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

latest news

Belgium
Massive general strike makes the government wobble

19/12/2014: Towards a second plan of action to get rid of this government and austerity!

  Belgium

 Portugal
Government attempts to forcefully break TAP strike

19/12/2014: Solidarity messages needed with “requisitioned” airline workers

  Portugal, Solidarity

Kazakhstan
Third anniversary of Zhanaozen massacre marked

18/12/2014: Struggle to free political prisoners continues

  Kazakhstan

Latin America
The end of one cycle and the beginning of another

17/12/2014: Document on Latin America, agreed by CWI International Executive Committee

  Latin America

Taiwan
Kuomintang’s landslide election defeat redraws the political map

17/12/2014: Taiwan’s ‘Sunflower Movement’ and democracy protests in Hong Kong fuel massive rejection of ruling party

  Taiwan

 World Perspectives
A turbulent period in history

15/12/2014: Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

  CWI

Ireland
Mass water charges protest on 10 December

15/12/2014: Dublin City centre came to a standstill as different marches made their way to the Dáil

  Ireland Republic

Sweden
Political crisis and new elections

15/12/2014: Right-wing alliance relied on racist party to defeat budget

  Sweden

Greece
Government brings forward presidential election

12/12/2014: Kick out the austerity government and Troika! For a Syriza government with bold socialist policies!

  Greece

Sri Lanka
Presidential Election January 8, 2015

11/12/2014: Socialist candidate challenges all other forces

  Sri Lanka

 Video
Paul Murphy speaks at mass Dublin water charges protest

11/12/2014: For a new political movement to bring the "mob" to power

  Ireland Republic, Video

Greece
Violent clashes over prisoner hunger strike

09/12/2014: Cruel and vengeful actions by the State and ruling elite

  Greece

 Video
All out on 10 December against water charges!

09/12/2014: Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger speak in Irish parliament

  Ireland Republic, Video

Australia
Major community victory stops Melbourne’s East-West Toll Road

08/12/2014: Socialist Party leads successful campaign against Toll Road and for investment in public transport

  Australia

US
An Uprising Against Police Violence

08/12/2014: From Ferguson to Staten Island

  US

Philippines
‘Economic miracle’ – a neo-liberal nightmare for the masses

30/11/2014: Forced evictions, poverty wages and repression is the reality for millions

  Philippines

 World Perspectives
A turbulent period in history

27/11/2014: Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

  CWI

Britain
Right wing, populist UKIP wins second Parliament seat

26/11/2014: Labour’s pro-austerity ‘opposition’ no alternative

  Britain

South Africa
Metalworkers’ union expelled from COSATU

25/11/2014: Rebuild the trade union movement on socialist principles!

  Africa, South Africa

Catalonia
9 November “consultation” on independence

22/11/2014: Another show of strength for independence - fight for a Socialist Catalonia

  Spain

Greece
Workers’ victory at Diamant telesales company

21/11/2014: Xekinima (CWI) member wins key union position in Athens Municipality sector

  Greece

Israel-Palestine
Netanyahu threatens “heavy hand” response to synagogue attacks

19/11/2014: New rounds of repression answered by new wave of rage and protest

  Israel / Palestine

US
Mid-term elections do not mean a turn to the right in society

19/11/2014: Big Gains for Republicans while Voters Support Progressive Ballot Measures

  US

 Video
Socialist TD defends anti-water charges protests

18/11/2014: Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) appears on ‘Prime Time’

  Ireland Republic, Video

Vital lessons of Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’

18/11/2014: Mass struggle needs genuine internal democracy and fighting working class programme to defeat dictatorship

  Hong Kong

 Video
Water tax revolt continues in Ireland

17/11/2014: Tanaiste (Deputy PM) trapped by protestors; AAA TD (MP) and Socialist Party member, Paul Murphy, assaulted

  Ireland Republic, Video

Indonesia
"New Hope" president faces intense pressures

16/11/2014: Initiative to build mass party of working class and rural poor urgently needed

  Indonesia

Ukraine
Competing ’elections’ deepen divisions

15/11/2014: Working people need socialist alternative to warring oligarchs and outside powers

  Ukraine

Scotland
SNP government announces £500 million cuts

14/11/2014: Majority of ‘Yes’ voters want end to austerity - anti-cuts candidates needed!

  Scotland

Afghanistan
British combat troops pull out

13/11/2014: A legacy of death and destruction

  Afghanistan, Britain, US

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: Paul Murphy speaks at mass Dublin water charges protest, 11/12/2014

 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

Belgium: Massive general strike makes the government wobble
19/12/2014, PSL/LSP (CWI in Belgium) reporter:
Towards a second plan of action to get rid of this government and austerity!

Portugal: Government attempts to forcefully break TAP strike
19/12/2014, Socialsmo Revolucionario (CWI in Portugal):
Solidarity messages needed with “requisitioned” airline workers

Kazakhstan: Third anniversary of Zhanaozen massacre marked
18/12/2014, Socialistworld.net:
Struggle to free political prisoners continues

Taiwan : Kuomintang’s landslide election defeat redraws the political map
17/12/2014, Vincent Kolo and CWI Taiwan reporters:
Taiwan’s ‘Sunflower Movement’ and democracy protests in Hong Kong fuel massive rejection of ruling party

Italy: Mass support for general strike expresses anger at PD government
15/12/2014, Chris Thomas, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
New political voice vitally needed

Ireland: Mass water charges protest on 10 December
15/12/2014, Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Dublin City centre came to a standstill as different marches made their way to the Dáil

Sweden: Political crisis and new elections
15/12/2014, From articles in Offensiv, weekly paper of Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
Right-wing alliance relied on racist party to defeat budget

Greece: Government brings forward presidential election
12/12/2014, Slightly edited article from the current issue of Xekinima newspaper (CWI in Greece):
Kick out the austerity government and Troika! For a Syriza government with bold socialist policies!

Video: Paul Murphy speaks at mass Dublin water charges protest
11/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
For a new political movement to bring the "mob" to power

Greece: Violent clashes over prisoner hunger strike
09/12/2014, Xekinima Reporters:
Cruel and vengeful actions by the State and ruling elite

Video: All out on 10 December against water charges!
09/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger speak in Irish parliament

US: An Uprising Against Police Violence
08/12/2014, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative:
From Ferguson to Staten Island

Mexico: Anger grows over missing Mexican students
04/12/2014, Led by the families of the 43 students who disappeared two months ago, thousands of protesters marched through Mexico City on 20 November to demand answers and action from the government.:
Dave Carr

Philippines: ‘Economic miracle’ – a neo-liberal nightmare for the masses
30/11/2014, By a CWI correspondent in Philippines:
Forced evictions, poverty wages and repression is the reality for millions

Britain: Right wing, populist UKIP wins second Parliament seat
26/11/2014, Editorial from The Socialist, weekly paper of the Socialist Party (England & Wales):
Labour’s pro-austerity ‘opposition’ no alternative

South Africa: Metalworkers’ union expelled from COSATU
25/11/2014, WASP Reporters:
Rebuild the trade union movement on socialist principles!

Catalonia: 9 November “consultation” on independence
22/11/2014, Rob MacDonald Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain) Barcelona:
Another show of strength for independence - fight for a Socialist Catalonia

Greece: Workers’ victory at Diamant telesales company
21/11/2014, Xekinima Reporters:
Xekinima (CWI) member wins key union position in Athens Municipality sector

Video: Joe Higgins denounces Irish government’s water charge trickery
20/11/2014, socialistworld.net:
Mass boycott will defeat water charges

US: Mid-term elections do not mean a turn to the right in society
19/11/2014, Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative:
Big Gains for Republicans while Voters Support Progressive Ballot Measures

Video: Socialist TD defends anti-water charges protests
18/11/2014, socialistworld.net:
Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) appears on ‘Prime Time’

Venezuela: Scarcity and speculation - whose fault is it?
18/11/2014, Gabriela Sánchez. Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Venezuela):
Who is sabotaging who?

Vital lessons of Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’
18/11/2014, chinaworker.info:
Mass struggle needs genuine internal democracy and fighting working class programme to defeat dictatorship

Video: Water tax revolt continues in Ireland
17/11/2014, socialistworld.net:
Tanaiste (Deputy PM) trapped by protestors; AAA TD (MP) and Socialist Party member, Paul Murphy, assaulted

Indonesia: "New Hope" president faces intense pressures
16/11/2014, Iyan, CWI Malaysia:
Initiative to build mass party of working class and rural poor urgently needed

Scotland: SNP government announces £500 million cuts
14/11/2014, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Majority of ‘Yes’ voters want end to austerity - anti-cuts candidates needed!

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Latin America: The end of one cycle and the beginning of another
17/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
Document on Latin America, agreed by CWI International Executive Committee

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
15/12/2014, CWI International Executive Committee:
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Sri Lanka: Presidential Election January 8, 2015
11/12/2014, Interview with Siritunga Jayasuriya, USP (CWI Sri Lanka):
Socialist candidate challenges all other forces

Australia: Major community victory stops Melbourne’s East-West Toll Road
08/12/2014, By Socialist Party (CWI Australia) reporters, Melbourne:
Socialist Party leads successful campaign against Toll Road and for investment in public transport

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
27/11/2014, International Secretariat of the CWI :
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Ireland: Lies and distortions against community protests, the AAA and the Socialist Party
21/11/2014, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) reporters:
Government and Water Charges completely undermined

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu threatens “heavy hand” response to synagogue attacks
19/11/2014, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM):
New rounds of repression answered by new wave of rage and protest

Ukraine: Competing ’elections’ deepen divisions
15/11/2014, Rob Jones, CWI Moscow:
Working people need socialist alternative to warring oligarchs and outside powers

Northern Ireland: 20 years after the ceasefires
10/11/2014, Ciaran Mulholland, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
In 1994, the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries called ceasefires. Four years later the Good Friday agreement was declared to mark the end of the ‘Troubles’…

Germany: 25 years since November 9
09/11/2014, By Robert Bechert, CWI, who was living in Berlin in 1989:
Berlin Wall brought down by mass revolutionary movement

Elections in Brazil
07/11/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Narrow win for Dilma sets scene for more crisis and instability

Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution
07/11/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI:
November 7th anniversary of workers taking power

Ireland: Stunning Dublin by-election victory, huge water protests…new chapter for working class resistance
04/11/2014, Kevin McLoughlin, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
How the Anti Austerity Alliance won a parliamentary seat and the way forward for the Left

Kurdistan: Battle for Kobanê at a crossroads
31/10/2014, Serge Jordan, CWI:
What does US military ‘assistance’ mean for the Kurdish struggle?

A ‘third industrial revolution’
28/10/2014, Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
New technological innovations are having a huge impact on the capitalist system, a subject explored in a new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society.

Britain: Anniversary of first issue of Militant newspaper
24/10/2014, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, from this week’s Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
50 years of socialist ideas and workers’ struggle

Spain: Death knells of "Transition" regime
23/10/2014, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Catalonia; ’Podemos’, and the left

Kazakhstan: Brutal repression in imperialism’s interests
20/10/2014, Mike Whale, Secretary of Campaign Kazakhstan (first published in October 2014 issue of Socialism Today):
Workers pay the price for crony capitalism

Is the US promoting a “colour revolution” in Hong Kong?
18/10/2014, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong):
Beijing’s scare propaganda doesn’t stand up to examination

Britain: Workers need a pay rise - how can we pay for it?
17/10/2014, Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales):
End poverty, inequality and capitalism

Ireland: Byelection triumph marks turning point in anti-austerity struggle
14/10/2014, Eddie McCabe, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Paul Murphy wins parliamentary seat as 100,000 march against water charges

Middle East: US-led policy of air attacks on Islamic State lies in ruins
13/10/2014, Tony Saunois, CWI:
As battle for Kobane rages, IS forces make major gains in Iraq

Ireland: Paul Murphy elected to Irish parliament in stunning byelection victory
12/10/2014, socialistworld.net:
Anti-Austerity Alliance victory shocks political establishment, reflects mass revolt against water charges and austerity

South Africa: "A workers’ party must emerge"
11/10/2014, John Malanga, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI South Africa):
Dire position of South African capitalism and inequality adds momentum towards creation of workers’ party

Israel/Palestine: After the Gaza war
07/10/2014, Shahar Benhorin, Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI Israel-Palestine):
No justice for Palestinians and no peace for the region - For a socialist solution!