[Marxism] Re: Oskar Lafontaine leaves SPD - WASG + PDS should runtogether

Einde O'Callaghan einde at gmx.de
Wed May 25 02:38:41 MDT 2005

Johannes Schneider wrote:

> Brian:
>>I read a couple of articles on the SPD defeat. Some more on the WASG, 
>>but I can't make head nor tails of the WASG.

Johannes, I'm afraid your rather jaundiced outsider's view somewhat 
distorts an otherwise informative resumé.
> Basically the WASG is the creation of mid-level union bureaucrats which
> opposed the latest social cuts (HartzIV) the Schröder SPD put through. They
> had all been long time SPD and union members. They are a sort of true SPD.

This is only partly true. there are also elements from Attac and former 
Greens and PDS people, pissed off about the way their former parties are 
developing. In the East where the party. like all parties other than the 
PDS, is numerically weaker, the trade influence isn't as strong. There 
is also strong resistance to a "fusion" with the PDS.

> Being longtime bureaucrats they have a sort of control mentality and know
> all the tricks to avoid a grass-root discussion.

this hasn't stopped the development of a lively culture of discussion 
and debate within teh party.

> Generally the WSWS articles about the WASG are quite OK:
> http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/dec2004/germ-d16.shtml
> http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jun2004/germ-j28.shtml
> On Lafontaine:
> http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/aug2004/lafo-a16.shtml 
I have a rather more critical opinion of the Northites' coverage of 
German politics - but perhaps I'm biassed due to my unfortunate 
experiences with the Healyites in the early 1970s.
>>I am be interested in whether consistent revolutionary socialists are 
>>in the WASG and what they have been doing.
> Various leftist organisations are active inside WASG:
> Sozialistische Alternative Voran (German CWI section, Taffeeites), they
> argue their program openly and are the main target of a bureaucratic witch
> hunt against "Trotskyites". Until the end of the year they will have to
> decide whether to remain member of Voran or WASG.

This isn't strictly true. The double-membershilp ban only applies to 
members of parties, not members of what are called "party-like 
organisqations". SAV is regarded by most members as a party-like 
organisation, not a party.

> Linksruck (IS, Cliffites), the left guard of the bureaucracy, sort of deep
> entryism, happy to get rid of their Trotskyite cousins from Voran soon.

This isn't true. We have defended their right to be in the party, but 
disagree with their rather ultimatist approach to the question of the 
programme of the party. We feel that what is necessary at the moment is 
an organisation representing the broad movement in defence of the 
welfare state and against the effects of globalisation. Unfortunately, 
at present in Germany this current isn't socialist. Therefore we feel 
taht it is premature to pose the "system question", as it's called. We 
feel that sooner rather than later the development of the political 
situation will pose this question and that will be a more fruitful 
situation in which to pose the question of socialism.

> internationale sozialistische linke (Right USec) opposes the witch hunt,
> argues for broad inclusion of lft tendencies.
> Arbeitermacht (LFI section) recently left WASG
The Arbeitermacht current in Germany is minuscule, even by the standards 
of the German left.

Einde O'Callaghan

More information about the Marxism mailing list