The Communist Party of Norway (NKP) appreciates the invitation to this ideological meeting. NKP wants introduce the topic of social democracy and the Communist movement in Scandinavia after World War 2 from a Norwegian perspective.
NKP suffered great human losses during WW2, including the central committee and other leadership.
The cold war was a period of anticommunism, pseudohistory and illegal surveillance, started by the social democrats in the Labour Party of Norway. After the wall has fallen, the fear of a Communist menace is still present in the Norwegian population.
First; some historical background on the conditions and development in Norway: In 1814, Norway’s bourgeois constitution was written. The history of the Norwegian labour movement happens on its basis and within its boundaries. Still, Engels proclaimed that “... Norway was able to secure a constitution far more democratic than any constitution in Europe at the time.”
The constitution made it possible for the people to achieve broad political and social victories. Since 1886, regular Scandinavian workers’ congresses were held a few years apart, with participants from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The Labour Party of Norway was founded in 1887, on a socialist initiative, creating the first independent class party of Norway. In 1889, a socialist political programme was adopted.
The working class and labour movement in Norway was weak at the time, and Norway was not an independent country, but under the yoke of Swedish aristocracy. The issue of union cessation strengthened the Labour Party and the international solidarity of the working class, and in 1905, Norway became an independent country.
The labour movement contacted fraternal organizations in Sweden. Lenin wrote this on the topic: “The close alliance between the Norwegian and Swedish workers, their complete fraternal class solidarity, gained from the Swedish workers’ recognition of the right of the Norwegians to secede.” And: “The Swedish workers have proved that in spite of all the vicissitudes of bourgeois policy—bourgeois relations may quite possibly bring about a repetition of the forcible subjection of the Norwegians to the Swedes!—they will be able to preserve and defend the complete equality and class solidarity of the workers of both nations in the struggle against both the Swedish and the Norwegian bourgeoisie.”
In 1923, there was a split in the Labour Party, and a minority left the party to found the Communist Party of Norway, which remained in the Comintern, because they saw the necessity of having a Communist party lead the struggle, and understood the strength of joint international action.
The social democrats provided lists of known Communists to the Nazis. NKP was the organisation in Norway that lost the most members during WW1. The effort made during WW2 created the foundation for renewed trust and increased support among the population, to a meaningful and influential degree, and in the parliamentary elections in 1945, NKP received almost 12% of the votes, resulting in 11 members of parliament, including two government ministers, one of which was the first female government minister; Kirsten Hansteen.
In 1948, the social-democratic prime minister held the “Kråkerøy speech”, branding Communists as fifth columnists. Comrades were unjustly sentenced for illegal publications during the traitor purges of 1949. The Communists were not acknowledged for their efforts during the war, whereas social democrats’ heroes were. The Communist heroes were treated like the Vietnam veterans. The Labour Party initiated the harassment and illegal persecution, wire-tapping and reporting of all Communists. Communists were also refused jobs based on this list.
In 1949, the Communist Party of Norway endured a split, and several leaders were excluded in the process. The excluded members joined social democratic parties, or remained without party memberships.
After the vote against EU membership in 1972 and the years following, NKP again enjoyed increased popularity. After this, NKP has had significance and influence within several unions, organizations, county leaderships and bipartisan organisations.
Communists want the Communist movement to become stronger, and once again become a real alternative to capitalism. Because there is no doubt that social democracy after WW2 serves capitalism. To them, there are no alternatives to capitalism, and that is why they will still rescue the banks ahead of anything else during financial crises. Hopefully, this in turn will increase class consciousness, when the working class over and over has to “pay” for those who created the problems in the first place, with higher interests on loans, longer work days for less pay, deterioration of workers’ rights, worse public pensions, cuts in social services and more unemployment.
The social democrats have abandoned the thought of being the party of the working class; they are implementing reform policies that preserve the system. The differences between poor and rich are constantly increasing. The social democrats have administered the dissolution of the same “welfare state” that they helped construct. They aim to satisfy the needs of capital over the working class. They are a party of big capital in equal terms to the other bourgeois parties, and commit attacks on the rights the working class has fought for.
They have abandoned the solidarity with the international working class and anti-imperialist initiatives, and support imperialism and militarization. This is clearly seen in their foreign policy, particularly after the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union, with increasing participation in NATO operations, and closer ties with the USA. Their politics contravene Norwegian policies on military bases when they allow American soldiers on Norwegian soil during peace. They do not hesitate to give up sovereignty to the EU through the EEA-agreement, and support an economic policy which is in line with the market liberalist project that is the EU, leading to social dumping among the working class. They promote globalisation, and are selling Norway piece by piece to foreign capital, sacrificing Norwegian industry and jobs.
By having legislative power, they have been able to keep the working-class calm, and at the same time made it difficult for NKP to run for election among others. Thus, they have created favourable conditions for the development of capitalism.
In the workplace, unions, youth organisations, county and regional elections and in the parliament, the social democrats have fought the Communists. They breed “mini-McCarthys” and commit pseudohistory in text books, mass media and on the cinema screen. They have always persecuted and punished Communists. They cannot be trusted - they hunger for power and are rewarded with careers at home and abroad. The former social democratic prime minister of Norway is now the general secretary of NATO.
Social democracy has shown itself to be cunning, politically and practically. They live by the prospect of growth and competitiveness, as with big capital.
The social democrats claim to have a party democracy, but in practice the leadership often goes against the opinion of members, as in the ACER issue. They use rhetoric’s and gather votes, but they practice something else. Decisions can be made entirely outside of the public eye; the decision to join NATOs war against Libya was made by text message. The Labour Party did not listen to the will of the people in neither referendum against the EU, and led us in the backdoor with the EEA-agreement. They would rather cooperate with parties to their right than to their left. They claim that equal treatment is practiced, but the statistics show the opposite.
The Norwegian party Rødt (Red) was founded in 2007. The leader calls himself a democratic socialist, but the members are former anarchists, Trotskyists, Maoists and others. Some call themselves Communists. This party appears to draw their ideology from a young, social democratic Labour Party, and use the term only “the best from Marx”. They are progressing in popularity, and are gaining positions in the labour movement. They are receiving members and votes from all other political parties. They idealize former social democratic prime ministers who persecuted Communists, and call Rosa Luxemburg a socialist in a newly published book. Today, this reformist party is an obstacle to class struggle. They are a hindrance to us maintaining class positions, and counteract the development of class consciousness. They are the left wing of social democracy, and they complete the task by bringing petty bourgeois and reformist ideology into the working class. With this social democratic approach and politics, it is important and necessary for capital to create parties to the left in order to delay the progression of class consciousness among the working class, not least in order to prevent the Communists from becoming more visible and stronger.
In 2008, the movie about social democracy’s resistance hero Max Manus was released. In the movie he is recognised for actions which in reality were done by the Communists in the Pelle group. Ahead of May 1st 2018, a suggestion to prohibit the party symbol of NKP; the hammer and sickle; was made by a labour party politician.
Our party has major forces against us, defining our working conditions. Communists are condemned and punished by historical and present anti-Communist lies. The work ahead will be important.
Long live Marxism-Leninism! Long live Communism!