Reading and conversation with Kathrin Angerer and others
Wolfgang Harich was one of the first to deal with ecological problems in the GDR at the beginning of the 1970s. In his 1975 major work “Communism without Growth?” he demanded a U-turn in economic policy from the SED.
Away from the hopeless attempt to imitate the Western model in terms of consumption and prosperity and towards an ecologically compatible way of life and production. This would not have been without consequences for the lives of the population.
According to Harich, such a departure from the world of goods and consumer expectations, accompanied by a different way of life, would only have been possible in the short term through authoritarian state measures. This earned him the accusation of being an “eco-Stalinist.” But his thinking is also reminiscent of today's approaches to ecological transformation “from above”.
Wolfgang Harich is a German philosopher and journalist who advocates political reform and democratic communism in the GDR. For this commitment, Harich, along with other Marxist intellectuals, was sentenced to ten years in prison in a show trial in 1957. Amnestied in 1964, Harich works freelance on philosophical and ecological topics. After reunification, he advocated the establishment of an all-German KPD and rejected any reappraisal of GDR history.