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Thread: The Left Party (Die Linke)

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    The Left Party (Die Linke)

    German has a "new" party called "The Left Party":
    Another new start for the PDS

    After much back and forth, Germany's reform communist PDS party on Sunday voted in favor of joining a new leftist alliance, and agreed to change their name, as expected, to The Left Party.

    Delegates at an extraordinary Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) congress in Berlin on Sunday supported the measure to join a splinter far-left party by 74.6 percent, easily reaching the two-thirds majority requirement.

    With the move, the PDS will now be known, together with the WASG party headed by former Social Democrat chairman Oskar Lafontaine, as "Die Linkspartei," or "The Left Party." The letters "PDS" may still be tacked on at the end, an option that particularly the party's eastern German branches intend to make use of.
    Source

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    Post Re: Goodbye PDS, Hello "Left Party"

    "The Left Party." How original! We should form "The Right Party." "Right" having two meanings.
    "I do not know what horrified me most at that time: the economic misery of my companions, their moral and ethical coarseness, or the low level of their intellectual development." Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

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    The Left Party (Die Linke)

    A new socialist political party in Germany is successfully turning its populist message into votes. Kyle James examines the rise of The Left and its impact on German politics.

    In a community hall in the small western German state of Saarland, a group of around 300 people, mostly coal miners and their families, recently gave their rapt attention to a politician on stage, who was telling them exactly what they wanted to hear.

    He said that mining had a future in Germany even though coal imports are now much cheaper than heavily subsidized domestic supplies. He lambasted the government for not doing more to help out this industrial region near the French border that has struggled with structural change. And he castigated the rich, calling for the introduction of a wealth tax and raising corporate tax rates.

    "It's immoral," he yelled from the stage, referring to government policies that benefit corporations while welfare benefits are cut. "Higher income people have to contribute their fair share."

    Then Oskar Lafontaine stepped back slightly from the podium and let the loud and sustained applause wash over him.

    Lafontaine is a co-leader of Die Linke, or The Left party, a new socialist force enjoying unprecedented levels of support for a young political movement in Germany. The party was created last year out of a merger between the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the reformed communist party from East Germany, and a small left-wing party in western Germany made up of discontented former members of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD). Mostly western trade unionists, they believe the SPD betrayed its principles by drastically reforming the country's welfare system under former chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

    ---

    But now The Left has a firm place on Germany's political map – it has representation in 12 of the country's 16 state parliaments – joining the Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, Free Democrats and the Greens in a national five-party landscape, that has made Germany’s traditional model of building governing coalitions at the state level almost obsolete.

    But observers say many voters regard The Left as too radical to govern on a federal level. The party counts among its ranks hardcore communists and former members of the Stasi, the feared East German secret police. Conservative Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble recently described parts of The Left party as "a clear extremist threat," and Germany's domestic intelligence services have been monitoring individual members since the party's inception.

    ---

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    I'm curious what especially the East Germans think of this party.

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    They're right about the greedy capitalists but like I said before, they're traitors to German socialism because they support xenophilia and multiculturalism. German socialism in the GDR was nationalist, enough said. Hardcore communists from the GDR? LOL. They aren't anything hardcore, they're a version of GDR communism "lite". That's what happens when you reform and liberalise policies of an ideology that doesn't preach reform. The disgusting xenophilia in the party is good reason for me not to give them my vote. I support the old style GDR nationalist system as under Honecker, not people who fell into the trap of liberal and democratic crap and support foreigners in my country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kommischweine
    He said that mining had a future in Germany even though coal imports are now much cheaper than heavily subsidized domestic supplies.
    That's odd, coal is notoriously expensive to transport relative to the energy value to be gained by burning it. That's why all the steel producing areas arose around coal mining areas, because it was cheaper to transport the iron ore to the coal (energy) producing places than to transport energy to the iron mining places. Perhaps if Germany eliminated socialist regulations, it would be more cost efficient to mine local coal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kommischweine
    "It's immoral," he yelled from the stage, referring to government policies that benefit corporations while welfare benefits are cut. "Higher income people have to contribute their fair share."
    That will just lead to the exodus of more highly skilled Germans (doctors, engineers, etc) to other countries such as Switzerland, Australia, and the US. Of course, we'd love to have them, but I doubt Germany wishes to lose such highly productive people
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachthimmel View Post
    I'm curious what especially the East Germans think of this party.
    My family vote Left because they're the only socialist alternative and pro-East German alternative in the country. However, I am not so inclined for the reasons Ossi laid out already. The distanced themselves from the SED policies and they are a little too xenophilic for my taste. Although Lafontaine made some speeches about the foreign worker threat but people say that it was just a strategy to gain rightists on their side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ossi View Post
    They're right about the greedy capitalists but like I said before, they're traitors to German socialism because they support xenophilia and multiculturalism. German socialism in the GDR was nationalist, enough said. Hardcore communists from the GDR? LOL. They aren't anything hardcore, they're a version of GDR communism "lite".
    Not talking about the GDR's national-communism. But the promotion of multicultaralism was adopted as the new tactic to help about a Marxist revolt by a new generation of Westeren neo-Marxists.

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    If they are anything like the left in England, they will soon descend into factionalism and break apart. These 'unity' projects usually do.
    I was interested to see PDS involvement - I thought they at least would oppose multiculturalism

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    It's good to see a popular Left Wing movement in Germany , they might actually start making moves to stop further missile deployments there and maybe break its proclaimed role as a western theatre for war. They have had their fair share of that for long enough , imho.

    It is noticeable that there are many people in the former Eastern Bloc countries that have a different view of Leftism than some of their Western counterparts. I don't think that's something that anyone should find surprising considering their different experiences over the past 60 years.

    I find it really interesting.

    I agree that the Left in Western Europe has for too long suffered from factional infighting. This ,imo , has changed with the new movements that have appeared in opposition to the Neoliberal agenda which has gathered tremendous pace over the last few decades and particularly since the September 11 th attacks in New York and the Pentagon.

    The Anti Capitalist , Anti War and World Development movements have responded and enjoy rapidly growing memberships. The British Anti War ( Iraq/Afghanistan ) campaign brought the largest protests Britain has ever witnessed. Seattle spoke for itself. As did Genoa and others.

    If the truth about the occupation of Iraq/Afghanistan , not the sanitized version promoted by the Corporate media , were known , we can only guess as to the comparisons to the US movements of the 60's inspired by the war in Vietnam and how the establishment required clean underwear due to the ructions within society.

    It will be these movements that will bring together socialists from the West and the East post USSR. If that fails then I would think it would be good night Vienna for everyone except the top one percent of the rich and powerful around the globe.
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    German authorities to warn against Left party extremists

    Germany's domestic intelligence agency will reportedly warn against communist extremist infiltration of the hard-line socialist Left party, in an official report to be presented on Thursday.

    The as-yet unpublished assessment from the Bundesverfassungsschutz, the domestic intelligence agency, dedicates six pages to "openly extremist structures" in The Left, or Die Linke in German, according to the Wednesday edition of Bild.

    Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble will officially present the report on Thursday in Berlin.

    Schäuble, a member of the conservative Christian Democrat party, has described parts of The Left party as "a clear extremist threat." Germany's domestic intelligence services have been monitoring individual members since parts of the political party was formed from the ashes of the East German communist party.

    Bild reported that the largest subgroup within The Left mentioned in the intelligence report, the so-called Communist Platform (KPF) is described as openly fighting for the overthrow of capitalism. KPF has 840 members in The Left, according to the report.

    About 60 people reportedly belong to the Marxist Forum, described as a collective of orthodox Communist sympathizers that includes members of the former Communist party from East Germany.

    A third group, the 120-member Geraer Dialogue/Socialist Dialogue (GD/SD), seeks to "fight outside of the parliament for social changes," according to the newspaper's report. The report also names the 550-member Socialist Leftists and the 420-member Workers' Alliance Cuba Si.

    The Left party was formed last year out of a merger between the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the reformed communist party from East Germany, and a small left-wing party in western Germany made up of discontented former members of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).

    About 10,000 people have joined since the party's founding - even as Germany's established political parties lose members.

    Source

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