17 IMCWP, Contribution of CP of Sweden [En]
The Communist Party of Sweden sends its greetings and solidarity to all comrades gathered here. We thank the Communist Party of Turkey for its generous hospitality
The idea that Sweden is a relative progressive country with strong welfare where the workers have influence over the production is persistent myth. There are few countries in Europe that before the crisis of 2008 had privatized and impoverished the people as Sweden. The only country that has equaled us is England. This development began in the eighties when the then existing social democratic government started to reduce the wages, a development that is constantly ongoing. Before the attack on the wages began they consisted of seventy percent of the GDP, today they are down to an estimate of fifty percent.
The victory of the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union dealt a serious blow against the worker´s movement and Sweden was no exception. But the victory came at a very auspicious moment for the Swedish capital. A financial crisis had broken out because of the deregulation of credit market in 1985, which led to a property bubble where the Swedish crown was speculated against. The crisis was exploited in full to enforce policy that with great certainty would have been impossible at another time. Between 1991 and 1994 the amount of privatizations and unbundlings were so many that Sweden was world-leading in selling off the public sector.
This period is characterized by dramatic increase in unemployment. From being around one to two percent whereas two was considered to be a smaller catastrophe it suddenly rose close to nine percent. The high unemployment was utilized to legitimize a referendum concerning a membership in the European Union. Even though the proponents had an enormous advantage when it came to resources the result was unclear until the treachery from the social democrats. By claiming that they had received guaranties that the Swedish labor market policy with its collective bargaining and the principle of access to official records would remain untouched they managed to shift the opinion into their favor. These guaranties have now trough the Laval judgment against the Swedish Building Workers´ Union and the changes in the principle of access to official records in connection with the upcoming TTIP agreement proven to be brazen lies.
Privatizations have since then been the watchword for Swedish policy regardless government constellation and they have reached such proportions that few countries can brag to be, in certain areas, deregulated as the Chile of Milton Friedman. But there combat planes, mass murder and torture was necessary to implement such policy. In Sweden it was enough with fair promises from the social democrats.
In the wake of privatizations and unbundlings the union movement has been a target for fierce attacks, externally but above else internally. The social democrats strangle all attempts of grass root activism trough a bureaucratic organization were almost all the power lies with the federation boards which of course they control themselves. The support to the EU, passivity instead of struggle, the acceptance of private employment services whose sole purpose is to break the unions and the strong ties to the social democratic party has led to maybe the highest degree of organization in the world among the working class has dramatically sunk.
Sweden is an imperialistic country, in other words a country were state and financial capital is interwoven and profits on capital export utilizing different methods of coercion. But unlike most imperialistic counties Sweden has abstained from participation in war and has not been tied up in any alliance. Principles of neutrality have been an important part of Swedish foreign policy. This stance changed in 1994. Sweden joined Partnership for Peace (PfP), an organization that is a prelude to a membership in NATO and in connection with the so called war on terror the country was in war for the first time in two hundred years. This development has since then only accelerated. Sweden is not only a participant in wars but is also active in conducting coup d’états as in the Ukraine. Our government sponsors different religious fundamentalist groups and terrorists and mercenaries gathers where there is money and weapons. In an effort to overthrow Al-Assad Sweden has sponsored the so called Free Syrian Army with close to 4 million euro’s a year. The money has gone directly to the Al-Nusra front, Al-Qaeda’s divisions in Syria. Our country’s foreign policy in recent years bears great responsibility for the massive flows of refuges that we now see.
With the alleged Russian threat in our region imperialism has gained ground with NATO. Next year our parliament is supposed sign what is called the Host Nation Support agreement. If this happens Sweden will surely in the close future become a member in NATO. This will create an enormous instability and the risk for future conflicts with Russia will increase. The pro-NATO campaign has partly been managed thru mass media by alarmist claims that Russia soon are going to invade but also obscurely by the different parliament majorities under two decades. They have attuned the armed forces and weapons systems as well as conducting exercises with NATO on a regular basis, all to prepare the army for a future membership. The military spending has also increased to nearly two percent which is a requirement for NATO members.
Although everything seems bleak and pitch black there still are a few rays of light. During the last years several spontaneous uprisings against the plunder of the public sector, foremost regarding areas like schooling and healthcare, have taken place. These actions that have contained demonstrations and occupations were often organized by personnel that had enough. But unfortunately the opportunistic parties took, as many times before, control over management, disarmed and in the end killed the workers initiative. Other areas worth mentioning is the radical youth’s participation in the anti-fascist struggle and the occupations related to the question of housing that we have seen in recent year. Many youths are also involved in the living conditions of the Romani and the newly arrived refuges. As for the Union movement there have also been some promising initiatives at a local level.
The theme for the meeting is “The tasks of Communist and Workers’ Parties to strengthen the struggle of the working class against capitalist exploitation, imperialist wars and fascism, for workers’ and peoples’ emancipation, for socialism”. The labor movement’s collective experience, both yours and ours, shows that the traditional work procedure is the only way to ensure success. Close cooperation with the working class in the mass organizations, active participation in spontaneous manifestations, both legal and illegal, to strengthen the interests of the people, the organization of militant actions with clear class paroles and continuous disclosures in our own mass media is the cornerstone of every party. We must with all our strength clarify the deceit and the illusion that we live in a democratic society that includes all.
In this struggle we must jointly develop a strategy to combat the opportunistic parties. These parties are probably the most important impediment that leads the class struggle to socialism. The European opportunistic left has wandered so far out into the swamp that it has become difficult to distinguish them from the open bourgeois parties in their practical policy. This is often even stated by their own members as from officials in the unions. Their active support for imperialistic wars, regime changes, EU and their utilizations of the so called Russian threat to usher us in to NATO does that this question once again rupture the national framework.
Sweden faces many political challenges whereof the question regarding TTIP and the Host Nation Support agreement are among the most important because it will mean that Sweden in the future will become fully active in imperialistic wars and all of the working class´ achievements will be eradicated. To reach success in the struggle against the capitals´ tightening grip over the working people, it is required that our party executes its role as an organizer and ideological guide. Our international joint committees as the IMCWP and the Initiative will play an important role because of the information that we can get a hold of will be invaluable.
Karl Marx phrased:
Workers in all countries unite!
In the age of the so called globalization, war and destitution create flows of refugees but unwilling migration is also created by the freedoms of the monopolies. The capitals globalization and concentration makes the struggle global but must by necessity primarily proceed from a national playfield. Because of this it’s imperative that our international movement comes to an agreement that members and sympathizers from our fraternal parties that move over borders and continents have procedures to make/take contact with the party that organizes the working class in the country where they are going to reside.
To be able to join and strengthen the proletariat we should begin with the communists that have moved and has their subsistence in our respective country. They are going to be a part of the working class in the new country and they are going make the same experiences. It is important that they are not misled or bought by opportunism that is the leading and pacifying force in the labor movement today. When newly arrived comrades settle in our countries they lack fundamental knowledge of regional and national labor history and they are also unfamiliar with the political map. A communist party with another nationality cannot organize and lead the class struggle in another country. At best we can influence each other theoretically on an international level. To follow the Party principles of Lenin: the workers class should be organized within the Communist Party from a national level. Herefore Lenin wanted that every CP should wear its national appellation. One nation- one struggle- one party!
Communist parties that are not illegal in their country of origin should not keep or build new sections in other countries. It’s very clear that the members have a tendency to become passive and separated from the class struggle, political development and participation. Their vast knowledge will become lost to us all. If this maintains one must call it by its proper name, dogmatism.
On the regional plane the communist parties must do what they can to gain influence in the anti-imperialistic mass organizations and the peace movement to create confidence among the masses for our political struggle, methods and ideology. Anti-imperialistic actions will thus become more continuous and sustainable. The communist and workers parties should therefore create and organize the struggle through regional initiatives or else the opportunistic forces will take over.
These are ways to strengthen the international proletarian struggle and the work for peace.
Long live the proletarian internationalism.