The austrian social democracy has shown, yet again, their strong will to collaborate with the knowingly right-wing extremist freedom party of austria (FPÖ). This is not a new phenomenon in the first world, at least recently. Even in austria, in the 90’s, there has already been a “social-fascist” coalition, which however did not last long enough to matter. The political differences, it seems, had been too great to bridge at that time. Nevertheless, in the federal state of Burgenland, a relatively small province in the very east of austria, a similar “red-blue” coalition has been in stable power since 2015, despite the alleged political differences of the two parties. Even though this regional government was subject to harsh criticism in the beginning, critics are now nearly silent. You may see single voices once every three months that pillory this “impudence unheard-of”, however, there is no sign of a mass opposition. “This is democracy”, is what they say, “In a democracy, all parties must be viewed as potential partners; this is true even for the FPÖ.” Now, observing the current regional situation and the non-existent consequences of said criticisms, it seems even less surprising that the austrian federal chancellor and leader of the Social Democratic Party Christian Kern announced his willingness to form a coalition with the Freedom Party, “under the right circumstances”, as he puts it.
As increasingly shown, the innocent looking, alpine country in the heart of Europe is indeed a parasite state; whose economy is fully dependent on the exploitation of the Third World by the core imperialist countries, e.g. the u$ or germany. The economic entanglement of austria with the west is instrumental in its status as such a parasite state, even if its role is more covert—lacking the level of military involvement of the united $tates, britain or france. Austria’s population lives off a regular supply of surplus value extracted, by way of the various levers of unequal exchange in the global market, whose access to those markets is merely ensured by the military force of “gunboat imperialists” like the united $tates. The material conditions in austria being more or less identical, in form, to the economic situation of all other imperialist states.
With the primary contradiction existing between the First and the Third World—where imperialism is the unifying relationship which colors all class/national relations—it is not surprising in the slightest that a respective tendency exists in the two polar “camps” in this relation. All class contradiction in the international sphere is inevitably colored—even subordinated—by struggling forces under the imperialist world-system. Imperialism has, in austria as well as the rest of the First World, succeeded not only in radically changing the class makeup of countries (introducing the labor aristocracy which in the First World, along with the petty bourgeoisie, predominates), but paved the way for new class alliances.
These class alliances can be observed through the heralds the Third World is now sending in the form of “terroristic” attacks on imperialist civil societies. The ideal limit, or the maximal realization of this tendency, is a perfect class coalition in the respective camps. For revolutionaries, this means the tactical integration of all struggle into the strategic framework of defeating imperialism and achieving a classless society. A practical, well-known example of this can be seen with the Anti-Japanese Coalition of the Guomindang and the Communist Party of China in the 2nd Sino-Japanese war. While the political programs of european social democracies and the vague far-right movements may seem irreconcilable, they are, as constituted by this new primary contradiction, united in their struggle against the Third World. In the final instance, the sharpening contradiction between First and Third Worlds will expedite the development of such populist coalitions all over europe and north amerika.
More examples of this upcoming motion can be found mostly in “slightly less leftist” parties that, at least historically and nominally, took a stance against right-wing extremism. The french social-liberal party La République En Marche lead by Emmanuel Macron stated throughout all of its existence that their party is a party of europe, and that further integration of the french republic into the european union is a core principle of theirs. However, Macron personally, just before the parliamentary elections, stated that “the ‘dysfunctional’ european union requires some in depth reform, or France could head for the door”; a statement that has been noted as “surprisingly euro-skeptical” by various news agencies. The usual explanation for this strategy, that it is only nominal deviation to gain the sympathies of Front National voters, is actually not far off of the real reason.
Sahra Wagenknecht, the leader of the traditionally radical Marxist faction of the Left Party in Germany as well has taken First-Worldist leftism to its logical conclusion by turning toward cheap, opportunistic populism. Wagenknecht stated that the “poor” German population carries the burden of paying the expenses of refugees and has to be liberated from the allegedly draconian “punishment”; that the resentment carried by the German “working class” toward refugees is entirely justified. Further, she proposed that refugees that have become criminal should be stripped of their rights to asylum and sent back to their respective home countries. Understandably, she was harshly criticized by her own party, however, lauded by the far-right Alternative für Deutschland—Alternative for Germany.
The unobfuscated aspect is that in the european struggle for the goodwill of parasite populations, catch-all tactics are logically important to european parties and will gain even more importance as time goes on today. It goes without saying that the party to be victorious in any respective national elections must also be the party that has made use of this tactic in the most optimal way. With the interests of a great majority of european voters, coming from the labor aristocracy and petty bourgeoisie, in ever-intensifying contradiction to the global proletariat in the Third World, we are likely to see such rightward pushes accelerating. Today the soft euro-skepticism of Macron, or the “red-blue” coalition of Burgenland may be the manifestations of this tendency, however as time goes on we will see ever more ridiculous parties, coalitions and platforms arising. These developments will be the concrete expression of globalized class struggle, not just the machinations of a conspiratorial minority.
Keeping in mind these recent developments in the First World, we must maintain that it is our revolutionary interest to further strengthen the international camp opposed to First World hegemony, establishing political coalitions that shall counter those being forged by the imperialists. Rather than creating politically expedient alliances with the neoliberal so-called left in the social democratic parties for opportunist and economistic gains, revolutionaries in the First World should principally aim unite with the progressive revolutionary forces in the Third World. All tactical considerations must be made with the strategic objective of defeating imperialism and bringing about communist revolution.
- “Without reform, EU is headed for Frexit – Macron” (Russia Today)
- “Ärger um Sahra Wagenknecht” (Tagesspiegel)
- “Sahra Wagenknecht mit Torte beworfen” (Tagesspiegel)