Chapter A: The Social Development in Germany

1. In Germany, a capitalist society at the stage of development of state-monopoly capitalism is in rule. It constitutes the immediate pre-stage of a socialist society. Monopoly capital has totally subordinated the state, and the monopoly organs are fused with the organs of the state apparatus. It has established its universal rule over all of society.

2. The social large-scale production which is regulated by the state is subject to private appropriation by the capital owners, in particular the dominant industrial and bank monopolies. These state-monopoly relations of production form the fun­ da­ mental contradiction for the development of ca­ pi­ ta­ lism in Germany today.

3. The bourgeois family system is the indispensable counterpart of the capitalist exploitation of wage labor. Societal life is completely subjected to the social process of commodity production yielding the maximum profit, whereas the organization of immediate life is imposed on the private single family. The social inequality of man and woman is based on this contradiction. The wife's economic dependence on the husband, the responsibility for keeping the house and the family as well as the chains of bourgeois morality and religion constitute a system of special oppression of women in capitalist society. The mass of the working women is doubly exploited and oppressed.

4. Before Germany constituted itself as a unified nation in 1871, its capitalist development was impeded by the fragmentation into feudal small states. In the bourgeois revolution in 1848, the bourgeoisie, fearing a working class in struggle, forfeited victory over feudal rule. Instead, it formed an alliance with the feudal landlords (junkers) that was a fertile ground for the particularly reactionary and aggressive German imperialism up to 1945.

5. After 1871, concentration and centralization of capital led to the formation of industrial and bank monopolies and their merger into the ruling finance capital. This created the economic base for the rising German imperialism which, due to its modern technology and superior organization, developed at a particularly rapid pace.
On account of its late development, German imperialism pressed for a redivision of the world among the imperialist Great Powers and, therefore, unleashed two world wars. These world wars became pacemakers for the transition from monopoly capitalism to state-monopoly capitalism in all imperialist countries.

6. Reacting to the revolutionization of the masses, the monopolies changed their social mainstay and, in 1933, established a fascist dictatorship by way of a demagogy which utilized socialist terms. Due to the division of the working class, the establishment of the fascist dictatorship could not be prevented. At the end of World War II, the anti-Hitler coalition had smashed the fascist dictatorship of the monopolies. The Potsdam Treaty, based essentially on the proposals of the Soviet Union and negotiated between the victorious powers, the USSR, USA and Great Britain, was intended to deprive German imperialism of its power maintaining, at the same time, the unity of the German nation.
At first, the German imperialists were deprived of their power and the monopolist bosses were forced to withdraw from the management of the big enterprises. The workers, often against the will of the Western military authorities, rebuilt the destroyed factories and developed a mass protest movement against the intention of the victorious powers to dismantle German industry. But very soon, the Western occupying powers, following a change in the US policy towards Germany, helped the German monopoly capitalists back to power. With the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany on May 23, 1949, they divided Germany and advanced the rise of new German imperialism. Subsequently, it formed the spearhead of the imperialist world system against the Soviet Union, then still a socialist country, and against the construction of socialism in the Eastern European countries and the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

7. The Potsdam Treaty was put into effect in the Soviet occupied zone only. On the basis of denazification, the expropriation of factories of war and nazi criminals as well as of big landowners, an anti-fascist democratic order was established.
As a response to the division of Germany by the Western powers, the GDR was founded on October 7, 1949. In the following years, the hopeful transition developed from a people's democracy to the first socialist society on German soil, from the initiative of the masses and with the support of the Soviet Union.

8. Subsequent to the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union after the Twentieth Party Congress of the CPSU in February 1956, the GDR, too, transformed into a bureaucratic-capitalist society. The goal of reunification was abandoned. Many socialist achievements in the life of the masses, it is true, were formally retained initially. But with the restoration of capitalism, they changed their character and were embedded in a revisionist system of reforms from above which served to camouflage the capitalist character of the new order. The building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 was a declaration of bankruptcy of the bureaucratic-capitalist system of the GDR and also reflected the intensified rivalry of the superpowers.

9. As a result of worldwide demand following World War II and promoted by high mechanization, automation and state measures, an unprecedented and long-lasting upward trend began in the West German economy in the early fifties. This became possible also through systematic recruitment of manpower from the GDR and, after the wall was built, from abroad. The dramatic development of the forces of production accelerated the sweeping rise of new German imperialism to a mighty economic, political and military factor.

10. In the eighties, the increasing technological and economic relapse of the GDR in comparison to the West came into an ever intensifying contradiction with the maintenance of the social achievements. On this basis and as the result of a marked bureaucratic bossism, pseudo-socialist phrasemongering and political oppression, deep disappointment emerged among the masses, and, in 1989, a broad democratic people's movement developed. It was also directed against the environmental destruction and against the nuclear buildup of the Soviet Union on the soil of the GDR. It reached its climax in the autumn of 1989 with mass demonstrations and forced the Honecker regime to resign. With the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, the symbol of divided Germany fell. The reunification was the result of the democratic people's movement in the GDR and of the deep wish of the entire German people to overcome the division of the nation. The national question in Germany could thus be solved in a peaceful way. The erosion of the power of Soviet social-imperialism was an important international condition for the peaceful reunification.

11. As the reunification did not take place under socialist conditions, the annexation of the GDR to the economic and political power of West German monopoly capital became possible. The monopolies and their government systematically pursue the division of the German people into Westerners and Easterners in order to undermine the active resistance of the masses against the shifting of the burden of the crisis onto their shoulders. Only the working class and its joint struggle against the monopolies and their government can heal the wounds of the long-lasting division of Germany, consolidate the unity of the German people in East and West and maintain its progressive achievements.

12. Reunified Germany is the economically strongest and, in terms of the number of inhabitants, the biggest country in the European Union. Relieved of some political restrictions imposed by the Allied powers after World War II, new German imperialism, in alliance with other European Great Powers, is today again increasingly striving for hegemony in the world.
New German imperialism is the main enemy of the working people in Germany. Only the working class, allied with the working masses, is capable of maintaining peace with the European peoples and of cherishing honest friendship among peoples and international solidarity with all the exploited and oppressed.


Literaturtipp An ever increasing number of local and regional ecological catastrophes plague humanity. They are symptoms of an environmental crisis which is in the process of transforming at an accelerated pace into a global environmental catastrophe. New Publication: CATASTROPHE ALERT! What Is To Be Done Against the Willful Destruction of the Unity of Humanity and Nature?

Read More…