to do this if we don't get involved ourselves.

   Well, it may be not possible to win this party in formation, but to  
win a large number of people.

   But the way forward is -- as I said before -- to fight for a "more  
radical action programm involving mobilisation in the workplaces, in  
the schools and on the streets", and not to tell people to limit  
themselves to electoral policies.

   I'm quite sure that this new electoral formation will fail even at  
the ballot box if they do not win leadership credentials in real mass  
struggles before.

Lüko Willms                                     http://www.mlwerke.de
/--------- L.WILLMS at jpberlin.de -- Alle Rechte vorbehalten --

  "Nach meiner Ansicht besitzt die Presse _das_ _Recht_,
Schriftsteller, Politiker, Komödianten und andere öffentliche
Charaktere zu _beleidigen_. Achtete ich [so einen Angriff gegen mich]
einer Notiz wert, so galt mir in solchen Fällen der Wahlspruch: à
corsaire, corsaire et demi [auf einen Schelmen anderthalben]."
                  - Karl Marx   17.11.1860  (Herr Vogt, Kapitel XI)

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