Theater of Cruelty

More concerned with SPD than PDS

Joachim Bischoff is the ideological leader of the monthly magazine "Sozialismus", a slightly tabloid German "Vardøger" who has followed and inspired the debate on the West German left for over thirty years.


The group around the journal also runs VSA-Verlag, which publishes a few dozen books each year that actively intervene in the reality that the radical part of the trade union movement has to deal with.

Bischoff entered PDS when the wall fell and sat for a period in the party leadership, but withdrew in despair that the party did not care to build any active relationship with the trade union movement. He was instrumental in founding WASG and sits on the federal leadership there.

- The new party WASG was originally strongly against PDS. In the east, the PDS is far to the right, often to the right of the Social Democrats. PDS has around 60.000 members, and 8.000 live off the party. Therefore, they have felt that they manage without contact with the fqg movement.

- There is a full crisis between the trade union movement and the Social Democrats. They really only had support from one of the big unions, from IG Bergbau, Chemie, Energi. Otherwise, Schröder only visited the employers' association in the election campaign.

Both IGMetall and value, the major link for both private and public services, are more oriented towards WASG. Most of the WASG management are also union representatives. This helped DGB (German LO) for the first time not give any recommendation on how members should vote.

Objectively, therefore, there is a basis for the same development as in Norway. But then the new left party must be able to challenge the social democrats far more concretely and far more offensively than today.

- 8,7 percent is not enough no matter how big alliances we get with unions and social movements. We must begin to look at social democracy as a potential partner. But we must do so by dealing with the real contradictions within social democracy.

- Our task is to get 1 + 1 to become 3. This does not happen by talking about the benefits of democratic socialism. This is done by creating a political alliance that can seriously take up the fight against the neoliberal forces. For a long time to come, it will be a defensive battle.

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