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Sweden: The workers movement needs to put socialism on the agenda

posted 13 Apr 2010, 14:21 by Admin uk   [ updated 13 Apr 2010, 14:25 ]

Editorial: The workers movement needs to put socialism on the agenda

The electoral campaign is coming closer and it looks set to be a real
thriller. During the last years we have repeatedly wrote in these
pages about the need for struggle and socialist politics to strike
back the bourgoise politicians and the employers. Unfortunately the
leadership of the workers movement have to no surprise dismissed our
calls. Instead we have had a mandate period with two passive workers
parties which have moved rightwards, and a union movement in a
constant retreat.

Due to the unwillingness of the leadership to struggle, the resistance
has mostly expressed itself through local protests against cuts and
“illegal” strikes, as for example the Miners strike in 2007, Lagena
strike last year or the “rule book action” of the refuse collectors
this year. The youth leagues and parties of the workers movement are
continuing still their crisis after years of unfruitful internal
struggles and lack of socialist alternatives.

This is all happening in a situation where there are more arguments
than in a long time for the fact that capitalism needs to be crushed –
if the wars, hunger and climate changes aren´t enough, it is enough to
look at the rising unemployment and the constant attacks on our
rights. What would be needed is a democratic, fighting workers
movement that put forth politics that challenges the power of capital.

The election campaign could be organized in an inclusive way so that
people could activate themselves in various campaign groups with the
purpose of developing demands on various areas, to struggle for. In
neighbourhoods and work places people could have an impact on which
candidates are put on the lists of the workers parties – then we could
get candidates that stand for socialist politics. Workers in day.-
care, schools, health care and collective transportation could be
incorporated in the work of discussing what needs to be done and what
resources are needed. Of course then one would discuss how society –
us together – will get the resources needed. Who should control the
economy and the profits that are created in banks and big companies?
In that way the demands for nationalizations under workers control
would be connected to the struggle for a better society.

Instead, the right-ward drift will with all certainty continue. Even
if the Green Party in some issues don´t stand to the right of the
social democracy it is clear that they are not a workers party, but a
bourgeois party with its base in the middle class. That also makes
their environmental pathos an empty gesture, because the climate
changes can not be hindered without the natural resources being put
under control of the society. To hand over the climate issue to the
Green Party is idiotic. Instead the workers movement should show that
it is necessary to break with capitalism, which is heading towards a
full-blown catastrophe, and expose the utopian climate politics of the
Green Party.

The Green Party will become an alibi for continued adaption to the
right. If the Green Party try to open up for more private schools or
further worsening of the labour laws in alliance with the bourgeois
parties, they should first be challenged with the whole force of the
workers movement, and then if necessary the coalition should be
broken.

We have no illusions about what a would-be government between the
social democracy, the Left Party and the Green party would mean. Since
they don´t challenge capitalism in the slightest way they will carry
out politics that aren´t even worth calling “reformist”. Cut-backs and
similar “responsible” anti-worker politics will be on the agenda. At
the same time, we think it is important to point out what would be
possible for the workers parties to achieve if they based themselves
on the growing criticism towards the system and the frustration in
society and mobilized to a struggle for socialist workers politics.

Demands that should be put forth are for example 90% unemployment pay
and sick pay, six hour workday without wage reduction, 200.000 more
employed in the public sector and also worker- and community control
of commonly owned utilities. The government should be responsible for
a massive climate transition of the whole society, including
nationalizations and re-regulations within the energy sector. Such
politics would create enthusiasm, encourage people to become active
and secure an electoral victory with a wide margin.

It is though of course not enough to put forth radical politics
without at the same time activate and mobilize people. Without big
struggle the right-ward moves and the cut-backs will continue.
Therefore we do what we can to bring the struggle inside the workers
movement, and to activate the workers movement in the struggle. Part
of that strive is the union conference that we plan to organize in
September, to give the opinions of fighting workers an expression in
the workers movement. The conference is also part of the preparations
to continue the struggle after the electoral campaign, no matter what
government we will have then. Are you interested in hearing more about
the conference or take part in the planning? Contact us at
red@socialisten.nu!

(Erik Andersson)
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