RN3280KS4 LUXEMBURG BRINGS THOUGHTS.01
RN3280KS LUXEMBURG BRINGS THOUGHTS.01
LUXEMBURG BRINGS THOUGHTS
Victor Grossman sent me some info re this Years (2006) Luxemburg Demo. It set me off. Into Thoughts. About Luxemburg, Rosa, Grossman, Victor, the demo, and its past. The DDR. Another Past I THINK I WILL WRITE MY THOUGHTS INTO HIS TEXT, MAX IS IN UPPER CASE WE SHALL SEE..
Sent:Monday, January 16, 2006 10:42 AM
Subject:Rosa Luxemburg and a Berlin Demonstration
ROSA LUXEMBURG AND MORE UNITY ON THE LEFT
Victor Grossman, Berlin
VICTOR G, WITH WHOM I BEGAN CORRESPONDING RECENTLY, IS THE OLDEST LIVING RITA I KNOW. RITA, OF COURSE, INCLUDES GOING AWOL, DESERTING, LEAVING.. THE (HERE US) ARMY. IN 1952. HE SWAM AWAY. I HOPE TO SOON RECEIVE HIS BOOK, AUTOBIOGRAPHY, ABOUT ALL THAT. MORE, WHEN DO.
There was a subtle difference in both events this year; many said they noticed it. As in every year, tens of thousands of Germans visited the Memorial Site of the Socialists in an eastern section of Berlin, placed red carnations at the tall memorial stone honoring Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht or the surrounding wall with its plaques marking the lives and deaths of socialist and communist leaders of the last century, from founders of the Social Democracy who died before World War One to men and women who fought the nazis in Spain, in exile or in prisons and death camps and, as best they could, built up the German Democratic Republic but died mercifully before its downfall.
NOW ABOUT THE GDR, OR DDR, OR EAST GERMANY. NOMEN OMEN. VICTOR LONG LIVED THERE, I VISITED FROM TIME TO TIME. SAW FRIENDS. SOME FAIRLY HIGH UP (THE HOG). I OFTEN WONDERED WHAT ID DO, WERE I LIVING THERE. COULD HAVE HAPPENED. MIGHT HAVE GOT INTO MEDIUM SERIOUS TROUBLE ? DUNNO. AS IT WAS, WHENEVER ARRESTED, DETAINED, BOTHERED, MENTIONED MY FRIENDS AND WAS, (GRUMBLINGLY) SENT ON MY WAY. AND ANYWAY, WAS A "TOURIST". VISITOR. AND I WAS - ON SIDE. ON THE LEFT. THAT WAS NOT ALWAYS FOR OTHERS ENUF. YEAH. ONE OF MY PROBLEMS WITH THE DDR ITS ESTABLISHMENT, WAS HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS FOR LEFTS WHO SPOKE UP, (FORGET ABOUT DOING !) TO GET ON WITH IT.
THAT, ACTUALLY, WAS A, THE, FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM IN THE REXSO COUNTRIES.THIS CONCEPT THAT THINGS HAD TO BE RUN FROM THE TOP ON DOWN. HARDLY THE WAY MARX OR I SAW SOCIALISM. "COMMUNISM". INITIATIVES, BOTTOM UP, NOT .. WHAT ? ENCOURAGED.
IN THE LATER, LAST, YEARS OF THE DDR, (BEFORE IT WENT BLOOIEH IN 1989.-90) THERE WERE "FRINGE GROUPS" WHO WENT ALONG TO THE ROSA LUXEMBURG DEMOS. WITH THEIR, INFORMAL, SUPPORTIVE SLOGANS. FRINGE GROUPS, PACIFIST, GREENIES, OUTSIDERS. MY MATE KAUFMANN, WHEN I ALREADY FAR AWAY ASKED HIM, SAID: "SOME ARE FRINGE, SOME ARE EVEN FRINGIER." THE SED, PARTY LEADERSHIP, DID NOT APPRECIATE THEM. SOMETIMES THEY, THEIR MEMBERS, WERE HASSLED. BUSTED. "DEPORTED" TO THE CAPITALIST WEST. "GO DEMONSTRATE THERE.." (NOT HERE !)
I ASKED RUDI DUTSCHKE, BEFORE HE DIED (WOULD HAVE BEEN HARD, AFTERWARDS !) WHAT HE WOULD HAVE DONE.. IN THE DDR. (HE CAME FROM THERE, I THINK LEFT JUST BEFORE THE WALL). I DONT THINK HE KNEW, EITHER.
The march grew out of the giant protest and mourning of German workers when Karl and Rosa, leftist Social Democrats who opposed World War One and were murdered in January 1919, two weeks after helping to found the Communist Party. It became a tradition during the era before Hitler, who had the beautiful memorial by Mies van der Rohe demolished. The tradition was revived in GDR years and, although it took on aspects of formally "honoring the leaders", probably remained the most popular celebration in Berlin. Since then, in a far opener spirit,
YES. THAT IS THE QUESTION: WHY WAS THIS (OR ANY SUCH MARCH) FAR LESS OPEN UNDER "SOCIALISM" ? WHERE WAS OUR "OPEN SPIRIT" ?
it repeatedly surprises the media and the "experts" with its size. This year again they underestimated radically, counting only 20,000 when probably three or four times that number took part.
As ever, there were two groups. YES
One marched several miles along Karl Marx Allee with loudspeaker trucks, music, fiery speeches and even more fiery banners and slogans. Alongside trade union youth and anti-fascist organizations were columns from every imaginable left-wing organization. Some seemed to be calling for the revolution in a week, others next afternoon. Hammers and sickles abounded, so did the faces of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Che and of course Rosa Luxemburg, and also of Josef Stalin or Mao Tse-tung.
NOW THIS COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED "BEFORE", IN THE REXSO DDR ! THE "LEADERS" WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN WHAT TO DO WITH IT. DIVERSITY. DIVERGENCE. THAT AN "ADVANCED SOCIALIST SOCIETY" YES, THE DDR WAS THE MOST INDUSTRIALISED, CAPITALISED, ADVANCED, OF THE "SOCIALIST" WORLD COULD NOT HANDLE THIS KIND OF PROBLEM IS A FUNDAMENTAL SIGN OF ITS LACKS, WEAKNESSES..
In the loud, colorful crowd other languages were frequent; especially Turkish, the largest minority in Germany, but also Kurdish, Greek, Persian and Arab and German dialects from all Germany. This was the day when each group tried to demonstrate its importance and its militancy.
The other group, far larger and quieter, consisted largely of East Berliners carrying on the tradition of honoring Karl and Rosa, meeting old friends and comrades still true to the cause "despite everything" (or as, Karl Liebknecht said in German - "Trotz alledem" DIDNT BOBBY BURNS SAY IT FIRST: FOR A THAT ? IN SCOT?)
and wishing to register a lasting belief in their ideals of a better, socialist Germany and a world at peace.
Neither group quite understood the other. AHA. The strange hairdos and clothes far less marked this year and wildly revolutionary slogans disconcerted or even shocked many ordinary, less defiantly militant East Berliners who, to the others, seemed very bourgeois. AH!
ONCE EMIL CARLEBACH, WHO REALLY HAD PAID HIS DUES AS A COMMUNIST UNDER HITLER, MET "X" (I HAVE FORGOTTEN HIS NAME) A NEW LEFT ACTIVIST IN ERKAS FRANKFURT KITCHEN. THEY SAT FACING, CAT AND DOG. DIDNT BITE, BUT NO FURTHER CONTACT POSSIBLE. I THOUGHT: A PITY.
Attempts were made in past years to use such differences to split the event and wreck it. But this year again, several blocks before the cemetery entrance, both those who had marched and those who came by subway mixed quite peaceably well before the final destination. AHA.
But was it purely imagination this year which made the crowds seem not only larger but somehow more hopeful? IS THE 6TH WAVE, DEFEAT, DESPONDENCY, DEPRESSION ENDING ? A VOIR !
A possible explanation could have been found one day earlier. The presence of so many left-wingers from all Germany had created another tradition; the Rosa Luxemburg Conference on Saturday, a day before the march.
As usual, every publisher of left-wing books or pamphlets and every party or organization on the left, down to the tiniest, had a stand in the section of the Humboldt University building in East Berlin.
NOW COULD THAT HAVE BEEN DONE BEFORE 1989 ? IN THE DDR ?
This weekend offers a chance to either sell more books and pamphlets or win a few members. But inside the auditorium, seating perhaps 800, there is always the international conference.
Among the speakers in past years were prominent people like Angela Davis or Ivo Morales, soon to be president of Bolivia. A Cuban speaker is welcomed nearly every year, a sign of solidarity also offered now to Venezuela. And every year, Mumia Abu-Jamal, the African-American journalist threatened with execution in Pennsylvania since 1982, sends a recorded message from his cell on Death Row. A Communist Party leader from Portugal also spoke.
Especially interesting to many were the speeches by Heinz Dieterich Steffan of the University of Mexico City and Paul Cockshott of Glasgow University. Both of them demonstrated, in quite learned language which never failed to fascinate the overfilled hall, that the countless professorial and media proofs of the impossibility of socialism are all flawed. It is capitalism which is basically flawed, they insisted, and both analyzed, in very different ways, why it not only must but can be replaced by a new democratic socialism. WELL, WELL HAVE TO DO BETTER THE NEXT TIME ! SEE IF IT CAN BE DONE, AND IF WEVE LEARNED FROM THE FIRST 72 YEARS !
Then, after a fine musical group, came the most interesting speech of all. Oskar Lafontaine from south-western Saarland, once a leading Social Democrat who left his party when it broke with its principles, is co-chair of the parliamentary caucus of the Left Party in the Bundestag, along with Gregor Gysi from the PDS, or Party of Democratic Socialism, which is centered largely in eastern Germany. Lafontaine is now leader of the Electoral Alternative for Jobs and Social Justice (WASG). The two groups plan to merge into a single party next year. His clear, sharp speech attacked all four old and new government parties and showed how their constant misuse of key vocabulary has hidden the fact that their program never could decrease joblessness but only increase it. Not cutting social benefits and lengthening weekly working hours are required but the opposite. Not privatization and deregulation but, again, the opposite. Above all a fighting unity is needed between the Left delegates in the Bundestag and those fighting in the factories, the schools and colleges, and in the streets. The PDS and WASG is facing differences in some provinces (above all in Berlin itself) on the issue of PDS participation with the Social Democrats in the government. But here too Lafontaine suggested ways of solving problems. BE INTERESTING TO SEE IF THEY WORK !
He expressed his conviction that a Left, far more united than ever before, can now make a difference in Germany. After years of doubt and despite past quarrels, these new hopes have already attracted new groups and new voters and seem to offer a chance to fight together and move closer to the ideals of Karl and Rosa. And that seemed reflected in this years demonstration.
EN AVANT !
FOR BETTER NEW YEARS ! WE NEED THEM