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Seek75

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I've not said that I believe the DA would implement a right-wing constitution. I've voted according the programmes and several times tried to ask how the proposed constitution will be drafted but got no answers. I approved with the M-L programme in general, except for the proposed constitution of the DA which I approve of. Since nobody could, or tried to, convince me about the sincere intentions of the anarchists regarding the constitution, I voted for the M-L in hope of a strong electoral showing for a continued charimanship.
You just said that there are no gurantees that they wouldn't, did you not? Would that not imply a belief of such? Why question it, then, if you don't believe they would?
 

Hoody

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I was supporter of DA and until constitution is made I will support faction which bring us constitution. This shitstorm is historical chance. Once and foreverer I must told to everyone -Trotsky is devilish machiavelist manipulator, simply evil, but nation without constitution is worse than evil. So Trotsky for Chaiman in exchange of Constitution. NC as the second should be given position of speaker of assembly althrough they are not the strongest faction.
I want Unholy aliance of DAs, M-Ls a NCs. CC: 3 M-Ls, 3 NCs, 2 DAs, 1 A-Ks, 1 Lux. NCs would be given strong CC members. DAs will have Constitution. M-Ls will have chairman.

Comrades: E pluribus unum - we have same zeal, we must negotiate - for Republic, for people.
 

hyme

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sounds like a good plan, but dont think think it will happned. there is going to be war brothers agaist brothers.
 

SwiftRosenthal

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Those compromises just seem like they'd piss everyone off, make no one happy, and in general go against what everyone believes.
But isn't that what compromises are supposed to do? ;)

Especially the redrawing of border based on nationalism, a Natkom proposal which only has 25% support in the Assembly.
The NCs want a state for each nation. The compromise has two assumptions. First, the VSVR, as the first and most powerful workers' state, is entitled to be the international workers' state, the base of a federalized Comintern. Second, not only does having less states around make the Marxist dissolution of the state itself simpler, it also decreases administrative and diplmatic costs, something that the A-Ks can rally behind. The new CSR, for example, would only need to print its documents in two languages, instead of the current 6+. We could also consolidate the South American and Scandinavian members, while we're at it.
 

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I don't think the Marxist-Leninists and the Nacis have enough in common to cooperate. After all the M-Ls want to strengthen the VSVR and the Nacis want to divide and ethnically cleanse it. It would be far easier to find common ground with the Democratic Anarchists, especially if they got rid of the anarchist part of the party. They are a very young party with undisciplined members and a crisis like this should be enough to split it just like other parties of its kind have been split before.
 

Hoody

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I don't think the Marxist-Leninists and the Nacis have enough in common to cooperate. After all the M-Ls want to strengthen the VSVR and the Nacis want to divide and ethnically cleanse it. It would be far easier to find common ground with the Democratic Anarchists, especially if they got rid of the anarchist part of the party. They are a very young party with undisciplined members and a crisis like this should be enough to split it just like other parties of its kind have been split before.
I agree... in my plan I want the ruling coalition have 2/3 majority over CA and CC so the legitimacy of the proposed constitution could be unshakable. Three strong factions in coalition will secure each other and it is less likely to take upper hand in coalition for any faction. This coalition will be absolutely actionless and hung... and I think it could be good for our country, it would be introduction for pure anarchy.
 

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The Election of 1905

The election of 1905 proved to the tensest, closest and most inconclusive election the VSVR had ever experienced. Unlike so many previous elections there had been no real crisis entering the election. After it the Republic faced one of the greatest political crises in its history.



The election of the Chairman was dominated by the two opposing figures of Emma Goldman and Leon Trotsky. Together they received just over 3/4s of all votes cast. Yet, quite incredibly in the final result both received the exact same number of votes. In the past Chairmen had been appointed thanks to fractional percentage advantages over their opponents but never had such a situation occurred.

Essentially, the Party had failed to choose a Chairman. No laws existed to decide how to deal with such a situation. The Constituent Assembly would now be all important. If either Trotsky or Goldman could assemble a majority in the Assembly then they would have the leverage necessary to declare themselves Chairman. Otherwise the Republic would be plunged into yet greater political turmoil.



The problem would not be solved by the outcome of the Constituent Assembly election. However the Assembly had undergone a definite shift towards the Old Right. Combined, the two Old Right factions had won just 18 seats in the last election – now they had 28. Both factions increased their share by 5 seats. That meant that Anarcho-Kadonist representation almost tripled whilst Democratic Anarchist representation increased by a third. It truly was a triumph. The New Right was weaker than in the last election, this was largely due to the dislocation of the movement from the peasantry. Drexler’s National Communists, although still appealing to farmers, were now just, perhaps more, focussed on the urban proletariat. The Marxist-Leninists won an additional 4 seats – on the whole Trotsky failed to appeal to new voter vases beyond industrial areas, however this voter vase was rapidly expanding demographically due to the ongoing trend of large-scale rural-urban migration. Indeed in terms of the share of this population voting Marxist-Leninist Trotsky lost out as many voters chose either the National Communists or Democratic Anarchists. In an Assembly in which there were 8 new seats (the previous unoccupied seats won by the True Germans in 1900) only one faction experienced a drop in representation. That faction was the Luxemburgists. Liebknecht’s increasing closeness to Trotsky had alienated him from many whilst he had largely failed to take advantage of the seething focus on foreign policy amongst the people. Essentially the National Communists and Democratic Anarchists had gobbled up support from the pacifist lobby whilst the Marxist-Leninists had taken support from the hawkish lobby.



Geographically the spread of voters across the Republic was most interesting. As one might expect the industrial sprawls along the Rhine, in parts of Bavaria and Silesia all voted strongly Marxist-Leninists. Other highly industrialised cities along the Baltic, in Bohemia, in Warsaw and in Hannover were also dominated by the Leninists. The Anarcho-Kadonists also provided few surprises as the vast majority of their voters were Belgian with rural parts of Poland also registering strong support for them. The Democratic Anarchists survived competition in traditional heartland areas in highly populated Belgium by reaching out to the anti-Trotskyist, moderates of the Republic. The result was a large-scale increase in support, this in spite of losing dominance over cities like Brussels – the city were the old Anarchist faction had traditionally held councils. The real revelation of the election was the National Communist faction. Whilst unable to secure many of the most industrial cities they did dominate the polls in Berlin (the dominant city of the East and regarded as the Eastern Capital by many), they also secured strong support in the former Prussian lands, in Silesia and in impoverished Saxony (one of the least industrialised regions of the Republic). They also secured some hefty support in Northern Poland by campaigning heavily on the issue of Polish independence – this recently annexed region still contained major pro-independence forces whilst the other factions had failed to make many in roads. What was also notable was the breaking of the Marxist monopoly on support from members of the military, a trend that stretched back to the foundation of the Republic.



The reason for this was simple – Paul Hindenburg. As a young man in officer training school he had witnessed the collapse of Prussia and the revolution in his country. He enthusiastically joined the Red Army – convinced that autocratic government could only lead to ruin. His great level of skill allowed him to combat social pressure against his aristocratic roots as he made a name for himself within the Red Army. A veteran of many wars when Trotsky declared war on the League of Nations in 1900 he was made Commander of the Eastern Front. Within a few months the fighting in the East was over and he was transferred to command the Red Army in the Rhone Valley area of France. The only successful commander he made striding advances towards Marseilles whilst thousands were slaughtered in the trenches to the North. He was later recalled to help organise the North and was involved in the latter stages of the disastrous Summer Offensive (the bloodiest period in Red Army history). After this he became jaded with the war and went so far as to sign a petition being bandied around the army to make a truce. Nethertheless he was the mastermind behind the final ‘Trotsky Offensive’ that seized Paris in December and ended trench warfare. After the war he started to drift into the political scene and opposed Trotsky’s belligerence. In 1904 he announced his support for the National Communists and peaked public interest for what had previously remained a pretty fringe group. Despite not officially being a part of the faction he and Drexler frequently met and Hindenburg was used in National Communist propaganda. It is believed that his support alone boosted the National Communist vote in regions with high populations of soldiers (Bavaria and the former Prussia being the largest recruiting grounds for troops).

Such was Hindeburg’s synonyminity with the National Communist cause that Drexler invited him to take up one of the 3 Central Committee positions gained by the faction in the election.

With both the Assembly and the Party vote proving to be inconclusive the Central Committee became all important. Since 1900 many of the former members were gone. Sorel was dead, Bernstein (now in his 60s) retired, Chernov moved to Petrograd, Necazian passed away and Weber’s faction dissolved. By law for 10 of the 11 Central Committee positions were to be appointed according to the makeup of the Assembly whilst the final position was to be decided by the Committee as a whole. The new National Communist faction gained 3 positions whilst the Luxemburgists were allowed to retain their 2 positions despite no longer being entitled to a second through the Assembly alone. The Democratic Anarchists had a chance to invite new blood into the Committee following Bernstein’s retirement.



Aside from Drexler and Hindenburg the National Communists appointed Ernst Niekisch to the Committee. Niekisch represented the radical wing of the faction. Openly anti-Semitic, in favour of greater state authority, not nearly as committed to syndicalism as Drexler and much more obsessed with nationalism Niekisch had a significant amount of popularity with the less desirable side of the faction. Yet in a faction that sought to bring the entire New Right together Drexler simply could not ignore the Niekisch branch lest his faction start to crumble. Niekisch allegedly (according to Trotsky’s own writings) refused to look at the temporary Chairman (until a permanent Chairman could be decided Trotsky continued to Chair the Committee) directly in the face during his first meeting in the Committee on the day after the elections. This behaviour did not persist (it is believed that Drexler forced him into line) but there was clear tension.



At the opposite end of the spectrum was the new Democratic Anarchist Committee member – Otto Wels. Wels had entered the Assembly at just 22 in 1895 when he was elected as a Democrat and had since been an outspoken critic of Sorel, Lenin, Bismarck Trotsky and Drexler alike. Wels was the obvious successor to Bernstein as the representative of the Democrat portion of the Democratic Anarchist faction and many believed a viable candidate to succeed Goldman as outright leader. However for now he remained merely a member of the Central Committee. That being said he was the first Central Committee member to bring up the idea of a ‘’government of national unity’’ as a means of averting a potentially violent crisis.



As the dust settled on the election results and the Republic emerged without a government the politicking began in earnest. As seemed to invariably be the case in VSVR elections, Karl Liebknecht was right at the heart of things. What Liebknecht wanted was clear – another Marxist Bloc government. With two Luxemburgist and 3 Marxist-Leninist Central Committee members the Bloc would be just as strong as it had been in the Central Committee during the last term whilst would be able to maintain a not unimpressive 46 seats in the Assembly. Yet whilst after the last election the Right wing of the faction had been led by a visibly frail and ageing Necazian it was now led by the energetic anti-Leninist Marchlewski who favoured an alliance with the Old Right (a Luxemburgist, Democratic Anarchist, Anarcho-Kadonist alliance would have the same number of Central Committee positions and only slightly less seats than a Marxist Bloc). The two wings of the Luxemburgists were pulling in totally opposite directions. In the end Liebknecht tried to employ the same tactic which had forced Rosa Luxemburg to yield to an alliance with Lenin in 1895 – he publically stated in front of his faction that anyone who did not support an alliance with their fellow Marxists was no true Marxist. Whilst in 1895 Luxemburg had been forced to back down from an unlikely alliance with Sorel in 1905 the gambit utterly backfired as Liebknecht broke his faction in two. Marchlewski abandoned Liebknecht and brought 5 of 13 Luxemburgist members into a coalition with Goldman’s Democratic Anarchists and Makhno’s Anarcho-Kadonists.

Together the rebel Luxemburgists (called Free Marxists by their supporters), Democratic Anarchists and Anarcho-Kadonists would create the Democratic Bloc. This Bloc controlled a full 33 seats in the Assembly and 4 positions in the Central Committee. Goldman had successfully created a centralised and powerful Bloc that would decisively prevent Trotsky from securing power.

With just 8 members, all of them from the Left of the faction, Liebknecht decided to finally end the Marxist schism and joined with the Marxist-Leninists to form a united Marxist faction for the first time in decades. Trotsky greatly loosened the Marxist policy on the Soviets - the Soviets would return to the level of economic power they had prior to 1903, although the state would have slightly greater powers in directing new building programs. Aside from that the Marxists maintained most of the policies of the Marxist-Leninists and kept Trotsky as leader. As a rival to the Democratic Bloc the Marxists now had 41 seats.



The Assembly was now split into 3 very opposed Blocs. The National Communists, controlling 26 seats, the Democratic Bloc, controlling 33 seats, and the Marxists, controlling the largest share with 41 seats. Not one faction was strong enough to form a government based on Assembly support. Whilst the Assembly did display a certain bias towards the Marxists things were much more gridlocked in the supreme body of the Republic – the Central Committee. It was in the Committee where the legal power of the Republic lay. The Committee now consisted of 3 National Communists, 4 Marxists and 4 members of the Democratic Bloc (by far the least stable of the 3 blocs). The result – the chances of a government seemed almost null.



As had so often been the case in the history of the Republic, political deadlock and hostility quickly started to translate into violence on the streets. As a show of force in many Rhenish cities the Red Flag Brigades (Marxist paramilitaries) paraded through the streets waving their banners, at the same time Young Anarchists started to make their own displays of force by marching with rifles in Brussels and Brugge meanwhile the ‘Grey Shirts’ (National Communist paramilitaries) organised a huge demonstration in Berlin. It was clear that if something wasn’t done quickly in Cologne the whole Republic might explode into violence. In the past the Marxists might have held the trump card in the form of dominance over the military but Hindenburg (a man with more respect from the troops that Trotsky ever had) issued a public statement calling for the Red Army not to make any action against the ordinary citizens of the Republic until a legally binding order came from the government in Cologne – this made it impossible for the Marxists to use their contacts to bring the Red Army in on side. The true beneficiaries of Hindenburg’s action were the Democratic Anarchists. Unlike the other factions they had always actively discouraged any form of paramilitary movement (whilst factions like the Anarcho-Kadonists donated as much funding to maintaining their armed supporters as their political agents), this was the faction with the most to lose from violence on the streets and the most to gain from negotiation. Yet Goldman refused to talk to the ‘’tyrant’’ Trotsky or the ‘’counterrevolutionary’’ Drexler.



Again the voice of reason would come from the most unlikely of places – the National Communist faction. Why the National Communist hierarchy, or at least Drexler and Hindenburg, were so calm and peaceful whilst other blustered and screeched during the crisis is unclear. Most believe it was simply due to the fact that the National Communists had little to gain from either Democratic Bloc or Marxists gaining power and this was seen as the most likely outcome of a violent insurrection (the pro-National Communist forces were much less developed than the Young Anarchists or Red Flag Brigades whilst Hindenburg might have been able to secure Red Army neutrality, he could never convince it to attack the Marxists). Finally, by being the voice of reason and a force for peace the faction, often slammed as one promoting internal violence, could build up an image amongst the masses as a faction beyond petty disputes and with their safety in mind before politics. Drexler would latch onto the idea of a united front government that had first been floated by Otto Wels. On January 20th, with the Republic teetering on the brink of Civil War, Drexler proposed his plan to the Assembly.

The ‘Drexler Plan’ called for a United Front government of all three blocks. In order to achieve this, the Central Committee had to be reorganized. Drexler’s solution was to demote the Secretariat for the Ruhr (whilst still highly important the Ruhr no longer dominated the VSVR economy and many had been pushing for some time for the region’s special political position to end) from the Central Committee and to remove the position of Speaker of the Assembly. In place the positions of first and second Convenor of the Committee would be created. Due to his position as the current Chairman and the leader of the largest faction in the Central Committee Trotsky would retain the role of Chairman, Goldman would become first Convenor and Drexler second. Although lacking the title and prestige of being Chairman and by extension head of the Republic’s government both Convenors would retain virtually identical powers. In return for this all factions would agree to create a constitution forthwith and to control the government as a unified force. In order to ensure unity all new legislation would require the support of the Chairman and both Convenors.

As the only effective plan on the table of how to precede both Goldman and Trotsky acquiesced to it on January 24th. All parties agreed that the troika of power at the head of the Committee would only be a temporary measure for the coming term.



The government of the Republic had been changed in the most radical way since 1890. The Central Committee had been restructured more radically than it ever had before. Previously the Chairman had largely guided the path of the Republic with a large amount of authority centralised around that figure. Now the authority of the Chairman role had been increased but was now spread out over three individuals. The new system would be called the troika.

The first agreement passed by the new troika government was to set up the constitutional congress. With the chaotic aftermath of the last election almost resulting in a Civil War all agreed that a constitution would be required in order to ensure the security of the Republic. For the entire month of February the people of the Republic and the members of the Party were to be consulted and then in early February the constitution would be formulated with an aim to issue it by the start of April.

The constitutional congress is essentially a consultancy period with you guys. Between now and the next update I would appreciate if you could supply ideas about what to include in the new constitution. You don’t have to give me a long and eloquent draft of a constitution; you can just make a short one line post telling me our idea. I am very unsure about what to include so this consultancy period shall be very useful. Then based on a mixture of my own ideas and yours I shall publish an update outlining the constitution.
 

Seek75

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Freedom of speech and freedom of press!

EDIT: Now that I think about it, a bill of rights, or something along those lines, describing the basic and fundamental rights of the people would be a good addition, in my opinion.
 

unmerged(138094)

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A federal structure would be a handy compromise between the National Communists' proposals and most other factions' desires.
The People's Party's status as controller of the state should be affirmed.

Just a lurker's thoughts...
 

Lenin Cat

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Explicit ban on Antisemitism, Racism, Sexism, etc. The punishment of which is 5 years on a prison farm.

Explicit ban on granting independence to regions based on nationalism.

All legislation must pass the Assembly.
 

Tommy4ever

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Just so everyone can see them, here are Zimmerwald's main thoughts:

Constitution Thoughts
The Constitution is a State document[sup]1[/sup]. It should be very clear about that. It should acknowledge the dominant role of the Party over the State. It should be easier for the Party to change the Constitution than for the State to change the Constitution, and it should be difficult for the State to change the Party's own internal statutes. A bill of rights is fine, finally putting to rest all the nonsense about the free press and such, since that is a State matter. The Constitution should have to come up for renewal every five or ten years, rather than being a permanent constitutive document (and it should be abolished in 1935). The VSVR should continue as a unitary republic with equal treatment for all nationalities, rather than a federal republic. Federalism just adds another layer of State, making it more powerful and less resistant to change, while nation-based federalism is a steppingstone to secession.

[sup]1[/sup]By the State I mean the Assembly, the Soviets, the welfare services, the army, the state paper, the state schools, etc. All the institutions of the Republic not run out of the People's Party or its factions.
 

Lenin Cat

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Zimmerwald's ideas are tyrannical and should not be considered.
 

MMStingray

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Maybe parts of the constitution should be up for review but there should be a bill of basic human rights which can never be removed. If and when this is legislated then it should be made clear to the people that they need to hold the rights they are given dear and that they are worth fighting for, that if they let them be tampered with then they are dicing with their legal rights.
 

Dyranum

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There should be a clause about the abolishment of the state.
It'll also need "Ni!" and SPAM egg bacon and SPAM. :D
 

SwiftRosenthal

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We should think about looking through this for ideas. Large parts of it are explicitly American in nature, but identifying and replacing those shouldn't be much of a problem.
 
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Separation of Powers! The Committee should be divided among (by powers/portfolios, not by number of positions) three separate but equal branches: Those directly subordinate to the Chairman, those subordinate to the Assembly, and those directly subordinate to the Party. One committee position should be the supreme leadership of each branch - the Chairman, the Speaker, and the Party Secretary. To avoid future conflict, there will be more even power between these three so that two will always be able to restrain the one. The Party Secretary should be directly elected by the Party as we do with Chairmen now, the Speaker of the Assembly should be directly elected by the Proletariat along with the Assemblymen, and both should vote (like in the old system) for the Chairman.

We don't want to make any bourgeoisie, totalitarian, or anarchist organs of the state permanent when the state is a constantly changing halfway point to true communism. So we should focus on making the state function well, with checks and balances and clear rules of procedure, than on defining precisely how the state should go about things or what the structure of the various agencies and departments of the state should be. As long as the leadership is defined in this way, with separation and checks/balances, all other growths of the state dictated by that leadership will be as just and wise as possible.

And am I the only one who thinks the Artistic Revolution should be engaged now that the war is over? Let the Artistic Revolution movement spring from within the Democratic Bloc as a new tendency pushing the same way the Young Anarchists pushed within the Collectivist Anarchists.
 

BootOnFace

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I agree with Zim completely, but I think that the constitution should outline a due process for the justice system and elections foremost.
 

Xanthippus

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There should be a clause about the abolishment of the state.
I think this is perhaps the most important clause. Perhaps something like:

"The state's powers may not be expanded, and at every possible oppurtunity, as deemed by the party, its powers must be reduced until the point comes that the state is entirely dissolved."

Also I would like to see something akin to:

"All ideas, activities and political groups shall be held indisputably legal unless they impinge upon the safety, wellbeing or freedom of another. For example, advocating for and attempting to institute a system where one group works for a wage whilst another benefits from their work shall not be considered legal, as one group's freedoms are being threatened. On the other hand, religious thought shall be permitted so long as it does not advocate any subservience or the oppression of another denomination."
 
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