Can the left party still be saved?

Obsolete: Left Election Poster, 2017. Photo: die-linke.de

The resignation of the co-chair exacerbates the crisis of the troubled party. And upcoming defeats are imminent

Inflation is rising to levels that, had they been predicted a few months earlier, would have brought accusations of terror or even fake news. The shortage of some goods, even in one of the essential countries of the North of the Globe, means that the times when almost all goods are always available if you have the money may run out.

In addition, there is an inter-imperialist war on the battlefield in Ukraine, where some Green politicians, who three decades ago wanted NATO to be dissolved, are proving to be particularly agitators.

So the time must be right for a party that sees itself as a critic of capitalism and that emphasizes fighting all forms of militarism. But the Left Party in particular seems interested in its existence. Their losing streak is great. Of note are the results of the 2019 European elections, in which they received just over five per cent, the federal elections, where, fortunately, they were able to enter the Bundestag through three direct states with factional force, right up to the party elections. Crushing defeat in state elections in Saarland.

Of course, there were specific reasons for each of these defeats, in Saarland, for example, Oscar Lafontaine’s exit from the party was timely.

After each defeat, the leadership repeated the same phrases that the party must “remake itself” and that the voters’ warning was finally understood. All these speech bubbles made it very clear: The Left Party leadership staff can’t think of much to save the party.

Only in her resignation did one of the co-leaders, Susan Hennig-Wilso, think of a text that was largely skipped without empty phrases.

At that time, DIE LINKE defined it as the party that gives voice to people forgotten by other parties. Single mothers are in prefabricated apartment complexes and do not have enough money to prepare breakfast for their children. Retirees who collect bottles to make ends meet. Families who are afraid of heating bills because they cannot pay them. Many whose fears and desires often do not play a role. And I said at the time that I didn’t want to wait any longer for a change, because these people could no longer wait, not even for us.

Susan Hennig-Wilso

In fact, the claims and target groups of the politics of the left are named in these sentences. Then, Hennig-Wellsow could directly address the split wings of the party and ask them what they could do to even start making that claim. After all, it is Sahra Wagenknecht who is often insulted and who also claims to want to practice politics for these groups of those left behind especially in capitalism. But isn’t there a problem with this approach?

The proletariat said goodbye to the left

Shouldn’t the politics of the affected left aim to organize themselves rather than make policy for them? Only such organizational processes for retired pensioners and mothers with financial problems rarely occur in ready-made apartment complexes.

Here we quickly come to an objective problem of the politics of the left in many capitalist countries. In France, Italy, and many other countries also, large sections of the proletariat have turned their backs on the left in general and on the left parties as well. On the other hand, most parties – including the Left Party – are now under the control of the progressive petty bourgeoisie, and therefore their political forms and interpretations of the world also dominate the party.

One does not see himself as a force against bourgeois politics in all its aspects, but wants at most moderate reforms. Physical analyzes have been partially replaced by preaching campaigns.

This is reflected in the reaction of prominent politicians of the Left Party to the conflict between NATO and Russia in Ukraine. A leftist position – like Rosa Luxemburg – can see this war as a broad argument for intensifying opposition to capitalism, and under the slogan “This is not our war”, calls on all sides not to fight for profit and national interests leaving the battlefields drifting.

But even in the Left Party, there have long been politicians who see the conflict in Ukraine as a welcome opportunity now to discuss NATO and armaments in a completely neutral way. In her view, the left must remake itself – as the Social Democratic Party. There is still some resistance to this, as demonstrated by the Easter speech in March by left-wing member of the Bundestag Søren Bellmann in Bremen. Completed:

Jean Jaures once said: “Without justice, there is no peace. Capitalism carries war within it like clouds that carry rain. No war. Lay down your arms!”

Soren Bellman

For the government left, which dominates the party in Bremen, it was closely related to the anti-military tradition of the labor movement. As a result, Bellman’s speech was removed from the Left Party’s website because it was too pretentious.

The fact that a politician had been ignored was accepted, who by his direct mandate in Leipzig helped ensure that the Left Party continued to be represented in the Bundestag by the size of his parliamentary group.

But the left-wing SPD is not squeamish either, as Lafontaine’s exit from the party just days before Saarland’s election shows.

He is also imitated by well-known politicians of various wings. While former left-wing Bundestag member Simon Barrientos has left the party because she called for a harsher condemnation of Russia in the Ukraine war, former Thuringian member of state parliament Johanna Scheringer-Wright has left, in her view, Bodo. Ramelow conducts CDU policy in Thuringia.

The only left-wing prime minister should be a thing of the past after the next state election at the latest. The deep crisis of the Left Party can be seen precisely in the fact that not a single current is leaving the party, since most of the eco-socialists left the Green Party around 1990, but everything is crumbling on all fronts.

In fact, it is clear that at least one type of Social Democratic Left and Green List of Alternatives formations should inherit the Left Party. Sören Pellman represents the previous trend, for other politicians such as Sabine Leidig. What has prevented such a split thus far is the knowledge that the party will then lose its place as a class and there is no guarantee that one or even both of the two formations can overcome the five percent hurdle.

The Bunte Liste Saar electorate coalition, which would have become a pilot project for a socio-environmental formation, failed to achieve the Left Party’s result by 1.4 per cent. And after the initial euphoria, climate experts didn’t move either.

Thus the suffering of the Left Party also reflects the problems of left politics in turning capital in non-revolutionary times. Not only political parties are affected. The interventionist left, the largest post-independence coalition of the non-parliamentary left, has to deal with this for now.

These objective conditions, as an obstacle to successful left-wing politics, often do not receive much attention, which in turn exacerbates internal party disagreements, because competitors in their own party or organization are repeatedly blamed for persistent defeats.

#MeToo in the Left Party

So it’s no coincidence that the party that is already in crisis right now must also contend with the #MeToo discussion. Of course, it is positive that leftist deficiencies in leftist theory and practice of patriarchal criticism are addressed. But the question will be where the leftist ideas are in the debate. at same time left-wing politicians The interlocutors often quote the bourgeois media, who hitherto ignored them.

But behind this debate there is also a new way of dealing with materialism in the environment of the awakened petty bourgeoisie. A report by the liberal left-wing newspaper Taz makes this clear.

Critics of the “MeToo” campaign, also found in left-wing circles, can point out that unsubstantiated allegations are sometimes repeated, even though legal action has been stalled.

Anyone who writes an open letter to the feminist left experiences awakened petty-bourgeois ideology in its highest form: patriarchy is linked to capitalism, but no physical classification is provided.

The government’s path left the brakes?

The text also poses a threat to the remaining party leader, Janine Whistler, who is under attack because her former partner has acted abusively towards a young companion. Whistler acted rationally and ended the relationship.

However, the attacks on Whistler came from the right wing of the party, which is now no different from the SPD. They saw their hope in Hennig-Wellsow and now want to dismantle the Social Democratic left Whistler after her resignation. So the destructive feud continues in the party.

The Left Party disaster in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein is programmed. Unless retirees and single mothers led by Hennig-Wellsow, who can no longer afford rent and gas, would really vote for LINKE and give them an electoral success. But who still thinks this is possible?

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