First Published: The Call, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
EROL note: This was the second instalment in a series published over several months in The Call, newspaper of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) of the USA that began in September 1976 on the revolutionary communist movement in Western Europe.
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The WCP-ML is the only Marxist-Leninist its organization in the country. There are two revisionist parties, but each is weaker than the WCP-ML.
How does WCP-ML view the world situation today? How are the factors for war and revolution developing in Norway? How does this affect the party’s mass work? These are some of the general questions asked by The Call in recent talks in Oslo with the WCP-ML.
“A new world war is both possible and probable,” stated a WCP-ML Central Committee member. “The war will be over Europe, where both superpowers face each with the greatest concentration of their military strength outside their own countries.”
“And when the war breaks out,” he added, “Norway will be one of the first countries to be attacked. It is strategically vital to the control of Europe’s northern flank and is thus in the direct line of fire between the Superpowers.
“We could be invaded by either the U.S. imperialists or the Soviet social-imperialists,” he went on. “Norway is a member of NATO and the U.S has penetrated its military high command. They could possibly pull a Chile-style coup here in order to use Norway for a “first strike” blow against the USSR.
“But we have to be more concrete,” he explained. “The U.S. imperialists are in decline, while the Soviet social-imperialists are on the rise. The USSR is stronger militarily in relation to Norway. They are more dangerous and more likely to strike first.
“To put it bluntly,” he continued, “the USSR will, in the event of war, use blitzkrieg and large numbers of troops to gain control over the Nordic countries and others. They will use more force more quickly and more brutally than Nazi Germany in 1940. Our estimate is that the Russians could occupy all the main towns in our country in less than 36 hours.”
The evidence of superpower contention is also very concrete in Norway today. In November 1975, NATO conductedĚ “Ocean Safari” exercises here, mobilizing 65 ships and submarines, hundreds of planes and 17,000 troops from eight countries. But even this did not match the “Okean 75” exercises of the Soviet Union, which used 220 vessels to blockade Norway completely while test firing missiles into Norway’s waters.
The Soviet Union regularly violates Norway’s sovereignty with its planes and ships. It has gone so far as to occupy a town on Norway’s Svalbard Islands in the far north. “This puts a part of Norway under their social-fascist dictatorship,” said the WCP-ML.
Despite its alliance with U.S. imperialism, the line of the Norwegian government is mainly to submit to this Soviet hegemonism. The WCP-ML, on the other hand, rights to strengthen working-class opposition to Soviet provocations as well as to U.S. and NATO activities.
“The social democratic party leaders” states WCP-ML, “represent the class interests of the monopoly bourgeoisie. This by no means keeps them from capitulationism. In fact, the big capitalists here have a long history of national betrayal, especially in World War II.”
“Those who today defend the nation against imperialism,” the WCP-ML leader adds, “are the working class and the people. The struggle to safeguard Norwegian sovereignty is part of the struggle of the world’s people against imperialism, especially the two superpowers. The WCP-ML is the only party that takes part in this struggle.”
The Norwegian communists insist that it is incorrect to rely on one superpower to defeat the other. They also oppose a strategic alliance with their “own” bourgeoisie.
The WCP-ML’s line instead is to prepare the working class to wage a national revolutionary people’s war against any and all foreign aggressors. Once the enemy is defeated, the task will be, immediately to pass over to proletarian revolution.
The party today carries out this work through both propaganda and mass agitation. Intensive study is underway on the experience of people’s war in other countries and of Norway’s history under Nazi occupation. This combines with mass campaigns and demonstrations in solidarity with Chile and Czechoslovakia, which have the aim of educating the Norwegian workers as to what they can expect from either superpower.
Finally, the party, together with the Red Youth and the Communist Student League, organizes summer camps for thousands of militants. In addition to political education, these cadres learn physical fitness and become familiar with conditions in the countryside, where people’s war will initially have to be waged.
Getting prepared for war, however, is only one aspect of the work of the WCP-ML. Both the Party and the pre-party group which preceded it have a rich experience in the class struggle of the Norwegian workers. Today, the party has factory cells in most major industries and plays a leading role in many strikes. It also leads a nationwide, permanent strike support committee to increase workers’ solidarity and to raise tens of thousands of dollars for striking workers.
The WCP-ML also leads the Women’s Front, a mass organisation fighting for women’s equality and the Anti-Fascist Committee, another mass front that fights political repression and militantly breaks up and disperses any activities of the “Norwegian Front,” Norway’s neo-Nazi party.
Nonetheless, the party is modest about its gains. “Our party is still small,” said Chairman Pal Steigan at a third anniversary meeting this year. “It has had some infantile diseases. But its course is correct. Hard struggle lies before us, but we know that the future will be bright if we prove capable of keeping a firm grip on the Marxist-Leninist line.”