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No right-wing compromises!

Monday 22 September 2014

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This statement was issued by the Socialistisk Partiet (Swedish section of the Fourth International) just after the elections on 14 September 2014. A longer article will be published in the next few days.

The Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is gone, and with him his namesake government. His party, the Moderates, are dramatically weakened; and so is the liberal People’s Party, which lost a fourth of their voters; “the alliance” of the bourgeoisie parties, with its neoliberal project, is no more. It has been defeated. But not by a left-wing victory – even if such are noticeable in the cities and regionally, Stockholm and Malmö for example. What instead made the Moderates, and with them the alliance, collapse is a dramatic right-wing shift of their voters to the extremist party the Swedish Democrats. A mixture of racism, contempt of the political class and disgust with the elites have been channelled by the right-wing extremist nationalists in a way that is familiar all over Europe.

This is a time of crisis – not just for the political establishment and their project, but also for us who fight for universal welfare and equality. Precisely because the situation is so serious the attempt by Löfven (the leader of the Social democrats) to chase the solution rightward, over the so called bloc-lines, is especially catastrophic. There have been ridiculous attempts to collect the pieces of the alliance, whether it’s by appealing to the Thatcher-fanatic Annie Lööf, or to the slaughterer of the Swedish school, Jan Björklund, or to… Well whom knows? The Christian democrats, who seem more eager to copy the Swedish democrats? The Moderates? And for what purpose? Even more politics of the extreme centre, even less attempts to stem the tide of privatization of the welfare-state? All of this will give the Swedish democrats even more votes. In the middle lies only the abyss!

Because of the dire situation it’s absolutely imperative that the working class movement and its allies take a firm hold of the government. What you lack in parliamentary success you need to weigh up by appealing to the people, the workers.

It is almost as if the political class, or the commentators—including many on the left—are deaf and blind with insider-politics, too deaf and blind to see society itself. In this time of crisis it’s necessary to “take the leadership and the government” by mobilising the grass-roots. A real red and green government keeps all the “capitalist ministers” away and steer the course towards the left and downwards, towards the movements base, rather than towards the right. A real progressive government would invite the social movements: the labour movement, the green movement, the women’s organizations – including Feminist Initiative (FI) – to utilize a real pressure from the people. It is in this process – with these movements – that a real red and green government can develop a progressive budget, a budget which includes the concerns of the majority. That is, by moving on the offensive, politically and socially. An offensive which would further weaken the debris of the alliance left in the turmoil of the collapse of the Moderates, instead of giving them a hand, this offensive would also isolate the Swedish democrats and also gather some of their voters.

Gather the forces of the left, in the parliament and on the streets, in the workplace and in the suburbs – this would be a call for a red-green government worth its name. To utilize the power of the parliament to back up and invite the democratic majority for the preservation of strong public welfare, and for equality, which would enable power from below to sweep away any parliamentary deadlock.

Thousands of young people gathered spontaneously on the streets the day after the election, for antiracism and a defence of the rights of all people. A new generation of feminists have once again given new life to the issue of women’s rights. A people’s majority are resolutely saying no to private profit-making in the welfare-sector. Students and teachers are hoping to regain the passion to educate and to learn. The workers in the health and care sector are hoping for more time and resources to do their job properly. Within these desires we can find the strength to defeat the racists, not within the spoils of the collapsed alliance of the bourgeois parties.

Now is not the time for retreats or tepid compromises. It is right now, in the vacuum of the alliance and before a new political routine is established, that the workers’ movement and the left need to use their own shock doctrine. Not a step backwards but two step forwards! Regain each empty space, outflank the demoralised, forward in every possibility.

And if our representatives in parliament sells out, compromises with everything and let the bourgeoisie regain their power, if this happens, we down here will together gather our forces before the next phase. When the right has hardened, when the middle collapses, when the bets are higher and more is on the line. At that moment the forces of the left will be ready and not make the same mistake.