[Marxism] Germany's Die Linke shows the way for the left

Lüko Willms lueko.willms at t-online.de
Mon Sep 21 10:01:24 MDT 2009

Einde O'Callaghan (eindeoc at freenet.de) wrote on 2009-09-21 at 17:20:58 in  
about Re: [Marxism] Germany's Die Linke shows the way for the left:
> Lüko Willms wrote:
> > Einde O'Callaghan (eindeoc at freenet.de) wrote 
> >   on 2009-09-21 at 00:28:04 in  
> >   about Re: [Marxism] Germany's Die Linke shows the way for the left:
> > 
> >> The key question for Marxists in Germany is not whether 
> >> DIE LINKE is reformist or not, but where Marxists should 
> >> be active given the weakness of Marxism in Germany. 
> > 
> >    What is "Marxism" and what who is "Marxist" (both with capital "M"!)? 
> > 
> If you don't know what Marxism is (always written with a caöpital letter 
> in English!) 

   I asked you what YOU understand by it. 

> I don't know why you are a member of this list 

  because a number of interesting people from various continents exchange 
their views on this list (although some very important ones, reflecting the one 
and only revolutionary leadership in power, has been banned from this list)

> or run a major German-language website devoted to Marxist theory.

  it is devoted to documents of the working class movement -- scientific, 
calls for battle, polemics, etc

> I consider myself a Marxist (i.e. somebody who attempts to operate on 
> teh basis of the theories developed by marx and Engels and developed by 
> others who consciously regarded themselves as following in this 
> theoretical and political tradition, e.g. Lenin, Luxemburg and Trotsky 
> inter alia).

  There are certainly quite a number of people who call themselves "Marxist" 
and who would tell you that you are not one, or a traitor to it. So what is a 
"Marxist"? You might say that "Marxists are only those whom I call Marxist". 

> >> My personal view is that they definitely should not be standing 
> >> on the sidelines making abstract comments about how 
> >> inadequate DIE LINKE is. 
> > 
> >   Inadequate for what task? 

  You did not answer that question. 

> >   Besides, what is the big difference with doing entryism in the PDL[1]? 
> > 
> >> That is a recipe for disaster analogous to the 
> >> "Class against class!" rhetoric of Third-Period Stalinism - although on 
> >> a lesser scale given that German Marxists today are not as entrenched 
> >> in the working class as the KPD was.
> > 
> >    Supporting the combined socialdemocrats and stalinists in their 
> > fight for entry into bourgeois governments is something completely 
> > different from fighting for a common front of _action_ to defend 
> > the working class movement and our institutions against a fascist 
> > onslought. Very strange that you can confuse these two issues.  

   You did not comment on this either. 

> >     And ask yourself: how do you answer the bourgeois commentators 
> > who wonder about how little the PDL gained in and from the economic 
> > crisis? 

   Neither this. 

> I consider that DIE LINKE is a place where a larger number of people 
> dissatisfied with the system as it exists have gathered. 


> Among these people there are many peoßple who are open 
> to new ideas and ways of thinking because their traditional political 
> allegiances have been shattered. 

   I have rather the impression that most are closed to new ideas, and just 
entered the PDL because their own strategy failed, and they now can jump on 
somebody else's bandwagon, hoping that other forces will carry them 

> This makes it a fertile ground for political intervention by Marxists, 
> certainly more fertile than what existed before the emergence 
> of the WASG. 

  So did you recruit a lot of people to YOUR group? Has the IS group you 
belong to been dissolved? Does it no longer do any public work on its own? 
> Adopting a prolier than thou attitude and standing alone in glorious 
> isolation is certainly not going to advance the struggle for socialism. 

  Well, you just told me that your attitude is much better than mine. 

> I admit that we may make mistakes but if we can learn from our mistakes 
> and build an organised Marxist core in Germany then we will have made 
> some advance.

   So that organized "Marxist core" it the PDL? Or do you operate a public 

> Of course, if people have given up on the idea of socialism - 

   as lots of people in the PDL have done, or never wanted "socialism" (e.g. 
the trade-union officials who formed the WASG, and who never wanted a 
fighting alternative to the class-collaborationist trade-union policy they were 
and are involved in). 

> as even people who run websites called "Voices of the Proletarian 
> Revolution" may well do - this is all irrelevant and a retreat 
> into bored cynicism is probably the best way out for a former 
> revolutionary.

   Whow! Now you really hit me! Should I go to a corner and stand ashamed 
for 15 minutes, head turned to the wall? 

   The issue is really not if you or I are members of the PDL, but my 
asessment of that party, which you don't agree with or just don't like to hear. 

   What makes you think you know about my membership or not of the PDL? 
Do you think I would have to be a cynic and hide my asessment of the party 
in case I should be a member? 

   I don't know if you belong to one of those splinters of the IS movement 
which is still doing its own independent work, but if you are, how can you 
justify this independent outside work with a complete rejection of my sober 
asessment of that party? If you think that my asessment is completely out of 
the way, why does your group not dissolve itself completely into the PDL, 
stopping all independent public activity? 
Comradely yours, 
Lüko Willms
Frankfurt, Germany

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