On the founding of the new party THE LEFT
Declaration of the Federal Coordinating Council of the Communist Platform
Following separate sessions of the Party Congresses of Left Party.PDS and WASG on June 15, 2007, the founding of the new party THE LEFT was sealed on June 16, 2007 in Berlin with only one vote against. That way a unification process that lasted for over two years, carried by great hopes for the unity of the Left, came to a structural end.
The effects of this historical event on the political landscape of the Federal Republic of Germany cannot be overlooked. CDU/CSU and FDP react with anti-Communist reflexes. Representatives of the NPD try it with across-the-frontline offers. The SPD fears elementary political competition. In its ranks – just as among parts of the Greens – the confrontation has broken out whether it was possible to make common cause with the LEFT in the old federal regions and also federation-wide or not.
By those in the SPD, who advocate this, the Red-Red coalition in Berlin is adduced as an exemplary model, at the latest at the Berlin SPD Regional Party Congress on June 30, 2007 that took place in parallel to the constituting party congress of the Berlin LEFT. Also at this constituting party congress, the two main speakers Lothar Bisky and Klaus Lederer in general rated the Berlin regional coalition as a success story. The course of this constituting party congress marked a consolidation, in the course of the party founding process, of the (not only) Berlin protagonists of de facto unconditional government participation. The disastrous electoral result of September 2006 seems forgotten. Those who on grounds of political reason did not support the spectacular counter-tendency by the Berlin WASG majority and committed to the fusion, were nonetheless treated with disdain. None of the candidates proposed by the Berlin WASG for the new regional executive were elected. Elected were the candidates the most warmly recommended to the delegates by the leading Berlin comrades of the former Left Party.PDS.
Developments in Berlin might have a considerable influence on the new party. Last but not least in order to reinforce this influence and to institutionalise it on an inner-party basis, there has constituted itself the Forum of Democratic Socialists (fds) as an association that – to be read this way in the analysis of the Berlin Regional Party Congress of June 30/July 1, 2007 by Stefan Liebich – supplies 14 of 24 members of the Berlin Regional Executive and 4 or 5 Berlin members of the Federal Committee. Apart from a few exceptions, the forum is constituted by deputies, fraction co-operators and of full-time collaborators of the party apparatuses. The fds, equipped with considerable logistical possibilities, will, as already demonstrated in Berlin, both with view to the daily politics of the Party THE LEFT and also in the framework of the programme debate as well direct all its efforts towards dominating the political or respectively programmatic line of the party.
This association will exercise bundled pressure for preparing the new party for its role as coalition partner at the federal level. Linking up to the Bremen electoral results, every success at the elections for the newt two years in Hessen, Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Bavaria, in the Saarland, Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia will be used by the fds to advertise a governmental participation at the federal level. This will undoubtedly go along with confrontations over basic principles of the party programme.
In first place, there will stand – as before – the wrestling for a revision of Munster. It is of symbolic significance that Lothar Bisky one day after the Fusion Party Congress at which the role of the new LEFT as peace party was stressed countless times, was quoted by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung with the statement that the party now needed to lead a debate “in which precisely defined case military force in foreign missions might be justified.” This statement was neither denied, nor was it opposed up to now.
If such tendencies win the upper hand in the new party, essential hopes will be shattered that convey great attractiveness to the process of new party founding and to the new party. Only if the party THE LEFT develops and realises a credible opposition strategy aimed last but not least at alliances with extra-parliamentary movements, it won’t disappoint the millions of hopes – reaching far beyond Germany – that are linked with it at present. We support Oskar Lafontaine’s statement: “The Left must ask the systemic question.” At the same time, we are conscious that this demand makes possible various interpretations and conclusions.
We shall introduce our position into the programmatic debate. That one will probably start very soon. Lothar Bisky recommended reaching a “relative conclusion” of the programmatic work before the federal elections. Practice will demystify the notion of relative conclusion. We, in any event, shall commit in this debate and in daily political life of the new party THE LEFT for the following contents:
1) We commit to the strict maintenance of the peace policy principles decided in the year 2000 in Munster and again confirmed in the programmatic corner points: “We struggle against war and refuse the militarisation of German foreign policy. The federal army may not continue to be employed for military interventions abroad. On the basis of multiple experiences, the question, whether international military interventions on behalf and under control of the UN – if they are combat missions with reference to Chapter VII of the UN-Charta – under current conditions in regional war and civil war constellations contribute to a return to a peaceful development, must be denied.” At the same time, we see our responsibility in contributing to the information that war is not an accidental, purely political phenomenon, but the objective result of the existence and development of capitalism.
2) We engage for a system change. Capitalism reveals its antisocial, namely exploitative, aggressive, and anti-cultural essence more and more every day. Ultimately, it needs to be overcome. In the here and now, it is a matter of the defence against the ever more brutal attacks on the life quality of the majority of the population, especially the solidarity with the “socially weak”. A part of these defensive battles is the struggle for social reforms.
3) We favour a social order where the exploitation of man by man is abolished and man is no longer a “demeaned, an enslaved, an abandoned and a despicable creature” (Marx-Engels-Works, 1/385). Our goal is socialism where the indispensable democracy has its basis in property relations that guarantee that profit maximisation is no longer the measure of all things.
4) We engage for an unprejudiced analysis of socialism in the 20th century and underscore our position that it was historically legitimate and continues to be so. Our solidarity with socialist Cuba is unbroken; the same our sympathy for the countries – especially Venezuela – that go their own road to socialism.
5) We turn against a repressive interior policy getting ever more unsupportable, as this was demonstrated in an exemplary way on the eve and during the G8 summit and deem the defence of the remaining citizens’ freedoms to be indispensable. These liberties to us are indivisible. This demands in particular our practical solidarity with migrants, refugees and asylum applicants.
6) We feel indebted to anti-fascism and see our task in contributing to education on the conditions under which fascism develops and can become socially relevant. We refuse any form of nationalism and racism. Internationalism to us is a high good. Our horror is due both to the stigmatisation of Muslims the same way as to the anti-Semitism again on the rise. We act on the side of the VVN-BdA and other anti-fascist forces for a prohibition of the NPD along with its articulations, auxiliary and successor organisations.
Without in this respect overestimating our force and political possibilities we shall cooperate with all inner-party forces and associations that stand in for these positions as a whole or in part. We cooperate with women and men Communists outside of the party THE LEFT and are active in peace policy, anti-fascist, anti-racist, social and women policy alliance.
One problem that might particularly touch the cooperation of the Marxist and anti-capitalist forces within the new party, should be highlighted: If not all from the East and West associations, be they formerly WASG or PDS, who want a consequently anti-capitalist party and politics, struggle to understand the different particularities marked by decades of different socialisation, there will be enough laughing thirds, as we saw, who will play us out against one another. Nevertheless, we precisely should not bracket differing views on history. Without mutual respect, there will be no optimal cooperation. And respect will only thrive on the acceptance of the experiences and convictions of the respective others. We must bring our respective experiences close to one another. The Communist Platform of the Party THE LEFT will feel particularly obligated to this requirement.
The recognition of the CPF as federation-wide association within the party THE LEFT is guaranteed.
We thank all who have supported us and continue to do so. The quorum necessary for the recognition as federation-wide association is fulfilled in 15 federal countries. The Communist Platform has actively accompanied the fusion process without closing its eyes before possible problems. We were neither euphoric, nor did we close our eyes before the chances of the unification process and its result. That will continue to mark our approach and our political decisions.
 Programmatic Corner Points of the party THE LEFT, resolution by the Party Congresses of WASG and Left Party.PDS on March 24 and 25, 2007 in Dortmund