20th International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties, Athens 2018
Intervention by the
Communist Party of Denmark (DKP)
Henrik Stamer Hedin
In recent years – at least since Donald Trump’s election as US president – the international situation has been characterized by the breaking up of old alliances of imperialism. Since a year or so it has become evident that we are witnessing a turnaround in the strategic orientation of US foreign policy. The president has cast doubt on the ”relevance” of NATO, and lately the seemingly unbreakable alliance between the US and Turkey, this pillar of US Middle East strategy, has started to crumble. At the samte time, disintegration of the EU continues.
While up until recently the Soviet Union, later Russia, was the big enemy, which the US sought to contain by allying with her neighbours in Europe and Asia, now this role of the enemy to be contained has fallen to China. For this reason we see Trump acting in a conciliatory way towards Russia as well as North Korea. The Pacific region is moving towards the centre of US attention, and correspondingly the partners in the Atlantic Region, i.e. NATO and the EU, are losing interest.
This summer’s NATO summit reacted to this by complying to Trump’s demand for increased military expenditure in Europe. However, only a few months later, Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the EU Commission, in his yearly report on the state of the Union, said that the EU should ”take its fate in its own hands and act as a force shaping the world”. An obvious challenge to US supremacy.
Not all EU countries agree with this. It is only a few days ago that the Danish prime minister flatly turned down the proposal of an EU army. It is not that the Danish government questions the EU, but it insists on preserving a tight alliance with the USA. And there are other signs of a deepening of the disintegration process inside the EU.
These tendencies are positive inasmuch as they contrbute to a weakening of the US led imperialist front. There are other positive tendencies, e.g. the developments in Syria, but also negative trends in Ukraine and in Latin America. Generally, the world continues to be in a volatile state fraud with dangers.
Just as recent years have seen changes in imperialist alliances and conflicts in the international arena, so political patterns are breaking up inside the individual countries too – at least in Europe. In France we witnessed the almost total collapse of the Socialist Party – a change foreboded some years ago by the collapse of the PASOK here in Greece. Now the same thing seems to threaten Social Democratic parties across Europe – Italy, Germany, even Sweden. Instead, a new political force is making its appearance and gaining strength: What you might call the New Nationalists or National Populists – parties like the French Front National and the German Alternative für Deutschland. Although they attract elements of the far right, they are not Fascists; they are not like Golden Dawn of Greece or the Right Sector of Ukraine. They are not violent, but they are nationalist; they are hostile to immigrants, and they are EU sceptics. Their roots are in the petty bourgeois strata of the countryside and smaller towns. Their EU scepticism stems from the narrow outlook of these strata, and for the same reason they are of no interest to European monopoly capital, whose vehicle is exactly the EU. Instead, they constitute an independent centristic force of petty bourgeois backwardness and narrowmindedness.
As a matter of fact, the representative of this current in my own country, the Danish People’s Party, is quite close to the Social Democrats, who are seeking a new ally in their struggle for office, in which they have been deserted by the Radical former small peasants’ party, as I explained it five years ago in Lisbon. We are witnessing a somewhat surprising rapprochement of the old labour party with these petty bourgeois new nationalists – perhaps a new class alliance between working class and intermediate strata?
In 1976 the Communist Party of Denmark issued a new programme, in which we advocated just such an alliance under the heading of Anti-Monopolist Democracy. We had considerable success with this in creating the People’s Movement Against the EU, which embodied exactly this alliance, but apart from that we have not been able to put this strategy into practice. Now it would seem that our idea has been taken over by others. But alas, this alliance of Social Democrats and new nationalists is not going to launch the new revolutionary surge foreseen by us 42 years ago; instead, it will be based on the most backward and narrowminded layers of working class and petty bourgeoisie. It will mark yet another reactionary trend.
Next year, on the 9th of November, our party will complete its first century. This takes place in a situation calling for new, progressive, even revolutionary alliances like the one we foresaw 42 years ago. Obviously, we failed. So how is this alliance to be accomplished in this era of disintegration of old alliances? What classes and strata have to be united and on what political foundation? This is the question facing us in our centennial year. This is the question we are currently discussing in our party.