The XXXI Congress of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Union (LSDS)
On 5th June 2010 took place in Vilnius the regular Congress of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Union (LSDS). The LSDS chairman Arvydas Akstinavičius and Vice-chair Violeta Linkienė reported about their activities. In addition, delegates and guests came to speak. A. Akstinavičius repeated the already popular truth – during the 20 years of independent Lithuania there was no social democratic policy. Accordingly, Lithuania has a chance for a positive change. This opportunity can only be given by a correct social democratic policy, with the aim of a welfare state, founded on the principles of social justice and solidarity of society.
Violeta Linkienė underlined that the LSDS, despite of the difficult conditions and circumstances, nevertheless managed to survive as a political organization. The recently adopted amendments of the law for financing of political parties and political campaigns are unsatisfactory and only for the parliamentary parties usefull. The changes are formulated in the way that such political organizations, as the Lithuanian Social Democratic Union, should disappear from the scene. This law does not awaken hopes that the political party system, which suffers from corruption, would be able to heal and to shift the lever of influence from the big money towards the influence of opinions and arguments of the citizens. ….
In case the activities of the political parties should be founded only on the single criterion – that means, to strive by the big money, no matter by what kind of means, and this only for the purpose to secure themselves the material welfare – the gap between them and the Lithuanian Social Democratic Union (LSDS) should be opened even more.
Prof. Juozas Žilinskas, chairman of the Vilnius Group of the United Democratic Movement (JDJ), emphasized in his greeting to the participants of the Congress that the Social Democratic Union is the only political organization, with whom the social organizations have no problems to cooperate, in order to realize important and necessary tasks.
The Chairman of the Expert Council of the Socialdemocratic Institute Mr. Gintaras Mitrulevičius confirmed that during the last 20 years actually there has not been a social democratic policy. In his view, the Lithuanian Social Democratic Union (LSDS) has a chance to do all that, what the LSDP (Lithuanian Social Democratic Party)
all the past years had neglected to do. The Congress adopted the manifesto “To preserve not only the name of Lithuania”
The new Chairman of the LSDS Arvydas Akstinavičius was re-elected as well as the first vice-chair Dainius Paukštė. As vice-chairs were also elected Violeta Linkienė, Gediminas Akelaitis, Tomas Bakučionis and Pranas Noreika. As the responsible Secretary was chosen Vaidas Nagreckis.
The next meeting of the newly elected Council is provided on the 17th July 2010 in Mažeikiai. There will be not only the executive board elected, but also by the Congress recomended documents, concerning the economic and financial issues facing the country, adopted.
About elections, values and the choice
During the parliamentary elections on 12 October 2008, compared to the 2004 elections, the Lithuanian Social Democratic Union (LSDS) won 2.7 times more votes, however they have not yet seats in the new parliament. Still, it is necessary to emphasize that these nearly 11,000 voters, who have voted for the fundamental political values and principled amendments justified with concrete proposals, have demonstrated their awareness, responsibility and political maturity – in contrast to the many others who voted on the basis of emotions or calculations. We sincerely thank all those who have supported the principled position of the Socialist Union.
But we must admit that the principled attitude of the LSDS in the elections has turned against ourselves.
– That we have cherished our ideas and have not accepted stars (of entertainment – the transl.) in our electoral list, who had no relations to the social democratic policy,
– That we have declined financial support, linked with expectations,
– That we have carried out concrete activities, have gathered signatures for the referendum and have used the language of arguments and facts instead of the beautiful illuminated advertising posters from the stands – all the above facts have not been seen, have been misunderstood and not appreciated by other voters. Valuable this was only for those voters who cast their votes for LSDS.
We can not excuse the voters at the polling itself who behaved irresponsibly, remained only mere residents and thus did not proof theirselves as responsible citizens of Lithuania. In this way they have created the opportunity for future governments to act idiosyncratic.
The Social Democratic Union called on everyone to go for election, in which she claimed that a change in the difficult situation of the citizens needs concentrated efforts. Concentrated efforts mean not only to go on the election day to the ballot, but also mean the effort of every voter to consider seriously, to listen attentively and compare the arguments and facts. Unfortunately, there were too few of such efforts. One might think that people were somewhat satisfied with the current situation and needed no changes. However, by someone into the mouth of voters inserted clichй, “there is nobody that you could choose,” can not serve as a justification – ignorance does not exempt from responsibility.
The Social Democratic Union urged the electorate to develop an idea which way we go, what kind of state we are building – she (LSDS – the transl.) advocated a social and legal welfare state. Meanwhile the other parties talked only of any changes – they presented neither a model of the state, nor a strategic development, nor they had a vision. On the other hand, what changes can we even expect, if the policy of all governments during the 18 years of independence, regardless of how they are called, has been a right one and founded with the liberal dogma of free market economy, shall be „replaced“ by a policy of the same contents by the Rights? Therefore, it is very likely that the “changes” of the future Parliament and the governments shall restrict oneselves only with the “Deleting of the fires” and the solutions of problems of interest groups as compensation for the millions of investments in the election campaign, etc. It is obvious that the voters once again will be disappointed of their election (or not election).
The time will show in what form this disappointment might manifest itself.
Chairman of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Union (LSDS)
Translated from Lithuanian language by Irena Dikšaitienė
The position of the LSDS on war between Russia and Georgia
There have been told many ideas in connection with the war between Georgia and Russia, there have been said positions of citizens and politicians. In addition to this, let us remind the historical facts especially to those who try to present themselves as social democrats. Particularly the Socialist position of Steponas Kairys (famous Lithuanian social democrat, 1878-1964 – the transl.)) in response to the events of that time.
Extract from the monthly magazine “Socialdemokratas” of March 1921:
“Now it became finally clear – at Moscow’s command, the Russian military attacked Georgia, crushed down the small Socialist Republic and is establishing there now by bayonet a communist order. Karl Kautsky, who had visited the country short before the Russian attack, describes the events in Georgia as follows:
“What yesterday has been announced as a rumor – says Kautsky – today the news of friends from Tbilisi confirmed it – the Bolshevik army has attacked Georgia without any war declaration.
It is a terrible situation – not only for the unfortunate Georgia, but also for the entire international socialism. The fact is that one Socialist Republic attacks another Socialist Republic.
In Georgia, as in Soviet Russia, too, the governmental power is in the hands of workers. However, Georgian workers practise different governmental methods – that means, democratic and not terroristic methods – and they have achieved good results.
Of course, the Bolshevik terrorists did not like the order in Georgia. But should be therefore a peaceful neighbour – Georgia – drowned in blood?
Georgia is existing already three years as an independent country.
The Government there is in the hands of the Social Democrats. This Government is supported still by the revolutionary workers and peasants.
On the first day already the Government of Georgia expressed that it does not want to fight with anyone. It has held its promise until recent days, although it was not easy to preserve the neutrality (not to be involved in the war).
At first Georgia was occupied by the Germans, then appeared several adventurers of the Entente. Denikin was also in Georgia invaded. Every of them intended to bring over Georgia to his side and to implicate it into the war. Georgia was able to free itself from all.
In the last time Georgia has got two new neighbours: the Soviets and Azerbaijan – both communist republics.
Georgias situation , however, did not improve. The Soviets wanted to make Georgia to their subject. Georgia has decided against the aspirations of the Soviets.
Because Georgia has kept its neutrality, it therefore became an opponent of the Soviets. Despite of all efforts to live peacefully side by side with the Soviets, Georgia did not succeed to realize this.
As the Russians were not successful to organize there communist insurgencies in Georgia, in May 1920 was finally signed a contract.
This contract with Georgia brought a great benefit to the Russians, because they got the opportunity to trade with the West. Even Lenin had this acknowledged. The Bolshevists as well as the imperialists in the West, however, continued to keep the violence in the first place. Georgia has fulfiled the peace treaty honestly, however not Russia. Immediately after the signing of the Peace Treaty the Soviet army invaded Georgia, – but was beaten.
Then the Russians tried again to plot revolutions in Georgia. Despite the gigantic sums of money that flowed from Moscow, the Communists found no support by the workers and the peasants. After this, the Russians stopped the supply of oil, although they had promised the supply in the Peace Treaty. By this way they tried to destroy the industry and the railways of Georgia.
When the Turkish nationalists, led by Kemal Pasha, invaded Armenia, there has arrised a danger from a third party to Georgia. But we did not lose the hope. The Georgians hoped that the Russians would not trample the right to self-determination and would not attack the Republic.
The Georgians were pleased, as they got the message by the Russians that they finally wanted to fulfil the Peace Treaty. And indeed. The Russians stated that the Georgians are allowed to set in motion their wagons and locomotives to Baku, and that they would receive the necessary oil. This renewed Contract was already signed when I left Tbilisi. I was full of hope, but I became disappointed.
I had left already Georgia, when the newspapers published that this contract had been a trick. The aim of the Treaty was, to require the Georgian wagons and locomotives and to take them in possession. Two hundred tankers and a larger number of locomotives, which the Georgians had sent on their way to Baku, were confiscated by the Russians. The Georgian railway men had also been detained – they have had to suffer a lot of inconveniences.
After all that one must not be surprised that the Russian Red Army, without declaration of war, invaded Georgia, where pillages, murders and arbitrary had taken place. How dreadful was this brother war, which was caused among the workers by the apostles of the Third International. Nobody can imagine a larger disdain of the idea of socialism and revolution.
Our Georgian brothers are waiting for moral assistance of all workers in the world. With the sympathy of the Socialists of all countries they are more persistent in the obstinate struggle. They need sympathy, however, especially of those socialists, where socialism and the liberation of the working people is a living ideal and not only the pretext, in order to achieve the power for leading of robbary battles ” (So far Kautsky – the translator).
The International Workers, which was founded on 21-25. May 1923 in Hamburg during the International Congress, at which had participated 620 delegates from 30 countries and which represented the former member parties of the International Bern and Vienna, adopted, among other things, a resolution on “Imperialistic Peace Treaties and the Tasks of the Working Class”. It was outlined in wich way there should be defended the national and religian minorities. It was demanded: to resist against the colonialism and the adoption of secret war treaties and alliances. In addition, to try to reach a general disarmament, as well as require from Russia, to deduct the army from Georgia and grant the right to self-determination for Armenia and Georgia.
The Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) was represented there by Steponas Kairys.
It should be noted that the history of relations of Russia and Georgia is repeating. The Social Democratic Union of Lithuania (LSDS), is continuing the Social Democratic policy, loyal to principles of Steponas Kairys and supports Georgia’s resistance against the imperialist intentions of Russia.
Chairman of the Social Democratic Union of Lithuania
Translation from Lithuanian language
Translated by Irena Dikšaitienė
The speech of Mr. Arvydas Akstinavičius to the Lithuanian Social Democratic Union (LSDS) Conference on Dec. 15th, 2007
Dear Guests and Friends of the Conference,
with this Conference the Lithuanian Social Democratic Union is entering into the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) elections Marathon of the year 2008.
In the Seimas election of 2004 the parol of our LSDS was “Stop the Nonsense!”. The things which we could regard four years ago as nonsense, to day, however, we can signify as the conspiracy against the State. Therefore our parol should be transformed into: “Stop the Conspiracy against the State. Everyone to the election!” Everyone should participate in the election, because by this democratic way the Lithuanian citizens will be not only able to stop the conspiracy against their State, but also grant the possibility to the improving alterations of their own lives.
The actual Lithuanian political situation, its condition, calls to our mind the period of 1939/40. The Head of the State (the President) lost, undecided, evidently showing that there will not be taken any measures or activities in order to improve the situation.
What does it mean when his Excellence says: “I am with the teachers”, when without any veto, without any protest the Budget was signed which affects education and science, which is antisocial and which leads the State into the burden of debts? The speech to the nation which followed after it, we only can regard as raising of the white flag – this means capitulation.
What means the so-called “three-head-dragon” for Lithuania? I would say, the common Energy Act between the merchant class and the Government reminds the pre-war years with Ribbentrop-Molotov-Pact by its spirit. The parallel is evident: the Atomic Electric Power Station – in the territory of Lithuania, the energy – in the energetic space of Russia. The one who will rule the energetic, this one practically will rule the State. In this case one can make use of the very suitable saying: “Vilnius belongs us, we belong the Russians”. The consequences are also obvious: the price for energy will rise and increase in an enormous way. The people’s standard of living and its quality , however, will decrease. So the increasing of the social distinction is already pre-programmed. Their wealthy life will be able to continue only these persons, who are having it till now, as, additionally, the ones, who furthermore will have high profits by such three-headed or similar dragon projects.
I would like to draw the attention to the fact, that such “dragon” projects are absorbing giant sums not only from the State Budget but also from every of us, whereas many a one is deriving profit from them. Therefore there is arising a lack of money for Education, the Medical Health Services, the cultural work, pensions, etc. The privatization example of the same Western Distribution Net Work is typical.
The emigration of Lithuanian people is still continuing and will go on furthermore. The number of foreign emigrants will increase. I doubt whether anybody who belongs to the present Government would give a signal at the moment when this process will pass over the critical boarder and will rise the danger for the national security.
The present Party system reminds also the Lithuanian political situation of 1939-1940. At that time there has been active only one Governmental party – the Tautininkai (nationalists). The remaining parties were closed, driven away, forbidden or not recommended. At present time we have the same situation. And what structure presents the Lithuanian Parliament nowadays? It consists of only one Governmental party with some sections:
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP), Konservatives, Farmers, Liberals, Liberal Democrats and Worker’s Party.
And where are the other ones? Though they are not closed or driven away yet, but they are prohibited by the party or otherwise not recommended. However the “not recommended” parties were sticked together already: the Nationalists and Christian Democrats with the Conservatives, with the Centrists or elsewhere: at this moment it is not possible to say, where. Thus the Parties were destroyed, Parties, which have had some political values and to whom ideologie was important, etc.
I would like to draw your attention besides to the fact, that the Social Democratic Union, inclusive some more active societies, Trade Union Organizations and single active citizens practically remain alone by themselves.
We feel angry about Russia. How undemocratic it is, the elections there- only a farce, and the dictatorship and censorship are more and more establishing there. The party of V. Putin is in the Duma, included its three satellites.
And what happens with us? Here it is nearly the same.
Please, look at the communication system. There are a few publications and a few patriotic, good humored journalists. That is all. Against the journalistic monster of the Government! Is this not similar to Russia?
That what I have mentioned when I have compared the political situation with the period of 1939-1940 is in no account a farce. I must admit that the period of 2008-2012 will be really very important to Lithuania. Important in that sense, that in case everything will remain as it was till now – I do not know where we will arrive.
Is there any possibility at all to straighten ourselves again? Undoubtedly – yes! I am wishing so much that we should assume the responsibility which falls on the Social Democratic Union, without any doubts about our possibilities. The responsibility for Lithuania, its citizens and last not least the responsibility for ourselves. Without us and without the participants of this meeting there nobody exists more who would be able to change anything. They are therefore not able, because they do not want it; the possibility to change things can possess only these people, who want changes and have the know how, what and why is necessary to change.
Our program is not fully riped yet. There will be a plenty of work and improvements. It is not true that all political programs are centralized. We must say the truth to the people and not things which they might like to hear. I understand that they would wish to have the improvements quickly, to day, without any delay. However this means, never. Under our Government people would feel the positive alterations in some years only. I imagine it this way, at least. So, their option will be as follows: in some years or never.
Now I must reproach that a part of our sections have been somehow relaxing after the elections of the Local Administration. Now it is just the time in order to start an intensive work. We shall not forget the political testament of our Social Democratic patriarch Steponas Kairys – what is good for Lithuania, must be good also for the Social Democrats.
Translation from the Lithuanian language
Translated by Irena Dikšaitienė