23.12.2009: "The Berlin Crisis Management is Like Sitting on a Powder Keg"

Interview with Stefan Engel, chairman of the MLPD

stefan-engel.jpgAn eventful year is coming to an end - a good opportunity to take stock! Do you see great differences between the old and new government?

The Merkel/Westerwelle government has not yet changed of the policy of the grand coalition in essence. The government is continuing with the internationally coordinated crisis management.

It is clear that up till now the ruling powers have succeeded in preventing an open collapse of the world financial system, in dampening the economic crisis and keeping open mass struggles against the repercussions of the crisis on the backs of the workers at a low. The masses have tolerated this crisis dampening policy with simmering anger. However, they suspect that sooner or later they must expect serious consequences for their living and working conditions.

The new governmental parties had declared unanimously before the national elections that the world economic crisis had come to an end. After the elections, Chancellor Merkel suddenly explained that the worst of the crisis is still to come.

These are new messages which promise no good. Nevertheless the repercussions of the economic and financial crisis for the masses are being concealed. The economic crisis management is in a serious dilemma. For political reasons, attempts are being made to dampen the repercussions of the crisis for the national economy and the masses. At the same time, they want to create the preconditions to overcome the crisis quickly and to achieve a comprehensive growth of industrial production and of the gross national product (GNP). However, the more effective the measures for dampening the effects of the crisis are, the more unfavorable the conditions for quickly overcoming the world economic and financial crisis will become. The Berlin crisis management is like sitting on a powder keg which can explode at any time.

This sounds paradoxical!?

That may be! However, the effects of the overproduction crisis can at best be kept in suspense or offset temporarily.

These laws mean that a production yielding maximum profits can get under way only at the expense of a gigantic destruction of capital, cuts of real wages and reduced production costs. Every measure of crisis dampening thus at the same time delays the process of the destruction of capital which has become necessary in the capitalist crisis. The crisis goes on and on.

What does that mean for the state policy?

The keeping-in-suspense of the manifestations of the crisis is combined with a gigantic state expenditure. The crisis management takes place on a speculative basis: It is based on the false assumption that one can achieve real economic growth by means of debts. However, this is a phantom! It rather entails the latent danger of the state measures developing the opposite effect. Debts are rising faster than the GNP. The stagnating economic growth, the further rise in mass unemployment and the growing absolute impoverishment of the masses, while at the same time the taxes and social contributions of the monopolies are being reduced, inevitably leads to a decline in the revenue from the taxation of the state. At the same time, interest payments will multiply, and these constitute the most rapidly growing factor of the state budget. If interests are financed by new debts, the amount of interest will grow faster and faster, combined with the tendency that latent state bankruptcy will be transformed into open state bankruptcy.

Is this actually a real danger?

Of course! We can already observe such a development in Greece presently, where only with the help of an international crisis management of the EU the open state bankruptcy can be held up. The governmental policy of a continued crisis management creates flagrant contradictions within the bourgeoisie, but also between national, regional and local levels. In the media and in the statements of the various associations of the monopolies, more and more criticism of the government is expressed. The main criticism is that tax relief is now being given instead of "rehabilitating" the state budget. Sooner or later - perhaps after the regional elections in North Rhine Westphalia - the government will be forced to change its policy and increasingly shift the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the masses. With this it is, of course, running the risk that a growing number of people will lose their patience!

Will this be the turning point that you have predicted?

At the moment, the turning point is to be understood more in a programmatic sense. The present CDU/CSU/FDP (Christian Democratic Union / Christian Social Union / Liberal Democratic Party) coalition comprises the readiness, as well as the intention of setting course for an open anti-people policy. However, the government is characterized by a very weak mass basis. If this anti-people policy would be pursued directly, the governmental parties could lose even more influence. That would mean that a strong force as caretaker for the monopolies would be lacking. The CSU (Christian Social Union) is actually in danger of falling under the necessary five percent mark. CDU/CSU could thus suffer a similar decline as the SPD. According to the coalition contract, the decisive plans have been referred to numerous teams. As soon as one coalition partner expresses its secret desires, the others - not only governmental parties, but also oppositional parties - at once fall upon him, acting as if they were representatives of the interests of their mass base. Even this government which is favored by the monopolies will have difficulty implementing the anti-people policy. The masses will recognize the weakness of this government and will struggle against it accordingly.

Does this crisis dampening policy also go for the political sphere?

The reactionary character of the government has become even much more obvious in the political sphere. It has launched an open campaign against so-called "left extremism", and also in the war against Afghanistan it is more and more prepared to wage an all-out war of annihilation for pushing through the interests of the imperialists. Both campaigns now result in an increase in protests and discontent. The former Minister of Defense Jung had to resign because of the massacre of Kundus and also the new Minister of Defense, zu Guttenberg, is on shaky grounds. Those in power are politically on the defensive. That is the worst possible starting position for the new caretaker of the monopolies.

Tell us about the termination of the bank accounts of the MLPD as well as of your personal bank account.

When my personal bank account at the Commerzbank was terminated without giving reasons, some friends recommended to me just to open another bank account discreetly. However, evading does not solve the problem. Above all, the tactics of the banks to conceal the political background of these terminations of the bank accounts would pay off in this way. Meanwhile it can hardly be covered up that these terminations are part of a systematic illegal political boycott of federal banks against the MLPD.

Thus after the termination of the personal account, all accounts of the MLPD were meanwhile also canceled by the Deutsche Bank. Volksbank, Commerzbank, Nationalbank and SEB have refused the opening of accounts by the MLPD or have terminated accounts that already existed. With this, not only the ability of the MLPD to conduct transactions is being massivlely attacked, but also the Marxist-Leninists are to be brought into disrepute or appear as being somehow dubious and untrustworthy. This is a form of the criminalization of the MLPD that must be taken seriously. At the same time, the formal explanations regarding the cancellations of the accounts reveal the political defensive of protagonists. Those in power are doing everything to maintain their policy of the isolation of the MLPD. To do this they have to keep the MLPD out of the public media. However, this could hardly be possible with an open political attack against the MLPD. But with the formal explanations they are in a dilemma to justify why the MLPD is being discriminated against, politically persecuted and attack allegedly without a concrete cause.

For this reason it is very important that we understand the political background of these terminations of accounts. Here a method of the so-called "fight against terrorism" is obviously being pursued, with which politically progressive forces have been criminalized with determination for several years. The so -called "drying up" of the financial basis is one typical method. It is a gross impertinence and we will fight against the attempt to defame and persecute us as "terrorists" and to treat democratic rights and liberties of a registered party with contempt. Is it to become practice in Germany in future that persons of different opinion and parties and organizations which are critical of the government shall be deprived of their democratic rights and liberties , financially ruined and left out in the cold? Then only a farce of the free, democratic basis constitutional order will be left in Germany!

Do you think that this conflict will remain concealed to the public?

We will know how to prevent that! The fact that this conflict with the MLPD takes place in a situation of the general political intensification of contradictions is a two-edged sword for the ruling powers. The masses are searching for an alternative to the bourgeois parties which have failed. A polarization against the MLPD could lead to the masses taking more interest in the MLPD and its societal alternative of genuine socialism and increasingly taking sides with the MLPD. At the moment it is important to win a broad democratic public for the protest against the undemocratic termination of the bank accounts and to fight back this political attack offensively.

Does this get a positive response in public?

Meanwhile there is already a whole file full of declarations of solidarity from various political directions, of course from the MLPD and people associated with it, from the Monday demonstrations, but also from members of the Left party, from circles of anarchists, the DKP (German Communist Party) and the trade union. We will do everything possible so that this attack will backfire on the new government and the entire bank association.

What do these intensified political measures signify for the development of the political crisis in Germany?

It is governed by law that every economic crisis is combined with a political crisis. Because of the international crisis management the open outbreak of the political crisis has been prevented up till now. With the actual further aggravation of the problems, scepticism and discontent among the masses have further intensified. The process of the detachment from the bourgeois parties, bourgeois parliamentarism and its institutions reached its temporary peak in the national elections. Social democracy has entered an existential crisis.

The prevention of the open outbreak of the political crisis functions only as long as the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking as the main instrument of deception has an effect on the masses. This effect again is linked to the continuation of the general crisis management and a noticeable relief for the masses. Thus those in power have to act extremely cautiously to avoid a lot of trouble in the situation of the relative calm in class struggle.

Obviously the parliamentary opposition in Berlin is not able to take advantage of the situation either …

The SPD (Social Democratic Party) has not come out of the crisis even after the bogus self-critical party congress and the enthronement of its new party chairman Gabriel. In the opinion polls the party is still hovering around the 20 percent mark. People do not pardon the SPD for obvious siding with the the management of the monopolies in the various constellations with Schroeder/Fischer, Merkel/Muentefering or Merkel/Steinmeier. The Greens and the Left party cannot benefit very much from the dilemma of the new government, because everybody naturally knows how willingly they subjugate themselves to the "factual constraints" only in order to participate in regional governments.

The further existing trend to the left among the masses poses an additional problem for those in power, but also for the bourgeois parties. On the one hand, they want to get rid of it. Open class conflicts can eventually arise out of it in the transition to the working-class offensive, the rebellion of the youth and the active people' s resistance - briefly: the beginning of a revolutionary fermentation among the masses. As long as the trend to the left however exists and gains attraction they seemingly have to adapt themselves to it to avoid being isolated from the masses. Not only the SPD is in this dilemma, but also in part the CDU/CSU, which surprisingly talks about "turbo-capitalism" and which sometimes - as in the person of the leader of the Federal State of North Rhine Westphalia Ruettgers or CDU-chief Roland Koch from Hessen - demonstratively takes sides with the workers.

The Left party is already in a dilemma with its entry into the regional government of Brandenburg. On the one hand, it could benefit from the trend to the left, on the other hand, because of its participation in the government, it has to support anti-people policy itself. The masses of people will not tolerate this in the long run. When they no longer see a parliamentary alternative then they have to choose to become active themselves, to struggle and to turn to the socialist alternative of the MLPD.

The strike at Daimler in Sindelfingen somehow does not fit into the picture of the relative calm …

The independent strike from 2nd to 6th December at Daimler in Sindelfingen was the first big mass struggle in Germany against the consequences of the restructuring of the automotive industry in the world economic and financial crisis. The workers in the second largest German automobile plant did not tolerate the plan for the relocation of "their" C-model from Sindelfingen and staged independent strike and protest actions. The atmosphere was explosive and participants reported of an atmosphere like in a revolt. They raised the battle-cry: "Zetsche go out" (Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of directors of Daimler - comm. of the editor) or "Berlin, Berlin, we are going to Berlin".

The trade union leadership and the right-wing works council top leadership called upon the workers to attend rallies and demonstrations on these days or numerous extraordinary company meetings in order to win back the initiative and get control again of the independent struggle of the workers.

At the same time the strike had an influence on the political situation in the entire region around Stuttgart: Apart from the struggles in Sindelfingen, work stoppages with protest rallies also took place in the Daimler plants in Stuttgart. At the automotive supplier Behr, the workers blockaded the Prag Street, one of the main thoroughfares in Stuttgart. At the automotive supplier Mann & Hummel in Ludwigsburg protests against mass dismissals took place. Criticism focused on the capitalist crisis management by which money was pumped into the hands of the banks and corporations on the backs of the masses. Many people were moved by the concern for the future of the youth in the region. In this region, which has been less affected by unemployment up to now, masses of people were worried about the degradation and living on Hartz IV (a kind of income support - translator). At the same time various protests of active people's resistance took place in Stuttgart in connection with each other - against the war in Afghanistan and mainly against the project "Stuttgart 21",a project of the monopolies with dramatic financial but also environmental consequences. A separate Monday demonstration has developed against this project in which sometimes more than 2,000 people took part . In Sindelfingen broad protests developed against cuts in municipal expenditures. These essentially arise from the fact that Daimler company has not paid any trade taxes for years. Even at the soccer match of VfB Stuttgart against the VFL Bochum masses of people expressed their political views. They induced the president of the the capitalists' federation BDA and chairman of the board of directors of VfB Stuttgart, Dieter Hundt, to make the following assessment:

"The rioting after the match is extremely alarming to me. ... The criticism was directed against many things. Against the bastards of millionaires, against the Daimler company, against the government, against the people at the top in general." ("Stuttgarter Zeitung", 8th December 2009).

Such explosive developments are also possible in principle in other regions in the coming time. We have to be prepared for surprising, fast and new developments and the leading of class struggle in the true sense.

Here the automotive industry and in particular the supply industry are at the center: There the MLPD has great influence, there the far-reaching repercussions of the crisis are still to come and there the policy of class collaboration of the right works council leadership is called into question by the crisis of social democracy.

In Germany alone we have to reckon with a cut of 240,000 jobs in the automotive industry. In 2009 there are world production capacities of 94 million vehicles, but expected sales of only 55 million vehicles. The battle for the redivision of the world market is being waged on the backs of the working class. I assume that here is the starting position for the transition to the workers' offensive.

Has the conduct of the trade union changed with the change of government? Before there were agreements with the government to keep quiet for years. Will this also be the case with the new Merkel/Westerwelle government, after there had been a massive mobilization against it before?

Up to now, there are few signs that the trade unions want to fight against the government. The entire crisis dampening policy has always been initiated and implemented in the concerted action of the employer's association, the right-wing trade union leadership and the government. The trade unions often take on the task that they agree to concessions of the capitalists in the companies supposedly in return for the alleged preservation of jobs. With this they actively participate in the shifting of the burdens of the crisis onto the backs of the workers. Instead of demanding from the capitalists a reduction in working hours with full wage compensation exactly in the times of crisis in order to preserve jobs, the trade union has agreed to the extension of short-time work. However, this is not financed at the expense of profits, but in the end out of the social insurance contributions and leads to considerable wage losses of those affected by it.

The other aspect of the policy of class collaboration is the presently more drastic action of the metal union leadership against the MLPD, e.g. by means of expulsions from trade unions of year-long, very active unionists in Essen who are classed as members of the MLPD. With this the metal union leadership is in complete contradiction to the concept of a general trade union of communists, social democrats, Christians etc. It was an essential conclusion from the division of the working-class movement and the painful experiences of Hitler fascism.

It is scandalous how the unanimous mandate of the last metal union congress to finally abolish incompatibility rulings against the MLPD is turned into the opposite by the IGM-leadership. The metal union board, which is submissive to the SPD, should realize that only 25 percent of the trade union members voted for the SPD in the national elections and that these will not be especially pleased if anticommunist purges are now starting again.

We welcome the fact that starting from a conference of critical and militant trade unionists in Dortmund, a nationwide movement within the trade unions has emerged with the “Declaration of Dortmund” under the slogan: "Now is the time for strong and militant trade unions in the crisis", where people vehemently oppose the disciplinary actions in the trade union.

We have to use the upcoming works council elections in order to criticize the policy of class collaboration of the reformist trade union leaders and to stand up for militant alternatives. The least that the workers' movement need in the coming time is a division according to different political directions.

In the recent weeks it seems that the environmental movement has revived again significantly …

For years the general public was given the impression that now in Copenhagen the urgently necessary steps to reduce CO2 would finally be taken – even to a greater extent after the election of Obama in the USA. The more sobering is the result. All the fuss in Copenhagen demonstrates the total failure of imperialist ecologism. This imperialist ecologism tries to use the environmental problem as a platform for the imperialist competition and power struggle. The failure of the initially ambitious goals in Copenhagen to stop the changes of the world climate shows the inability of the imperialist world system to solve the urgent problems of humanity.

Already with the beginning of the world economic crisis and even more by the new government the already insufficient concessions concerning environmental issues have been canceled. Only a few years ago Angela Merkel presented herself as “climate chancellor”. Now the new government has increased the operating lifetime of the nuclear power stations as one of its first official acts. Thus a criminal nuclear pollution of man and nature is being pursued in many countries of the world. It adheres to the scandalous policy of building further coal power stations. The focus on fossil energy sources is perpetuated. Renewable energies are only promoted in case German monopolies see chances iin their struggle for world market leadership. The German monopolies gave Chancellor Merkel the order not to make “unbalanced” promises in Copenhagen. An obligatory climate agreement would only be acceptable with advantages for the German monopolies to achieve or strengthen their world market leadership with environmental technology as their “best-selling export line”. All this has nothing to do with the urgently necessary turn to renewable energies and closed-loop economy.

The hypocritical phrase about the compatibility of environment protection and economy turns out to be the despicable subjugation of the rescuing of the environment to the profit interests of the monopolies.

On this background it is remarkable how the international resistance against the climate catastrophe is forming. In the last weeks there were protest activities for climate protection, partly on a massive scale, in 108 countries of the world. In Copenhagen alone about 200,000 people participated in the mass protests. There are also growing confrontations of the leading imperialist countries with the neocolonially dependent countries. Those who are least responsible for the climate catastrophe jeopardizing humanity are at the same time most massively affected by the climate changes already occurring today. A number of groups of islands will disappear in the coming decades; entire areas, especially in the neocolonially dependent and oppressed countries, fall victim to the sea floods. The expansion of the deserts, the destruction of the rain forests – all this hits above all the population of those countries in which starvation is mostly raging. The presidents of Bolivia, Venezuela and the Maledives showed their solidarity with the demonstrators, a growing number of African countries demand that the CO2 pollution has to be reduced to the level it had 20 years ago. This demand justly addresses mainly the imperialist states, together with the demand for a compensation for the present destruction in these countries. The consciousness about the necessary struggle against the monopolies and their greed for profit, mainly responsible for the environmental crisis, has grown again.

In the environmental movement the internationalist spirit has also clearly revived. Many even accredited NGO representatives were thrown out of the Copenhagen climate conference on 16 December, some eveny forcibly. Together with the escalation of state terror and the abolition of democratic rights, these show that the hitherto predominating lobbying strategy of petty-bourgeois ecologism suffered a severe setback. Copenhagen was an important lesson for the necessity of building an international resistance front against the monopolies’ greed for profit.

The rebellious spirit among the youth revived clearly with the protests in the education sector. There must be reasons for this …

The crisis dampening policy of the ruling powers is least successful among the youth . The development in the recent weeks is particularly remarkable. While in the summer about 270,000 participated in those protests in the education sector, this time there are about 100,000 up to now. But it has to be taken into account that these protests took place shortly after the change of government and explicitly found acceptance against sceptical and obstructive forces, who first wanted to give the new government and its alleged educational initiatives a chance.

In contrast to the pupil and student protests in the last years, there was an international wave of student protests, coordinated all over Europe, with occupations of lecture halls, demonstrations and political boycotts. At some universities thousands of students participated in mass discussions about the education system, about the “issue of the system”, allies in the workers’ and social movement etc. There were also single infringements of demonstrating and fighting pupils and students by the police like in Essen. At the same time the government pretends to be serious about important demands of the pupil and student protests. But it restricts itself to superficial concessions to the demands for the arrangement of the courses of study and a slight increase of the state grant. In the media they talked only about protests to improve the study conditions. In reality, the discontent of the youth is much deeper. The protesters are attacking the disciplining through marks for behavior, and they are opposing the more and more direct subordination of education to the profit interests of the international monopolies. They are explicitly more internationalist and increasingly open for uniting with the workers’ movement. It is also striking that the active pupils are mostly coming from the middle school; many working-class children and youth are active, especially migrants. This could be a signal that the rebellious spirit is spreading again among the learning and studying youth after decades of a certain calm. The MLPD and REBELL are playing an active role in these struggles; they actively took part in demonstrations in at least 30 cities, organized open microphones, participated to a greater extent in directly organizing actions of struggle. At the same time there is still a significant amount of hostility towards organization in the protests. Sometimes anti-communist reservations are even being spread intentionally. Only if you are organized can you be successful; only if you are organized can you learn everything that is necessary for a successful rebellion against the ruling powers; only if you are organized can you find the backing which is necessary to oppose the social mainstream for a long time; only if they are organized can the youth lastingly become the practical avant-garde of the struggle.

Are there only students and pupils in the center of the present youth movement and which tasks does the MLPD see in it?

The rebellion of the youth does absolutely not only involve pupils and students, but also a number of struggles of the working-class youth against their not being employed after completing training in a company, like e.g. at Hoechst in Frankfurt.

Organizing the rebellion of the youth is the main field of the Marxist-Leninist youth work, which means that the building up of Rebell has to be more closely connected to the promotion of the rebellion of the youth. At the same time, it has to take the interests of the youth in the fields of sport and culture more into account and to promote the rebellion of the youth as a school of life of the proletarian mode of thinking.

The criticism-self-criticism campaign on Marxist-Leninist youth work which was launched last year still has to be led to a full success. A lot of initiatives of the members and leading bodies of the party have been developed which, however, have not brought about sustainable changes in our youth work due to a certain lack of leadership of our responsible comrades. Especially the necessary reacquisition of our youth-political line has been neglected and a pragmatic tendency has even partly been strengthened.

Therefore, the Central Committee decided to extend the criticism-self-criticism campaign and to concentrate an entire tactical main task on it at the beginning of 2010. Starting in January we also want to introduce a new type of youth pages in the “Red Flag” which are supposed to become a compass for the youth work of the party, Rebell and Red Foxes.

In another interview you talked about the building of an international coordination of revolutionary parties and organizations (ICOR). What has become of this project?

The three-year preparation in which almost 70 parties and organizations are participating has meanwhile resulted in a first significant success. After a common understanding on the significance and necessity of the creation of an international form of coordination and cooperation was first elaborated in a very intensive discussion, the phase of the concrete preparation of the world conference for the founding of ICOR could meanwhile be initiated.

The revisionist degeneration of all former communist parties led to a low ebb of the Marxist-Leninist movement.

With the founding of ICOR a significant step will be taken for overcoming the fragmentation of the international revolutionary and working-class movement and a suitable common form of organization for an new upswing in the struggle for genuine socialism under today's conditions will be found.

The objective basis is the deepest world economic and financial crisis in the existence of capitalism.

Of course, we have to theoretically assimilate and “think ahead” about the fundamentally new tasks that arise out of the reorganization of international production for us Marxist-Leninists. For this reason we work simultaneously on our theoretical organ REVOLUTIONÄRER WEG 32-34 (revolutionary way) on the "Strategy and Tactics of the International Revolution", while at the same time we are participating in the practical process of the preparation of ICOR. As seldom the case before, this is interpenetrated with the close and manifold contacts to the parties and representatives of the worldwide Marxist-Leninist and working-class movement, whose manifold experiences and knowledge no single party can encompass alone.

Already during the preparatory phase, the participants of ICOR have committed themselves to the common support of international projects. A first great test in this respect is the support for and participation in the preparation and organization of the World Women's Conference of rank-and-file women in Venezuela in 2011.

Is the World Women's Conference of rank-and-file women primarily an internationalist task?

The World Women's Conference is a great internationalist project having an ueberparteilich character (above party lines) which should represent the entire range of the militant and international women's movement. The idea of an international meeting of rank- and-file women is welcomed in Germany with great enthusiasm, and there are many initiatives for the preparation. However, in our party work we also recognize that this is often separated from winning new women and girls for the organizations of the militant women's movement like, for example, the ueberparteilich women's league Courage, the strengthening of trade-union women's movement etc.. In the end, the success of an international highlight also depends on whether it represents a correspondingly strong basis in the individual countries. In our party work we set the goal to strengthen mainly the militant women's movement in Germany in these tasks, and from the midst of August we will focus on the promotion of the militant women's mass movement in connection with the support of the preparation of the Women's Political Counsel and the Word Women's Conference. We are expressly setting ourselves this task for all fields of our systematic work among the rank and file.

It has to be mentioned that an underestimation of the "women's issue" has gradually developed in the party after early successes. This refers to the tendency to underestimate the struggle for the liberation of women, the promotion of women, the support of the militant women's movement and mainly the study or new study of our political line regarding the women's issue. Again and again the responsibility for this work is being shifted to individuals or specialists, instead of being made an integral part of the leadership work and work among the rank and file at all levels. In the book "New Perspectives for the Liberation of Women" we had qualified the significance of the militant women's movement, which can only be underlined in the present general social context: "Since the militant women's movement relates to the changes in the entire life circumstances of the masses in capitalist society, it can also become the link between all progressive movements and the proletarian class struggle. ... The militant women's movement must get involved everywhere and give expression to the fact that there can be no social progress without struggling for the liberation of women." (p.275-276)

The starting point for a successful main tactical task is to overcome the pushing aside of the women's political line of the MLPD and its thorough study.

How do you assess the offensive for genuine socialism which the MLPD launched in the national elections now that some time has passed?

This offensive was an excellent common action of the entire party. We had to fight extraordinarily hard for this success. The entire offensive took place in a complicated transitional situation in which the trend to the left developed, the world economic crisis broke out, the unique international crisis management was initiated and also took effect. New tactics in the actions taken against the MLPD were also developed : Anticommunism was significantly intensified in the bourgeois mass media, as well as the direct attacks against the MLPD - while the MLPD was never mentioned by name. We were submitted to an almost one hundred percent media boycott, which was supposed to prove our "insignificance". With that, the ruling powers objectively supported the strengthening of the Left party as the lesser evil.

Last but not least, we had to fight against a tendency of scepticism among the masses regarding all parties, which made our offensive temporarily more difficult.

We had to assess the situation and to draw the correct conclusions. From the beginning of our offensive we discussed that we have to develop a polemic against the bourgeois political economy, against the bourgeois crisis management of the government, but also against the moving forces of the left reformist and reformist concepts and to attack anticommunism in an offensive manner. However, this fundamental line asserted itself only gradually. In connection with the shying back from the, in part, aggressive anticommunist smear campaign against our comrades, the view was partially held that success could be gained more rapidly if you conform to the general trend to the left or follow it uncritically. However, this trend also includes a strong left-reformist and parliamentary direction, which in the end is directed against the revolutionary position of the MLPD. The task of the MLPD is to strengthen the revolutionary direction within the trend to the left! In the end, it finally realized this task magnificently. However, in the face of the new demands, problems arose when certain opportunist deep-rooted attitudes were not overcome. This applies for instance to a habituation of restricting the work to militant trade unionism and of shrinking back from the systematic work of persuasion for genuine socialism. This opportunist direction found its open expression in "Rote Fahne" No. 36 which appeared in September with the headline "Your ballot for the working-class' offensive". Shortly after the excellent start of the election campaign in Hamburg, it objectively spread a counter-orientation to the offensive for genuine socialism. It almost completely ignored the election campaign of the MLPD. This was done to such an extent that the regional upbeat rallies and main rallies of the MLPD were not even announced. Instead it oriented toward the "climax of the election campaign" to the time after the elections, when the attacks would be starting and the workers and the broad masses would probably be spontaneously engaging in struggles.

This "Rote Fahne" was also directed against our personal election campaign by totally ignoring the leading representatives. Obviously, the smear campaign about the "cult of personality", which was launched against the MLPD and mainly my person by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution for years, has also latently had its effects, and this was an attempt “to counter it” in this way. In the offensive we could win masses of people convincingly exactly there where we attacked the anticommunist slogans in an offensive manner.

The open debate within the party about this "Rote Fahne" enabled a fast unification and self-critical rectification resulting in the fact that the offensive for genuine socialism could be intensified and concluded successfully. MLPD and Rebell went off "like a rocket". The last weeks of the election campaign were marked by such creativity, revolutionary spirit, variety of ideas and initiatives that it was not by chance that we won almost half of the 5,600 election supporters exactly in this phase . Once more the doctrine of the mode of thinking was a guarantee to cope with the petty-bourgeois mode of thinking and develop a successful work in the face of strong opposition.

In the last interview you said that the task of the MLPD is "to secure the achievements of the offensive for genuine socialism". What has become of that?

After the success of our offensive, many comrades assumed that the offensive will continue, and that only the main focus will be shifted. This notion ignores the laws of an offensive, which requires much energy. So much that it sometimes exceeds the normal capacity of the forces. On the other hand, every successful offensive wins new forces. However, these forces have first to be integrated into the "troops"; they have to learn and understand their principles and rules, find their place, identify themselves with the troops and feel at home, before they can become a real enforcement. For this reason the famous military scientist Clausewitz taught that firstly, the offensive should not be continued beyond a certain limit, but secondly, should to be brought to an end with the victory, in order to thirdly, secure the victory in the defense. We in the CC have therefore come to the conclusion that after the phase of the offensive, a temporary phase of defense has to follow in the party work. Many comrades had interpreted the term of defensive in party building in a one-sided negative way, as if defensive means capitulation or retreat. This, of course, also has something to do with the fact that our comrades have an offensive basic attitude, which is correct. With the strengthening of our forces in the temporary defensive our work in party building - in the sense of Clausewitz - we orientate our work towards a lasting consolidation of the success and, with that, towards the preparation of a new offensive. It is exactly the dialectical treatment of offensive and defensive in party building and class struggle which guarantees the unity of strategy and tactics.

What are the plans of the MLPD for the near future?

Primarily we have to do a lot of theoretical work. The work on REVOLUTIONÄRER WEG 32 on the strategy and tactics of the international revolution has to be concluded, as well as the work on the continuation of the doctrine of the mode of thinking. Within the organization, delegates' conferences on the local level and in the regional party organizations will soon take place. These will take stock with regard to the first test of the newly elected regional leaderships.

The MLPD has to fight for a new quality of proletarian internationalism - that is the conclusion from the new developments and essential changes of the reorganization of the international production and the task of the preparation of the international revolution.

The Central Committee has decided in consensus with the responsible regional leaderships to participate again in the state elections of Saxony-Anhalt in 2011 and in the elections for the Hamburg senate in 2012, in order to strengthen party building in Hamburg.

Mainly in 2010 and 2011, we have to reckon with "eruptions" like at the Daimler company in Sindelfingen happening more often, which we will use for the development of the workers' offensive, active people's resistance and the rebellion of the youth. These are the tactical preconditions for reaching a new strategic starting position in the struggle for genuine socialism. In 2009, the organization has fought valiantly in the face of strong opposition, and it will be well prepared for these tasks.

I wish all comrades, friends, but also our companions in struggle of the international revolutionary and working-class movement a militant, successful new year!

Thank you very much for the excellent cooperation!

Thank you very much for the interview, and we wish you and the MLPD a successful year 2010!


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