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Some thoughts not just about "500 Years and the World Economic Summit (WES) Mobilization.

One World - Where is our Resistance?

Abschnitte: * Some of our thoughts* Against the WES an the "500 Year Reich"! * Our Starting Point: * Freedom for all political prisoners! The International fights for the human Rights! * WES and antirascist Initiatives* International Discussion?! * Thoughts on the international Discussion *

In this text, we want to present some of our thoughts and take part in the mobilization against the 500 Years celebrations and the World Economic Summit (WES).

We have tried to develop some concepts to judge our progress and by which we want to be measured. We will refer to aspects of the discussion so far and say what we think. Furthermore, we want to deal with many of our basic political questions, which we feel to be relevant not just in light of 500 years and the WES mobilization. Naturally, we are unable to fully answer these questions. Our ideas must be fragmentary because of the disorganized and splintered nature of the discussion. Our goal is to change this.

More than ever before, today is about finding a new constitution of forces, finding a new way forward. The mobilization against the WES will also benefit from an intensive discussion, evaluation and search for solutions in advance and not just in Munich. If no communication structures are set up or preparations made in the cities to link up in advance then the mass rush to the Munich demo and the action days - which may be possible regardless - will be an illusion. Vice versa, of course that does not mean that structures, etc, could not be built independently of the mobilization against the WES.

We think too often schematically: "Practice comes from discussion, no discussion without practice." Can we even make a basic discussion about strategy the prerequisite for taking initiatives beyond the local or every day level? Do n't we talk too much and do too little as it is? Endless meetings are dominated by one contradiction: that on one hand some are scared of their concrete idea for an action being talked to death, while others are afraid that once again only an organizational and technical discussion will take place. We must keep reminding ourselves of what we all experience in order to change it.

Our modes of behavior and ways of thinking have degenerated into fixed patterns. This has a lot to do with

the unresolved prerequisites - with the very basis of our meetings. We come from a wide range of discussions and practices and do not know what every group does, thinks or plans to do. If we place our main emphasis on analysis and discussion in the "500 years/WES mobilization" (and not just there!), then only because this appears the most difficult thing of all to us; and not because we are only concerned about that aspect.

We have questions and aims independent of the rulers' time tables, but what the rulers are up to is not something we can ignore.

We feel: There is a need for change and we have to take steps now. We can not wait. Various trends come to a crossroads in 1992 - and we have to be there: with our ideas, plans and initiatives. What happens this year is also a testing ground whether we as leftists in the metropoles* - especially here in Germany - are able to learn from our history. Are we are able tocreate a basis to even begin to stand up to today's challenges? The key is to start.

The social and international ground rules have changed. Therefore, our politics also need new orientations. A new phaseof struggle must start.

Whether or not we are able to build/reorganize depends on whether all those at the bottom of the pile, those trashed and condemned as useless, express their hatred in indiscriminate violence or turn this hatred against those in charge, and so commit themselves to life and a meaning to living.

The crisis of the Left, their stagnation, results from the specific conditions in the various countries and the totally new global situation. The metropolitan societies have changed form. The imperialist power center has expanded. The trend is more and more to one world, in which untenable realities exist alongside each other, realities that have no connections with each other any more: The reality of the capitalist system (the winners) and the reality of the peoples and marginalized masses (the losers).

Societies are being driven apart horizontally and vertically world-wide. The social, cultural and political contradictions increase proportionally to the power which has broken away from the social body and become polarized. The logic, interests and aggressiveness of the capitalist elites determine the pace of today's political, economical and social developments. These developments are increasingly characterized by destruction, corruption and violence. Violence is shaping the people of the 21st Century and finds it's expression even in the opposing

culture to the rulers. Here it is sometimes even more potent. The market is driving these developments as a whole and this means that every step taken by capital is also a reaction - crisis management so to speak - of conditions created by capital. The repercussions are world-wide chaos and collapse.

This is the basis for us to redefine our political and social goals and this is the reality we have to change.

In the past years and decades we always believed we had clear answers to the question "What is revolutionary politics?" We often drew these answers up in "political platforms" or "lines". We analyzed the objective developments and discussed models. This was often one dimensional and proved it's fragility no later than when the content of our struggle could no longer be felt in our actions, discussions, organizations and relations.

We no longer had the starting point that we could liberate ourselves from the dirt and the deadly machinery of bourgeois society and that it was a matter of our life and death to do so. In our struggle there was still a declaration of the subjective and social dimension, but in reality this was pushed into the background. The longer we were "active", the less important our motivation became; why each of us, why she or he stood up: Thedesire to change absolutely everything. We don't need to list justifications for this development: We all have heard them in one form or another - even if only a banal "you can't have everything at once."

We think that the question, "What is revolutionary politics?" has to be answered differently today. The answer, our practice, must contain more than an attack on present conditions. It must contain the repossession of life. We must repossess the subjectivity that has been stolen from us and suffocated in the competition and flow of goods and release it in social organization.

All politics are dead, if they refer only to a public-state sphere. The definition and dissection of life, struggle and relations into "political" and "unpolitical" or "private" is bourgeois politics; power seen as divorced from the social relations between the peoples, classes and sexes.

The torn nature of our reality even in trying to stand up against that reality - the self-alienation from perspectives of liberation in our lives and the withdrawal from social contradictions just do not figure into it. To reduce Marx: we think "that the revolution is not only necessary because the ruling class cannot be brought down by any other means, but also because the revolting class can only free itself from all the old filth and become capable of founding a new order via the revolution".

We still translate that at the moment with:Take back every inch of solidarity and humanity in every social and private corner from this system of surplus value production, "Hit them in the mouth", "This is our life, our land" and: "We have to stop the barbaric world system of imperialism here."


The WES takes place in a year where the conquest of the American continent by white European colonialists has it's 500th anniversary. The master nations are celebrating this event with massive pomp and ceremony.

These celebrations are not only an insult to all the victims of European colonialist slavery. 500 years of colonialism have culminated in the foundation of the European Economic Community (EEC). The coincidence of these two events is not coincidental.

European capitalism would never have been able to develop to the extent it has without exploiting the "New World". The necessary capital was imported by the gold and silver ships. The European capitalists would never have been able to extend their advantage without the neo-colonial world economic order, without unequal trade relations and cheap wage production in the factories of the world market. 1992 then, not only sees them celebrating their past successes in producing their wealth; their public pride about these successes also announces a new goal: another 500 years...

The natives call for uprisings and general strikes against the "500 year Empire".

And what about us on this wealthy island in this world order?

The seven leaders of the most powerful states are meeting for a WES in Munich from 6-8 July 1992. The 1992 WES is only one event in a chain of conferences, celebrations and (also) crisis meetings. It is taking place on a back-cloth of 500 years of colonial barbarism (the basis for this world order), the rise of Germany to a superpower, the creation of an internal market, the political union of Europe and the collapse of the soviet system. The racists and fascists have grown confident both in the institutions and on the streets. Sexist oppression and violence is on the increase. Homelessness and misery are also on the rise in European cities.

Today a world-wide capitalist economic system has developed, which is without parallel - also in it's destructiveness - in the history of humanity. A new era has begun, and already human living conditions have been destroyed or large parts of our environment irreparably damaged.

There is no political order that fits the international powers of capital except for a world state which cannot come about because of the internal laws of capitalism. This limits bourgeois crisis management and is a constant source of new conflicts. This applies to both the poor colonies in the South and to the metropolitan societies. The massacre of the Gulf War was the most brutal expression of this development over the last decade.

Epidemics and hunger for millions in Africa, Asia and Latin America, nationalist civil wars in Eastern Europe, expulsion and flight throughout the world are not natural disasters. As long as the causes of this development are not overcome, - so long as capitalism is not abolished - this inhuman spiral will continue. Neither Bush's "New World Order", nor a Green or Social Democrat concept of "Ecological Realignment", let alone any "World Treuhand*" or "Global Revolution" as foreseen by the Club of Rome will change this.

These politics see human beings only as a problem, as a mass to be regulated and controlled. As a result, all these "solutions" are essentially totalitarian education programs on a global scale, controlling systems with dictatorial patterns. These solutions recognize the problems, but are only able to imagine a resolution of these problems in categories of power, domination and oppression. Their criticism of the industrial societies' politics only produces world-wide prescriptions for retaining the market and trade relations, which respect ecological criteria. There is no intent for real social transformation.

To confront the kings of the world economy, and that means the rulers of the world, with protest and resistance in Munich is one way to declare our opposition to this world order. There are also action days and a big anti-conference planned in addition to the mass demonstration. We see all three forms belonging together as a political unit. Just as the mobilizations against the world economic summit and against the 500 years celebrations in October belong together. We see this as an opportunity to come together with people from the grass-roots and liberation movements in the Trikont, Eastern Europe and the Metropoles, to discuss their and our experiences and perspectives in struggle and to unite in action. In this way we can all comprehend reality and change it. That is the strongest motivation for us to participate in this mobilization.

"We have to scratch victory out of the ground and nothing will be forgiven!"

(nazim hikmet)


Capitalist reality in Germany is characterized more and more by the "Time is Money" mentality of bureaucratic elites and the blunt brutality of street nazis, who are gaining ground. The radical Left appears to be living in a world of it's own. It is in a vacuum and is incapable of developing real social alternatives and ideas. The immense potential for these ideas in the people; the knowledge and creativity for rational solutions are constantly emptied of their content by state and capital. These ideas are themselves marketed in a diluted form. Take, for example, the concrete advances of the Anti Nuclear Movement and the growing consciousness for the environment. Today you can buydenture cleansers with a bio-formula and the Bio-General (a German household cleaner) is on the march. Soon we will probably see a Bio-Police and Green Helmets (like the UN Blue Helmets).

Much of our present activities do not entail any social utopia. They are essentially defensive. The flashes of solidarity, the instances of social and cultural identity free of dominance and exploitation that do occur in our anti-racist work, our squats and occupations of centers, the common struggle with revolutionary prisoners, etc, are far from being continual. There is also a total lack of any political concept or strategy for social transformation.

The gaps in this new identity that we have created in struggle result all too often in resignation. The lack of a comprehensive definition of metropolitan reality.

The metropolis is dominated by the production of goods and ideology. The metropolis is like one huge factory, where the general living conditions for the people are subordinate to forced accumulation and consumption, the dictatorship of capital. This process results in the specific metropolitan society. In it, expanding the production of relative surplus value and the formation of capitalist living conditions are identical: Need -

Consumption - Ideology: Consciousness.

This expansion and infiltration takes place throughout society: Everything, all areas of work and learning, space and time works for capital and produces profit. Even in thinking, feeling, behavior, acting, communicating: in short in consciousness and life, in everything the capitalist society reproduces itself and enables itself to function. Everyday life, time and expression are completely in the hands of capital. There is no escape from the logic and the mechanism of production: no wage labor means you can not exist, unless at the cost of others. The needs, plans, hopes, dreams, even words themselves result from the production of goods: the production of goods and consciousness.

Life only starts afterwards. We have not only been "divorced from ourselves" at work for a long time now. Our needs and relations get richer but we are still unable to satisfy them. The human wealth of creativity and creative desire is plundered at work and in life, above all in the removal of this distinction by capital. This alienates us from our situation. This emptiness and alienation does express itself in resistance. However, the majority react with apathy, uncomprehending. There is a constant myth about the society of "yesterday and today", sickness, addiction, self-destruction or destruction of others.

The only access to the 24 hour day controlled by capital, the only entrance to the "real world", the world of money and the market is buying power. It too is shrinking fast. This means that more and more people find their means of satisfying material needs blocked. The expansion of social needs and the increasing difficulty faced by the majority in satisfying them is a contradiction typical of the metropolitan society, just as is toothe accumulation and destruction of social wealth in the metropolis.

All this must attack and deform both the inner life of people and their relations to one another.

Liberation, even the act of getting rid of the goods-value structures within each of us, cannot be a one-time act. Therefore, subjective emancipation is just as important as overthrowing the ruling class. This battlefield is often enough not even recognized - all too often it is seen as a case of first liberating oneself internally, and only then as a liberated person changing the "external" conditions or the later is seen as a final or exclusive goal. Because of this, all too often struggle was either external, superficial, militaristic or in another extreme subjectivist.

Yet, each of us carries a historic memory of this struggle, that must be evaluated to find new ways and strategies. The sweeping changes affect all emancipatory and social struggles, movements and groups world-wide. We in the metropolis are able to contribute a great deal towards the reconstruction of a new humanity, a revolutionary movement, that finishes once and for all with the chaos of capitalism and the destruction of living conditions - and just this is our responsibility.

We must use our experiences to open up the horizon - even if there are only individual women and men amongst us who have shaped and experienced all the phases of struggle over the last twenty years.

For both instances - our present tiny social relevance and our immense potential - every attempt at working on our own history and every search for new ways (like perhaps the mobilization against the "500 years/WES") is vital. Our potential lies in the large mass of people who do not benefit from the islands of wealth any more. The downtrodden and written off - those who try to satisfy their insatiable hunger for life with a shot of "H" -all those in conscious and unconscious opposition to this capitalist nonsense. The number of these people is constantly increasing. The contradictions are becoming sharper and express themselves partly in the warped violence directed against the

weakest of all, in national chauvinism or explosions of violence.

This is where we are absent. We with our years of experience in organizing, with our ability to feel where others are coming from and to put our finger on the sore spot.

After more than 20 years of revolutionary (rank and file or armed, spontaneous and militant) struggle, we find ourselves entering into a very important phase in Germany. The whole world has changed - and our country is not the same one as three years ago. However, that fact alone has not changed the conditions and tasks. The political effects of our struggles, actions and initiatives are extremely limited today. Viewed superficially, it seems that state and society have become immune to left and progressive ideas and solutions. We find ourselves in an isolated social situation that is partly forced on us, but also partly of our own makning. We live so to speak in one of the many segments or even cracks of a multi-faceted society. How many of us think today in categories of solutions for the problems of society as a whole? Many of us are a long way from such thoughts. And probably it is this very distance

that results in our limited influence.

Automatically, the emancipatory contents and goals that resulted from the 60s must fade in the face of this distance. They were worn down like so many of our hopes in the mass militant movements of the 80s. These hopes did not become reality because they were only expressed in purely practical initiatives, where the fighters themselves could not feel enough of themselves.

Therefore it is not the means and form of struggle, that we must re-construct. We will not talk about it in terms of militancy or armed struggle. The methods, means and forms of struggle need each to be discussed on the basis of a concrete political and social context and only that can allow a meaningful discussion about legitimacy

and meaning of the methods used.

More and more often in all sorts of areas, whether it be in connection with the political prisoners or anti-fascist actions, voices are heard appealing to the militant and armed groups to stop fighting to give the rulers a sign. It is expected that the state will then also change. This bazaar way of thinking is certainly also a product of us lacking a common perspective:This, seemingly, easiest way, is not really a way at all. The state, government and capitalism are not "per se" good and only driven to extreme measures by the provocations of the revolutionary struggle. In reality, it is precisely the other way round. Besides, if it were not for the pressure resulting from this struggle, the rulers would have nothing left to fear.

We are shocked by the way which their own "not knowing how to go on" is turned against comrades and against a fighting position.

We want to discuss our historical experiences including the militant armed struggle, but for quite other reasons than to declare this struggle to have failed from the outset and to use it in a deal with the state.

No revolutionary left faction with it's roots in the 60s movement has been able to provide a valid comprehensive strategy. Most did not even claim to want this because they were bound to the spontaneous ups and downs of the movements. In the 70s both the dogmatic party builders and the later Sponti- and Alternative movements failed. The sectional struggles of the 80s, the autonomian and anti-imperialist militancy also ran out of steam.

Despite (or because of) all their breaks and new orientations only the Red Army Faction (RAF) and the Revolutionre Zellen (RZ) have maintained a political and organizational continuity in these years. That forges links from all the historical phases and stages with today and makes their experiences so important for today's discussion. We will have to look for new ways with them and with the revolutionary prisoners.

On the whole there are many questions - of the militant struggle, anti-racist and anti-sexist movements, international solidarity..., questions too about how to develop correctly and coordinate revolutionary organization. We must find ways to organize struggle in keeping with the people's direct needs and interests. That goes for all areas and Left groups.

Not only the radical and revolutionary left is atomized. Hundreds of thousands and millions of people are shut out of the (profit) producing center of bourgeois society (a "2/3s" society or whatever term you want to use.). There are those too who live inside the walls, but still feel contradictions and want to change a lot. These people too are isolated. There are no social or political organisms where a communal life takes place which enable them to express their protest and resistance. We will have to think more consciously about building "people's organizations", "grass-root committees", etc, to fight for our demands.

More than ever we must concern ourselves with the social dimension of our politics. The atomization and dissection of society is not only determined by the objective situation but above all by ourselves. Unless we give ourselves the strength needed, everything burns out, exhausts itself in defence, in running against the existing conditions without any new areas for social development appearing.

To define ourselves as a revolutionary left amidst this division and destruction of the social and cultural relations will always mean building and developing a social identity for ourselves.

Today the effects of capitalist rule are seen in the attempt to deform the very substance of human beings, tailoring them to suit the computerworld. Cut down or styled are just two sides of the same coin. Poverty and misery, brutality and the yuppies, waste and placebos - that is how it is with the metropolis population at the end of the 20th Century. Human abilities, to live together (not being a 'single'), phantasy (not horror-videos) and real communication (not using a computer, BTX machine or Game Boy), etc are withering away. We as a radical left also feel the growing pressure. Our organization was not and is not an island. It is linked by too many threads to the everyday capitalist life albeit under different auspices.

The polarization of society also affects us. It is an existential question to work on ourselves and how we interrelate to each as human beings in this powder keg. This means collectively not only against the power, but also to reveal the creative productivity that is in all of us and protect it. There can be no social offensive from the swamp of our own ghettos.

We will have to learn and discuss a lot. All too often in the (West) German Left, we have seen discussing and fighting separately - as distant from each other as our living and fighting. Discussion lives from words and deeds that result from fighting initiatives.

We find the demand for a basic and strategic debate divorced from any practical expression just as much of an impossibility to understand as a conflict between "grass-root activity" (e.g in anti-racist work) and supra- regional or even international discussion and initiatives. We do not want to play one against the other, but to find a connection, because without a forward-looking perspective, any concrete anti-racist work is doomed to fail.

The Munich Working Group against the WES are right when they say that the revolutionary Left has to do some thinking in the face of the changed situation. However, it is incorrect to say that the objective situation alone is responsible for the condition of the Left. That would mean to set aside all the subjective questions of organization, experiences, defeats and our stamina. The various phases of struggle and why the remaining rump of the Left today is almost without any social significance is not even mentioned. In this respect, it is quite correct to criticize theworking group for having an economistic view of power.

They talk of a "revolutionary resistance", who are to mobilize against the summit. However, our starting point is the complete non-existence of a revolutionary resistance. For us, this is not primarily a question of the state of the Left (tendencies towards disintegration, de-organization, speechlessness). Rather we see that phase of anti-imperialist and autonomous (= revolutionary) resistance to be over, which came from the struggles against the NATO arms build-up, nuclear power, new airports, or the squatter movements. This resistance has run out of steam and has lost it's emancipatory goals. This has also expressed itself from an organizational standpoint: neither the front- or autonomous organizations and networks have been maintained partly due to repression, but primarily because of internal failures.

The discussions about perspectives for the struggle have been practically non-existent. Even where they did happen, they were not carried on in the various movements. Hardly anyone ever tried to make our historical experiences, until now, a part of our debates. The "defeats" were seen as resulting from the subjective failings of individual groups and initiatives or even as individual failures.

The reasons are also to be found in our blindness to the international and social transformations dating from the mid-80s (Roll-back in the metropoles, isolation of the liberation struggles in Trikont, arms race victory over the Soviet Union) and our failure to adapt to the new conditions. Forms of organization and forms of struggle were also prolonged for too long after their time had ended. This was the same for all radical Left factions. Centers, for example, which were conceived as places for social self-organization and were intended to assume social tasks became mere alternative discos or pseudo radical Left party offices. "People's kitchens" became soup kitchens for the "scene", because real "peoples' kitchens" would automatically have had to deal with all kinds of "welfare cases", etc. We could say this for forms of organization and practice because we were part of this development.

The chances for a qualitative change, to extend our field of vision, namely to retake the revolutionary initiative by a collective step over the constructed borders of the individual factions - this chance we had objectively in the '89 hunger strike. All groups felt that they had reached their limits and tried to come together in this mobilization. That at the end of this time, there was no coming together and no common road forward lay only in the fact that we did not look for this consciously.

Today's development has gone on beyond this point and the thread that we could have grasped before 89 is now torn. This means that there has been a break in our continuity. This we can see from the fact that the age of the scene has remained the same. We also take this break in continuity as our starting point. Each prolonging makes the corpse of a political line of development into rotten meat contaminating our thoughts.

If anything, we must see the meaning of "anti-imperialist and autonomous resistance" as being part of the history of liberation struggle in the metropole of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). It is a case of redefining ourselves together with others faced by the same task. This "crisis of the militants" (organized leftists) is not a German phenomena, but an international one. This gives an opportunity for a common international discussion amongst all forces fighting for liberation perspectives.



We must have programatical points for this discussion about new perspectives for liberation. This includes Freedom for all revolutionary prisoners from the resistance world-wide just as much as a new campaign against torture and exploitation, for human rights, the right to food, work, shelter and a social, cultural life with respect and self-determination.

Ultimately, we have to redefine the term "democracy". We can talk about our experience with the western capitalist variety of bourgeois parliamentarism. This experience is also important in view of developments in parts of Africa where a pluralist democracy is viewed as being progressive after a long history of authoritarian governments. The term "democratic socialism" was coined anew in parts of Latin America to define a self-chosen road apart from the (then-still existent) "real and existing socialism" but also apart from social democracy and of course capitalism.

Why do so many movements demand democratic rights, yet we seem unable to do anything with this term?

To talk about this seems to be a matter of urgency to us. Above all we need to talk about the violation of human rights in the rich industrialized countries themselves. We need to speak of the struggle of revolutionary prisoners in European prisons and the isolation torture, about exporting torture, about police-, military-, and counter-insurgency technologies, about arms "aid" and training programs for the ruling power cliques in Trikont. Is it not about time that we define our own terms for democracy and human rights after the decades of propaganda campaigns by the European Conference on Security and Cooperation and the UN resolutions to the Gulf War? Are not we, in reality, the "democratic majority", who represent 3/4 of humanity?

We are glad that the Munich initiative has tried from the beginning to integrate the prisoners from RAF and resistance in the discussion.

The prisoners themselves are demanding their involvement in the social debate. They have taken as their political project, that goes beyond the demand for their collective custody. They approach in this way a question that affects us all: all organizations, political initiatives and movements, all the experiences of previous struggles have revealed limits to our analyses and imagination. The circles, the thinking in one-way political roads go along with alienation in society.

However, there will be no comprehensive discussion with the prisoners so long as the conditions imposed by the state are not changed. Collective custody and censor-free communication are preconditions for this. At the same time a discussion must go beyond sending them resolutions and leaflets.

A discussion for us means a collective debate between groups of people who come together to organize themselves. The prisoners need collective custody to do that. What about us? Let us no longer speak about the broad Left, the reformist parts of the Left, social forces or other abstractions. As long as we are unable to come together in committed collectives, our demand for an open political discussion will remain a well-meant platitude. Without this process, the individual women and men amongst us who do correspond with the prisoners will be left to themselves.

We want an international discussion that sets as it's goal, freedom for revolutionary prisoners world-wide. We see the question of human rights and the situation of political prisoners in the "new world order" as being of central importance in all countries, to all peoples. We also expect that the international discussion will clarify that human rights and safety for the political prisoners will have to be fought for by revolutionaries. Even if it was possible to demand democratic rights in the 70s, it was also during this time that the axe fell. The state apparatus was able at that time to lay the foundations for an inner war against the revolutionaries ("The German Model for Europe"). Bourgeois illusions in the legal state were lost during this development. On the other hand the political effects of the anti-colonial liberation struggles and the "liberated nation states" impacted in the recognition of the rights to human dignity and self-determination by international bodies. So, for example, the appendices to the Geneva Convention of 1977 became the reference point for the imprisoned guerrillas because they protected prisoners of war. However, the class struggles that developed later in the 80s (social movements, mass militancy, elements of a political and organization front) which led to many resistance.

Who else is going to fight for human rights today, if we don't? The UN blesses imperialist wars such as the one in the Gulf. The traditional human rights groups have practically disappeared. Regaining of human rights is not a national issue. However, new political conditions can result from this issue for the collectivization and the freedom of political prisoners in the FRG. These new political conditions are needed more than ever, because the efforts in this direction since the last hunger strike have led to a dead-end, which is not to say they were useless.

Our political speechlessness over the last three years is one reason for the fact, that the apparatus now determines the use of terminology in the public debate about the political prisoners. That is also evident in the discussion about the possible release of some prisoners. What is being sold as "reconciliation", is in fact the result of years of resistance by the prisoners and the mobilizations: After 20 years, it is time to stop the solitary confinement, top-security blocks, the censorship, special laws and state defense trials. A political solution is called for: The prisoners must be freed! All of them! Without conditions, without trials of conscience, without "renunciation". We have to involve ourselves in this and that is what we want to do in the framework of the 500 years and Anti-WES mobilization.


We live in bourgeois class societies. The hierarchical division between the producers and owners of the wealth is reflected internationally in the division of the world into rich and poor countries, etc. However, in addition to this horizontal social (and at the same time global) divide, there are also vertical faults. Some are older than the colonial and capitalist exploitation, for example patriarchal oppression and sexist exploitation. They are just as important to maintain and constantly reproduce the conditions of the world system as the contradiction between wage-labor and capital. There has been enough attempts to integrate these different basic contradictions into a model of hierarchy. Racist violence or the subordination and exploitation of women can not be explained in terms of economics and power alone.

We need another conception of the world. Many debates are dominated by the permanent mixing of goal/content/subject. Patriarchate/Anti-patriarchal struggle, racist/anti-racist struggle are usually treated as topics for analyses. Hardly ever, as a process of self-change for us to build ourselves.

We view this difficulty as one starting point which will play a central role during the mobilization against the WES and the 500 years celebrations. We do not say this as a justification or just to leave everything as it is. We say that, because that is the question: how can we rid ourselves or rather the men rid themselves of their sexism - or how can we all rid ourselves of our racism in the course of this struggle?

It is not possible to develop an anti-patriarchal analysis subjectively. Admittedly, in the past all too often we have neglected the need to change ourselves in this respect and seen it as being a subordinate issue. However, we must not fall into the opposite evil: of not doing anything, without having already thrown our own racism and sexism overboard. This will not work. That would mean in us being stuck with them for ever, because without the unity between our own changing and struggle nothing will ever be broken.

We recognize that the various cracks of the division, repression and exploitation of the majority of people have resulted in a contradictory whole - that the white imperialist rule lends this whole it's violence and stability. Just as too the racist and sexist metropolitan society, in which everything becomes a piece of merchandise reveals it's total brutality in the capitalist ownership of any expression of life.

We will have to build a movement in the coming months and years, which aims to bring an end to all that. In the face of the everyday sexist and racist violence on the streets and in the houses of Germany any other politics will miss reality.

The massive support that the fascists are getting is probably not going to be a passing phenomenon. Strong authoritarianism and racist thinking and behavioral patterns are part and parcel of our society. We are confronted by it in our day-to-day lives all the time. It is more than paste in the people's heads. It is more like cement, with which the Bonn cement heads are made. What the radical Right does violently and noisily on the streets is in the final analysis precisely what the people in front of their T.V sets want and the official politics of the German government.

Authoritarian solutions are being discussed in the context of the general social consensus described above. The collapse of the state socialist systems has given the "conservative wave" in Western Europe a new impetus.

The attacks on the hostels and camps are only the state's asylum policies carried to their logical conclusion. He who has been making racist propaganda for over 15 years, organizing searches and deportations, set up camps under conditions that are purposefully a deterrent....etc, knows of course that he has given a carte blanche to others. However, the racist consensus goes beyond the "hatred of foreigners". The alternative concept of a "multi-cultural society" is also part of this very consensus. It is an attempt to appropriate for German society other peoples' expressions of their cultural identity (from food to art) and their labor. This concept is just the accompanying music to the 'brain-drain', the sucking up of the Trikont peoples' Intelligentsia by the metropoles or rather their research institutions.

For our resistance against this, we need something other than charitable gestures from our privileged position. Throughout the mobilization against the summit and the 500 years celebrations, there runs a thread of opposition to the "male white norm" and the step-ladder of oppressive social conditions. The question is whether we cover them up, separate them from one another or whether we make them our starting point.

We do not want to live in such a country, in which people from other countries have to afraid of being murdered because of the color of their skin or their language, to say nothing of the daily theft of their dignity. We equally do not want to live in a country where we women have to struggle against anything from patriarchate are very near - in our struggle against this violence on the other hand not near to us at all.

We can not choose to pieces in the face of reality. So long as we accept any form of violence, we are condemned to be subjected to it again and again. In other words, these struggles are about the pre-conditions for life! As long as 3/4 of humanity must fear for their lives, it is our common task to win together these pre-conditions.


Without over-estimating ourselves or the real possibilities, we want to again take up a thread of internationalist politics, which has existed in bursts and breaks, ideologized and one-dimensional in form over decades of international solidarity from the metropoles and especially from the FRG.

The situation of humanity world-wide has become very tense. Almost all the signs of solutions that were demonstrated by the liberation movements have ended in a dead-end. There have been wars for liberation and struggles that have gone on for decades, wearing down the peoples providing them no hope for improvements to their lives or a long-term hope for peace.

"In order to keep up this fight and carry it on with success, we view it as being life-essential to open up breathing tubes to the rest of the world. In order to stop them from suffocating us, we regard the solidarity, the building of a network and discussing the struggles throughout the world as being of immense importance." (ERNK-Kurdistan)

Using the initiatives of 92, we have a chance to start this discussion on a very broad front. Regardless of whether or not we are able to get all this together in one congress, this basic necessity will remain. One way or another we will have to carry out this discussion.

Naturally, we will only be able to deal with a fraction of the questions in the few days at Munich, that are so important for us and the comrades from other countries. More than a sketch of the various analyses and experiences will not happen. We should not expect too much, or think that we can do it in one jump. It will be a process that can only be measured in years if not decades.

It is however decisive that we start it here and now.

Perhaps that will also be a start for us, to have a flow of information coming not from south to north, from the Trikont to the Metropole. There is hardly a struggle, scarcely a national liberation movement that has not been covered in some solidarity newspaper or information bulletin. The communiques of the FMLN are quickly translated into German. There are many books about their struggle. But where are the texts about us, where are the analyses and leaflets about us in Latin America? That is not just a question of wealth and poverty, of possibilities to print and distribute texts, it is also a question of political relations in the structures of solidarity, what is important to whom and why.

At the latest now, following the war in the Gulf and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, the bloody material limits of Trikont liberation struggles imposed by "one-world" capitalism, we have to start fighting for common solutions. It is no longer a question of solidarity with others, but a question of it everywhere being a fight about here and there. Comrades are always coming here from the Trikont to talk with us about their fight, their problems and solutions. But how many of us have done tours in other countries, in the South and have talked with them about us and our fight?

In the discussions and papers of late, there has been a conjecture that has appeared regularly that we cannot follow: international discussion as a substitute for an anchorage in the social realities of the metropole. Moreover the very division of the two is in itself a contradiction, because we could never grasp the reality of the metropole or move without seeing it in relation to world developments. Vice versa, we can not understand the world if we take the specific conditions of the FRG as being our standard.

That simply will not do.

International discussion is not a diversion or substitute; However without it nothing can become clearer. Only the mole is able to undermine everything blindly. We can not do so. The experiences from other struggles in other parts of the world are needed to reconstruct our own experiences in the light of our own history of resistance and to be able to generalize it. In any case...experiences in struggle that are not understood politically as a result of common discussion may as well not have happened at all. They appear for us as a personal history as a biographical note of one person - hardly ever, as a collective political understanding.

An international discussion will not take place if the revolutionaries do not say something about themselves, about their politics. The limits of revolutionary politics are not just imposed in the metropoles, and to break through them will require a collective international effort. To do that we will have to take the situation in our own country as our starting point.

Unterstanding the world in order

to change both the world an ourselves.

Thoughts on the international Discussion

Numerous comrades visited us last year from other countries and continents. From Central- and Latin America, Puerto Rico and the USA, from the Arab world and Kurdistan... they spoke at meetings and discussed in small groups.

We got a lot of important things to think about from their visits. Even though we live here and so are able to get a much closer look at the collapse of the Eastern Bloc states, the foreign comrades appear to be more aware of the decisive consequences. Many of their questions were on the lines of: What do we see as being the causes and effects of the fall of the wall? What about Germany's rise to become a superpower? What is the significance of the EEC-superpower? And what are we doing to oppose this?

In the discussions they gave us and our struggle a meaning for themselves and their countries too, which is only described partly in the old phrase from Che: "In the heart of the beast." They said to us to something about not overestimating ourselves. We would be deluding ourselves, if we thought that the social and anti-imperialist movements in the metropoles could by themselves win the fight against the beast. The anti-imperialist struggle is a worldwide process. "The world is bigger than the northern hemisphere."

Above all we felt their massive need to communicate with us. They wanted to reach an understanding together with the Left and democratic people of the rich metropoles about all political and strategic questions of the liberation struggle. The struggles throughout the world have to link up and create a common basis for discussion. Members of the Kurdish liberation movement told us that they regarded the new social movements, the women's movement, environmental movements, anti-war movements and the other movements as their natural and strategic allies.

Again and again we heard of their attempts to re-orientate themselves, to go different ways. To build on the experiences of national liberation struggles, guerilla-movements, organizing in the slums, the parties. They talked about their own acquired recognition of the need for an international discussion.

The reasons at home for their revolutions have multiplied a thousand times over. No country could say that the living conditions for the people have improved. Everywhere destruction has spread. Poverty, hunger, slums, sickness and environmental disasters have got worse in quantity and quality.

However, it has also become clear that the possibilities to change this appear today tiny, even where the revolutionary forces are strong or even in power such as in Nicaragua. The power-relations worldwide are clearly to the detriment of the countries and peoples of Trikont. This situation is stabilized by a political and military world system, that is not so new. The U.S., Japan and the West European states dominate this system. Regardless of which international institution you take, UN, World Bank or the North/South conferences.

This back-cloth means that we are loathe to support the "reformist minimum consensus", the demand for annulling debts as raised by the Munich working group, and inclined to counter this with a "further-reaching anti-imperialist aim." We see the question as being whether such a measure could give the peoples in the South a breathing space, or even slow up the poverty process. More could not be expected from annulling the debts. However, perhaps that is just what is needed to enable other further reaching goals to be achieved. For example, reparations for the wealth pillaged in 500 years of colonialization and slavery.

Besides this there are other concrete questions, which we could deal with in the international discussion:

The world-political situation has changed radically over the past decade. What are the experiences of national liberation concepts and are they still valid in the light of the changed situation?

What does that mean for a national liberation movement outside the NATO borders, such as those carried on in different ways by the Kurdish, but also the Basque and Irish? What about the FRG and EEC policy of recognizing any state from the Baltic to the Balkans so long as it suits political and economic planning? What does this mean for the colonies within the EEC? How are these questions discussed by the Left in Latin America? What does this mean for revolutions such as that in Eritrea, where the national question still means redrawing the borders laid down by 19th century colonialism?

What are the experiences of the popular organizations such as the El Salvadorean and Columbian Poder Populars, or the autonomous self-determined forms of social and medical care practiced on the Philippines, the organization of the slum quarters in Istanbul, or the anti-racist/cultural projects of the black ghetto resistance in the USA or the natives of the American continent?

The end of the East/West confrontation has led to the imbalance and unfair relations worsening. Many of our comrades, but we have also heard the same of comrades in Latin America, have rejected any perspective for national liberation as a result of this. The counter-revolutionary strategy of economic blackmail in conjunction with Contra-wars have worked in most nationally-liberated states.

Is this victory in Nicaragua unambiguous? We must avoid over-simplifying things. New national liberation movements in Peru and Kurdistan have continuously gained ground in the last ten years, because of or in spite of their many differences.

The capitalist victory over the Soviet State Socialism is not the end for Socialism altogether. Certainly, it is not the end of history, as proclaimed by the propagandists of capitalist democracy. Even though many of the West German autonomists and anti-imperialist leftists have mostly ignored the developments in Eastern Europe, many act today as if they had lost their heart to the Soviet Union. It is a fraud to see the roots of our somewhat desolate condition in the collapse of "real socialism", in the integration of the GDR and the strength given to imperialism by this.

The pessimism of the West German Left is hardly shared by any of the comrades from other countries. They appeared confident - a spirit that they derive from the wells that they sank during their development and their experiences in struggle. In Latin America, for example, the consequence has been to expand the discussions, alliances and campaigns into a regional and continental dimension.

It is there that today the greatest mobilization is taking place against the bombastic celebrations of the 500th anniversary of America's conquest.

The increasingly tight links between our countries are leading to paradoxical events. The ways of life favored by capitalism, whereby a special mixture of highly-differentiated wage labor, leisure industry and consumerism, led by singles or nuclear families are valid for at the most 10% of humanity. The majority must fear for their day-to-day survival. The wealthy islands are distributed with all their common attributes and status symbols over the entire globe. Concentrated in the North. On the other hand the slums are spreading throughout the world - even in the rich countries.

To see this, does not mean to speak of the German welfare receiver and the Brazilian female land worker in the same breath. There are still worlds of economic difference between the two, and racist-and sexist-motivated privileges and disadvantages.

However, it is also correct to say that the world today is like an international system of reservations. A global apartheid with hundreds of homelands - and just as racially and economically divided as in South Africa. We live in a world in which not only three or four worlds exist, but countless worlds - without clear geographical borders - sprinkled one inside another. Huidoboro, a Tupamaro comrade from Uruguay said about this, that he could show us a First World inside the Third World, a Germany inside Uruguay with Audi Quatro, luxury consumerism and PCs at home. We too, knew of places here where a universe lay between the situation there and the world of the Uruguayan Germany.

The slums in Germany have not reached the extent of those in Trikont. However, beyond the Eastern borders of the new Germany, years of inadequate planned economies and a few months of "free market economies" have produced immense poverty. Wealthy islands have established themselves here under the protection of the EEC such as the Baltic states and Slovenia. No wonder therefore that people all over the world are fleeing from these conditions, which leave them no possibility to live with any dignity as human beings.

Millions flee in the cities of the Trikont. Millions flee to where the riches of the world have collected: in the North.

The mass flight from the GDR led to the term in the FRG "voting with your feet". The on-going, mass exoduses world-wide are votes against the existing capitalist system. Since the first decade of development under the auspices of the UN in the 60s, conditions have worsened immensely for the majority of humanity. The situation has been indescribably bad for some time now. The international changes have also led to worse social and political conditions in our European countries. Revolts and explosions in the suburbs and concrete towers of French cities belong to the drumbeats of our time. Alongside the high-tech-production zones and the metropolitan lifestyle, poverty regions are also developing. We are going to feel the effects of this x-times less than the people in Southern France, Portugal or Greece. The FRG is the winner state from the European union. That "cushions" the consequences for our living standards, which we should not forget.

Europe and especially the imperialist Germany has become very large. Many comrades from other countries see the development as being one in which the FRG will be the strongest world power in 2,000 A.D. We don't know if that will be the case, but it is already clear that German capital's plans for the European region have been fulfilled. The East European state network is being divided up and re-distributed. The FRG has assumed the leader position everywhere. In Yugoslavia, the FRG has taken over the role practically of high commissioner for the EEC. The collapse of the planned economies was due to internal reasons, the result amongst other things, of years of fraud with production plans by corrupt elites. Their socialist concepts viewed the people not as subjects, but as objects of state welfare, rewards or harassment from above. They remained trapped in their social democrat and prussian welfare-state origins (Bismarkmus as Mühsam said).

However, today the Western heads of state and bankers are staging a china-smashing party together the "national leaderships" of Eastern Europe. Hardly a vase is going to remain unbroken.

Some questions gave us pause for thought. We were asked for example, why did n't we demonstrate on the streets together with the East Germans for political and social progress in all of Germany? Yes, then perhaps the fans of a Greater Germany would not have dared to have turned the GDR into a colony of the Treuhand. Perhaps a completely different Republic would have emerged.

However, this is a breaking point - just like the Gulf War and future military "defense" all over the world, and the closing of the borders to the islands of wealth against the refugees. Where will we stand? With those who would "defend the West?" alongside other former leftists? Or will we be among those who will break the Fortress Europe from the inside?

We see plenty of good reasons for a new orientation of the left and radical struggle. We can not imagine the success of this orientation without a cohesion of practice and new experiences.

The 500 years/Anti-WES mobilization is just one form of practice for us, in which we can make new experiences and gain new impulses, especially in the exchange with comrades from other countries. This way we can also put the vague contours of the new orientation, which we do have in our minds somehow, to a test.

Never before in human history were periphery and center so close to each other. The wounds that this system has inflicted on us are deep, deep in the people of all continents. To turn over the power pyramid, which exists in every society, so that the last will be the first - that is what is on the agenda.

January 1992

* "Metropoles" = 1st World, USA, Germany, etc vs "Trikont" = The three continents of the Third World, Asia, Africa and America.

*"Treuhand" is the name of a German government body set up to administer the "rationalization and privatization" of East German industry in the wake of the fall of the Wall.der weltwirtschaftsgipfel findet statt in einem jahr, in dem sich zum 500.mal die eroberung des amerikanischen kontinents durch weiße, europäische kolonialisten jährt. pompöse festivals der herrenvölker wollen dieses ereignis feiern.