Interview with Otto Bruckner, chair of the PdA, in the former GDR youth paper Junge Welt. Interview by Werner Pirker (extract)
This Saturday the PdA will be established in Vienna. What distinguishes it from other parties ?
Like all other countries Austria also needs a people’s party in the best sense of the word, whose policy is oriented towards the interests of the lower and middle classes. For all these people our party to become the powerhouse that – sooner or later – will enable them to organise themselves.
The new party has not fallen from the sky. Were does its core come from?
The impetus for the founding came from the Communist Initiative, which was founded in 2005 as an independent organisation, as a reservoir of Marxist and Leninist forces. Those were mostly members of the Communist Party of Austria (CPA), who saw no future in the class-neutral orientation of their party leadership. And given the undemocratic party structure they saw no possibility for a meaningful changes in policy.
An equally important part of the PdA founders are young people who have grown up in the Communist Youth of Austria (KJÖ) and the Communist Students Association (KSV). In addition, quite a few KPO comrades come to us as part of the foundation.
The Styrian [a province in southeastern Austria] organisation of the CPA operates with great success a policy based around social antagonisms – in stark contrast to the party at the federal level. What is the attitude of your new party to the CP of Styria?
For us, the Styrian Communists are highly respected people of integrity, we have a reasonably friendly relationship with each other. We have, of course, noted that the Styrian comrades want to stay in the CPA. But I also believe that the most prominent forces in the CP of Styria quite understand that we deem it necessary to set up our own party – they know so well the state of their national party. As a sign of solidarity, it is also true that an official representative of the Styrian Communist Party will participate as a guest in our party’s founding congress.
Do you already have bases in the social movements ?
We have in recent years joined forces in a trade union tendency, ‘the Communist Trade Union Initiative International – Comintern’. In 2009 it succeeded in the direct election of all wage earners to get a seat in the Vienna Chamber of Labour. [Austrian trade union councils are made up of delegates election on a PR proportional representative system from lists.] For the upcoming 2014 elections there are already PdA candidates in three states. The party founders include several workers leaders, including three (works) council chairmen of larger companies. We support social and labor disputes, as we did recently in the struggle of the MAN [Manpower Group temporary workers] workforce in Vienna.