Resolution for the 23. Regular Conference of Delegates of the SDS, November 1968, Hannover

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presented by the Action Council for the Liberation of Women, West Berlin

  1. The reproduction of the bourgeois separation between private life and social life in the SDS has long enough paralyzed its political work.
  2. 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).
  3. 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 to discussions.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Personal 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.