Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 17:58:46 CDT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: NY Transfer News Collective <>
Subject: Sweden: Social Dems Meet the Unemployed

Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 14:23:21 +0200 (MET DST)
From: (Robert Malecki)

The Ticking Bomb!

By Robert Malecki, Communal Workers Union in Sweden, 31 May 1996

In a large sal with every seat filled, a Social Democratic Representative of parliment met with the unemployed in this Commune in northern Sweden. The meeting, and atomsphere of rage and indignation by the very heart of the Social Democratic base in the workers movement against its own leaders...

A broad range of young and old, women and men, the grey mass of now over 1 million (!) people in a population of 8 and a half million who for years have supported the Social Democrats are now beginning to move.

Immediately after the parlimentry member made her presentation defending the present policies of the Social Democratic government, the fireworks started. In a statement made by the author of this article who said that the present policies of the Social Democratic goverment are directed against the workers movement, and against the trade unions and are policies, that they have worked out together with the bosses has put the Social Democratc leadership on the other side of the barricades with their guns pointed at the head of the working class. There policies of attacking the trade union laws of first in last out, there cuts in unemployment, everything they have done is in principle a direct declaration of war againt the workers movement.

Against this policy we purpose a 6 hour working day, a mobilisation of the working class to combat unemployment. We purpose that trade union candidates be purposed in the coming elections on a program to stop the dismantling of the welfare state. We purpose a broad educational program to combat the passivity of sitting home on the dole. And these purposals are in direct contradiction to the present policies of the Social Democratic government. Only a government with these goals in mind will do.....

This barrage against the leadership was met by stormy applause in the whole room!

Speaker after speaker attacked the leadership for selling out the workers movement. For selling out the youth. For throwing women out on unemployment. For cutting health care. For cutting in the schools. Speaker after speaker in a growing sense of rage attacking the people that they have voted for for years!

The Social Democratic leadership tried to counter with that she understood all of this, but that we have to understand that the Social Democrats inherited the situation from the previous government.

Speaker after speaker stood up and said it is you who are passing the anti-worker and anti-trade union legislation with your partners in the bougeois Center Party. (A party which represents the farmers in Sweden and who have made billions off the entry into the common market through common market subventions to farmers in Europe).

The gap between the Social Democratic top and its working class base as never been as large as it is today. Although the conciousness of these social democratic workers is on the level of seeing all of the reforms being wripped down around them and a million people out of a job. This conciousness is economic thinking at this point. There anger is directed at the party which they have voted for for years, as being responsible. And rightly so!

Although these workers do not understand at present that the leadership of there party has deserted them. They do understand what mass unemployment and the cuts mean in everyday life for themselves and there families.

These workers do not understand that their leaders have joined the German push for a monetary union and a united imperialist bougeoisie led by the Germans in europe is the goal. They do not realise that the Social Democratic leadership of professional bureaucrats and people who came straight out of a college somewhere have taken over the reins of leadership. That this leadership in a few short years has taken Sweden to the brink of a gigantic disaster of poverty and unemployment.

But they do know that something has gone wrong. Very seriously wrong with the politics and the leadership they have voted for. What we have here is a broad mass of anger and frustration against the treacherous leaders of Social Democray that has betrayed them. They demand answers and a new political line which favors the working class.

For the first time in years militants who before would be laughed at are being applauded and clapped on the back. Statements of we should march on Stockholm and throw the whole bunch of them out and other wise remarks were very common at this meeting.

The Social Democratic leadership no longer has a monopoly on the workers movement. Workers are moving to the left as the situation everyday worsens for them and the party leadership is moving to the right. The trade union leadership feeling the pressure is somewhere in the middle. Afraid to slap the hand that has fed them all these years while having to face the growing rage of the working class who is suffering the largest cuts since the depression!

The left party which is the former Euro-communist party but now say that they are no longer communist, but feminist and envionmentalist have also missed the growing rage of the swedish working class. This turn by the former Euro commmunist was an appeal to the present petty bougois feminist movent and bougeois enviornmental movement. But they have no clear answer to the millon workers who are growing angry.. Very angry. In fact the workers movement at this point is much futher to the left then both its Social Democratic and former Euro-communist leadership.

Only a new leadership forged in struggle with this growing army of enraged working class people can forge the way forward. On a program to fight for the preservation of the welfare state but also a workers government that will go forward and crush the Swedish capitalists dreams of a united european bourgeoisie.

For a workers government in Sweden as elsewhere is the only garantee of keeping the reforms and defeating those that will take us down the road of unemployment and starvation.

Robert Malecki
Member of the Communal Workers Union in Sweden
We organise the most people in Scandinavia!