"Anti-imperialism" Swedish imperialist style

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at mailbox.swipnet.se
Fri Oct 11 04:16:19 MDT 1996


I wrote:

>>Once again, the superficial impressionism in relation to world reality. How
>>the hell could any Marxist consider an imperialist country "a pretty nice
>>place"?

And Louis P's lunchmate replied:

>Oh, right. Having produced one of the most egalitarian distributions of
>income in the world, with a poverty rate close to zero, with one of the
>narrowest gaps between male and female incomes ever seen anywhere on earth
>- these are nothing, compared to Sweden's role as an imperialist country.
>Swedish social democracy may not have been socialist utopia, but it was a
>damn sight better than what has prevailed in the U.S. or the UK, not to
>mention Sweden today. It's the inability to make any distinctions of these
>sorts that make you and your kind so politically irrelevant.
>
>And as a measure of Sweden's political tolerance, it gave asylum to your
>comrade Malecki, the Tim McVeigh of Cleveland, didn't it?

Last things first:

The countries in the world that give most asylum are the poorest states of
Africa.

Does Louis's chum make no democratic demands whatever on the
bourgeois-democratic regimes of imperialist states? Is he content to lick
up the merest crumbs from the table? Once again, he should read Lenin and
Trotsky against Kautsky's tired old "democratic" defence of the imperialist
states.

Imperialist England gave asylum to Karl Marx. Was this its most important
characteristic? Of course not. It was merely a symptom of the contradictory
character of a bourgeois-democratic regime running a capitalist state.

Lunchie Doug's reformism has never been so clearly expressed as in the
ironic words:

>Oh, right. Having produced one of the most egalitarian distributions of
>income in the world, with a poverty rate close to zero, with one of the
>narrowest gaps between male and female incomes ever seen anywhere on earth
>- these are nothing, compared to Sweden's role as an imperialist country.

For lunchie, they are everything, and the class character of Sweden as an
imperialist country in the world imperialist system is nothing.

So much for Marxism, so much for revolutionary socialism, so much for
proletarian democracy. So much for historical perspective and the dynamics
of history.

This is at the root of Doug's complete lack of policy and vision when it
comes to the problem of changing the world.

He has the same perspective as the Havels and other would-be velveteers of
the Third Way. Second International Utopianism. The Swedish Model.

Well, the Swedish regime and its thinktanks have been celebrating the death
of the Swedish model for almost a decade now.

All the concessions to the organized power of the working class that
lunchie is so impressed by were merely and deliberately temporary, given
only to be grabbed back at the first opportunity. Such concessions are
better than no concessions, but they *solve* *nothing*. The solve not a
single historical issue in the class struggle. They put off the necessary
confrontations a couple of decades perhaps, and are used to demobilize the
workers' revolutionary movement. And the political leaders and superficial
left intellectuals who grovel drooling with gratitude before such
"magnanimity" deserve the contempt they receive from the imperialists who
use them and history as it dumps them. From the working class they deserve
the boot.

Lunchie's perspective is that only the ruling class is capable of doing
anything. Hence he sees the concessions wrested from the capitalists by the
revolutionary pressure of the working class (mediated by way of treacherous
and reluctant parliamentary representatives) as benevolent *gifts* to the
workers by the bourgeois state. The political conclusion drawn by people
with this perspective is "Don't bite the hand that feeds you!" and "Don't
look a gift horse in the mouth!". Don't rile the capitalists or they'll
take their gifts back!

Time for Doug to stop kissing the imperialist jackboot, get up off his
belly and see imperialism for what it is -- nobody should be taken in by
the good cop, bad cop routine of bourgeois-democratic electoralism! Or the
good country, bad country routine of Swedish exceptionalism vs
blood-stained US reaction.

Cheers,

Hugh





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