Germany - RSB
Germany – Revolutionär Sozialistischer Bund
In Germany massive assaults on the rights of the working class have begun earlier than in the other member states of the European Union (EU). In combination with these attacks on social rights and on social insurance systems an until then unknown "liberation" of financial "markets" in Germany took place.
Between 2003 and 2005 a coalition of the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party under Schröder developed an "Agenda 2010", which was the result of the Lisbon process of EU (and which is imitated now in other countries and combined with the effects of the new EU-Agenda 2020).
In this context the “Hartz-Laws” passed. A low-paid sector has been established by extending temporary work as well as part time work and (pseudo) self-employment without social security. These measures were accompanied by the destruction of the old system of unemployment benefits. Since then after at most between one and two years people without employment only get a benefit (“Hartz IV”) which lies under the old social welfare benefit and which is associated with rigid repressive measures. This also puts pressure on the wages of the workers who are still employed in “conventional” forms. In the following years the wages have been stagnating or falling even in the time of economic upswing, although labour productivity has increased. Germany was the EU-Country, where flexibility of labour contracts was developed more aggressive than in most other member states.
So the German economy got a competitive advantage in the EU and also the working class in Germany as a whole benefits from this. But there are lots of people as well paying for the capitalistic crisis with relative poverty, with being excluded from society and losing democratic rights; they pay with insecurity and fear as well as physical and psychological illnesses. Besides this, municipal administrations are given new tasks but not the money to manage them, so that the poor of them save on their social missions.
But instead of uniting and resisting – in the actual political context the affected blame themselves for their situation and look for individual ways to prevent it from becoming even worse. The assaults on the working class in Germany for most of the affected don’ t lead to a loss of home and livelihood as for example in Greece
The big-power politics of the German government still is supported by a majority.
The trade unions are not militant at all but mostly defend the interests of the German trusts as their own and practise class collaboration. There was a mass protest movement against Hartz IV in 2004 which ended as the law was adopted.
When in 2007 the retirement age was raised to 67 years no real protest movement against this became visible – besides of trade union demonstration without follow-up. And the social movement has remained weak.
So on 14 November 2012 in more than thirty towns there were protests in solidarity with the strikes in Southern Europe with only several 1.000 participants. It is likely that the social movement in Germany will rise, also because there is a growing awareness that the scissors between poor and rich is constantly opening and that the crisis will reach more wage-earners living here and hit them harder than today.
The ecological movement, namely the anti-nuclear movement, in Germany in the last years was quite strong. But with the pretended withdrawing from nuclear power declared by the German government in the summer of 2011 it clearly shrunk.
The RSB as part of the German section of the FI in the last three years placed its emphasis both on the social and the ecological question. Members take part in the anti-nuclear movement and in the trade union movement and try to support the growth of a movement against the crisis.
The RSB is a very small organisation and is like the whole divided radical left in Germany marginalized. This is the background of the current state of the organisation.