The historic crisis of capitalism, and revolution in the Middle East and Europe was part of the background to the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Danish Marxist tendency Socialistisk Standpunkt held on the 24th September.
The event had been prepared for long beforehand, and the result could hardly have been any better. The editor of Marxist.com, Alan Woods, was the main speaker at the event which was opened by a short speech by Lasse Bertelsen of Socialistisk Standpunkt. Lasse gave a short summary of the history of Socialistisk Standpunkt and commented on the great challenges and possibilities for revolutionary Marxism in Denmark.
The international situation
Alan Woods gave an inspiring speech on the current political situation on an international level, mostly focusing on Europe. The anniversary of Socialistisk Standpunkt is not only a time to celebrate, but a time to clearly state our tasks. Capitalism on a world scale is in a historic crisis. The bourgeoisie is in a state of panic. Especially the situation concerning the Euro is a cause for confusion among the ruling classes in Europe and the US.
Alan explained that even the Marxists made a mistake in our judgement of the Euro. Due to the contradictions between the member states, we did not expect the European bourgeoisie to succeed in establishing the common currency. However, on the basis of the speculative boom in the last decade, they succeeded in temporarily overcoming these contradictions. But this only served to reproduce the contradictions on an even higher level. The economies in Europe are pulling in different directions. A decade ago, the International Marxist Tendency explained that, in the event of a crisis, all the contradictions in Europe would come to the surface and pull the monetary union apart. This is what is taking place today. Greece is heading for bankruptcy, and this will drag the whole of Europe’s economy down into a deep slump, starting with the banking sector. At this stage, the strategists of Capital are no longer talking about the threats to the existence of the Euro, but to the European Union itself.
A turn in the political situation
Economic analysis alone, in and of itself, is not of interest to the Marxists. What has to be looked at are the effects of all the turns in the economic situation on society as a whole – and on the class struggle in particular. In his speech, Alan explained that human consciousness is profoundly conservative by nature. Most people cling to what they know. In that way, consciousness tends to lag behind events. But the present day enormous economic shocks are turning the life of the working class upside down.
Lenin described politics as concentrated economy. The two are closely connected. The crisis has led to the revolutionary wave that hit the Arab world spreading to the shores of Europe. Millions are affected by unemployment and are also losing many rights that they used to take for granted. This is having a profound effect on the consciousness of the masses and will continue to do so. The crisis of capitalism is forcing workers and youth into struggle.
The present crisis is inevitable. It flows from the inner contradictions of capitalism. Marxists understand that one cannot solve the problems facing the working people while at the same maintaining capitalism. Therefore, never before has the situation been more favourable to win the best workers and youth to the ideas of Marxism. The movements in the Middle East, North Africa, Southern Europe – and lately Britain – will also be seen in Denmark, and the Marxists will be prepared.
The biggest problem for the workers and youth lies now at the top of the workers’ movement. The leadership has turned to the right to an extreme degree. This means that in this initial phase the frustrations of the workers and youth are not directly reflected in growth of the trade unions and working class parties. Because of the lack of a fighting leadership, the process will be prolonged, but sooner or later the workers and youth will realise the importance of reclaiming their organisations in order to unite the forces of the class in a common political expression. This means that we will see at some stage big battles over programme and policy inside the mass parties of the working class and the trade unions.
In Denmark, the Social Democrats and the SF are currently working to form a government in coalition with the liberal Radikale Venstre and the leftist Unity List. The Unity List will not officially be a part of the government, but they will be forced to support such a new government, even if it carries out austerity measures and cuts against the workers, the youth and the pensioners. In practice, they will have to take responsibility for the government’s policy, even if they are not part of it. This, in turn, will lead to a heated debate inside the party. A recent development that reflects this is the split in the youth wing of the party, the SUF. This is just the first taste of what is to come. There will be splits to the right and to the left. This is why it is important for the activists not just to look on events from a distance, but to join the Marxists and get involved.
Food and entertainment
Following Alan’s speech, a collection was held and dinner was served for the 70 attendants. The premises did not have sufficient kitchen facilities, so the roasted food had to be brought in from five different places. The activists in charge of organised everything in an excellent manner. During the dinner, brand new songs, written for the occasion, were presented and sung by all those present. This further helped to raise the excellent mood.
Several musicians provided a great show for the event. Mads Rosenkrands og Reservatet were the first, and they were warmly greeted. The popular left-wing rap musician Vakili also put on a great show. The Marxist hip hop artist Tempo Bang put on a revolutionary show that was followed by the DJ Rune Petersen who took care of the party mood.
All in all it was a very successful event. In its own way it reflected the enormous enthusiasm that the change in the objective situation has brought about. We can see that things are moving in our direction and we are ready to do what is necessary to take maximum advantage of all the possibilities the situation provides and place the ideas of Marxism once again at the forefront of the Danish and International workers’ movement.
Capitalism has had its day and never have the objective conditions for a socialist revolution been better. Thanks to the great amount of planning and enthusiasm put into it, it will be a day that will be long remembered and a fantastic foundation for speeding up the building of the Marxist Tendency in Denmark. From the editorial board of Socialistisk Standpunkt we want to give a warm thank you to all those who participated, to all the activists and not least we want to say: Congratulations Socialistisk Standpunkt! Long Live the International Socialist World Revolution!