Report on the Conference from September
In the first presentation, Kees van der Pijl contended that the state of emergency justified under the pretext of the Coronavirus must be understood as a preventative counterrevolution, instigated by Western Oligarchs and their organizations in response to the threat of world revolt. Since the 2007-08 financial crisis, a number of strong protest movements have emerged which van der Pijl argues have unsettled the ruling class. This includes the “Arab Spring” of 2011; the protests against EU-imposed austerity in Greece, Spain, and Portugal; the Occupy wal Street Movement in the U.S.; the Yellow Vests in France; as well as right-wing populists and Islamists.
With the global state of emergency established under the pretext of the Coronavirus in March 2020, these and other protests could be suppressed. The western capitalist class, no longer capable of making even minor concessions to the workers, could only rule through fear-mongering. van der Pijl identifies an important foundation for this strategy in the thought of U.S. political scientist Phillip Zelikow, who also served as the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission and as the Counselor of the US State Department under George W. Bush. Zelikow argues that politics is built around ‘pubic myths,’ which need not be true, but must be seared into the public consciousness through shocking, fear-and-panic-inducing events.
The capitalist elite, assembled at the World Economic Forum, employed this state of emergency along the lines of the “shock doctrine” strategy described by Naomi Klein to drive through the ‘Great Reset.’ van der Pijl interpreted this as a new form of capitalism which combines massively intensified exploitation with total surveillance, and argues that the only humane alternative is socialism with an improved form of planned economy. He also argued that better conditions now exist for such a project than prevailed under »state socialism« due to the progress of computer technology and the Internet. In the ensuing discussion, the use of terms such as »state socialism« was criticized as defamatory. Furthermore, the role of shadow banks like Blackrock, possible differences between US and German capital, and the historical mission of the working class in relation to the »class of consciousness« addressed by Kees were discussed.
A video of the presentation in German is available: https://odysee.com/@freielinkezukunft:4/Kees-van-der-Pijl — Konterrevolution-und-Revolte:c
Flavia began her talk with the proposition that there can be no talk of a unified agenda of world capitalism. She argued, nonetheless, that despite partial conflicts, there is a commonality and convergence of interests, especially in the West. In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, we have seen a consistent policy of consumption reduction, social cuts, political disciplining and depopulation under the guise of ever more manufactured crises and emergencies (the mRNA substances could, she speculated, represent an experiment in this direction, especially with regard to possible mass sterilization). We are not dealing with a regular, cyclical crisis of capitalism, but with a systemic one. The West is reacting on multiple levels: financial, economic, military, social, sanitary, environmental, political. The consolidation of the West’s Malthusian policy is carried out through an intensification of imperialism, a worldwide predatory campaign coupled with intensified exploitation both at home and abroad, which simultaneously furnishes a permanent crisis to be managed despotically. Hence the authoritarian turn in the West and the aggression against China and Russia. This necessarily also leads to internal tensions, which are to be kept under control with the manufactured states of emergency and surveillance architectures. In this regard, Italy figures as a laboratory. Many of the repressive measures (»lockdown,« digital ID, rationing, citizen’s money, etc.) were first tried out in Italy before being applied elsewhere.
The “fascism” question is hotly debated within the oppositional left. Flavia argued that an essential difference with traditional fascism and the current program lies in the current strategy of demobilization, i.e., the political and social passivization of the masses, corresponding to an apolitical, technocratic state. With respect to the (then-upcoming) elections, she saw only shades of one and the same tendency on the ballot, with only the »sovereignists« perhaps representing some differentiation. She emphasized that the extreme right were not capable of taking over the resistance to the Corona measures in Italy. The Assemblea Militante was founded as an attempt to coordinate the leftist forces in the resistance and to raise awareness of the prevailing conditions. She sees their chief task for the fall to be transforming the People’s Committees against the Green Pass into those »against states of emergency, victimization and wars.« Finally, she stressed the importance of the Prague meeting, though the delegates represent, for the moment, small minorities in their respective countries. She hopes that international exchanges will lead to progress in analysis and the development of uniform practices.
The text of the entire presentation: Flavia-AM-Capitalism’s agenda and strategy-PERMANENT CRISIS
Red Kahina argued that the current program of the ruling class amounts, essentially, to a siege of all humanity. She outlinedthe trajectory of the global class war since 1991 inorder to clarify and contextualize the role of the Corona operation. She analyzed the strategies of pseudo-critique and pseudo-opposition used to try to prevent a renaissance of a worldwide communist movement, which she believes is eminently possible right now. She placed the coercive measures, massively expanded under the cover of the ‘pandemic’, in a broader context of ruling class practice over the past decades. She emphasized the precedents for enslavement and mass improvershment. Individual aspects of this were discussed from many perspectives.
A video of the presentation in English is available: https://odysee.com/@freielinkezukunft:4/Red-Kahina — The-Siege:4 https://odysee.com/@freielinkezukunft:4/Red-Kahina — Summing-up-The-Siege:c
malcom z: Most-known-unknown: Popcult of Subjugation as Mega-strategy of World Imperialism since 1945, Enlightened Analysis, Resistant Answers. If you Dare
Malcolm Z emphasized that his lecture was not intended to compete with the Marxist approach, which he noted was an indispensable prerequisite for understanding the Corona staging. Instead, he aimed to provide an explanation of how modern propaganda works by analyzing the means of propaganda, from words to music, from pussy shaving to tattoos. He argued that recognizing this is a prerequisite, especially for communists, in order to be able to see behind the maneuvers of the rulers at all. Malcolm considers blindness to these questions to be a possible explanation for the failure of the left on the subject of »Corona«. He prefaced his presentation with an overview of his own oeuvre, which primarily revolves around the analysis and critique of ideology through language.
As a dispossessed citizen of the GDR, he is equipped with the appropriate education and perspective to provide a critique of Western propaganda and its techniques that cannot be found elsewhere; namely, he identifies it as an amalgam of Nazi youth culture and American commercial culture. He argued that the post-War Federal Republic of Germany was indeed fascist, illustrating his contention by comparing the annexation of East Germany (i.e. German Reunification) with the prior annexations initiated under Hitler.. Finally, in view of the illegal annexation of the GDR and the human rights crimes committed during the annexation, Malcom Z proposed establishing a provisional government of the GDR. He argued that this would have the advantage, among other things, of sparing us all the undemocratic electoral theater, in which the bourgeoisie can hardly be beaten anyway.
A video of the presentation in German is available: https://odysee.com/@freielinkezukunft:4/Malcolm‑Z — Der-wei ProzentC3 Prozent9Fe-Nigger-aus-Deutsch-Nordost:2
Lello, Assemblea Militante, Italy: Centralization of the Means of Production, Social relations, and State control to Save Capital as the Goal of Pandemic Management
Lello stressed that the policies implemented under the guise of the pandemic were neither a response to a contingent natural event, nor sprung from a mad conspiracy by a despot. Rather, they were a targeted response to problems which arose from capitalism’s historical crisis of accumulation. Since 2008, the world economy has been threatened by the devaluation of financial capital, which no longer succeeds in realizing itself in living labor. He argued that, in order to maneuver between the Scylla of a recession and the Charybdis of an inflation crisis, the rulers choose to curb production by means of »lockdowns.” This was flanked by stabilization of the financial markets through central bank borrowing and preventive counterinsurgency through strict population control. This had succeeded in postponing the collapse for the time being, he concludes, but in the course of the next emergency, Ukraine, the problem of recession as well as inflation must arise with even greater virulence.
Lello interpreted the worldwide struggles against the disciplinary measures initiated under the pretext of Corona as a real rupture between the rulers and the exploited classes. He argued that we should not expect a restart of a normal accumulation cycle, but rather a repeat of the crisis and ever stronger despotic countermeasures from the side of the capital. Further internal disciplining along with aggressive external action against Russia and China are to be expected, he said, in order to secure raw materials and to gain control of international value chains against emerging competitors. This time, the policy of impoverishment is fueled by war propaganda. He argues that the class conscious left must stand by China and Russia, whose policies are bourgeois, but whose proletariat can exact concessions for its efforts in the course of these intercapitalist disputes. Ultimately, Lello said, the essential insights of Marx, Lenin, and Bordiga remain valid and are indispensable for understanding the present, especially the increasing difficulty of capital to realize profits, which will only grow due to automation and ever higher shares of fixed capital. Therefore, in postponing the realization of profits into the future, financial capital grows so closely related to productive capital that a crisis of the former necessarily causes a crisis of the latter.
This deep accumulation crisis of capital is the cause of the »totalitarian« expansion in the search for absorption of surplus value from all spheres of life, and is the real reason for the totalitarian tendency evident today. This is also the reason why today the proletariat is not only fighting for its own liberation, but for the liberation of all humanity. He concludes that the resistance against this invasive, totalitarian capitalism must be equally total: it must fight against the mechanisms of modern capitalism in their entirety. In the end, the confrontation remains between capitalism and communism – there is no longer an in-between.
The text of the entire presentation: Lello, Assemblea Militante, Italy-Centralization of the Means of Production, Social relations, and State control to Save Capital as the Goal of Pandemic Management
Kees van der Pijl reported on the resistance against the »lockdown« in the Netherlands as well as the brutality of the police during protests. He noted that the country is currently experiencing large protests by farmers, who the government wants to ban from using fertilizers, especially near nature reserves, due to an EU regulation. Up to a third of the farmers could no longer operate if the plans were enforced. Their farms could then be snatched up cheaply by big business, enabling the further implementation of the “Great Reset” in the agricultural sector. A sharp decline in food production in the Netherlands and all of Europe could be expected if the farmers lose the battles. However, Kees is quite optimistic that the farmers‹ protests, which are strengthened by the support of the protest movement against the Corona policy, and argued that they could even overturn the neoliberal regime in The Hague.
Walter argued that Austria was also a laboratory for the Great Reset. The NGOs, Social Democrats, Greens, and other left-wing groups were in favor of »lockdowns« and compulsory vaccination. In response, the largest social movement since the general strike initiated by the KPÖ ( Austrian communist party) in 1950 emerged. More than 100,000 people demonstrated weekly in Vienna in November and December of 2021 and January 2022, and many more took part in very large protests in other cities. Nevertheless, in comparison to Germany, France, or Italy, there was hardly any repression of the protest movement. Walter suggested this could be attributed to the fact that the FPÖ, a strong right-wing populist parliamentary party, acted as the movement’s protective power, and that the governing parties were very much preoccupied with themselves.
The Free Left Austria took part in many large demonstrations in Vienna and organized its own events with other left-wing alliance partners. In general, the protest movement was strongly influenced by right-wing and bourgeois groups, and parties such as the FPÖ, or the bourgeois party »People, Freedom, Fundamental Rights« (MFG), which emerged from the movement. So far, it has only been possible to break through their hegemony to a minor extent. Walter saw the abolition of compulsory vaccination in June 2022 as the greatest success of the protests and as a defeat for the government. In particular, he emphasizes that the mass protests have politicized many citizens for the first time, which gives reason to hope for deep social opposition to the advocates of the previous policy line in the coming years. Furthermore, trust in politicians has been deeply damaged. This was demonstrated, among other things, by the fact that four non-party candidates succeeded in collecting the 6,000 supporter signatures necessary to participate in the election of the Federal President.
The FLOE representative went on to discuss the increasing decline of the traditional liberal-conservative governing party, the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), while noting the corresponding alternative danger of a red-green government. All these parties are in favor of sanctioning Russia. Walter concluded with some remarks about the FLOE and its activities, particularly their decision to acquire party status. This was initially done mainly for legal and organizational reasons. Participation in elections is not on the agenda at the moment, he said. They cooperate with the online periodical Roten Fahne and the »Demokratie und Grundrechte“ campaign. They maintain their own event room and use it accordingly. They also have their own organ, the Red Phoenix. Their main focus in the future will be fighting for peace with Russia.
In his presentation, Jan Müller summarized the most important events of the last two years in Germany, where »lockdowns« lasted from March 22 to June 15, 2020, and then from November 1, 2020 to June 2021, the former being one of the harshest in the world. He identified the beginnings of the protest movement with an action on March 28, 2020 in Berlin, in which Anselm Lenz, Hendrik Sodenkamp and Batseba N’Diaye distributed copies of the Basic Law (provisional constitution of the FRG) in front of the Volksbühne, and were chased by police for doing so. The protest expanded into the spring, most notably in Stuttgart, under the mantle of Michael Ballweg’s “Querdenker” (Lateral Thinker) movement. These culminated on the 16th of May with a protest of 25,000 participants. The events in Stuttgart, however, were suspended after up to 200,000 euros worth of Ballweg’s event technology was mysteriously burnt down. Ballweg resumed with the large-scale demonstrations on August 1 and 29, 2020 in Berlin, with several hundred thousand participants, and noted the brutal police violence used in dispersing the demonstrators on August 29, effectively spelling the end of successful larger demonstrations until the fall of 2021. After this point, the government effectively banned protests through onerous and arbitrary “hygiene regulations” and massive police repression. Those who still attempted to protest under these conditions were hounded by the police and fined.
The new approach of the government for the winter of 2021 – 22 was captured in Chancellor Scholz’s declaration that his regime knew no “red lines” in the struggle against the Coronavirus. This pivot, particularly the threat of compulsory vaccination, aroused significant indignation and spurred massive protests. In the period between November 2021 and March 2022, there were Monday evening demonstrations in almost every German city. In December 2021, as well as in January and February 2022, between 300,000 and 500,000 people took to the streets every Monday. In the end, compulsory vaccination was prevented. Finally, Müller summarized the current situation with a focus on the Russian sanctions and their consequences. He argued that these will lead to massive impoverishment and a destruction of our livelihoods. So far, at least in West Germany, no protest movement has developed yet comparable to the one against the Corona sanctions.
According to Müller, correct demands, especially those made at protests eastern Germany, such as the commissioning of Nordstream 2, would soon fail because Russia is already diverting its energy resources to the east. He argued that if Germany wants to remain an industrialized country, it must rely on its own resources. He noted that there are large stocks of hard coal and lignite, natural gas that can be extracted by fracking, and even uranium stored here. He concluded that there was no way around the construction of new nuclear power plants, positioning himself in the ongoing energy debate within the Free Left Future. In the discussion that followed, the thesis was put forward that a German chemical industry based on coal chemistry would not be competitive internationally. Jan Müller countered that new reactor technologies such as the dual-fluid reactor could be used as an energy source for these processes. Then the question of competitiveness would look very different. It was agreed that this was not a short-term solution.
Schuldt began by expressing his dissatisfaction with the »Halle Movement«, whose weekly Monday demonstrations, which began in November 2020, have increasingly gravitated towards esotericism. For this reason he has focused on building up the small FL in Halle, which admittedly could not compete with the 500 active members of the Halle Movement. He reports that the main topic of interest there is still the “Einrichtungsbezogene Impfpflicht” (mandatory vaccine for workers in health professions and care homes, which was passed in Germany, but has been applied in a very partial and fragmented fashion), but increasingly attention is paid to the Russian sanctions and their consequences. He notes that in the Free Left, as well as in the demonstrations in general, the insight that we need a new system is widespread. However, in the eyes of the state, criticism of the system is interpreted as »delegitimization of the state that is relevant to constitutional protection« (i.e. extremists who can be surveilled and potentially more by the German intelligence agency BfV).
Most of the participants of the demonstrations described themselves as apolitical, neither left nor right. According to Schuldt, they interpret left as signifying the neoliberal Antifa, right as Nazis like Sven Liebig. In the rather anarchist-oriented Freie Linke Halle, widespread calls for a caring state would meet with skepticism. The view is widespread there that neither capitalism nor socialism works. Many citizens who had been socialized in the GDR in particular now took this belief for granted. In the Freie Linke Halle, the state per se is seen as an instrument of power, whether of the bourgeoisie or the party bureaucracy, and is therefore rejected despite obvious differences. Marx’s dictum of the state dying away is often cited.
He addressed the question of property relations and a planned economy, with a lengthy digression on China’s adaptation of interdependence balances. In general, the speaker argued that the latter is discredited, but so is capitalism, and sums up the complete disorientation of the demonstrators on these issues. He then discussed the problematic role of right-wing networks within the protest movement in the East. Right-wing networks have been built up over decades and accordingly they can exert their influence. This also works because the frustration of the citizens in the East is so enormous that, he observed, they don’t care if there is a Nazi or a communist on the stage. The main thing is that their protest can be articulated.
In view of the great influence of the right, he argues that the FL should not make the mistake of breaking with the bourgeois part of the protest movement. The goal at the moment could only be to prevent the center from being taken over by the far right.. So far, the FL Halle has succeeded in counteracting far-right attempts at appropriation through its presence, but this is only a snapshot; the situation is generally not easy for small left-wing groups without large structures. The absence of the left, which supported the corona narrative, had a particularly negative impact in the east, as was stated later in the discussion.
Jean-Marie Jacoby, Freie Linke Zukunft Luxemburg: The Situation in Luxembourg from the Point of View of Strategic Questions
Jean-Marie Jacoby reported on the Luxembourgish resistance against the Corona dictatorship, which operates under the name »Polonaise Solidaire/Saturday for Liberty,” as well as his specific role there as a head organizer and communist. He deliberately interweaved these descriptions with strategic considerations. In Luxemburg, for example, the pacifist attitude of the lateral thinkers (i.e. “Querdenker,” the most organized segment of the protest movement in Germany) was not adopted from the outset; instead, it was signaled from the beginning that one would react to violence with resistance. Consequently, Jacoby argued, they were able to preempt and escape the sort of violent repression suffered in Germany. Only at unannounced demonstrations by other groups did the police use force, with the support of Belgian units.
Jacoby stressed the role of international legal conventions, such as the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and argued that the parliamentary path – as one among many means to be exhausted – offered an important stage for a movement with real power on the streets. Regarding the comparability of today with the past, he noted that the lesson of World War 2 was not that one must not kill Jews, but that one must not kill human beings. As soon as a group of people has to be held up as a scapegoat for everything, immediate resistance is necessary. Jacoby pleaded for clearly identifying and naming the opponent, and called for ending the dictatorship of capital, specifically in its current form of finance-capitalist dictatorship.
He then reported on the creation of the party »Mir d’Vollek« (We, the People) in Luxembourg, and on attacks on the demonstrations of Polonaise Solidaire in relation to the Ukraine policy. He argued that demands for the end of anti-Russia sanctions are the order of the day, because they are the cause of the inflation explosion. He also justified his main slogan, »direct democracy in politics and the economy,« arguing that it goes beyond the bourgeois forces by calling for the democratization of the economy as a decision-making center, but in a fashion that gains more acceptance than were the same idea expressed in Marxist-Leninist vocabulary. In agitation, the packaging is what counts. He stressed that his open identity as a communist has not deterred demonstrators from the protests he co-organizes. He concludes by reminding the audience that the time has come to bury capitalism, as it once was the slave-owning society, and concludes with a resolute »venceremos«!
A video of the presentation in German is available: https://odysee.com/@freielinkezukunft:4/Jean-Marie-Jacoby – Situation-in-Luxemburg:b
Gabriel began her presentation with reference to the West German student movement of 1968, citing the motto »Wer dagegen ist, ist dabei« (roughly, whoever is against it, is there, i.e. there, present at the protests). Sandra addressed the process of politicization and radicalization through protesting itself, using the example of Bommi Baumann and the Vietnam War. With this, and Rudi Dutschke’s maxim that he wanted to change people, she draws a stark contrast with today’s left. She argues that the latter collaborate with the state and capital, and has only contempt for all those who are not already perfect people like themselves. After the fall of communism in 1989, according to Sandra, right-wing structures in the east were deliberately built up and supported with the help of the FRG in order to keep the GDR population down.
Subsequently, controlled, pseudo-left-wing structures were built up and supported in order to divide and manage the population. This basic tactic, she argued, has been applied in earnest since 2020. Fake left orgnizations, supported by the state, deliberately sought to discredit the protests against the state of emergency by means of ‘contact guilt constructs,’ i.e. guilt by association. In order to do so, they would cite the presence at protests of know neo-Nazis who, for their part, had been cultivated by and through state structures. Thus, the state not only practices a targeted defamation campaign, but also actively ensures that it is underpinned by means of the mechanism outlined above. Sandar observed that all it took was to locate or place a single Nazi in a demonstration, in order to enable the media to either defame all participants by extension, or at the very least, exclusively focus reporting on the presence of the Nazi, rather than the concerns of the thousands of demonstrators.
Sandra argued that the Left not only failed to support the protests, but indeed rabidly fought them in order to conform with the demands thel mainstream media.When the Left withdraw, she argues, the forces of authority, unfreedom, and capital win. To illustrate her point, she cited the 2013 Gezi uprising in Turkey. The left-wing Turkish and Kurdish parties did not abandon the protests just because thousands of nationalists were present; rather, they fought for and indeed won hegemony over the protests, claiming them as their own with the slogan “this is our protest.”
By contrast, the German left has not only given up any struggle for a better society, but has tried to enforce capitulation throughout society, employing contact-guilt constructs straight from the Ministry of the Interior. According to Sandra, they consider speaking with people who do not meet their own high moral standards to be reprehensible. That is why the left is now considered loyal to the rulers and part of the elite all over the country. What ordinary people have in common is the desire for a change in the system. Demands to that effect at demonstrations are regularly greeted with great applause. She stresses that it is up to us to take the lead and represent the interests of our class there. Ernst Thälmann, Rosa Luxemburg and Rudi Dutschke would also demonstrate today against the Corona regime, Sandra is sure.
The subsequent discussion first dealt with the question of whether Rudi Dutschke was in fact a reactionary or not. The nature of the Frankfurt School was also discussed. The demand to promote or spread one’s own positions in bourgeois movements was articulated. The call to go to the head of the movement was discussed and basically welcomed by all.
A video of the presentation in German is available: https://odysee.com/@freielinkezukunft:4/Sandra-Gabriel — Strategien‑f ProzentC3 ProzentBCr-einen-Systemwechsel:7
Fabio began by describing the formation of the militant, class-struggle-oriented union SI Cobas in 2008. It emerged out of the struggle against state racism within the predominantly migrant proletariat in the Italian logistics sector. Particularly in the north of Italy, they succeeded in establishing a new balance of power vis-a-vis multinationals. They are openly revolutionary and independent of the pro-government unions.
SOL Cobas emerged from 2016 split from Sl. Cobas. For Fabio, the introduction of the Green Pass regime in Italy, which most unions and leftist groups or parties failed to contest, was a “Waterloo moment” for the class-struggle-oriented left. First, individual SOL Cobas members participated in the mass protests against compulsory vaccination and the Green Pass. Later, they participated as an organization, particularly in Lombardy and Campania, and promoted three nationwide strikes. Fabio traces the widespread political neutrality of the working class in Italy to class-collaborationists of the union leadership, as well as a general lack of political consciousness.
In the wake of the Ukrainian war, Fabio observed the potential for a serious anti-imperialist movement to emerge out the global resistance to the Corona dictatorship. He argued that contradictions and frictions will increase, and that new constellations of class struggle and historical possibilities will consequently arise. Fabio concluded that we as revolutionary leftists have the heavy burden of showing the mass protest movements a perspective in theoretical and organizational terms. To this end, firstly, the political struggle must be intertwined with the economic, and secondly, the centrality of a revolutionary Marxist program must be emphasized. Thirdly, an international network based on the programmatic elements indicated must be built up, for which the conference here marked an important first step.
The text of the entire presentation: Fabio, SOL Cobas, Italy-On the Current Struggles of the Grassroots Union SOL Cobas
The conference concluded with general agreement that first steps had been taken in Prague towards building an international network of left-wing groups which opposed the Ruling Class’s Corona coup, and that this work must be continued. To this end, it was decided to further elaborate upon the prospects for broader and deeper coordination in follow-up meetings to be held soon. The conference was concluded by the singing of the Internationale.
Assemblea Militante (Italy), Freie Linke, Freie Linke Österreich (FLOE), Freie Linke Zukunft, Frai Lénk Zukunft Lëtzebuerg, Freie Linke West Aktion, SOL Cobas (Italy), MagMa (publication of the Network Left Resistance)