Freitag, 27. Mai 2016, 19:00 Uhr
Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien, Hörsaal 3
Hanna Lichtenberger (Mosaik-Blog)
Sebastian Kugler (Sozialistische LinksPartei)
Ursula Jensen (Internationale Bolschewistische Tendenz)
Kurzfristig abgesagt: Dieter Alexander Behr (Afrique Europe Interact, Forum Civique Européen und viele andere Netzwerke und Initiativen)
"Heute scheint die Idee der politischen Partei als Mittel für die Linke – durch die sich in der Gesellschaft die Notwendigkeit von sozialen Umwälzungen entwickeln ließe – im Gegensatz zur politischen Partei als Selbstzweck theoretisch wie praktisch kaum greifbar. Doch die bestehende Alternative – Politik ohne Partei – scheint zu nichts in der Lage zu sein, als die Launen den Kapitalismus zu billigen, durch welche er sich verändert, doch unweigerlich bestehen bleibt. Schlimmer noch, ohne eigene Parteien ist die Linke dazu gezwungen, passiv oder aktiv andere Parteien zu unterstützen oder zumindest Hoffnungen in diese zu setzen. Es scheint unmöglich, die Frage der politischen Partei zu vermeiden."
In the late nineteenth century, working people’s response to capital was expressed in the political demand for Socialism. This demand galvanized the formation of European Social Democratic parties guided by the ideology of Marxism. Among the most influential members of the German Social Democratic Party, the political leaders of the Second International, agreed that the primary task of Social Democratic parties was bringing about the dictatorship of the proletariat, that is, the decisive political struggle between capital and labor. And while some of these leftist ultimately found the revolution too risky in the decisive decades of the 1910s and 1920s, even their political judgment is far to the left to those Social Democratic party members who, after World War II, openly espoused the integration of workers into a more just and thus more democratic capitalist order.
Once a global movement for the self-emancipation of the working class, today’s social democratic parties have fully substituted the task of educating workers in order to overthrow capitalism, with the task of creating and maintaining the conditions for a more just market economy. The present standpoint of social democracy is society as such, bound by national economies and mediated by the state. Social Democracy today promises to fight social injustice in the name of the people, but it no longer promises to realize socialism.
Yet what remains is the name, and with it the promise and the problem of Social Democracy.
In this panel we would like to investigate this transformation by looking at the history, the birth and decline, of Social Democracy. How can we understand the historical crisis of social democracy for the Left today? How, if at all, could the trajectory of social democracy shed light on problems yet to be superseded on the Left today?
A namesake of Juliet Mitchell’s 1966 essay, this panel will explore the long history of the struggle for women’s liberation from the vantage point of the Left today. Mitchell critiques bourgeois feminist demands such as the right to work and equal pay to posit the need instead for equal work. She calls for a politics capable of taking on the fundamental transformation of society and more immediate demands “in a single critique of the whole of women’s situation.” In keeping with the spirit of this essay, we ask again what the relationship might be between the struggle for social emancipation and the particular tasks of feminism? How have Leftists imagined this relationship historically? What do we make of it today?
While the “woman question” has played an important role in the history of the Left, its knee-jerk inclusion in current Leftist politics does not necessarily reflect a greater understanding of what the struggle for women’s liberation might mean politically. How exactly is it “the longest revolution?” When did it begin? If the crisis of bourgeois society in the industrial revolution posed the need for women’s freedom as inseparable from the project of human emancipation, then what do we make of the later separation of the feminist movement from the workers’ movement for socialism? In the beginning of the 20th Century the woman's movement seems to demand unitary for political and legal rights, although the bourgeois feminist movement and the socialist woman's movement where distinctly opposed in their political perspective. Is the relevance of the conflict gone all together with a further perspective of the woman's question in Socialism? What do the seeming successes of feminism tell us when thought in relation to the failure of the proletarian struggle to deepen/realize the task of human freedom?