The history of a German liberation movement

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The history of a German liberation movement

Post by Rapaille on Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:56 am

The Cause of the Nation

From communism without fatherland to national-communism – the history of a German liberation movement

With the “Programm der nationalen Wiedervereinigung Deutschlands”, which was presented to the public in November 1952, the KPD (Communist Party Germany) completed a development that was already deployed decades before that; namely a development towards a national-communism.

Already in the first paragraph, the text of the program took an unequivocal distance from every abstract internationalism and called upon the national sentiment of the German people:
“The population of West Germany is in need. The criminal war of Hitler-Germany and the defeat, in which this ended, brought millions of deaths and destruction. After the war West Germany was separated from Eastern-Germany under the yoke of slavery by the American, English and French capitalists. It seemed that the three capitalist states – the USA, UK and France – didn’t fight the latest war to liberate Germany from Hitler’s domination, like they stated during the war. Their goal was to destroy Germany as a State, to get rid of a competitor, to conquer her natural riches, to exploit these and to abuse our people and nation in preparation of a new war for world domination.”

Seven years after the end of the second imperialist World War the Communist party clearly documented:

1st – The actual victim of the war was the German people.
2nd – In West-Germany the people found themselves under a very bad form of slavery from the side of the USA, France and the UK, who…
3rd – in 1945 in no way intended to “liberate” the German people, but searched to destroy Germany.

The rearmament of Western Germany by the Andenauer-regime in the field of the aggressive military alliance of Western imperialism (in command of the USA) was rightly seen as an
attack on the German people, which after two defeats had became wiser:

“Precisely we as Germans know from our own experiences the outcome of wars of conquest.”

The separatist Adenauer-regime – responsible for re-militarizing West-Germany – betrayed the national cause, “a betrayal that is unequalled in the German history” (KPD-Programm).
The nationalist KPD program excoriated the “occupation of foreign powers” (the Anglo-Americans), the “alienation of the West-German economy”, the fight of the American occupier against “the German national culture”, which according to the program was to prefer over the “American way of life” with her shallow and primitive “culture”.

This program was launched in 1952. A time in which the vast majority of the German people still thought national, the American “re-education” to suppress nationalist thought was not (yet) completed. Although in 1952 there wasn’t a strong Communist movement in numbers in the part of Germany that was under control of the Western imperialists, the concept of launching a “national liberation movement” that could count on support of the vast majority of the (at that time) nationalist German people, in which the Communist Party would take the role of a “national avant-garde”, had a realistic change of success. But what were the underlying causes of this development of Communist politics towards a complete national-communism?

The workers have no fatherland (Communist manifest)

“The communists are further accused of wanting to abolish the fatherland, the nationality. But the workers have no fatherland. And one cannot take what they don’t have.”
This passage of the Communist manifest of 1848 time after time gave the occasion to new interpretations in regard to the relation of communists towards the nation. A later positive definition of the concept of the nation, by another generation of communists (Marxists), was made possible by the relativation found in the same paragraph of the Communist manifest; “Because it’s necessary for the proletariat to conquer the political power itself, it has to elevate itself into a national class, although not in the sense of the bourgeoisie.”

Since the beginning of the German social democracy of the 19th century, there were nationalist tendencies (such as Ferdinend Lasalle), that were subordinated to the social question. When in the draftprogramm of the “Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands” (the so-called “Programm von Gotha”, 1875) the formulation appeared that the working class “firstly moves within the cadres of the national State”, but their main goal was “the international fraternization of the peoples”, Marx polemicizes against this in his “Kritik des Gothaer Programms”:

“It’s obvious that to struggle, the working class has to organize itself at home as a class and of course it’s obvious that their own country is the direct arena for this struggle. To this extent their class struggle is not national “in content”, but “in form”. The “cadre of the current national State”, for example that of the German Reich, is on her turn economically seen “within the cadre of the system of States.” … And to what does the German labour party reduce her internationalism? To the realization that the result of her efforts would be “the international fraternization of the peoples” – a phrase derived from the bourgeois freedom and peace covenant – that should pass for the equivalent of the international fraternization of the working class in her united struggle against the ruling classes and their governments.”

The Communist Manifest had its theorems, with regard to class struggle in relation to the nation state and the proletariat in principle without a fatherland, positioned in the context of an analysis about the formation of nation states as a historical necessary transitional phase of capitalist development.

By this analysis nation states were necessary for the completion of consecutive economic zones, to conquer the “Kleinstaaterei”, to centralize production and to create a domestic market and thus never a goal on its own. Therefore “Völkische” nationalists or nationalists emphasizing their own national character can hardly call upon Marx and Engels.
Marx and Engels always defined the nation in terms of citizenship and saw the nation state as a form of unification of the bourgeois-society within certain territorial borders, of which the heart was not determined by the ‘national sameness” but by the State.

Against different tendencies Marx and Engels took a pragmatic and utilitarian attitude: The formation of States was judged by the criteria if these were advantageous for the promotion of the capitalist mode of production and as a result of the proletarian-revolutionary movement. Conflicts between nationalities were seen as the result of economic competition. A principle right of self-determination of nations did not exist in their view. At the same time they saw in the development of the worldmarket a “globalist” tendency:

“The national confinement and contradictions between the peoples disappear according to the development of the bourgeoisie, with the freedom of trade, with the world market, with the similarity of the industrial production and its corresponding living conditions.” (Communist Manifest)

Because the revolution in one country could not be successful, already in the stadium of the national struggle of the proletariat in form, the content should already be the “international” struggle of the world proletariat for Socialism, according to Marx and Engels.

Fatherland with Working class

During the lifetime of Marx and Engels the national question already took a more important place within the German social democracy and got a dominating position within the German Reich and Austria-Hungary. The “people without fatherland”, like the bourgeoisie called them, developed themselves into “better patriots” (by their own words), who “were not inferior” if it came to loving their fatherland. In the aspect of foreign policy the original Marxist question “Which State is the biggest enemy of the revolution?” slowly developed to: “Who is the attacker?” This is how the foundations were formed for the defence of the fatherland.

In 1880 August Bebel declared, during a speech before the Reichstag, for the first time the preparedness for defence of the German fatherland by the German social democracy:
“Should it come to the point that a foreign power conquers German territory, then the social democracy will take front against this enemy like every other Party.”
This was formulated because of the actual threat coming from the East (the Russian tsarism as the embodiment of the most dark reaction), which would deteriorate the demands for revolution: “Because in a war we don’t defend our enemies and their institutions. We defend ourselves and our country, who’s institutions we want to shape and which only forms soil for our efficacy.” (Bebel)

The readiness of the German social democracy to defend the fatherland was already formulated in 1893, in the official report of the SPD fraction in the Reichstag. Five years later Eduard Bernstein Bebels formulated “fatherland” (from a negative sense) into a positive sense, because he made the position of the fatherland dependent on the position of the worker within the State:

“That workers don’t have a fatherland, could be at the most applicable to the lawless – ruled out from public life – working class of the ’40′s. This has already for the biggest part lost its legitimacy and will loose this even more, because under the influence of the social democracy, the worker from the proletariat becomes a civilian. The worker, who is a voter with equal rights in the State and therefore becomes joint proprietor of the united wellbeing of the nation, who’s children are educated by the community, who’s health is protected, who’s insured against invalidity, this worker shall have a fatherland, without stopping to be a cosmopolitan, in the sense that the nations will befriend each other without stopping to lead their own lives.”

On the same time the social democracy started a tactical approach towards the elections in the Reichstag with respect to the military budget. They tried to get around the imperative to support the defence of the country from the viewpoint of national interest, by making the yes-vote dependent on the dissolution of the existing army in favour of a peoples militia and by putting the attention on the “unjust” financing of the military budget. Because these demands (logically) have not been approved, the parliamentary fraction of the social democracy was able to vote “no”. Therefore it was only consequent when in 1899 Wolfgang Heine on the SPD congress went beyond that and stated that agreeing with military spending could only be just:

“In my opinion the social democrats should give their permission to these military demands, if in return valuable freedoms for the people would be given as a counterbid. … Not necessary military expenses should always be rejected. … However some military expenses are necessary for the defence of the nation and are therefore not an opposition to our ideals and principles.”

During the Morocco crisis (1905) August Bebel declared in his speech in the Reichstag:

“Gentlemen, when our fatherland is in danger, you ask the worker to defend the fatherland; however when you don’t make sure that the institutions are of a nature that fulfils the workers with joy to fight for their fatherland, then the next time they will ask themselves if they should defend it. Gentlemen, without the working class you cannot wage war, if they remain in default, you’re lost.”

Bebel suggested some kind of deal: The defence of the fatherland in exchange for workers rights. He emphasized the inevitability of the working class for the defence of the nation and gave Gustav Noske the keyword for his first speech in 1907 in the Reichstag. Noske formulated for the first time, the willingness of social democracy to defend the fatherland:
“We wish that Germany is as resilient as possible, we wish that the whole German people will have an interest in military institutions, which are necessary for the defence of the fatherland.”

This however could only be reached if the ruling class “together with the social democracy made sure that Germany became as liveable, free and culturally developed as possible.” From the utilitarianism in handling the nation by Marx and Engels, the cardinal question “What is the advantage for the revolution?”, the theorem at the end of the 19th century became that what was in the best interest of the proletariat was also in the best interest of the nation. Because of this the nation had to do more for the worker. With this the social democracy took its distance from every form of abstract internationalism. From now on class loyalty was only formulated within the framework of the nation-state. The strengthened German social democracy struggled for the national unity “inwards”, from the viewing point of participation in the State and its reformist transformation. To end the last social democratic reservations, the Reich reinterpreted the coming war as a national defensive war.

When Kaiser Wilhelm, in 1914 at the outbreak of WW I, declared to his Reichskansler Von Bülow: “From now on I don’t know any parties, from now on I will only know Germans.” the national unity inwards was a fact, with which the assent from social democracy for war credits was reduced to merely a formality.

Nation and imperialism

At the end of the century the social democrats redefined the concept of the “nation”. Karl Kautsky had defined, in 1887, the nation state as ‘the classic form of the modern State” and as a “State that included the entire nation and no other nations next to it”. The most important factor for this was the formation of a “closely-knit economic territory” according to Kautsky, which included the existence of a common language, national tradition and solidarity.”

The Austrian social democrat Otto Bauer who was confronted with all kind of conflicts between nationalities within the Habsburger empire, placed these emotional elements in 1907 for the first time in the centre of the conceptions of the left according to the nation, which hasn’t lost its validity up to the present day:

“The nation is the totality by means of a community of fate onto a community of character, which binds people together.”

This community of fate was not to be interpreted as the shared faith of workers from different nations, because this unity was not enough for the development of a nation. Inherent to the nation was the “traffic community: “The common experience of the same faith in the constant mutual social movement, in a constant interaction of mutual social interaction.”
The “community of character” clearly referred to the “national character”, which was explained by Bauer in a historic-materialist manner as an organically grown and an exchangeable concept. Therefore he didn’t define socialism as abstract-internationalist, but national: Because more and more people are sucked into the “traffic community”, more people will become part of the nation, this would according to the socialist progressive thinking lead to a situation in which socialism would immediately be put on the agenda, because the workers would become the majority of the nation. This also meant that under socialism the nation could expand itself to full extent.

In 1913 J.W. Stalin developed (building on the theorems of Kautsky and Bauer) his thesis of the nation as “a historically grown stable community of people … on the basis of a common language, common territories, common economic life and common, in common culture revealing, psychical essential characteristics.”
(Marxism and the National Question p 28)

What was the reason that social democracy made such an effort in developing a theory in relation to the nation? The hypothesis of Marx, that the world market would break open the borders between national States, apparently didn’t take place. Although his hypothesis on economy was striking, the agitation of national States in power politics, or better said their imperialism, stood in the way of this – subsequent to this, on the base of the domestic markets in the developed capitalist countries, the monopoly capital and the surplus developed, as well as her expansionism, the acquisition of colonies, the creation of spheres of influence and safeguarding these with war. This was the cause of the competition between mono-capitalist States as well as the mono-capitalists capital, which resulted in WW I. This didn’t lead to the disappearance of the nation state, but to the consolidation of the nation state as a bourgeois project of capitalist rule.

Within the controversy between Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg this change was critically reflected. The conflict was NOT about a new theory regarding the nation, but it was about the meaning of the nation and nationalism in regard to the socialist revolution. Nationalism, which was a tactical question for Marx and Engels, became a strategic question on the path towards revolution.

While Luxemburg thought that nationalism in principle was harmful for the class struggle and spoke about a “right on self determination for the working class”, Lenin thought that it was necessary to use nationalist tendencies in oppressed states in a revolutionary manner. The right of nations on self determination became a fundamental right in Lenin’s views. Where Luxemburg talked about the relevant political contradiction “internationalism versus nationalism”, Lenin talked about “anti-colonialism versus imperialism”. The stand still of the world revolution and the victory of the thesis “possibility of socialism in one country” (J.W. Stalin) decided this controversy in the sense that Stalin’s formulated theory of two camps (1924) – that of the oppressive nations and oppressed nations – became decisive in the Marxist-Leninist left (and far beyond!). The real basis of this theory can be found in the existence of the Soviet Union.

Because of the Diktat of Versailles the former imperialist power Germany, that was beaten in WW I, found itself in the camp of the oppressed nations. On the basis of the “two camp strategy” the KPD realized a theoretic cadre with which she could give a great contribution to the anchoring of national thinking within the German labour movement.

The Schlageter course

The revolutionary wing of the German social democracy was not at all opposed to the patriot ideas of the SPD, but they didn’t want to follow the incorporated course of reconciling national and class interests. Already during the discussion of 1907, the later founder of the Spartakusbund and KPD Clara Zetkin had developed the basis elements of a “revolutionary nationalism”, with which the KPD would counter the growing influence of the national-fascist movement in the Weimar republic. In her essay “Our Patriotism” she stated that it was “reserved for the proletarian class struggle to shape the fatherland and its culture from the monopoly of a minority into a homeland (heimat) and possession for all. Because even for the so-called “people without fatherland” their nationality is valuable and their fatherland sacred.”

But nonetheless “their patriotism is essentially different from that of the propertied class”. “The patriotism of the bourgeoisie and nobility is reactionary … The patriotism of the proletariat is revolutionary”, because “it wants to break the chains of class domination in which the fatherland is caught.”
(Clara Zetkin)

Here for the first time, in 1930, the popular thesis of the “two nations” was formulated by KPD leader Ernst Thälman” – “The nation of the rich and the nation of the poor, the nation of those who starve and the nation of those who live in abundance” – according to which not only the class domination of the bourgeoisie and bourgeois nation were synonymous to each other, also the class struggle and national liberation were synonymous to each other for those who belong to “the nation of the poor.”

The term “revolutionary fatherland” appeared for the first time in the political course of the KPD, when in 1923 French troops marched into the Ruhr area, because the German coal-barons didn’t meet their obligations to the Diktat of Versailles. The national outrage that followed the Entente-occupier placed the KPD for a dilemma:

On the one hand they saw that the German bourgeoisie had put her bets on nationalist mobilisation to undermine the payments for the Versailles treaty; on the other hand the KPD tried to use the nationalist tidal wave for a revolutionary subversion of the regime of chancellor Cuno. In the slogan “Schlagt Cuno an der Spree – Poincaré an der Ruhr!” They made their goal clear to expel the French troops from Rhein and Ruhr, while at the same time bringing down the reichs-goverment in Berlin.

In principle the KPD acknowledged the legitimacy of “national resistance” (in all her facets), like a KPD orator put it on the 8th Party congress in 1923:

“As a class that is aware of the fact that she forms the foundation of the nation, that she represents tomorrow, the German worker will keep his national dignity high against the enemy capitalists, like he keeps his proletarian dignity high against the German capitalists.”
Essentially it was about a struggle for mass-influence, which was waged with the goal to connect the question of national liberation with the question of social liberation.
Paul Böttcher, a KPD delegate at the Kommunistische Internationale (Komintern), justly recognized (in his answer to the fear of some in the EKKI, that a mass mobilisation would only be beneficial for the German chauvinists):

“If the German Party in the centre of this accumulation of forces in the Ruhr area would have practiced nihilism in regard to the national question, she would have defeated herself in a catastrophic annihilation.”

“Nihilism in regard to the national question” – was for the first time used to publicly define the abstract internationalist and sterile anti-national politics of the former KPD-leadership of Paul Lévy, who’d put the KPD in a disastrous isolation. This was also an indication that the national-revolutionary course was under constant threat of sabotage by sectarian elements from the so-called “leftwing opposition”. These problems were mentioned in a legendary speech by Karl Radek before the EKKI in Moscow (20 June 1923), later known as the historically Schlageter-speech”: A tribute for the fallen Freikorps officer Leo Schlageter who fell for the cause of the nation, and wanted to subjectively do the right thing – serving the German people – but objectively had done the wrong thing: sacrificing his blood as a fascist for the wrong cause. This speech can till this present day be regarded as a high stand of national-revolutionary politics because it testified of a rock solid belief of the leftwing in a objectively justified, but subjectively misguided rebellion against the social relations, a rebellion that merely had to be directed in different ways:

“We are convinced that the big majority of the nationalist masses exists of honest and convinced people, who are misguided and don’t understand that not just the Entente is the enemy.” (KPD Central, May 1923)

The means to achieve this was giving the term nationalism a positive content:

“The cause of the people made into the cause of the nation, makes the cause of the nation the cause of the people!” (Karl Radek)

The Schlageter-course didn’t just start a long and intensive rapprochement between KPD cadres and Karl Radek’s national-revolutionaries, but also of national-revolutionary agitation from the KPD. In May 1923 the KPD central published a call out titled: “Gone with the government of national shame and peoples betrayal!” in which was claimed that the capitalists didn’t put Germany first, but profit.

With this the nation became a proletarian category, in which the organisation of the exploitation relations along the lines of the national State had no other goal then making maximal profit, which equalled betrayal against “the cause of the nation”.

In publications of the KPD it was emphasized that the goal should be the “national liberation of Germany”. This could only be realized by the working class, because the German bourgeoisie was “incapable to defend the nation against French imperialism.” (June 1923) The KPD called upon the working class to “make themselves leader of the national struggle for liberation to win over the petty bourgeoisie”. (August 1923) Next to the “social outrage” of the working masses the “humiliated national sense” also showed to be a revolutionary impulse. The climax of the national-revolutionary agitation was formed in October 1923 with a KPD motion in the Reichstag to bring Hugo Stinnes and other monopoly-capitalists before court for high treason, because Stinnes and co. had extradited the German economy and German working class to French imperialism.

While German communists were mobilising the masses against French imperialism, Komintern economist Eugen Varga developed the theory of Germany as an “industrial colony.” The by the Entente-imperialism defeated Reich was because of the Diktat of Versailles as “fremdbestimmt” (controlled by foreign powers) and thus not-imperialist.

Varga in an explanation:

“The most conflicting is the situation of Germany. Her economy shows all signs of imperialism: but she’s disarmed, robbed of its colonies, is under foreign control and must pay severe payments.”

The German worker had to labour for English and French imperialism under direct control of German fiduciaries, who got a share of the profit from their foreign superiors. Germany was fallen to the level of a “semi-colony”, like Arkady Maslow of the KPD central formulated.

The German worker had to bear a double burden – the capitalist accumulation and the reparations of the Versailles treaty. Because of this Germany had become an oppressed nation in a Leninist sense. On this foundations the KPD published her thesis in 1923, in which they claimed to be “the only national Party of Germany” who “had made the Soviet star the sign of national liberation”. Here the connection between the national and social liberation struggle was conclusively established. This later on became a determinative for the programmatic declaration of the KPD Central Committee about the national and social liberation of Germany in 1930:

“The struggle for the liberation of Germany is inextricably linked to the struggle for national liberation. The Party of the dictatorship of the proletariat becomes the Party of national salvation. And because we of the KPD struggle for the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, we at the same time take upon us the obligation to fight for the unification of the Rhine and Ruhr area that was torn by the French, of Bavaria that was cut-off the Reich, to the by Poland threatened East-Prussia with the by Von Seeckt enslaved Northern- and Middle-Germany into a new German empire, the empire of the worker, the free soviet Germany.”

The program of national and social liberation of 1930

Because the communists presented themselves as the representatives of the nation and the people – minus the 10% capitalists and “parasites” – the political primate explicitly became a national-revolutionary aspect, in which the social-revolutionary – the pure class agitation – was put in the background:
“The KPD is the only Party that has the right to claim that they uphold the protection of the nation. The 90% of the working people embody the nation and we fight for their interests.”
(Ernst Thälmann in 1925)

The “Program on the national and social liberation of Germany”, with which the KPD in 1930 went into the elections for the Reichstag, (again) referred to the national-revolutionary agitation on a moment in which it became clear that the national-socialists could count on a big onrush. Still it wasn’t to be interpreted as a (exclusively) tactical manoeuvre, in the sense that they wanted to tie on into the conscience of the Nazi-proletarians (Naziprolets). The KPD leadership acknowledged the national outrage as principally justifiable and merely suggested that the “national-fascists” (Ernst Thälmann – national-socialist, SDAP) were not really “national”, but only betrayed the “cause of the nation”.
Those who in the interest of the State and German capital waged a foreign policy and made concessions while doing this, who made the exploitation by capital and State possible and who could stop the international isolation of Germany – like the SPD (social-fascists), were seen as “voluntary agents in service of French and Polish imperialism. The national-socialists (Nazi’s, NSDAP) who where proponents of a more aggressive German imperialism, were seen by the KPD as the “unfair” opponents of Versailles, because they didn’t do a serious attempt to stop the reparations, to rip Versailles apart.

The national-fascists agitated on the basis of Real politics and were scared of an open war with Entente.

In the later DDR the “Programm zur nationalen und sozialen Befreiung Deutschlands” of 1930 as “the coherent answer to the fundamental national problem of the German people, like it had developed since Germany entered the age of imperialism. It has elaborated in the spirit of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin the national role of communists in a highly developed imperialist country.” (Zur Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung, published by the sozialistische einheitspartei in Germany, Dietz Verlag Berlin 1952)
A view that is still cherished within a considerable portion of the leftwing. Not only by the DKP, Junge Welt and MLPD, Arbeiterbund für den Wiederaufbau der KPD, but also important segments of the former SED/PDS (now known as “Die Linke”).

Taking in consideration the major electoral victory of the NSDAP in 1930 (8 times more votes, to 6,4 million votes) and the growth of the German nationalist block in its totality, Thälmann concluded together with the electoral victory of the KPD (2,25 to 4,5 million votes) “that the election in Germany in a way meant a peoples referendum against the Young-Plan and the Diktat of Versailles (he also counted the voted of the NSDAP in this success).”We assume that the victory of the NSDAP for a substantial part is based on those anti-capitalist workers, who on the basis of their hostility towards the capitalist system and its jumble of supporters of the old bourgeois Parties developed themselves into national-socialists. But their radicalisation on the grounds of the crisis is not progressed enough yet, so they can take the step towards the camp of the revolutionary proletariat of communism.”

The transfer of national voters towards the proletarian revolution didn’t take place, as we all know.

National-communism after 1945

After 1945 the KPD and SED took all the practical elements from the national-revolutionary politics of the 20′s and 30′s and developed them even further:
While the national-social liberation program of 1930 aimed at “all workers, poor peasants and working middleclass” and explicitly emanated from the class society and class struggle, the KPD program of 1952, that was radicalized in a national-revolutionary sense, only knew one revolutionary subject: the nation. The program aimed towards all “fair” and “good willing” Germans. The American puppet and traitor Ardenauer was excluded, as well as the owners of those big concerns “who supported the betrayal of Adenauer”, these had to be punished by expropriation. This program marked the preliminary and final climax of the national-communist politics in Germany.

After a more moderate national phase of the “antifascist-democratic united front” (1945-1948), in which in accordance to a somewhat diagrammatic phase thinking in Germany, firstly the bourgeois revolution had to be accomplished. The politics and theory of the communists from this time on was more and more aimed, in the context of the “Cold war”, against the Anglo-American “Fremdherrschaft” (foreign occupation) and the “colonial exploitation” of Germany (KPD conference in Solingen 1949):

“Because of the national treason of our “own” financiers-oligarchy, Germany is caught in a state of national slavery. The USA and other imperialist powers squeeze colonial profits from West-Germany” (Which was proved by the results of a survey, which showed that in the 1241 German companies in 1041 cases participation of foreign capital was present)
Just like in 1919 Germany was once again caught in a “double slavery” according to the KPD and she proclaimed the unity of Germany to be the “highest and most precious good” (KPD chairman Max Reimann in 1949). To accomplish this, the party called upon the “irreconcilable and revolutionary struggle of all German patriots, with the overthrow of the Andauer-regime as the main goal.” This contributed to the prohibition of the KPD in 1956. Shortly before the prohibition a self-criticism was published by the Party, which had nothing to do with the nationalist component of the program, but only with her revolutionary phraseology: The call for a revolutionary overthrow of Bonner’s traitor-regime had hampered the united front of the working class on the decisive moment (declaration of the KPD Party leadership in 1956).

Lessons for the current situation

After ’68 the new leftwing has, in practical as well as in theoretical regard, used many elements from the experiences and theoretical potential of the KPD. For the DKP as well as most other K-groups, the realization of a united, socialist Germany remained absolutely essential. Some among them, like the KPD/ML, the KPD/AO, the MLPD (not the same as the current MLPD!) and the AB (Arbeiterbund for the reconstruction of the KPD), still propagated the national liberation struggle during the ’70′s and ’80′s.

However far beyond the action radius of these groups, in big parts of the leftwing, the rock solid believe in the unnaturalness of German division, as well as the conviction that the nationalist “wanderers” among the German people could be easily corrected was present. Remains of this were abound in the reactions of the left about the “re-unification”, as well as the increasing “shift to the right” of big parts of society (reactionary “roll back” – the offensive of the bourgeoisie against the leftwing).

Today the complete leftwing movement is socially marginalized, politically disoriented and has ideologically bled to death. While it thinks it still has some social influence, it tries to adapt to the bourgeois mainstream. What is essentially needed is a reconsideration of those elements of the left-national political formation, as described above in this article. Just as in the ’50′s and 60′s “the cause of the nation” is still on the direct agenda, with the main difference that after 1989 foreign Western capital has ruined East-Germany as well and uses it as a colony. It’s needed in East-Germany, which is brought back to a (semi-) colony by the West-German annexation regime, to create a front for “national unity”. It’s about two things:

Social justice – for everyone – and a righteous nation, because the first can only be accomplished by the second!

Who doesn’t understand this, hasn’t understood Marx’s critique on capitalism!

The wish for solidarity, the community towards social relations is the worker’s own. The (myth of) the nation (myth in a Sorellian context!) ensures the worker a place of security, a true Heimat (homeland). “Luxemburgism” and nihilism in regard to the national question, are mainly responsible for the complete downfall of the left, NOT her essentially and rightly incitement to national politics.

Nevertheless, decidedly anti-national groups, such as the Luxemburgists and Trotskists, who propagated an “intransigent internationalism” as foundation for proletarian politics, never accomplished to gain ground within the organized German communist and labour movement (apart from a short period during the 20′s). “Luxemburgists” with their sterile and unworldly politics and “denial” of the national question, always stayed Fremdkörper (a foreign body) in the organism of the German labour movement. In that time the German communist and labour movement still were resistant to the germ of “national nihilism”. This must be an incentive to once again connect ourselves with a healthy national tradition, the spirit of the German communists and the German labour movement.

Comrades let us, in the words of Karl Radek, “make the cause of the people, the cause of the nation”, so that “the cause of the nation becomes the cause of the people!”



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