Resolution for the 23. Regular Conference of Delegates of the SDS, November 1968,
by the Action Council for the Liberation of Women, West Berlin
- The reproduction of the bourgeois separation between private life and social
life in the SDS has long enough paralyzed its political work.
- The SDS defines its political activities in a biased way, by making a taboo
of any reflections on problems of personal development (which are not identical
to the bourgeois ideas about them).
- Although the campaigns of the SDS can be communicated rationally to women,
they are lacking the preconditions for addressing the subjective needs
of the women, whose oppression is experienced directly and most harshly
in that ‘private sphere’ that is excluded from the political struggle.
A double frustration awaits women in the SDS when they try to become politically
active there, i.e., when they want to go beyond participating in demonstrations,
when they want to hold presentations, speeches and submit contributions
- These initiatives of women are understood as transgressions, which they have
to pay for by acknowledging the rules of the society of efficiency, aimed
at compensating male traumata. The perverting of the social opportunities
for men to compensate go from holding speeches through bar-room discussions
all the way to lecturing pillow-talk.
- The class division of the family with the man as bourgeois and the woman as
proletarian – master and servant – implies the objective function of the
men as the class enemy. The denial of the leader principle in the SDS is
nothing but grotesque, given that each member of the SDS who is married
or living in a long-term relationship is the leader and thus at the same
time the exploiter of a family, or a family-like group. The terms class,
class enemy, exploiters are auxiliary constructs that serve women in getting
their act together, i.e., in reaching a level of gender specific solidarity
which allows them in the political struggle to turn the sensual experience
of this patriarchal society against this same society.
- This implies not the ‘politicizing’ of private life, but rather the lifting
of the bourgeois separation between private life and social life: the point
is to understand the oppression within private life not as private, but
as conditioned by political economy. It must be our aim to change private
life qualitatively and to understand this change as a political action.
This act of cultural revolution is part of class struggle.
- This implies that the revolution, as the aim of class struggle, is not so much
a question of taking over power as a question of realizing those bits of
anticipated counter-society which are beginning to emerge in the existing
bad society. This includes that the claim to happiness, currently
pushed away into private life, but not satisfied even there, must be fulfilled
in a social action.
development must thus become identical with a praxis that already now anticipates
possible moments of a future society, a society that eroticizes all conditions
of life and makes aggressions productive.