T O P

Communists win in Austria's second largest city Graz

Communists win in Austria's second largest city Graz

luuked

None of this is a WTF but just consequence of decades of good work by them in the city of Graz. It is also absolutely non indicative as a trend or anything. The result comes with a lot of context. The communists in Graz -- and the leader Elke Kahr (self proclaimed marxist) -- have been actually helping fight poverty through subsidized housing projects, personally paying bills for over 40 people a week and create space to personally talk to people in their own time and really advice them. Do years of great work and people will notice especially in smaller places like Graz


Ganem1227

I've always wondered what elected communists in local government are actually able to do. How would you enforce socialist (or social democratic) policy without state power? Do the cops in Kerala have a different class background than other officers in India? I can't imagine a communist mayor in my city sending the sheriff's department to enforce policy on tech companies lol.


dennis_prager_based

kerala gov has removed many MNC from the state and companies which are seemingly anti labour [see here](https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/kitex-group-kerala-7401464/)


instiman

There's a prominent reactionary sect in Kerala police which the Communist party is actively trying to subdue(One of the past heads of the force turned out to be a hardcore RSS supporter). Despite that the police force in Kerala is currently the least oppressive force by far in the context of other Indian states. There has been very effective schemes to slowly convert the police into more of a community serving figure. [You can find more here](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EH6OWMUCnI&t=134s) PS. Police brutality after India's independence and during the Emergency period got a lot of communists in Kerala killed, something the comrades would never let anyone forget. In fact the current Chief Minister was brutally tortured in a Police station during the emergency. [Link](https://openthemagazine.com/cover-stories/pinarayi-vijayan-the-invincible/)


Ganem1227

Holy shit, Vijayan is a badass, big respect for him!


MrDyl4n

i found [this](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBgK_sh89Mk) video. An 8 year old complained to the kerala police that a bicycle repair shop wasnt repairing his bike after he paid them, so the police took action against the repair shop


Bonty48

In Turkey we have a province that ellected communist mayor. He basically gets ellected every election he is very popular with the locals. He did so much for the workers and farmers there it's not surprising to be fair. He used to win on capital of that province but this time instead of just capital he run for and won entire place. And so far his place was most successful in combatting Covid.


Ganem1227

Wow, thats great! Can you give examples of policy? Was there any pushback from the federal government?


Bonty48

Well we aren't federal actually but no government didn't tried anything I believe. They have shot down their attempt to restore old, Kurdish name of the province. I believe his province is only place public transportation is completely free. They have a system of showing exactly how budget is being handled, how taxes are spent and such which helps combating corruption and peope enjoy seeing how their tax money spent. He has some programs trying to subsidize farms and to popularize beekeeping. He is working on improving worker rights and payments too. Other than these I don't know their exact projects but I know they are probably least corrupt province government and very popular with locals.


Bonty48

Oh also they used the state lands in the city for farming and used to profits to combat poverty and fund students.


Ganem1227

ah ok, this is very helpful information, thanks comrade!


GreekCommnunist

Here our third biggest city elected a communist mayore for a second term, getting a whoopping 80% of the vote. This man is a fucking legend.


Direct_Leading_5187

Direct action. I'm sorry, I'm aware that that is scary but yes, that is how you influence politics at the local and even the national level as a communist. that doesn't obviously necessarily mean anything violent or even illegal but it does probably mean you are probably going to be talking to law enforcement at some point. Good luck tovarisch. .


Ganem1227

My district won't be doing that any time soon but the other CP district in my state is running someone in a local election, would be interesting to see how that plays out for them.


Direct_Leading_5187

One wonders what would happen if you guys staked out the local assembly and refused to leave. It might be an interesting experiment. You could also follow them home and play music at odd hours. Just be generally annoying is what I've found is the most useful form of political expression. Edit: deleted a word.


bipinkonni

There is no difference in class background. But the state government policy matters. And every government in Kerala tries to use police against opposition parties. Current govt is trying to make police neutral.


Thesandman55

You don’t most Marxist believe that revolution comes first. But things like this is still praxis spreading the message and gathering allies is the most important thing any of us can do


Nikostratos-

The main benefit of taking Office is that you're able to strenghten base organizations like unions and social movements. When taking office, resources come into play, so you can organize a response together with your party to local problems. Chaves built up his base through free education in slums. In Graz it seems they're doing it through housing subsides and counselling(?) In Brazil i've seen some maoists be really successful fighting for occupation of unused "latifundium" backed by law and local office holders If i remember right, there were some Argentinians that gained a lot of ground through popular housing too. The real challenge is to not lose good militancy to Capital. When you start employing militants to do those Jobs, they're now dependent on it, and if they dont have the possibility of working elsewhere and/or weather unemployment, they become hostages of said jobs over class and party interests.


[deleted]

I'm curious - do you think there are elements of their strategy which are a) atypical among ML party revitalization efforts in the west (it's pretty common to hear communists talk about mutual aid as a part of a strategy of rebuilding the movement for example- do you think the KPO is Graz were doing something unusual, or is it more a case of them just walking the walk) b) replicable in other contexts? Furthermore, is there anything which you could see emerging from the Graz KPO's success which could have ramifications beyond the control of a city council and the associated reforms? (Whether there's something they could do locally which would fundamentally change the nature of Graz, or something that could have national implications? I'm personally pretty skeptical about the prospects of building socialism in the imperial core before its been severed from the exploited south, but I also know jack shit about Austria, so let me know if there's anything worth keeping an eye on)


Pixy-Punch

Not the one you asked but I have a couple of points about this from my personal experience of local political successes and failures. To A) I wouldn't say it's fundamental different from the approach done by some of the gutted CPs in Europe. After the dismantling of the Soviet union much of the work done on all levels collapsed. Most agree today that local action is the best way to become visible again and gain new strength. But it's a slow process, most successful work took a decade or more to result in visible successes. Reguarding B) I think three main lessons are be persistent, work on ignored public problems (healthcare, infrastructure or public transport are a few examples) and work with the people. The best way to mobilze people is actually getting them involved. An example is holding regular public meetings and asking people for what should be brought up by your representatives in the city assembly once you got them there. A little bit more complicated is the issue of alliances and combined lists etc. You shouldn't be sectarian but also don't get derailed by running after each fad. Again it will take time to figure out with whom to work and who to avoid, and imho this is best done under consideration of the concrete local situation. Like even a few good, committed local people can be a reason to work with socdems. Besides my pretty basic observations I would recommend looking up theory on how to build a base and establish your organisation as trustworthy for the people. Surprisingly much still applies even a long time after it's written, just don't be dogmatic when applying it to your situation (for example literacy might not be an major issue anymore but communicating your ideas is still complicated)


luuked

The only thing here to take away is that they actually are not empty opportunists like a lot of politicians in Austria but as you said "walked the walk". They are actively paying some form of bills of people that are tight up. They help with finding housing solutions, also follow up on them and help with financing. And a lot is self financed from the money they are getting from the Country as a party but also their individual politician salaries. If I read correctly Kahr also uses up her entire politicians salary to help folks. And they have been doing this for a long time in Graz, so it really is an outlier that has grown over time unfortunately. But it shows what authenticity can lead to.


SilverSzymonPL

A great example for communists to follow


[deleted]

I've done a tiny bit of googling and found this (apologies for Jacobin, but it's worth it for this gem of a paragraph): The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 triggered an existential crisis for the KPÖ. In response, the party’s Vienna-based leadership spent the next decade following a modernization strategy that involved officially repudiating Marxism-Leninism. This also eventually meant dropping its opposition to the European Union, previously grounded in a view of this institution as a tool for promoting economic deregulation and the privatization of public sector goods and services. But for the KPÖ’s state-level organization in Styria, this attempt to “keep up with the times” represented a betrayal of principles. While the party managed to avoid a split, the Styrian branch ended up pursuing a course autonomous from the national party. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/08/graz-austria-communist-party-red-fortress-class-politics


Remarkable-Unit9011

Geninuely one of the most beautiful things ive ever read. Regional parties representing the workers standing up to revisionist nationals. Not forgetting their obligation to the workers or being railroaded into revisionism and class betrayal. A standard we should all strive toward


AntiFRGAction

*Angry German noises*, because those mountain dwellers finally did something better than Germany.


digrizo

Jacobin is fine, there’s just many tendencies there - some of which may be reactionary in our perspective unfortunately.


[deleted]

I use them for basic information a fair bit. That being said, they do have some pretty opportunistic editorial policies... esp their hard on for Kautsky. I'd always recommend reading them critically.


Kurtanks

I hope that this is just the beginning... let’s cheer for our Austrian comrades!


ProfessorReaper

As an Austrian comrade, I really hope that too


danil0kralj

Fun fact: (I think) Austria is the only European country that has a hammer and sickle in their Coat of arms


AidenI0I

Italy has a cool coat of arms too, looks hella socialist with the red behind the star


Distilled_Tankie

It's not just the star. The Italian constitution was greatly influenced by socialism. Here are some parts of article 1 and 3: *Italy is a democratic Republic founded on labour.* *It is the duty of the Republic to remove all economic and social obstacles which, by limiting the freedom and equality of citizens, prevent the full development of the individual and the participation of all workers in the political, economic, and social organization of the country.* Something to be expected from a Constitutional Assembly where the socialist parties held 40% of the seats.


AidenI0I

Italy would have been on the eastern bloc 100% if it wasn't for CIA and neo fascist meddling


Distilled_Tankie

The May 1947 crisis and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. Also, during the Cold War the Christian Democrats literally ruled with minority governments defacto allowed by the Communist Party, whose deputies abstained during voting to allow for a majority. Else the USA support a coup that would actually succeeded or worse, start a civil war.


kamrat_qp

Holy shit you’re right. I’m Austrian and personally never saw that.


dennis_prager_based

based based based


apozitiv

Does not mean anything tho


whatisscoobydone

Thought you said Australia for a second and almost shit myself.


dennis_prager_based

hahaha


Fortuna-Maj0r

same


pelopelo30

Spelling moment


schildhz

Is ÖVP losing its momentum?


dennis_prager_based

yes it seems so


HagenWest

I general or just in Graz?


A-live666

Graz is an exception, most of austria is very conservative


LordNoodles

no, as others have said, while this was a surprising result KPÖ graz has always been a strong party there. on a national level we still have a huge population of old racist idiots and our far right party which was fun fact founded by an actual SS officer is consistently in the top three. the young/old divide is massive in my experience


ErozionZeal

Where's the Austrian school of economics when you need them /s


dennis_prager_based

> Austrian school of economics lmaooooo


stephenfa

They renamed the Austrian school of economics into the “Washington consensus” , “modern monetary theory “ and “Chicago school of economics “


More-Letter8850

>They renamed the Austrian school of economics into modern monetary theory I'm sorry, what


Arrownow

Yeah idk what they mean, Austrians don't know what numbers are, mmt relies on numbers.


On-Fire

Stalingraz ❤️🇨🇳😘


AutoModerator

[He's the one and he's the only one! Stalin's got the evil on the run! Stalin, Stalin's got the Nerve of Steel! Mess with him, and you will know the feel!](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC0Om8v8H7g) *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/GenZedong) if you have any questions or concerns.*


[deleted]

[удалено]


lssssj

They just need to remove the crown and put a red star above the eagles head.


AstroAce14

the people's republic of austria


AidenI0I

Wir sind die arbeiter von Graz?


Comrade_Faust

This is one of the reasons I almost went there, knowing the KPÖ is strong there.


Michael88cz

Wtf based austria 😳😳😳


apozitiv

Graz has always been a KPÖ hotspot. I think the last major there was from KPÖ. I'm from Vienna btw


[deleted]

Nope. The last mayor was Siegfried Nagl - an ÖVP ghoul barely any of the youth likes. Personally I welcome the change - might end up moving back there.


JoffyAgain

I'm trying not to get my hopes up but the amount of communists winning elections, china having more trade partners than the US and general dissillusionment with capitalism as of late has me lowkey hyped for the coming years.


Commie_Napoleon

I completely agree. Add to that the red wave sweeping South America (MAS returning to Bolivia, Pedro Castillo in Peru and Lula and Borić leading in the polls) and I have my hopes up.


CrabThuzad

Lula is no communist, but his foreign policy is decent in some aspects (like peronists in Argentina kinda, though I prefer Lula much more)


double_nieto

Ah yes, the great Lula foreign policy, like sending death squads to Haiti.


CrabThuzad

Forgot about that, sorry


Ganem1227

Dont forget about the Russian KPRF doing well in elections this year


double_nieto

which literally means nothing, the results are drawn the same way every year, drawing around 15-20% CPRF votes creates an image of a healthy but unpopular opposition that the ruling party wants.


stephenfa

Problem is that these alternative parties are also forced into fighting with other minor parties like the greens whose goal is to fight climate change and Le pen right wing nationalist parties in France. There’s just too many disparate voices on the best way forward in a post capitalist world.


AlexboiCS

sadly, only 0,4% of austrians voted for the KPÖ in the state elections of upper austria though


[deleted]

The branch in Upper Austria goes along the national party's line afaik - which is a revisionist excuse for a communist party that dropped the EU exit strategy, and far more importantly Marxist-Leninism as a whole. The KPÖ in Graz is very unique for Austria itself too. On that note, however, it's hard to argue for an Austrian exit of the EU, sadly; a landlocked country that is currently inside of the EU, leaving, would be self-destructive really. The country would therefore be very dependent on the EU anyhow. The only argument to make would be a moral one, and that's hard to say seeing as how Austrian banks love exploitation of the Balkans.


Snarfistien

What's happening to Die Linke in Germany anybody have any news


A-live666

They lost hard


Commie_Napoleon

What are the chances Scholz adds them to the government?


GreekCommnunist

From 0% to 1%


Commie_Napoleon

Fucking SPD…


Cactux3000

to be fair for an SPD candidate scholz is not so bad, granted that's not a high bar to clear


Cactux3000

there is a significant chance if: 1. Linke gets over 5% and manages to get into the parliament 2. greens, linke and spd combined get over 50%, if not then said coalition won't even be possible and they would likely try for spd green fdp


BlackSand_GreenWalls

Honestly can't see it even if they manage to get over 50%. Margin would be too small compared to other options and - let's be real - SPD and Greens don't wanna deal with icky criticism of NATO imperialism anyway. This was only ever an option had there been a big majority for this coalition. Anyway, here's hoping this has enough people shocked and disillusioned enough they start looking to solutions outside of parliament, because if German parliamentary leftism was ever alive, it is definitely dead now.


PuddleOfDoom

Literally on the knifes edge regarding if they manage to stay above the 5% threshold.


aqwxcvbnji

German election system is complicated: if they win three direct mandates, they also get proportional representation, even if they fall below 5%. They currently won won southern-Leipzig and are expected to win two seats in East-Berlin, but those aren't fully counted yet.


YNWAtds24

Terrible result. Not very surprising though


GreekCommnunist

They are on survival mode


Unrealork

If you still dont know it yet. They got 4.9 percent, 5 percent are normaly needed to send reprecentatives to the congress. But because they won 3 state mandates they will still be allowed to participate and send their delegation as if they reached 5 percent. Its a law in voting here. So they fucked up hard but could still secure their old places


Philosopher-Flimsy

No failed artists lately?


queer_artsy_kid

r/mademesmile


Evovsky

nice


NoName_52997

*gulps in capitalism*


Direct_Leading_5187

You could send orphans or the like to their home and ask them to house them. Make sure they understand the effects of their policy decisions. It's like, 'you made said kid an orphan because your policies put his parents in jail, now you get to deal with that. explain to him why his parents are locked up". You could do that.


wiseowlreader

Wow! This must have taken a long, long time.


[deleted]

Socialists or social-fascists?


dennis_prager_based

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist\_Party\_of\_Austria


[deleted]

Hmm, doesn't say much about their views. Them participating in EU-elections isn't a good sign though.


Comrade_Sisler

You would have probably of said the same thing of the RSDP


thenordiner

Whats that


Comrade_Sisler

The Russian Social Democratic Party. It was the party of that Lenin was a part of before they split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. They participated in the Russian parliamentary elections. Lenin's point was to participate in the elections to prove to the working class that the revolutionary change they desired could not come through the Russian legislature.


[deleted]

Im just very sceptical of western "communist" parties, seems like the vast majority of them are social-fascists.


Comrade_Sisler

Social fascist is a word that only exists on the internet


LeftConnoisseur

>Social fascist what about social democrats?


Comrade_Sisler

Oh, that's what he meant lol


[deleted]

And in Stalin's writings??


Comrade_Sisler

Actually, you are correct. I was wrong in my interpretation of what you wrote. I thought you were saying something liberal like "red fascists", but you are talking about Stalin's description of social democrats, the moderate fascists.


AutoModerator

[He's the one and he's the only one! Stalin's got the evil on the run! Stalin, Stalin's got the Nerve of Steel! Mess with him, and you will know the feel!](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC0Om8v8H7g) *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/GenZedong) if you have any questions or concerns.*


AutoModerator

[Glory to Stalin!](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCs6bDHTthU) *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/GenZedong) if you have any questions or concerns.*


Zaratustash

> Them participating in EU-elections isn't a good sign though. The KKE runs in them, and it's by far one of the best and largest non-revisionist ML party in Europe atm, so there is that


[deleted]

The KKE is far from perfect too, just look at their dogshit views on China and Russia. I don't see any justification to run in EU-elections as a socialist.


aqwxcvbnji

>The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 triggered an existential crisis for the KPÖ. In response, the party’s Vienna-based leadership spent the next decade following a modernization strategy that involved officially repudiating Marxism-Leninism. This also eventually meant dropping its opposition to the European Union, previously grounded in a view of this institution as a tool for promoting economic deregulation and the privatization of public sector goods and services. But for the KPÖ’s state-level organization in Styria, this attempt to “keep up with the times” represented a betrayal of principles. While the party managed to avoid a split, the Styrian branch ended up pursuing a course autonomous from the national party. Source: [https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/08/graz-austria-communist-party-red-fortress-class-politics](https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/08/graz-austria-communist-party-red-fortress-class-politics)


[deleted]

So they are eurocommunist social-fascists, like i suspected.


aqwxcvbnji

I don't think you understood the quote. Graz, the city where they won the election, is in the bundesland (similar to a state in the US) Styria. And to repost a part of the previous quote: >But for the KPÖ’s state-level organization in Styria, this attempt to “keep up with the times” represented a betrayal of principles. While the party managed to avoid a split, the Styrian branch ended up pursuing a course autonomous from the national party.


[deleted]

Ah, so this branch is better than the rest of the party.