Issued: February 29, 2008
English Version: from the Communist Platform web site: http://kpml.no/kpml
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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EROL Note: EROL is not responsible for the various translator’s notes to be found in this text. They were provided by Communist Platform in the English version of the text on their website.
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We are witnessing a serious sharpening of the imperialist contradictions. On all contintents, there is an on-going rivalry for influence and market shares. For the time being, the other imperialist powers are not strong enough to challenge the US in the military field, and they more or less willingly abide to the American baton in the so-called ’war on terror’. In their foreign and internal policy this allows the bourgeoisie in all countries to strengthen the apparatus for violence and suppression, resulting in a number of measures like censorship, surveillance and repressive measures against native citizens. Partially, this campaign is of a racist, anti-moslem, nature, another part of it is openly anti-communist. The latter spans from direct banning of communist activity and symbols (as in the Czech republic and the Basque country Euskadi) to insistment on a total re-writiing of history and revision of school text books so as to indoctriante the young with the idea that communism is an ideology more ’criminal’ than fascism. The tendency of fascistization of the state apparatus in several countries thereby goes hand in glove with overt struggle against communism and progressive movements in general. Norway is by no means devoid of these developing trends.
“The capitalist state may assume different forms: it can be bourgeois-democratic or fascist. But the state is always and without exception a tool in the hands of the ruling class. The capitalist state is in essence an apparatus of violent force, which is used to supress the working class.” (From the platform/manifesto of KPml.)
In economic terms, the imperialist world economy appears to be driving at full speed, accellerated through privatization of what used to be regarded as public property, especially in the former socialist countries. Neo-liberalism is a preferred weapon of capital in the present period, a weapon which is made active use of in order to perpetuate the plunder of the countries and peoples supressed by imperialism.
Since the total restoration of capitalism in the former Soviet Union, capital has forged a targeted offensive to roll back all the gains and achievements of the European workers movement in the post-war period, an onslaught targeting wages, pensions, union rights and political rights.
Following a long period of weakening of the trade union movements and a series of defeats in confronting capital, the working class of Europe has begun to straighten its back. In the Autumn of 2007 a number of strikes swept across Europe, in Germany, France and Italy, focusing on defending pensions and regulation of the work-day. Many of these struggles necesarrily adopt a more political character, as they simultaneoulsy oppose the longings of big capital for a privatization of the public sector in general, and everything that is typical of the European “welfare model”. These struggles are also distinguished as struggles in defence of social and democratic rights. After the victory in the fight against the constituion treaty of the EU and the Working Contract Act in 2006, the French workers in particular, have stood out with their will to resist.
These signs of increasing resistance are in part happening in spite of the trade union leadership and their betrayal through “compromizes” and send the signal that the working class is relocating its ability for struggle – and that it is coordinating the struggle across the national borders. Yet antoher tendency is that the youth is beginning to fight back, and that it on several occasions has fought besides the workers confronting privatizations and setbacks.
The relatively substantial growth in the world economy mainly comes down to two main factors: on the one side the rapid growth in Chinese industry and exports, and on the other side the US war economy and this country’s budget deficit financed through lending and the role of the US dollar.
The contradictary interests between the Chinese and the North American imperialismen are particularily obvious when it comes to trade and currency. At the same time, the US is dependant on China as a recipient of over-valued US dollar related to Chinese yuan, while China on her part benefits from the US continuing its loan-based import and war policy. An economic recession, crisis or collapse in one of these two countries would not only hit the counterpart with force, but would also bring crisis to the global economy. This is a crisis that may only be postponed through new, rotten credits and so long as China and other imperialist powers with vast dollar reserves accept to finance a greenback that is over-appreciated. The first signs of a coming credit and financial crisis following a consumer economy based on ill-based mortgages and speculation are now beginning to show.
In January 2008 stock exchanges all over the world plunged, Oslo Stock Exchange plunged 20 percent. These are indicators of what may lie ahead. Desperate interventions from the US Fed and other central banks will at the most postpone a total crisis that is bound to affect all sectors of the economy.
The military and neo-colonial rivalry between the imperialist powers is apparant not only in the Middle East, but also in the Arctic region and through the neo-colonial politics and investments of the EU/France and China on the African continent.
Present-day imperialism prevails and intensifies all the characteristics given to it by Lenin. It has become even more aggressive and reactionary than before. In addition, the globalized imperialist mode of production and the imperialist world market is the immediate cause of the upcoming environmental disasters, tearing away basic natural resources, leaving vast areas inhabitable and forcing millions of people to migrate. Never before has the saying “Socialism or savagery” had such impact and sincerity.
The setback for socialism resulting from the revisonist treachery, has lent imperialism a breathing space. But the system is entangled in more antagnoistic contradictions than ever. The working class and the peoples are rising on a greater scale against the new world order, especially in Latin America, in the Middle East and in other parts of Asia.
Imperialism is living on borrowed time. It threatens to be the grave-digger of entire mankind. The answer of mankind must be to be the grave-digger of imperialism, and to build a more advanced and civilized society, socialism – a society developed and built in correspondence with the laws of development for human society as well as for nature.
The Norwegian bourgeoisie lavishes in colossal profits, at present administered by a red and green government, while they can rest assured that the active class struggle is restrained. This is a situation that could change as the cyclic boom seems to have reached its peak, and is encountering several signs of an amounting crisis.
As an imperialist country, Norway is taking part in aggressive wars against other nations and peoples. Norwegian governments have sent troops of occupation to Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The large state-owned enterprise StatoilHydro has assets in a number og countries, e.g. Azerbadjan, Libya, Iran and Nigeria, and thus the Norwegian state is active in the explotitation of vital resources in other countries.??Norwegian economy is heavily dependent on the export of oil and gas, but is simultaneously vulnerable and feeding on the Chinese push on world economy. Militarily, Norway is bound to US imperialism through NATO, but among the people there is considerable discontent with the bandit wars waged by “new” NATO. At the same time, the Norwegian bourgeoisie does its utmost to keep up a pretty face towards the European Union, and has long ago sold out national sovereignty while submitting to the dictates from Bruxelles. The EEA (European Economic Agreement), participation in the Schengen system, the membership in NATO and the aggressiveness of economic and military imperialism abroad, shows that the bourgeoisie has discarded the national interests. On two occasions, in 1972 and 1994, the people of Norway have encountered capital and the supra-national bourgeoisie, rejecting membership in the EEC/EU. These are important victories for the workers and toilers which also demonstrate that Norway has a strong tradition of popular opposition to authorities, as this has come to the fore in the popular movements of the women, the youth and others.
After a long period of lay-offs and closure of industries, employment in industry has had a strong increase. The organization of the capitalist industrialists, NHO, anticipates the need of 100.000 industrial workers in the years to come. Not bad for a class that supposedly was “extinct”!
The property prices for housing and apartments have reached astronomic levels, and most people are totally indebted to the banks [Editors note: In Norway, only approximately 20 pct of houses and apartments are for rent, while the remainder must be obtained by purchase]. In spite of this, the struggle of the trade unions is mainly of a defensive nature, focusing on defending rights gained in the past, like the right of uncurtailed wages during illness and sick-leave, and on the pensions issue. The trade union bureacracy has not even been up to make use of the favourable situtaion (with practically no unemployment) for an offensive struggle for wage increases. The reformist trade union apparatus has in the (“golden”) period 2003-2007 succeeded in conducting “moderate” collective union tariff agreements notwithstanding that the profits of the exploiters in these years of economic boom have been astronomic. This line of conduct has in general been tolerated by the workers, partly because of artificially high estate “values” (giving people the impression that they are wealthy), and partly because the left-reformist trade union opposition that dominates the middle section of the trade union confederation (LO) on the whole has been in favour of this line. The latter strata also supports the recommendations of the right-wing Social Democracy in increasing the taxation on the working people, while they at the same time avoid speaking of any increase in the employers social taxes on utilizing labour power. In this manner, the union leadership has wasted the opportunity for the workers to fight and struggle for far higher wage demands during a boom with great demand for labour force. The “red and green” government has diciplined the trade union beauracracy and thus succeeded in keeping the working class on the sidewalk, evoking expectations to possible favours offered by “our government”.
The economic boom (in the years 2003-2007) has ensured stability where real income is concerned, but disappointment is simultaneously broadly spreading within the working class and the trade union movement. The political situation is characterized by division of the working class, on part giving support to the red and green “solutions for our common interests”, while a large section on the other hand is moving towards the populist right wing Progress party and their rhethoric of tax reductions. The political class-consciousness and the idea of socialist transformation has been given a set-back as a result of the conjunction between the red an green “labour parties” and the Progress party, who from different positions postulate ideas of a more “popular” and acceptable capitalism for the people.
The public sector has been subject to long-lasting attacks through market competitveness and privatization. The labourers have had to struggle to maintain their rights and collective agreements. Also in the so-called kowledge-based economy we are witnessing that effectivization, a higher rate of passage and demands for revenue in the field of higher education, is putting harder pressure on students and employees in universities and high schools. This is narrowing the space for critical reflection and the struggle for an alternative development of society among the intellectuals.
In a situation where the revolutionary and progressive forces need political clarity and leadership, the entire “left” has floundered, with nothing else to offer than a reformed and more “considerate” capitalism of Social Democracy of the past.
“The most dangerous supporters of capitalism, are the various ’worker’s parties’ and ’Marxists’ who act as anti-capitalists and socialists. Opportunism, reformist social-democracy and revisionism will always try to paralyse the workers’ struggle and lead it astray and towards reconciliation with the class enemy. It is the ideological support of the bourgeoisie and has the privileged parts of the working class (the workers’ aristocracy) and certain intellectuals as its social anchor point. It is impossible to end capitalism without ending the paralysing grip that social-democrats and opportunists have over the workers.” (Platform of KPml)
The liquidation of the AKP and its merger into the new party Rødt has contributed to and enhanced this process. SV (Socialist Left Party, one of the three parties in the present red and green govenment coalition – a left Social Democratic party, originally based on pasifism) has rapidly moved to the right, and Rødt and its predecessors have kept up and today resemble the SV as it appeared in the 70’ies and 80’ies. The dissolvement of AKP as a declared communist party in the Spring of 2007 has not only had organizational consequences; this was also a signal saying that the communists now had abandoned their project of winning the working class for the revolution and a socialist Norway. The party project Rødt is in its content a message implying that the class struggle must be waged along reformist lines that do not substantially threaten the prevailing capitalist society.
The leadership of the former AKP has by embracing of this new party project apparently succeeded in maintaing the loyalty and the expectations of the overwhelming majority among its membership with a communist orientation. The revisionist development of the party throughout a number of years has pacified the membership, and the ideological breeding has been next to nothing. The low political and ideological niveau within the party has made the project of the leadership easier. Among many elder cadres the merger into Rødt [a party that has no obligations whatsoever for members to be active and diciplined, and with low membership fees – translator’s note] has been a relaxing alternative to many years of hard party work and activism. Others have grabbed the chance to become passive, some of them using the rightist development as an excuse. Yet others have let themselves be put to sleep, dreaming that communists within Rødt at some later stage will be able to alter the course in a ’revolutionary direction’. This is a mere illusion – an illusion that at this moment is of great assistance to the Rødt leadership and equally damaging for the necessary ideological process of clarification and demarcation inside and around Rødt.
“Through analysis, propaganda, agitation and activism the communists must reveal and prevail over opportunism as an expression of bourgeois ideology in the ranks of the working class and amongst the intellectuals.”
A minority among the communists coming from AKP have stuck to their principles and have seen the necessity of uniting communists with differing background once again in one Marxist-Leninist party. Communist platform (KPml) was founded as a result, simultaneously with the establishment of the fusioned party Rødt. The Communist Student’s League of Norway (NKS, formerly the student organization of the AKP – translator’s note) and the Marxist-Leninist group Revolusjon have been the initiators and supporters of this work for unity, both organizations giving support to KPml.
During 2007 KPml has formulated a political platform and has taken the first steps to develop propaganda work, theoretical studies and building the organization. The leaflet kpml.no is issued regularly and KPml has taken editorial responsibility for publishing the journal Revolusjon. In sum, this is a notable improvement of the communist propaganda work.
In the summer of 2007 KPml arranged a seminar for unity which, among other things, adopted a plan for the unification process, with one single party-building organization as a set target. The organization has arranged meetings for studies and discussions in several cities, conducted a memorial meeting for The October Revolution and has also made plans for extensive studies externally as well as internally.
KPml has invited anyone who regard themselves as Marxist-Leninists, whether they be organized or not, to take part in this process for a break-away from the reformist course that Rødt has embarged upon and to join forces in a new communist party founded on Marxism-Leninism.
“Communist Platform (ML) aims to unite communists in Norway. In a situation where the Norwegian workers are without a communist party, we see it as our duty to to what we can to reestablish the class party, to create a communist alternative. We invite all revolutionaries who have not abandoned their Marxist-Leninist conviction to take part in the coming work to unite and reestablish the communist party.” (Platform of KPml)
The group Tjen Folket (’Serve the People’) have also been welcomed in this process of unification, but TF in stead chose to put forward an ultimatum, in this way blocking for further debate. TF have later attacked KPml in public. [Translator’s note: The ultimate demand from TF is that Mao Tsetung without further discussion must be accepted as one of the classics of Marxism-Leninism, and that Maoism represents the most advanced form of Marxism-Leninism today. The attacks on KPml is a pamphlet full of slanders and falsifications. This document was timed for publishing and spread publically at the meeting arranged by KPml on November 6th commemorating the October revolution. KPml was the sole organization in Norway to arrange such a meeting.]
A process of joining forces and uniting communists from various traditions, requires adherment to principles as well as patience and flexibility. For the process to be successful, there is need for joint action and common practice in all fields, and at the same time theoretical views and ideological questions must be confronted and discussed openly. Unity can only be consolidated and developed on a sound basis if both these sides of the process are present. Criticism and self-criticism should generate a higher level of unity through the formula of unity – struggle – unity.
It is the collective spirit and the willingness to achieve a higher level of unity, and thereby stength, that must lay at the foundation and mould this process.
“We will overcome prejudices, differences of opinion and tactical differences which stem from coming from different traditions, and we will build solid ideological unity through common action and common studies. Only in this way can we build a genuine unity, by working together and exchanging views with the aim of bring our unity to a continuously higher level.” (Platform of KPml)
KPml needs to develop communist cadres. The lack of cadres is one of our major weaknesses. It is also important that our cadres be better schooled and reinforced to a continuously higher level. This is why cadre education by means of thorough studies and diciplined organizational and political work must have first priority. The development and consolidation of a nucleus of communists with a solid grasp of Marxism-Leninism is a prerequisite for further progress.
KPml will in the forthcoming period put further weight on our international work and expand our international relations, because we regard ourselves as part of the international Marxist-Leninist movement.
“The communists are internationalists and conceive their struggle as part of the struggle of the international communist movement. We give priority to collaboration and relations with the Marxist-Leninist parties and movements that share our view on class war and the need to coordinate communists on a global scale.” (Platform of KPml)
“Revolusjon and Akp have several solid relationships with movements and parties worldwide. On these we will build also in the time to come.” (Starten er gått. Interview with spokesperson KSA 21/3-07)
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Publisher’s Note: The report continues with non-public internal tasks and plans for the organizational and political work in the forthcoming period.