Sweden

Sweden’s most racist, nationalistic and out-of-touch election campaign in living memory has produced, appropriately enough, a government with a policy to make life worse for workers, while blaming it on immigrants. But no amount of racist slander can hide the enormous problems facing the Swedish masses. We must prepare for class struggle.

Whilst Sweden is often portrayed internationally as an egalitarian – even a ‘socialist’ country – the reality is that today it is one of the most unequal countries in the world, as demonstrated in the newly published book, ‘Sweden of the Greedy: how the welfare state became a paradise for the super-rich’. Moreover, as the recent sell-out of the Kurds reveals, the Swedish ruling class are vicious imperialists whose concern for ‘human rights’ is sheer hypocrisy.

The Swedish government passed the entry exam to join NATO by promising to help Turkish imperialism drown the Kurdish struggle in blood.

US imperialism is the strongest force on the planet behind continued capitalist exploitation, poverty and misery. Now, the Swedish government has decided that it is in the interests of Swedish imperialism to join the US-led war alliance, NATO. We say: Fight NATO, fight imperialism – long live international working-class solidarity!

Over the weekend, over a hundred Marxists gathered for the national congress of Revolution, the Swedish section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), in preparation for the revolutionary events that lie ahead of us both in Sweden and on a world scale.

With over 150 enthusiastic revolutionaries in attendance, the Marxism 2021 school that took place last weekend in Gothenburg was a resounding success. Organised by Revolution, the IMT in Sweden, it was centred on Marxist theory, to arm those in attendance for the class struggles to come. “This is a preparation for intensified class struggle, for socialist revolution in our lifetime”, explained comrade Thea Wilhelmsson in her address to the first session.

The discredited government of Stefan Löfven in Sweden has faced a successful vote of no confidence in parliament. It’s time to go on the offensive: fight for a snap election on a socialist programme!

“This autumn, too many people have neglected to follow advice and recommendations." This was the explanation for the deadly wave of coronavirus sweeping over Sweden given in late November by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in an address to the nation. While shifting blame to the general public, he was conveniently silent about the government's responsibility for decades of cuts to healthcare, understaffing in the elderly care sector, and lacklustre testing capacity. Now the government has been forced to introduce several measures that they for a long time argued against. But it is all too, little too late.

50 years ago, Swedish miners at the state-owned company LKAB went on a mighty wildcat strike. This cut right through the propaganda about Sweden as a country of polite class collaboration. The miners inspired workers up and down the country to take up the struggle for better working conditions, in a wave of spontaneous strikes that spread like wildfire. This is the story of the great miners’ strike.

It has been 34 years since the assassination of Sweden’s prime minister, the social democratic leader Olof Palme, one of the most noteworthy political figures in the history of the country. Gunned down after a visit to a movie theatre without his body-guards, the circumstances around his murder have been mysterious and the investigation mired by scandals. Many had therefore hoped for a solid conclusion to this long-overdue investigation. But all we got was the closing down of the investigation, in a transparent attempt to bury this embarrassing affair once and for all. Thus, this national tragedy yet again ended in farce.

As of the end of April, the amount of COVID-19 deaths in Sweden per 1,000 inhabitants is three times that of Denmark, three times that of Germany and four times that of Norway. The government is peddling the nationalist idea that Sweden is somehow different and better than the rest of the world. But the pandemic has revealed the true colours of Swedish class society.

Underfunding and lack of equipment had already thrown the Swedish health care into a crisis before the pandemic. With little to no measures to stop the spread, there is a clear risk of a catastrophe. As workers respond to the crisis, we can expect a sharp rise in the class struggle in the coming weeks and months. This set the tone for the biggest congress ever of Revolution, the Swedish section of the IMT – with 100 Marxists present online from all over the country.

From 29-31 March, over 80 workers and youth gathered in Gothenburg to discuss the national and global political developments erupting across the world. Quantitatively, this was the largest congress for the Swedish section of the IMT; and qualitatively, this was a milestone for the section. Political discussions were sharp and thorough, and a high level of enthusiasm to build the forces of Marxism in Sweden was evident during the entire weekend.

The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

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