Category Archives: German Democratic Republic

A closer look at bourgeois democracy

Since today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (please see my previous post, “Democracy, East Germany and the Berlin Wall” by Stephen Gowans), lets take a closer look at bourgeois democracy, since it is supposedly so fabulous according to the self-congratulatory imperialist media:

That would all be funny if this farce weren’t backed by force:

“Bourgeois democracy, although a great historical advance in comparison with medievalism, always remains, and under capitalism is bound to remain, restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor.” – V. I. Lenin, Bourgeois and Proletarian Democracy

Democracy, East Germany and the Berlin Wall

As the hysterical propaganda against socialism goes into full-swing on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, November 9th 2009, I am posting this article, “Democracy, East Germany and the Berlin Wall” by Stephen Gowans, from his blog, What’s Left. The article cuts through the anti-communist distortions and presents the facts. For the view of the GDR itself, see their brief brochure, “What you should know about the wall” from 1962. For a more ideological look at the fall of the GDR, please see “Errors and Successes in the Building of Socialism: Strong and Weak Aspects of the Struggle Against Revisionism” by Kurt Gossweiler, in the collection Collapse of the Soviet Union: Causes and Lessons:


East German monument to Karl Marx

The GDR was more democratic, in the original and substantive sense of the word, than eastern Germany was before 1949 and than the former East Germany has become since the Berlin Wall was opened in 1989. It was also more democratic than its neighbor, West Germany. While it played a role in the GDR’s eventual demise, the Berlin Wall was at the time a necessary defensive measure to protect a substantively democratic society from being undermined by a hostile neighbor bent on annexing it.

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