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Erich Honecker on the "Unity of Economic and Social Policy" (June 15-19, 1971)

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Rationalization brings a wide range of tasks for the socialist collectives and innovators. It places a new and greater demand on union work. In creative competition, the working people of our country will test and build up their skills; socialist attitudes will be formed anew and personalities will develop. In this struggle, the working class, as the leading force in our society, will grow in turn and all of its companions will as well.

Now, dear comrades, on to a few important issues that are part of our program for greater economic effectiveness. First, regarding our expectations with respect to the contribution made by science. These expectations are certainly great. Science and research have a decisive influence on the growth, structure, and performance of our national economy – all the more so since the revolution in science and technology is presently underway. As Marxist-Leninists, we respond to science as we do to other essential social realities and processes. We study its laws in depth and apply them in the interest of our people, in a manner appropriate to our socialist society. This makes it necessary to organically unite the scientific-technological revolution with the advantages of the socialist economic system and to develop, more extensively than ever before, the forms of confluence between science and production that are unique to socialism.

[ . . . ]


The task of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, as a Marxist-Leninist party of the working class, is to provide political leadership for social development in the German Democratic Party on the basis of a scientifically-grounded strategies and tactics. The party awakens and fosters the initiative of all citizens for the continued flourishing of the socialist order.

In the twenty-five years since its founding, since Wilhelm Pieck and Otto Grotowohl joined hands in a sign of unity, our party has been working aggressively, steadfastly, and successfully toward the completion of this task. As a revolutionary party of the working class and of all working people, as a party of a new type [eine Partei neuen Typus], it succeeded in accomplishing a truly historical achievement under complicated historical conditions, leading the way for all working people. The victory in the antifascist-democratic revolution, the building up of a firm foundation for socialism, and the successful shaping of the developed socialist society prove that our party will satisfy the objective prerequisites of our epoch. It is leading the people on the correct path. The goals of the revolutionary workers’ movement as established by Marx, Engels, and Lenin, and with them centuries-old humanistic ideals, are gradually becoming reality.

[ . . . ]

Source: VIII. Parteitag der SED – Bericht des ZK, 15.-19. Juni 1971. Berichterstatter: 1. Sekretär des ZK der SED Erich Honecker [Report of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) at the 8th Party Congress of the SED. Report by Erich Honecker, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED]; reprinted in Günter Benser, ed., Dokumente zur Geschichte der SED [Documents on the History of the SED], vol. 3: 1971-1986. Berlin, 1986, pp. 7-33.

Translation: Allison Brown

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