Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/466/1836

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 December 2006

Germany

Balance sheet of WASG national conference

CWI member, Lucy Redler, elected to National Committee

THE RECENT national conference of the WASG (Electoral Alternative for Work and Social Justice) in Germany, held on 18-19 November paved the way for a merger of this new left-wing party with the ex-Stalinist L.PDS (Left Party/Party of Democratic Socialism - the former Stalinist state party in the former East German state (GDR)).

Sascha Stanicic, SAV (Sozialistische Alternative, German CWI), Berlin

It was a contradictory conference. The delegates passed a number of left-wing resolutions and elected the most prominent opponent to the merger, SAV member, and leader of the Berlin "rebel" WASG, Lucy Redler, onto the National Committee. But when it came to practical consequences, the delegates made clear that they see no alternative to a coming together with the L.PDS.

The merger has been a major point of controversy amongst the WASG membership over the recent period. While almost everyone, including the members of SAV, in general, welcome every step towards the building of a united and broad left-wing party, the question was: on what political basis should such a party be formed?

The L.PDS, while carrying "socialism" in its name, has begun to participate in social cuts, wage cuts, privatisations and job destruction in many East German councils and also in two federal state governments (Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). During September's regional elections in these two states the party lost many voters but overwhelmingly decided to stay in the regional government in Berlin with the now neo-liberal SPD (social-democrats).

This so-called "red-red" coalition in Berlin will continue to cut jobs in the public sector, break collective bargaining contracts, and privatise homes etc. The WASG (Electoral Alternative for Work and Social Justice) conference passed a resolution which criticised this policy and stated that the WASG could not sign the coalition agreement. But instead of demanding a break with this pro-capitalist regional government, it only asked the Berlin L.PDS to re-negotiate some questions.

This was a characteristic of the entire congress, radical in words but modest in deeds. The position of the SAV members who spoke at the congress was that there should be a number of minimum conditions to a merger, particularly opposition to joining any government with the SPD, which participates in social cuts and privatisations.

While the most prominent WASG leader and chair of the Left (the joint WASG and L.PDS) parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Oskar Lafontaine, also said that a left party must not agree to social cuts, job losses and privatisations, he added that these demands were not to be made into preconditions for the formation of a joint party.

Debate on socialism

LAFONTAINE ALSO argued for the right to a general strike and said "demonstrations are not enough" and called on the new party to be "democratic socialist". This also was a point of controversy. Some of the delegates argued against "democratic socialism" being part of the new party's programme because, in their opinion, this could limit the party's appeal to new people joining. This argument is supported by the German sister organisation of the British SWP (ISO), Linksruck.

SAV members argued for the party to be socialist because only on a socialist basis can a left-wing party withstand the pressures of capitalism, let alone change society. At the same time, SAV members argue that a discussion on what is socialism has to be conducted and that it has to be made clear that the Stalinist dictatorships of the past have nothing in common with socialism. But also that socialism means fighting for a different society, and not simply a set of moral values like many of the L.PDS leaders argue because, in reality, they have no perspective to overcome capitalism.

Lucy Redler elected

DIFFERENT LEFT-WING candidates for the national committee issued a joint declaration that called on a new party to be 'really left-wing'. But only Lucy Redler openly stated that she will vote against a merger with the L.PDS, if a number of minimum conditions are not met. She was, however, one of two of the left-wing candidates who got elected.

This reflects the contradictory mood amongst many members of the WASG who want clear left-wing policies but see no perspective for the WASG to maintain an independent existence. It also is a compliment to the principled position Lucy and the WASG Berlin, with the support of SAV, maintained in the last year when they stood independently in the regional elections and were not prepared to support the Berlin L.PDS which was part of a government of social cuts and privatisations.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 7 December 2006:

NHS campaigns unite

Blair's health service lies

NHS mass protests continue

Building the national day of action

ITC programme fails

Diary of events


War and terrorism

Bush and Blair still in denial

"The greatest strategic disaster in American history"


Workplace news

Strike threat forces victory

300,000 workers in PCS strike Ballot

"Merry Christmas Mr SCCrooge"

Blood service staff prepared to fight job losses

UCU: Left victory in sight

JJB workers fight sackings


Socialist Students

"Stop the rent rises!"

Campaign to Defeat Fees is building across London

CDF online petition launched!

Fight Blair's divisive academy programme


Socialism 2006

Socialism 2006

Britain's Muslims under siege - which way forward?

"Inspired and informed"

Do you have to be red to be green?

Socialism 2006 - another major step forward


Socialist Party news and analysis

200 march against Lincoln's far right

Trident - a waste of our money

Privatised rail bosses hike up fares

MPs wannabe rich


International socialist news and analysis

Chávez re-election - a set-back for the right

Balance sheet of WASG national conference

Political tensions rage in Bolivia


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 December 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Wasg:

triangleThe United Front today & the Left in Germany

Germany:

triangleGermany: Right-wing terror attacks - fight racism, fight capitalism!

triangle30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: How a mass revolutionary movement for genuine socialism was diverted

triangleFar right makes gains in Germany

triangleSwansea Socialist Party1919: When Germany was on the brink of socialism

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

27/5/20

Covid

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

25/5/20

Coronavirus

No return to unsafe construction sites

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999