deutsch |  english |  español  |  français  |  italiano  |  nederlands  |  polski  |  português  |  svenska  |  türkçe  |  中文  |  عربي  |  русский

latest news

Greece
Athens bus cleaners win major victory

26/08/2016: Struggle achieves public contracts for 100s cleaning workers

  Greece

Russia
Twenty five years since the coup against Gorbachev

25/08/2016: Decades of ‘shock therapy capitalism’, wars and corruption

  Russia

Chile
Up to 2 million march against pensions robbery

24/08/2016: General strike threatened for 4 November as protests grow

  Chile

Quebec
Montreal workers strike for $15 an hour

22/08/2016: "Company totally underestimated workers’ determination"

  Quebec

 Video
Militant, Liverpool and Trotskyism today

22/08/2016: Russia Today covers historic Liverpool battle, led by the CWI in Britain

  Trotsky, Video

US
Build a new party of the 99%

21/08/2016: Support Jill Stein

  US

Middle East
ISIS’ waning “caliphate”

20/08/2016: Imperialist solutions are no solution at all

  Middle East

Russia
Twenty fifth anniversary of attempted coup

19/08/2016: Attempted Stalinist counter-revolution speeds up capitalist counter-revolution

  Russia

US
Trump in trouble

17/08/2016: Political polarisation deepens

  US

Philippines
Is Duterte following in Marcos’ footsteps?

16/08/2016: New president threatens martial law while leaning on ‘left’ parties for support

  Philippines

Britain
The Corbyn insurgency 2.0

15/08/2016: Now let’s finish the job

  Britain

 Video
Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe on Channel 4

14/08/2016: Socialist party media coverage amid accusations of Trotskyist "entryism"

  Video

 Video
CWI around the world

13/08/2016: Video shown at the CWI Summer school of some sections’ activities

  CWI, Video

Quebec
World Social Forum 2016

13/08/2016: Tens of thousands of activists from around the world gather WSF in Montreal, 9-14 August

  Canada, Quebec

Hong Kong
Multinational MTR takes socialist Sally Tang Mei-ching to court

12/08/2016: Political motives behind ‘David versus Goliath’ trial

  Hong Kong

Britain
#KeepCorbyn - stand firm for socialism

10/08/2016: The fight for a Labour Party for the working class

  Britain

South Africa
Local elections a thunderous rebuke for ANC

09/08/2016: ANC polls less than 60% for first time since end of apartheid

  Africa, South Africa

Zimbabwe
Mugabe must fall!

05/08/2016: Mass revolt shakes the regime to its foundations

  Zimbabwe

The Olympics, big business and dictatorship

04/08/2016: A short history of the Olympics:

  History

 CWI Summer school
Brazil

04/08/2016: New cycle of struggle following right-wing parliamentary coup

  Brazil, CWI

 CWI Summer School
Economic instability, inter-imperialist tensions, workers struggles’ and political earthquakes

03/08/2016: Report of the discussion on world perspectives at the recent CWI Summer School

  CWI, Turkey

 CWI Summer School 2016
Fighting racism and the far right 

02/08/2016: Capitalist crisis and anti-immigrant reaction

  CWI

Germany
‘Brexit’ and the German Left

30/07/2016: Reject the bosses’ EU! For a Europe of working people - a voluntary socialist federation

  Germany

US
Most contentious Democratic Convention since 1968

29/07/2016: We need a new party of the 99% to defeat the billionaire class

  US

 Cameroon
Free jailed Buea activists!

28/07/2016: 100 protest outside the court demanding release of the 15

  Cameroon, Solidarity

Cote d’Ivoire
Protests against electricity prices

28/07/2016: The straw that broke the camel’s back!

  Ivory Coast

US
A call to action

27/07/2016: Walk out from the Democratic National Convention!

  US

Chile
One million protest against private pension fund

26/07/2016: After student protests, working class returns to streets

  Chile

 CWI Summer School
Europe in the aftermath of the Brexit shock

26/07/2016: Continent enters new phase of political and economic crises

  CWI

Britain
Westminster renews Trident weapons of mass destruction

25/07/2016: Debate exposes Labour as two parties

  Britain

Germany

"Between Trotsky and Lafontaine"

www.socialistworld.net, 24/05/2006
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

‘Junge Welt’ debate between Lucy Redler (SAV) and Christine Buchholz (Linksruck)

socialistworld.net

The following is a translation of a printed debate between Lucy Redler, Socialist Alternative (SAV) member, member of the WASG (Election Alternative Work and Social Justice - the new German left party) Regional Executive Committee, and number one on the WASG Berlin slate for September’s elections for the Berlin regional parliament, and Christine Buchholz, member of Linksruck, the German sister organisation of the Socialist Workers Party, in Britain (SWP), and a member of the National Committee of the WASG. Christine Buchholz is opposed to the WASG standing independently in Berlin.

The article was published in ‘Junge Welt’, a Berlin-based left daily newspaper, on 16 May. The interview was conducted by Jürgen Elsässer and Rüdiger Göbel.

Original version of interview in German.

socialistworld.net

"Between Trotsky and Lafontaine"

Between Trotsky and Lafontaine

On the meaning and relevance of the Berlin WASG’s independent candidacy and the perspectives of the class struggle between Hellersdorf [Berlin district] and Havanna [Havana, Cuba]: A debate between Christine Buchholz and Lucy Redler.

Question (Q):

Ms Redler, what is the sense of a whiter than white vanguard standing in the Berlin regional state elections which will only score two or three per cent of the vote?

Lucy Redler:

Who speaks of a vanguard? What is important to us is that there is going to be a left slate at all. We want to break with the policy of the lesser evil which is defended and practised by the Berlin LeftParty.PDS as part of the coalition with the SPD [Social Democratic Party] in the Berlin senate. According to the latest polls, three per cent say they will definitely vote for us. Another poll finds that our overall potential in Berlin stands at 12%. That means we stand a chance to get elected and workers and unemployed would finally have a voice in the Berlin parliament.

Christine Buccholz:

The candidature must not be an end in itself. Despite all the justified criticism of the "red-red" senate and of the Berlin LeftParty.PDS, in order to build the necessary social resistance, we need a strong Left in East and West. That will only work with the LeftParty.PDS. It does not benefit workers and unemployed if the Berlin WASG, by standing against the LeftParty.PDS, questions this united Left.

Q:

Ms Redler, do you actually want this project of a New Left on a national scale?

Redler:

Yes, I do, but a new Left can only exist if it is left in content. It is the Berlin LeftParty.PDS which damages this project. A New Left cannot be built upon the political basis of the Berlin LeftParty.PDS. One example: Both, the national party conference of the LeftParty.PDS, and the national party conference of the WASG, agreed a campaign for a minimum wage of €8 an hour. How is this campaign supposed to work, if, at the same time, Left Party.PDS Senator Thomas Flierl wants to introduce wage cuts for the health workers in the Charite hospital? Who is supposed to believe that the Left is serious about this campaign, if the Berlin Senate employs PIN AG to deliver their post, a company which pays workers €5.86 per hour?

Q:

Can you stop this fatal policy of the LeftParty.PDS in Berlin by bringing about an "external shock" through standing against the LeftParty.PDS in Berlin? Would it not be better to change the balance of forces in the LeftParty.PDS together with Oskar Lafontaine?

Redler:

The fact that Lafontaine has moved to the left since last autumn is also a result of our candidacy in Berlin. His support for the election campaign of the LeftParty.PDS in Berlin, however, gives reason to believe that his words and his deeds are contradicting one another in Belin. As long as the apparatus of the Berlin Left Party.PDS is dominated by the Berlin senator for economy, then an "external shock" is needed to change its course.

Q:

Do you mean that? The Berlin WASG has pushed Lafontaine to the left?

Redler:

We contributed to it.

Buccholz:

Your so-called "external shock" is taking away pressure to change the LeftParty.PDS. Lafontaine, on the other hand, by putting forward his minimum conditions for an anti-neo-liberal Left, has had the effect that the Left Party.PDS in Dresden and in Berlin can no longer act as it did in the past. Lafontaine is part of the solution and not the problem, even if some in favour of standing independently in Berlin denounce him and Klaus Ernst as the "right wing" within the WASG.

Redler:

The national conference in April marked a shift to the right and an abandoning of the WASG’s plurality. As a matter of fact, the conference has agreed to support the election campaign of the Berlin LeftParty.PDS. Even the joint paper of the WASG National Committee and the Berlin Left Party.PDS allows further privatisations and doesn’t entail a clear rejection of €1 jobs.

Buchholz:

There wasn’t anyone on the old National Committee who supported the Berlin candidature either. By plurality you simply mean the addition of existing left tendencies and groupings. But the Left will only stand a chance when it convinces former SPD voters and many others who have now come into opposition to neo-liberal policies. That is what the newly elected national committee stands for. Since the national conference in Ludwigshafen, in a number of places, people are finally joining again. People feel that the New Left is now really becoming a reality.

Redler:

The political breadth must not be at the expense of political content. I am indeed ready to make a compromise on the question of creating 20,000 or 15,000 new jobs in the public sector. I am not willing to compromise when it comes to privatising flats - no matter whether the senate sells off 15,000 or 1,700. "Haltelinien" - lines that must not be crossed - these barriers to the implementation of neo-liberal policies must not only be declared but also be stood by

Buchholz:

With Lafontaine and Ernst - where are things taking place at the expenses of content? It is exactly Lafontaine who - against the resistance from within the LeftParty.PDS - is pushing for an end to privatisation and a rejection of military interventions, as is the case with Iran, at the moment.

Q:

Ms Redler, with a lot of luck, the WASG could enter the Berlin parliament. But why all the fuss, if next year, WASG, and LeftParty.PDS, will merge, anyway?

Redler:

If we get in, in the process of merger, the cards will be redistributed. It will then be clear that the Berlin LeftParty.PDS will not dominate the policy and programme of the new project.

Q:

But the Left.Party.PDS has punished the neo-liberals within their ranks at the party conference in April. Things are moving.

Redler:

It was only those who voted in favour of privatising all council flats in Dresden who were "punished" at that conference. At the same time, Katina Schubert, a representative of the "pro-government" wing, was elected as deputy chair.

Q:

And Gregor Gysi distanced himself from those human rights imperialists in the European parliament who voted in favour of a Cuba-hostile resolution.

Redler:

The Left party does not stand by what it says. One example: In relation to the deportation of a Kurdish family, the LeftParty.PDS in the Berlin parliament abstained in order to not to cause trouble for their coalition partner, the SPD. A few days later, however, the regional party conference votes in favour of the family’s right to stay. But this is not credible when it is not put into practise.

Q:

A prognosis, Mrs Buchholz. Where does the Left stand in five years from now?

Buchholz:

The policy of the ‘grand coalition’ [present CDU and SPD government] will lead to breaks within the SPD. The grand coalition will carry on with what has been started with ‘Agenda 2010’. On an international scale, US president Bush is losing partners: Aznar is gone, Berlusconi is gone, Blair is tumbling. If in this situation, the government steps in and supports the attack against Iran, the SPD will lose its anti-war-bonus which helped Schroeder to survive in 2002. The Left stand a great chance if it is not divided but becomes part of the resistance, opens up further and positions itself against neo-liberalism and war.

Redler:

It is exactly the sharpening of those contradictions and the fact that they will lead to an increased dissatisfaction within the population and the working class, which will make it necessary for the Left to stand on the side of the unemployed and the working class. As a socialist, I want to contribute to that so that future struggles will be led with a socialist perspective. The caving in of the present LeftParty.PDS towards neo-liberalism has got a lot to do with the fact that the then PDS emerged from a bureaucratic and Stalinist society, such as the GDR [former Stalinist East Germany]. Without a socialist perspective, you don’t have the firmness to resist the alleged logic of neo-liberalism.

Q:

This is Trotskyism in its pure form: The masses are discontented and need a steeled socialist leadership. Don’t you neglect the fact that the increased and intensified contradictions even breaks open the crusts of organisations like the PDS, and that there are new possibilities for a revolutionary or a left radical to be a part of it?

Redler:

This decisively depends on the development of the class struggle. But only if there is a fighting and leftwing within those parties, will the class struggle find an expression in those organisations.

Buchholz:

The regroupment processes are taking place on an international scale. Since the collapse of the Eastern block, the old dividing lines - how do you hold it with the Soviet Union? - are no longer decisive. The decisive questions for the new left - how do we stop privatisations and war, should the left take part in governments? - are taking place both within the LeftParty.PDS and the WASG and not just in the one or the other. On the basis of common activities, we can begin to discuss the alternatives to capitalism again.

Q:

In five years time - will you still be in the same party?

Buccholz:

If the Berlin WASG accepts the decisions of the national party - yes. If Lucy Redler’s policy of splitting is successful - then rather not.

Redler:

If Christine Buchholz will help to prevent administrative measures of the national party against the Berlin WASG - yes.



Europe

 video

Video: Militant, Liverpool and Trotskyism today, 22/08/2016

 further videos

CWI - get involved


solidarity

tamil solidarity campaign kazakhstan

featured links

Socialist Party Ireland

cwi links

Marxist.net, CWI marxist archive

cwi comment & analysis

world economic crisis

analysis and commentary


cwi publications

marxism in today's world che

Che Guevara: Símbolo de Lucha

Por Tony Saunois

A socialist world is possible, the history of the cwi with new introduction by Peter Planning green growth, a contribution to the debate on enviromental sustainability

NEWS

Greece: Athens bus cleaners win major victory
26/08/2016, Interview with Eleni Mitsou (Xekinima - CWI Greece) and Apostolis Cassimere’s (Board Member of OASA - Athens Bus Workers’ Union):
Struggle achieves public contracts for 100s cleaning workers

Pakistan: Vindictive management suspend and transfer Sindh teachers
24/08/2016, CWI Reporters, Sindh :
Solidarity protests needed!

Chile: Up to 2 million march against pensions robbery
24/08/2016, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Chile) reporters:
General strike threatened for 4 November as protests grow

Britain: Answer right’s attacks with firm socialist programme
23/08/2016, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
#KeepCorbyn

Quebec: Montreal workers strike for $15 an hour
22/08/2016, Interview with Jacques Fontaine, a striking worker at the Old Port of Montreal:
"Company totally underestimated workers’ determination"

Video: Militant, Liverpool and Trotskyism today
22/08/2016, socialistworld.net:
Russia Today covers historic Liverpool battle, led by the CWI in Britain

US: Build a new party of the 99%
21/08/2016, Joshua Koritz, Socialist Alternative, USA:
Support Jill Stein

Philippines: Is Duterte following in Marcos’ footsteps?
16/08/2016, Vincent Kolo (CWI) interviews Philippines-based socialist, Gabriel:
New president threatens martial law while leaning on ‘left’ parties for support

Video: Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe on Channel 4
14/08/2016, Socialistworld.net:
Socialist party media coverage amid accusations of Trotskyist "entryism"

Video: CWI around the world
13/08/2016, socialistworld.net:
Video shown at the CWI Summer school of some sections’ activities

Quebec: World Social Forum 2016
13/08/2016, socialistworld.net:
Tens of thousands of activists from around the world gather WSF in Montreal, 9-14 August

Hong Kong: Multinational MTR takes socialist Sally Tang Mei-ching to court
12/08/2016, Socialist Action reporters (CWI in Hong Kong):
Political motives behind ‘David versus Goliath’ trial

Britain: #KeepCorbyn - stand firm for socialism
10/08/2016, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The fight for a Labour Party for the working class

South Africa: Local elections a thunderous rebuke for ANC
09/08/2016, Weizmann Hamilton, Workers and Socialist Party (CWI in South Africa):
ANC polls less than 60% for first time since end of apartheid

Ireland: Non-payment of water bills rises to 73%
09/08/2016, Katia Hancke, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Abolish the charges now

Zimbabwe: Mugabe must fall!
05/08/2016, Statement by the Executive Committee of the Workers and Socialist Party (CWI in South Africa):
Mass revolt shakes the regime to its foundations

The Olympics, big business and dictatorship
04/08/2016, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
A short history of the Olympics:

CWI Summer school: Brazil
04/08/2016, Michael O’Brien, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
New cycle of struggle following right-wing parliamentary coup

CWI Summer School 2016: Fighting racism and the far right 
02/08/2016, Scott Jones, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Capitalist crisis and anti-immigrant reaction

Germany: Media seizes on violent attacks to whip up Islamophobia
01/08/2016, Sascha Stanicic, Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
No security under capitalism

US: Most contentious Democratic Convention since 1968
29/07/2016, Patrick Ayers, Socialist Alternative (US):
We need a new party of the 99% to defeat the billionaire class

Cameroon: Free jailed Buea activists!
28/07/2016, CWI reporters:
100 protest outside the court demanding release of the 15

Cote d’Ivoire: Protests against electricity prices
28/07/2016, CWI in Cote d’Ivoire:
The straw that broke the camel’s back!

Britain: No compromise with Labour right wing
28/07/2016, Editorial of the Socialist, newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
#Keep Corbyn

Chile: One million protest against private pension fund
26/07/2016, Celso Calfullan and Patricio Guzman Socialism Revolucionario (CIT/CWI Chile):
After student protests, working class returns to streets

Britain: Westminster renews Trident weapons of mass destruction
25/07/2016, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) Reporters:
Debate exposes Labour as two parties

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Russia: Twenty five years since the coup against Gorbachev
25/08/2016, Rob Jones, CWI in Russia :
Decades of ‘shock therapy capitalism’, wars and corruption

Middle East: ISIS’ waning “caliphate”
20/08/2016, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Imperialist solutions are no solution at all

Russia: Twenty fifth anniversary of attempted coup
19/08/2016, Clare Doyle, International Secretariat of the CWI:
Attempted Stalinist counter-revolution speeds up capitalist counter-revolution

US: Trump in trouble
17/08/2016, Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative, USA:
Political polarisation deepens

Britain: The Corbyn insurgency 2.0
15/08/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Now let’s finish the job

CWI Summer School: Economic instability, inter-imperialist tensions, workers struggles’ and political earthquakes
03/08/2016, James McCabe, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Report of the discussion on world perspectives at the recent CWI Summer School

Germany: ‘Brexit’ and the German Left
30/07/2016, Sascha Stanicic, Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
Reject the bosses’ EU! For a Europe of working people - a voluntary socialist federation

US: A call to action
27/07/2016, Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the US):
Walk out from the Democratic National Convention!

CWI Summer School: Europe in the aftermath of the Brexit shock
26/07/2016, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Continent enters new phase of political and economic crises

US: Bernie Abandons 'the Revolution’
14/07/2016, Kshama Sawant, Socialist councillor Seattle City :
Time to back Green candidate Jill Stein

Australia: Close election result - A crisis for the establishment
08/07/2016, Socialist Party (CWI Australia) statement :
To fight anti-working class measures, we must build a socialist alternative

History: 1936 - Spain’s revolutionary promise
06/07/2016, Tony Saunois, from Socialism Today (July/August 2016):
Working class and peasants rose up against capitalist exploitation, poverty and fascism

US: Beyond Bernie
01/07/2016, Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative (CWI in the USA):
Still not with her

Britain: Referendum revolt
27/06/2016, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (issue No.200, July-August 2016):
Capitalist establishment shattered

Asia: Conflict in the South China Sea
16/06/2016, This is an abridged version of an article by Vincent Kolo, originally published on chinaworker.info.:
Territorial disputes resemble pieces on a ‘geopolitical chessboard’ as the US and China struggle for hegemony in Asia

Middle East: ISIS under pressure on several fronts
15/06/2016, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Working classes, through bitterest of experiences, will take to road of mass struggle again

EU: Left parties turning against bosses’ Europe
10/06/2016, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Progress in Portugal and Spain, confusion in Britain

Muhammad Ali: A fighter who inspired millions
09/06/2016, Hugo Pierre, Socialism Today (originally published in 2003):
Establishment forced to incorporate his legend into re-writing of history

Review: The working-class case against the EU
08/06/2016, Hannah Sell, article from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Review of ‘And The Weak Must Suffer What They Must?’ by Yanis Varoufakis

France: Fight against Valls/Hollande government intensifies
31/05/2016, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Gauche Revolutionnaire statement underlines vital need for political alternative

Austria: Only 31,026 votes prevent far right’s Hofer becoming president
24/05/2016, Sonja Grusch, SLP (the Austrian section of the CWI):
‘Breathing space’ offers chance to build a fighting, democratic left alternative

Britain: EU referendum exposes gaping political fault-lines
24/05/2016, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party England & Wales):
New road can open up for labour movement if working class relies on its own forces

Brazil: Fall of President Dilma Rousseff unleashes offensive against working class
19/05/2016, André Ferrari, LSR (‘Freedom, Socialism and Revolution’ - CWI Brazil):
The impeachment process and historic crisis of the PT (Workers’ Party)

Ireland: ‘Jobstown trials’ to go ahead
18/05/2016, Kieran Mahon, Anti-Austerity Alliance / Socialist Party Councillor, Dublin:
Government loses battle on water charges but wages war on Left

Saudi Arabia: Gathering storms over the House of Saud
13/05/2016, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Collapse of oil prices expose fragile foundations of oil Gulf monarchies