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A strong Left for a different and better policy

Resolution adopted by the 1st Congress of DIE LINKE in Cottbus on 24 and 25 May 2008

We, like no other party, the new DIE LINKE have changed politics in Germany since our election success in 2005. First in Bremen and now also in Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Hesse people have voted a new political force, DIE LINKE, into their state parliaments. The trusted parliamentary interplay between the bourgeois (CDU, FDP) and the left liberal camps (SPD and Greens) stopped working; more and more people want a change in politics beyond this. The number of those who no longer take part in elections and other democratic decision-making processes and see no chance of making their influence felt is growing. DIE LINKE has set out to change this defeatist mood and prove that changes are possible showing solidarity and commitment. It is and will remain the job of DIE LINKE to work towards a different policy, which, instead of seeing to the fulfilment of the profit interests of capital investors, makes the improvement of the living conditions of the majority its yardstick. In this respect we shall also stand up for those who, due to their particular situation in life or way of living, require protection, integration and representation. In our policy we aim to help them with organising themselves and acquiring intellectual strength. We shall make a determined change in politics for the rebirth of socially organised solidarity, for a renewal of democracy and a redirection of policy towards a socio-ecological transformation and a civilian foreign policy our programme and subject for the election year 2009.



In 1998 the SPD and Greens won the general elections offering a welfare-state and ecologically oriented modernisation programme against the policy of social decline the Kohl governments had pursued before” the motion goes on. Yet, the everyday policy of that new government had soon looked differently: First German involvement in a war with its own soldiers after 1945; accelerated redistribution of wealth by a corporate tax reform; reductions in the pension scheme and labour-market legislation – these had been just some elements of the antisocial policy the consequences of which were felt soon when more and more people’s living conditions deteriorated. "More and more people got involved in social protests and demonstrations, voiced their displeasure in public and voted against this policy in various state elections. At the end of the day the general elections resulted in an outcome unprecedented in post-war Germany: none of the two competing camps had a functioning majority; because the conservative camp answered the Agenda 2010 policy with an even clearer affiliation to neo-liberalism and did not win a majority either. When DIE LINKE emerged a nation-wide force left of the SPD entered the parliamentary arena for the first time.

The SPD and Greens were not willing to relinquish their neo-liberal policy, so the arithmetic majority beyond the CDU and FDP was not used. Instead of another social policy the country was in for a grand coalition (both big parties), the institutionalised lack of alternatives. This government has been trying to continue this policy on the smallest common neo-liberal denominator. Mass unemployment, a reduction in jobs, factory closures, wage and social dumping, the antisocial Hartz legislation (labour-market reform) weakened the trade unions, which rendered them unable to obtain for the employees a growing share in the economic success again. Instead the government continued the organised redistribution from the bottom to the top by means of increasing VAT, a corporate tax reform and reducing the commuter tax allowance. 

The boom does not pay for the majority. The boom mainly turns out a blessing for the rich and wealthy.

Politics is not acting with enough determination against apparent misguided developments such as growing poverty and more risks to get poor even affecting the middle-classes, deeper social rifts, social marginalisation, a lack of perspective and increasing violence often being right-wing extremist and xenophobic in everyday life. Nothing is done about these apparent misguided developments. Fundamental issues such as the future of structurally weak regions, the social selection in the educational system, a two-class health system, foreseeable growing poverty at old age, a nursing crisis in an aging society and a political reorientation towards solar energy are being put off. An example for this policy is the procrastinated establishment to the year 2013 of crèche facilities that are urgently needed now. However, billions of Euros are available overnight to cushion the effects of the crisis in the financial market.

The German government has been in the forefront of hammering out the unilateral business-friendly line of the EU, which mainly strengthens the power and influence of major corporations and finance oligarchy and consequently not taken any initiatives to shape the European social sphere although the case of Nokia shows how important an integrated European economic, social and labour-market policy is, above all vis-à-vis the transnational corporations unless politics wants to be vulnerable to these corporate strategies.

Through its foreign trade policy which forces economically poorer nations to open their markets the EU hampers a sustainable development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Together with an increasingly aggressive policy pursued to safeguard access to energy and mineral resources a new variety of colonialism is in the making.

In foreign policy the grand coalition continued the paradigm shift ushered in by the SPD and Greens, which had made war a political instrument and led this country to side with the adventurous US military strategies” the motion says. "Instead of acting as a partner for a globally just development of all countries and peoples it strengthened the militarisation of the EU and the military interventionism of NATO, the EU and Germany.

The steadily growing collection of data irrespective of suspicious circumstances and the wildfire-spread of surveillance place the entire population under general suspicion. Data retention, the use of spy ware by government agencies, video surveillance, biometric finger prints, the combination of databases of welfare departments: the state is developing into an octopus-like data-collecting monster that can follow any step if it so wishes. Social Democracy does not defend liberty rights. DIE LINKE as a political force commits itself to the protection and extension of privacy and informational self-determination of people and for a law on data protection for employees in order to guarantee fundamental rights also in the private economy.



The new DIE LINKE emerged from the contradiction to and protests against the neo-liberal attacks on the welfare state, which the overwhelming majority of the people have to rely on as protection against the major social risks of capitalist wage-earning: unemployment, illnesses, and disability, incomes at old age, poverty and discrimination. DIE LINKE was founded with the ambition of making political alternatives for a democratic, peaceful and sustainable development of society in solidarity acceptable to the majority and enforceable. DIE LINKE was founded because formative intervention is feasible and necessary to defend and improve the democratic and social living conditions for the majority of citizens. DIE LINKE stands for a policy of democratic participation of all citizens in public matters and for a policy of social responsibility for social justice, solidarity based on the welfare state, equality of genders and people of different ethnic backgrounds and for a peaceful development even under the conditions of global capitalism. DIE LINKE advocates the same right of all people worldwide to development and prosperity, for global cooperation instead of neo-imperialist competition in handling natural resources, climatic changes and its consequences. 

DIE LINKE stands up for a change in gender relations. A different approach to time is the condition for distributing amongst all the entirety of labour in society, both gainful employment and work in the spheres of families, culture and politics. Only redistribution creates the condition for a complete equality of women and men and for a better policy on children.

DIE LINKE is united in the view that the existing capitalist conditions are not all history has to offer, that democratic socialism is feasible and needed so that everyone can enjoy a better life in freedom, dignity and mutual respect.

The developments in Latin America have led to clear political changes and to left governments in more and more countries. DIE LINKE shows solidarity with social movements, socialist parties and transformations in society in Latin America.

DIE LINKE has managed to voice the widespread sentiments against the policies pursued by the grand coalition time and again and not just in parliament. The crux of these sentiments is the perception of growing social injustice and lack of democratic influence.

Trade unions, major special interest groups as well as initiatives and alliances have voiced these sentiments in protests. It was part and parcel of the neo-liberal project to attack the trade unions in order to shift the balance of power between labour and capital in favour of the latter. The fact that the trade unions’ influence was weakened is also partly attributable to the trade unions’ involvement in Social Democratic and Green government policies, wage restraint and relinquishing the role as countervailing power to capital. These days clear changes are on the horizon. The conditions for the trade unions remain difficult; however, strikes, protest actions, demonstrations and rallies assume stronger and fiercer dimensions. Trade unions increasingly seek partners in politics and society such as the social forums, the churches, peace and women’s movements as well as ecological initiatives and those critical of globalisation. Strong unified trade unions are a decisive factor for changes in society. Cooperation of DIE LINKE with trade unions is developing positively. DIE LINKE has revived the discussion on the right to political and general strikes. DIE LINKE does not only accept trade union autonomy but also thinks it is necessary.

The predominance of neo-liberal thought in social matters has been broken in various ways for neo-liberal politics has disgraced itself compared to its own promises. A dramatic gap between poor and rich is opening up in our society, a quick social fall becomes a real threat to many, and only one climate permeates everything: the strong and reckless prevail. What emerged were insufficient numbers of safe jobs of good work for fair wages, no prosperity for all, no inexpensive and more efficient services of general interest, no better future for our children and no better world.

The successes of DIE LINKE are an expression of and motor for demystifying neo-liberal dogmas and policies. The other parties are starting to react, the headlines of their programmes change, the tone gets more social; some subjects DIE LINKE put on the agenda, are being picked up such as the minimum wage and elimination of tuition fees. We can witness the first real although modest successes of our party gaining strength. All this shows: The Left shows effect, changes are possible.

We have not yet reached our destination. We have not yet brought about a change of direction or in politics. We shall keep campaigning for it. We shall not shrug and be content with major transnational corporations killing off jobs despite public subsidies, big profits and returns for their shareholders. Unbridled economic power, growing social marginalisation while the public infrastructure is deteriorating, moral decline of often self-appointed elites – all this nourishes the confidence crisis of democracy. Social justice, solidarity in society and responsibility are not feasible without a strong democracy, without democratic institutions in which citizens can make their interests heard.



We shall gear our forces to bringing about a change in politics and in the political direction in Germany and Europe in the election cycle leading up to the 2009 general elections.

  • Through our election programmes for the European and general elections we shall provide a political offer to broad sections of the population, which shows that individual demands such as minimum wages, abolition of 67 as retirement age or withdrawal from Afghanistan that are shared by the majority can become a starting point for the development of an alternative, socially just development of society.
  • We shall continue our political campaigns and activities regarding the priorities and landmarks of such a political change and programme.
  • We shall continue to build DIE LINKE as a new party and increase its membership. We shall enjoy more success in the elections.
  • We shall continue to work towards strengthening trade union power vis-à-vis the power of business.
  • We shall continue active cooperation with social associations and movements. We are not content with being successful as a party in the elections.
  • We adhere to our strength being our presence in people’s everyday lives, the interests and concerns of whom we represent and who we encourage to take their own activities.

Our yardstick for political success is not limited to media attention, mandates and offices; our yardstick is real changes, actual steps in the interest of the citizens on the road to a socially just policy.

Making things public again against privatising public services and property, a democratic control over citizen-friendly public companies, campaigning for decent jobs, for the renewal of the welfare state and its financial base, for civil rights and democratic renewal, strict equality in all spheres of life and equal opportunities instead of social selection at school, university and at work, a determined campaign against all forms of far-Right extremism, working towards a peaceful German foreign policy that allows for global justice and for a democratic and social Europe that lives up to the global challenges for a social and ecologically sustainable development that contains the climatic changes were the pivotal political fields of the party’s actions in the time ahead.

A change in politics is more than a change of government. We want politics in Germany and Europe to change direction. Changes in direction are always easily detectable. Therefore, DIE LINKE concentrates on signs for such a change in politics, which are also the basis for cooperation with other parties.

We want working hours to be reduced dramatically. This will make it possible to distribute all labour of society, which does not only comprise gainful employment but also work done in the fields of reproduction, culture and politics, amongst all and create the basis for equality of women and men and a better policy on children.

We want to abolish 67 as retirement age again; and we want to reinstate the pension formula. Prolonging the working life today and tomorrow boils down to reducing pensions through the backdoor. The statement that the legal pension protects from poverty at old age and does not permit a drop in the living standard must be true again. Poverty at old age, which is on the increase again, is an unacceptable setback for civilisation in a rich economy. We champion the calculation of pensions to be based on the same formula in the east as in the west of Germany and demand eliminating punishment for former east German state and party employees in the shape of much lower pensions and allowances.

We want legal minimum wages of € 8 and then quickly 10 Euros across the board because everybody must be able to live off their work. A society that violates this principle and allows wealth to accumulate in the hands of a few only at the same time loses its social balance and moral base.

We want good jobs. Precarious employment (limited contracts and extremely low-wage jobs) must be forced back. We want the maximum weekly hours permitted to work reduced to 40. Industrial and health protection must be improved, the rights of trade unions and works councils strengthened.

We want to implement global justice. That is why we protested against the G 8 Summit in Rostock. The EU puts its aggressive export strategy into practice instead and subsidises agricultural exports resulting in decreasing production in the local agriculture and industries in many African countries for example.

We do not want a European Union at the outer borders of which people die whose livelihood was destroyed in their home countries. We do not accept that more and more people drown at sea because the EU walls itself in against immigration since the EU foreign trade and agricultural policy is one reason for their poverty. We are opposed to intergovernmental agreements forcing countries to stop people on their way to the EU.

We want the Bundeswehr to withdraw from Afghanistan. We want our government to end their support for the war in Iraq. German foreign policy must go back to international law and civilian conflict-settlement. War must not be a political instrument. Military alliances such as NATO should be disbanded and civilian security extended instead. Disarmament must return to the political agenda. Germany must take courageous steps towards disarmament and demand from the US the withdrawal of all nuclear weapons deployed in Germany. A nuclear weapons-free Germany can be the first step towards a nuclear weapons-free Europe. DIE LINKE is opposed to any military mission at home and abroad.

We want to break away from ‘Hartz IV’. Respect, dignity and human rights also apply to the unemployed. That is why we want to change the rules for acceptable jobs again, abolish one-Euro jobs in favour of regular ones and introduce a repression-free, need-oriented basic safeguard instead of unemployment benefit II. The social safeguard is to be determined for each person individually.

We want to fight mass and long-term unemployment resolutely by creating insured jobs that secure a livelihood. To this end we need comprehensive public investment and more publicly funded employment.

We want to put an end to jobs being killed off in corporations that make billions in profits. Therefore, we demand a general ban on mass dismissals in profitable businesses and a relocation charge to the tune of the ensuing social cost of relocating parts of companies abroad. Public subsidies for private economic activities must be reflected in public shares in the company including corresponding voting rights.

We want child poverty to be fought with resolve. Child poverty is a disgrace for any rich society. Parents need more money so that children do not constitute a risk for getting poor. This society needs more qualitatively good day-care facilities for children as a bridge with education, as social living space and as day-care centre so that fathers and mothers can reconcile family life and jobs.

We want equal opportunities in education independent of social and cultural background, of the social status of the parents, independent of their class or ethnic background. 

We want an educational policy that creates the conditions for people to acquire intellectual strength and develop the ability to act in society. Free access to education and its implementation which places the individual in the focus of attention is the condition for emancipation and better prospects in life. Against this background we demand the abolition of the three-layer school system, well-equipped integrative schools and an integration of children from a migration background or with disabilities. DIE LINKE rejects the current school reforms under the heading of a quick Abitur and a general reduction of the overall time for education.

We want to step up pressure for cancelling tuition fees and for a general reform of the Bachelor and Masters courses. We want Masters for all.

The first steps to this end are more and better equipped multi-layer schools (new project uniting three different school types under one roof), purposeful support for children from a migrant background and abolition of tuition fees.

We want to put an end to the squandering of public property. That is why we are opposed to privatisation and for strong public companies. Preventing Deutsche Bahn from going public is an important step at national level. Only through strong public companies from the housing sector, to water, electricity and gas, communication and telecommunication to savings banks democratic institutions have the chance to take influence and shape things in many fields such as a climate-friendly and resource-friendly transport policy, equal supply of both urban and rural areas. Living democracy that can also make decisions needs a strong public sector on the spot. Re-municipalising privatised facilities of material, social and cultural basic provisions or conversion into public property is therefore an independent political goal for us.

We want German unity to be completed in all spheres of life at last. This applies to wages, working hours, pensions and comprehensively living conditions – from the density of health-care, schooling and cultural coverage to new jobs for the east.

We want to abolish the two-class health system and its division into a state-run and private insurance systems and reform the health reform: by introducing a universal health insurance, by enforcing a positive list of drugs, by abolishing patients’ out-of-pocket payments for drugs and enforcing the principle of equal treatment for the same disease. Hospitals and aftercare facilities must not be kept as profit-oriented establishments. By way of a nursing-care reform we want to make sure that the dramatically desolate situation in nursing-care caused by raising care levels and increasing staffing is ended and people who need nursing-care can take part in social life hopefully long in self-determination.

We want reforms in drug policy: The differentiation between legal and illegal drugs does not follow any comprehensible principle; it was rather chosen arbitrarily and at random. Manifold experience shows that legal bans can rarely make people abstain from consuming drugs. In order to put an end to the criminalisation of drug users we champion an amendment of the narcotics law towards a clear liberalisation. We have a humane and medically convincing concept in mind, which gives those addicted to drugs the fundamental perspective of a possible detoxication. In order to end the criminalisation of drug users and the chronically ill we advocate a liberalisation of the narcotics law.

We want an emancipative disableds’ policy on the basis of the UN convention on the rights of disabled people so that people with disabilities can take part in life in society.

We want to renew and extend the ways of democratic influence. This includes especially the introduction of referenda also at national level and the qualitative extension of co-determination in businesses and the economy. This also includes a resolute defence of the civil liberty rights from increasing surveillance and security endeavours and our stance against a merger of existing security agencies and the establishment of new centralised structures such as the National Security Council. We demand cancelling Section 129a of the Penal Code.

We want equal rights for all people permanently living in Germany and the European Union including suffrage. The campaign against racism and discrimination is a pivotal concern for DIE LINKE. The integration of immigrants and people from different cultural backgrounds is a permanent task for society. We continue to plead for open borders for people in need, giving illegal immigrants a legal status, reinstating the fundamental right to asylum and harmonising the asylum legislation in Europe at a high human rights level.

We want to fight far-Right extremism in all its manifestations. To this end we support initiatives, projects and organisations that strengthen the democratic civil society and defend public space from neo-fascists. The neo-fascist NPD is a central actor of organised far-Right extremism. A ban on this party detaches it from the influx of state money and is a clear signal from society that its positions are outlawed. The condition for such proceedings leading to a ban is a withdrawal of all informants of the internal intelligence agencies. DIE LINKE does not thoughtlessly call for bans on parties because having a party is held in high esteem as a privilege in democracy, yet in the case of the NPD we think it necessary.

We want the protection of human dignity to entertain the highest priority. Racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic attitudes and actions must be countered pre-emptively and consistently. The time of National Socialism admonishes us on the one hand and gives us reason to deal critically with German history on a long-term basis and support education on history on the other. We actively support an amendment to the Basic Law on anti-fascism declaring that reviving National Socialist thoughts are unconstitutional. An endorsement of civil society and anti-fascist commitment must be of top priority also in times of tight money.

We want a climate and energy policy which combines ecological, economic and social sustainability, does not lead to new social rifts and marginalisation processes and respects the same right of all people globally to the same prosperity development. We advocate energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable sources, sustainable technologies and possibly a decentralised energy supply. We want to part with nuclear power as soon as possible. Dependency on fossil fuels must be overcome. We are opposed to new coal-based power stations. We demand an open search for suitable terminal storages, a closure of the repositories in Gorleben and Konrad, a serious comparison of options for the storage Asse II and an end to Castor shipments until a terminal storage for highly radioactive waste has gone operational. These shipments are only possible due to extreme violations of fundamental rights. A different energy policy cannot be left to the major energy suppliers. That is why we champion a re-municipalisation of energy supply and making the power grids public property. We want to put an end to the destruction of our natural environment. To this end we need consistent public plans and major investments in the adaptation of infrastructure to ecological needs. Economic, science, technology, structural and regional policies must be tailored to suit a conversion of society and the economy along ecological lines. It is necessary to change information, education and behaviour.

We want a consistently sustainable energy and climate policy that adheres to the nuclear power phase-out and removes dependency on fossil fuels as quickly as possible. Energy and climate policies are pivotal challenges of the global responsible policy that can only be met justly if they do not lead to new social disarray and marginalisation processes and, globally speaking, respect the same right of all people to prosperity. To this end it is necessary to set consistent public parameters and make major investments in a socio-ecological transformation of the infrastructure. The economic, science and technology, structural and regional policies must be geared to transforming the economy and society along ecological lines. A different energy policy cannot be left to the major energy suppliers. That is why we champion re-municipalising energy supply and subordinating the energy grids to the public purse.

We want healthy food for all. DIE LINKE endorses regional economic cycles supporting farmers and organic farming. High quality organic food must be affordable for all sections of the population – such as by direct marketing excluding chain stores. 

We want to put an end to redistribution from the bottom to the top and the disorder in the financing of public affairs. To this end we need a tax reform, which comprehensively follows the principle of tax efficiency with determination and eliminates the unilateral disproportionate taxation of wages as it abolishes taxation of profits, capital incomes and inheritance below average in comparison with other OECD countries. Therefore, we want to impose higher taxes on higher incomes, profits, capital incomes and inheritances in order to take the burden off small and medium incomes and finance public services better.

We want international financial markets to be re-regulated and controlled. This includes imposing a VAT on stock exchange transactions, public rating agencies, certificates for financial products, a limit on investments for hedge funds and containing capital transfers to tax havens. The demand for re-regulating financial markets is more up-to-date than ever.

These concerns meet with much approval and growing support among citizens. Many people register that a tremendous section of the population does not benefit from the economic boom, that wage earnings fall short in comparison to income from profits and capital. The will of society to effect changes is nourished by the fundamental decision whether this is a temporary phenomenon or will continue for the decades to come: a lasting division of society into a part that benefits from the increase in productivity and another part that goes away empty-handed. What matters now is to decide what social justice means in the 21st century; freedom, equality and prosperity for all or just for a part of society. A society that allows itself to be dependent more and more on a few large economic power agglomerations in its economic and social prosperity is not a desirable society to DIE LINKE but rather a calling to question the rules of the system and look beyond it.

To us the mechanism of interference with the ownership structures of major corporations the Basic Law and almost all state constitutions offer are not remnants of old times and no empty talk. The real power centres in this world – huge global corporations and their associations – are not democratically legitimised and they do not have to face elections. It is the job of politics to curb their power and break it if necessary. DIE LINKE, therefore, advocates the right to call political strikes to put the brakes on the power of capital owners and their influence on politics. DIE LINKE favours legal intervention to prevent mass dismissals and consolidation at the expense of the employees and the general public.

DIE LINKE wants a democratic, social and peaceful Europe that preserves the environment. That is why we are opposed to the Treaty of Lisbon, which facilitates social and wage dumping, decrees surveillance and rearmament, walls the EU in against refugees and migrants yet marginalises ecological and global problems and is not even put to the vote for the citizens.

We shall stand up in our election programmes for the European and general elections for this political change of direction and show that an alternative social development is possible. We address a majority in society through our policy and our election programme, which can also lead to a political majority. To this end we adhere to the political virtue of running ‘open lists’ in elections. ‘Open lists’ in European, general and state elections are an invitation to run for a mandate to public figures whose heart beats on the Left and who feel attracted to the election programme and the principles of the party. Members of DIE LINKE and independent candidates are running on the lists of DIE LINKE for European, general and state elections.



We want a future investment programme for Germany comprising five priorities, i.e. education, health, environment, services of local interest and public employment to the tune of € 50 billion a year. At least one million regular jobs could be created this way.
Education is the first priority. It takes at least € 20 billion a year to fund all-day schools and child-care, training, colleges and extended student loans. DIE LINKE also sees payroll costs in these fields as investment in the future.

More than € 5 billion are to be allocated to the health service to fund hospitals, support integrated care, prevention, research independent of industry, information and counselling.

€ 15 billion annually are required for environmental protection and ecological conversion, especially for investment in conserving energy and renewable energy sources, the renewal of sewage disposal and transport investment. Moreover, more investment is needed in local infrastructure and general interest services.

We want to create up to 500,000 additional publicly funded jobs for long-term unemployed and other people whose chances in the labour market are particularly bad. We want them to get regular insured jobs offered on usual pay or at least such paid according to our minimum wage demands by concentrating public finances and combining them with other funds. These jobs are to be created, above all, in the regions and states having the highest long-term unemployment, i.e. especially in east Germany thus giving them a nudge to catch up.

We insist that it is the job of the European Union to lend support to economically weak regions. Subsidies paid to companies that simply shift their production thus killing jobs at the current production sites are the wrong way though. We show the alternative in Germany by proposing our future investment programme: Safeguarding and extending of needed public services such as in education, health and environmental protection under secure employment conditions.

We want to re-establish distribution justice by restructuring the tax system to finance our demands and put the public budgets and especially municipalities on a sound footing again.

We emphasise that the tax cuts of the last few years in favour of the rich and major corporations have led to the situation that the tax and contribution ratio is still far below the European average resulting in a lack of financing for the public budgets to the tune of € 120 billion a year.

DIE LINKE, therefore, demands reinstating wealth tax, a just inheritance tax, a just income tax, a just corporate tax, introducing a stock exchange VAT and a determined containment of white-collar crime and tax evasion. Together with our partners in the Party of the European Left we want to take the initiative throughout Europe for restructuring the tax systems.



We strengthen the political efficiency of DIE LINKE in society through our pragmatic policy, structuring the new party and recruiting members, successful election campaigns and programmatic work.

The programmatic work of DIE LINKE was not put on hold in the months that passed. Our Key Programmatic Points have been used in several programmes for state and local elections. Some state organisations came up with their own regional principles for which they developed a broad public debate.

The new DIE LINKE also has a programmatic effect. Programme issues are always also controversies on the hegemony in the approach to society and interpreting its history.

The new SPD and CDU policy statements pretend to address the new challenges of global capitalism and ecological disasters. At the end of the day, however, they stick to the answers that make satisfying the expected return on investment of financial market capitalism as the key to all other problem solutions: Only if the desires of global corporations and investors were met something might come along for jobs, ecology and global welfare.

The programme of the new DIE LINKE will not view the problems of society and challenges from the perspective of the economically mighty but rather from the perspective of a majority in society, from the perspective of democracy and social justice and from the gender perspective; it will not accept that the social needs of the majority of the people are supposed to take second place to the private greed for profit. Re-municipalising and other forms of socialisation remain pivotal instruments to us for preventing the conversion of economic power into political power and domination or reversing it. The political and social potential of DIE LINKE is determined by its ability to develop the programme for a democratic socialism in the knowledge of the history of socialist, social democratic, communist and other left parties and their lessons. The inviolability of human rights and universal democratic principles is elementary to us. We neither trust in the omnipotence of profit nor that of the state. The new DIE LINKE places emphasis on freedom and equality for all citizens, their self-determination and on democratic majorities for socially just rules of a society worth living in. 

As an internationalist force it wants to help solve global problems through solidarity and justice. It regards itself as a left European actor, as a member of the European Left Party. When working at our new policy statements we enter the competition in society for the best and correct answers to the challenges of global capitalism and the renewal of democracy. Our programme will be as good as the broad public discussion of the vital issue the programme of DIE LINKE is based on: What world do we want to live in.