[Marxism] On Sweden

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 6 09:54:16 MDT 2010

Jim Farmelant wrote:

> If Anthony is correct then the Swedish political situation
> looks a lot like the one that country experienced in the
> early 1930s, when the country for a time, seemed to be
> tottering on the brink of civil unrest, if not civil war.
> It was the return of the Social Democrats into office
> which eventually resolved the situation, in which
> that party forged a compromise with the country's
> capitalist class, in which the Social Democrats
> agreed to leave the economy in the hands of
> the capitalists, who in turn agreed to let the
> Social Democrats build a welfare state.
> However, Sweden's position in the world,
> economically and geopolitically was rather
> different from what it is now.  Sweden
> was neutral in both world wars and
> later was neutral in the cold war.
> That allowed the country to prosper
> by doing business with both sides in
> all of these conflicts. In the post-cold war
> era, Sweden no longer has that option.
> And, now a days, Sweden is a member
> of the EU, and so its economy is much
> more integrated with the rest of Europe.
> Under such circumstances, there seems
> much less room for a party like the
> Social Democrats to forge the kinds
> of compromises, that in the past were
> able to bring that country social peace
> and economic prosperity.

Anthony responds:

In my brief letter on Sweden nowhere did I say Jim Farmalent
that Social Democracy is capable of giving major reforms
to the masses.  All I was saying Jim is that there are major
class polarisations.

In my view Capitalism is in a greater degree of decay than when
Trotsky was writing months prior to World War 2.  Trotsky
made the important point that despite all the apparent Fascist
victories its' economic foundation:- Capitalism was in severe
crisis which was leading to a second major inter-Imperialist
clash  which would provoke inevitable revolutionary upheavals.
As Barta said in 1941 the Red Army defeating German
Imperialism lead to a left revival in Europe.  If a revolutionary
leadership is not built and this left upsurge of radicalisations
and especially if pre-revolutionary crises are wrecked this
could objectively open the door of counter-revolution with
all the dangers of nuclear war.

It is due to Swedish Social Democracy's difficulties for all
the historical reasons Jim gives that revolutionaries have major
opportunities to win over their mass base by posing transitional
demands on these misleaders!  At the same time if the Swedish
ruling class may concede reforms to salavge temporially their rule.
It maybe weak and reversed quickly but revolutionaires argue it
is conceeded to threats of mass mobilisatons.  We pose demands
for greater rights which eventually overthrow Capitalism.

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