Fragment Regarding the Soviet Union (Gudrun Ensslin in the Stammheim Trial)

One of the formulations that routinely appear in news agency reports falsifying our statements is that we had “distanced ourselves from the Soviet Union.” –

About that the following is to be said:


This claim is false.  We have never said anything about the policies of the Soviet Union – not least of all because it would be absurd and it isn’t our thing to pronounce verdicts, pass judgments, or offer opinions that are irrelevant to our politics and would only create confusion regarding what we need to convey – the concept of proletarian politics in a country totally occupied and penetrated by imperialism.

Proletarian politics is the conscious articulation and the armed interpretation of the contradiction within imperialism – which capital develops both internally in the contradiction between production and consumption and in its push for expansion, and which makes it politically the adversary, enemy, opponent, antagonist – nationally and internationally.

We have clarified the historical and current dialectic between the liberation front on the periphery and the development of class struggle in the metropole – the dividing line between labor and capital – which has developed into a front.  (We have not said anything about the dividing line between the socialist camp and the imperialist bloc.)  We have determined the substance of revolutionary politics primarily on the basis of an analysis of the movement of capital in the FRG imperialist metropole within the international context.

In order to focus on a detailed analysis of American foreign policy and its tactical maneuvers in South East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Western Europe, we made a point of not analyzing the conflict between the CPC and the CPSU.

To quote, we said:

“It is an objective fact that the two major systems no longer represent the two classes in struggle – states no longer take the place of classes.  What appears to be a crisis of the class concept is the crisis of the states, the crisis of the institutional strategy, and with it the crisis in the class struggle’s leadership, the crisis of capital’s state-based class organizations and of the West European proletariat’s parliamentary, bureaucratic communist parties.  It is a transitional phase, a transitory moment in the composition of the bourgeoisie and of the proletarian organization, during which the conflict will certainly intensify and new norms and new methods of struggle will develop that will change the relationship of forces.

“At this juncture, a strategic reorientation of proletarian internationalism necessarily takes the form of an anticipatory initiative, to preempt the consolidation of the capitalist strategy on the state level, an initiative in the form of attacking it, and by attacking it clarifying its development.”


We therefore came to reject the politics of the revisionist parties and party-building organizations in the Federal Republic, namely the incorrectly adapted Chinese revolutionary model – incorrect insofar as it fails to take into account the Cultural Revolution – as well as the organizations oriented around Soviet foreign policy, which do not fulfill the objectively necessary requirements for revolutionary politics here.

Regarding the Leninist organizational model – we barely mentioned the party that will organize the armed uprising:  “The experience of minorities and centralized revolutionary parties that lead mass action from outside and above, instead of arising out of it, reproducing it, and developing it, comes from a time that was not ripe for the forms of struggle and organization that directly attack the imperialist state – as a function of unity on all fronts.”

We have never said anything about the German Communist Party. In the Federal Republic, it has, up to this point, been nothing but a vehicle for social democracy, and in the unions it is part of the state apparatus that depoliticizes workers’ struggles.  In the Federal Republic’s party system, it cannot legally do anything other than serve a state function, because the bourgeoisie sees it as a useful catalyst for protest movements.  In a capitalist state that is extremely aggressive both domestically and abroad and for which anti-communism is a key strategic component of its self-conception, a German Communist Party whose only response to this is that “We want to show that we communists are people too” discredits communist politics.


We haven’t undertaken an analysis of the structure and politics of the Chinese Communist Party in the context of the Chinese revolution for the simple reason that no revolutionary movement has yet faced such a technically sophisticated and thoroughly psychologically constructed repressive potential as the guerilla in the metropole.  One could also say:  we don’t share the China apologists’ romanticization of the Third World.

We have said:  “Vietnam is the stick in the gears of capital’s strategy that creates an opening for the international workers’ movement to regain the initiative.  This is where capital is obsessed with the balance of power, and it is where, given the historical disaster of the military collapse of its system in the Third World, it hits the political limit of its development:  the revolutionary class in the war of liberation.  By paralyzing a power structure and holding the entire imperialist apparatus in check, the Chinese Cultural Revolution could provide new grounds for revolutionary voluntarism – by demonstrating a base and mass initiative.  Both lines, freedom through war and the resumption of communist attacks, are requirements for the New Left.  They are also critical subjective factors for insurrection in the metropole.

News agencies have also reported that we have distanced ourselves from “every form of historical or contemporary socialist politics.”

In that regard:


The experience in the metropole since 1917 is that socialist politics – clearly defined by Marx, Lenin, Luxemburg, and Gramsci – has separated the process of the total overthrow of the relations of production from the process of seizing power with the aim of using capital’s state as an instrument to nationalize the means of production and transition to communism; in this way strategy has been reduced to a tactical goal, thereby obstructing the revolutionary process.  The process is blocked by bureaucracy, parliamentarianism, depoliticized tactical considerations, and functionaries:  it is a tactical position that cannot lead to communist politics, which is to say, it cannot lead to a break with the imperialist mentality – competition, commodity fetishism, and institutional thinking, and thus remains an element of domination, hindering the genuine processes at the base. As working-class politics, it is defensive.

It is important here to recall Rosa Luxemburg’s speech at the KPD’s founding congress and Lenin’s State and Revolution, both of which draw upon Marx’s 1848 Communist Manifesto, which called for immediate revolution – communist politics now.

The trash about us “distancing” ourselves from Marx is also nonsensical gossip-mongering.  We’ve applied Marxist analysis and method to the current situation – not transposed it, but applied it.  Only an idiot could seriously believe that the Marxist analysis of capital and the Marxist conceptual framework are outdated.  They will only be outdated for understanding the immediate present once the system, capitalism, which he has analyzed, has been abolished.  That is another reason why we have discussed the character of proletarian science in such detail.


Socialism, socialist politics – functioning domestically and internationally on an intergovernmental level and advancing the organized penetration and dominance of pro-state parties precisely defines the concept underlying the SPD’s politics today.  It is the refined and therefore reactionary line of U.S. capital internationally as the obvious prerequisite for its reproduction and expansion.  The class indicators are reversed:  the dictatorship of the proletariat is replaced by the dictatorship of U.S. capital.  It is a form of fascist drift that usurps the genuine expression of social movements, but it does not usurp socialist politics in the way the old fascism did.

In its work on capital’s behalf, social democracy in the form of a political organization pursues the reactionary logic found in Kautsky’s imperialist apologetics:  the ultra-imperialist model.  Now, with capital engaged in a strategically defensive project of political reconstruction, its current function is to advance fascism on the West European periphery and in the core bourgeois democracies.  This unfolds on two levels:  in the form of loans tied to political conditions, ,they export a combination of police technology and direct investments, which serves to deepen the international division of labor and to centralize ownership and hegemony under U.S. capital.

Given the tendency for antagonism between production and consumption under imperialism, the institutional resolution of the means-ends conflict within the capitalist mode of production, and the socialization of production in the metropole – given the state’s repressive structuring of society in the metropole and the status of the productive forces as a result of the scientific repressive techniques and the repressive potential – revolutionary politics today must be communist politics, and proletarian politics can only be armed politics, autonomously organized and formulating a strategy based on their own concrete conditions – that is what the politics of the proletariat are. That is the situation.

Using the Maoist sects in the Federal Republic for the political line:  the USSR as the main enemy, which strengthens NATO, is objectively reactionary.  Their ludicrous anticommunism extends to neutralizing the developing anti-Americanism and hampering awareness of the relationship of forces developing between revolution and imperialism, the transcontinental process in and from which the guerilla in the metropole fights.  As long as their obscure line is based on defending the fatherland, they represent a chauvinist variation of the masses’ revanchism. Strengthening NATO here and agitating for illegal struggle in the GDR, their instrumentalization by the CPC repeats the tragedy of the parties of the Third International in the crisis of 1929-1933 as a farce.  They long ago abandoned the terrain on which the real potential for an anti-fascist Federal Republic lies – that of resistance:  the form of defensive that they want to organize doesn’t simply anticipate defeat – it accepts defeat before the struggle has begun.

The claim that we have distanced ourselves from Soviet foreign policy imputes to our analysis an ideological, proclamatory, and ultimately defensive character.  That is entirely false and laughable.  In our analysis, we include the objective facts created by Soviet policy, in order to develop a revolutionary perspective against capital here.  That is our relationship to it.

Revolutionary politics are the negation of capital’s politics:  here and now the international monopoly of the most powerful, U.S. capital.  This can only be developed through the struggle, the armed attack, the tactic that at each moment and through each action anticipates the strategy – civil war.  It develops by directly attacking the state, a monstrous violent machine that offers the only means of reproducing its profit mechanism.  The over-determined reaction develops a concept of revolution, revolutionary morality, autonomous tactics and organization that is thoroughly integrated into the resistance in a dialectical manner.

Or here:  revolutionary identity, proletarian internationalism does not hold its ground by distancing itself, but through initiative, impact, signs of its policies. .

Even in this situation.

[1] This was the most complete version of this document available to us.