Over the weekend of 17-19 March, over 50 delegates met for the annual Congress of Revolutionære Socialister (RS), the Danish section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). At the congresses and other democratic structures of the IMT, no time is wasted discussing details or secondary questions. For us, the focus is firmly on political questions. The purpose of all discussions is always to collectively raise the political level.
The Congress opened thus with a discussion introduced by a representative of the international leadership of the IMT on international perspectives for the class struggle. The situation in a single country cannot be understood outside the context of developments on the international economic and political arena.
It is impossible to do justice to the discussion that took place in a few lines, but in summary: the crisis of capitalism has clearly entered a new stage. The liberal world order has collapsed. Globalisation and the expansion of world trade have been replaced by protectionism, trade wars and indeed outright wars.
The proxy war, waged in Ukraine and at the expense of the Ukrainian people, between US-led NATO and Russia, has further fuelled national tensions. The ‘western alliance’ is pulling apart and support for the war is declining.
We now see the consequences of the ruling class’ attempts to overcome the crises of 2008 and of the pandemic in 2020, with the veritable wave of inflation that is sweeping the world, hitting the working class and the poorest in every country. It is impossible to go on living as in the past. Workers and young people are being forced to take up the struggle.
Thus, whilst the Congress was in session, French workers and youth were fighting in the streets of Paris against Macron's pension reform – a hated reform from a hated president, elected by just 20 percent of the population, who is now using decrees to impose the bosses’ policies. His actions could cost him his political life.
In the weeks around the congress, the movement in France reached a higher level than we’ve seen previously, with talk of indefinite strike action.
In Britain, the working class has also engaged in strike action on a massive scale. One sector after another has walked out, with talk of the need for a general strike – something that Britain hasn’t seen since 1926.
In the US, new layers of workers, especially young workers, have started to organise spontaneously, as we have seen with Chris Smalls and the Amazon workers. While the rate of unionisation has not yet substantially increased, attitudes towards unions have changed radically. A large majority now support trade unions. This shows how radicalisation has bypassed the official structures and organisations of the labour movement, which have so far been unable to channel the frustration and energy that are running high.
In China, too, the working class is stirring. And from that side, we can expect big things in the future. Once the Chinese working class begins to move, the ground will shake.
In short, the lead off and discussion painted a picture of a socio-economic system in a deep, historic crisis that is pushing the masses everywhere into action as they seek a way out.
Continuing on from the world perspectives session was a discussion of the document ‘perspectives for the class struggle in Denmark’, which had previously been circulated to and discussed in all branches of RS around the country, with a focus on the new government.
In this discussion, the common theme likewise emerged that this crisis, unlike the many that have preceded it, is now being felt directly by all workers and young people.
Tens of thousands are being pushed into a desperate situation. It would have been unthinkable in the past in Denmark, but now poverty is spreading everywhere.
Irrespective of this fact, the government is pushing ahead with unprecedentedly harsh labour policies. The trade union leaders initially appeared to be taking up the fight, with their mobilisation against the Great Prayer Day theft (in December, the prime minister announced the abolition of Great Prayer Day, a national public holiday, in order to boost military spending). But when it came to the OK23 collective bargaining negotiations, they turned 180 degrees and began crawling on their bellies.
It is now clear that if a fight is to be waged by workers and youth against the government, it must come from below, for instance, by voting, ‘NO’ on OK23.
The discussion document was voted upon and was adopted unanimously, and will shortly be available on the website of Revolutionære Socialister.
A historic collection
RS receives no subsidies or support from the state, municipalities or foundations. We stand on our own two feet and are 100 percent independent. Last year’s collection from among our members raised 174,500 kroner. Some might have doubted whether it would be possible to achieve such a great result again, but the entire organisation smashed through this target.
The result was 253,410 kroner – over a quarter of a million! (More than $24,000 USD)
This is a mindblowing result that we are extremely proud of. It demonstrates that when we say we are building a revolutionary organisation to overthrow the sick system we live under today, these are not merely words. Our comrades are willing to back up what we say and turn our ideas into reality.
A new chapter for RS
Sunday was precisely about how we go about turning these ideas into material reality – i.e. how we build the organisation.
The discussion demonstrated an organisation that is being built on solid foundations that is moving forward.
So many of the contributions were characterised by a really serious approach and a willingness to get the most out of the work that all comrades put into the organisation, whether it is in branches, at bigger meetings, at paper sales, education or growing the reach of RS. When we do something, we strive to do it well, to the highest standard.
The Congress set itself the goal of expanding the apparatus of the organisation, not least to have a new and much bigger office, as we have outgrown the old one. Having finally broken out of Copenhagen, we require a proper headquarters for a nationwide organisation. The comrades in Aarhus and the other cities around the country are doing an excellent job. They are the spearhead of the RS in building up the Marxist forces throughout the country.
All in all, this was a fantastic Congress. It was well organised, thanks to the many comrades who worked hard in preparing for it and, above all, it was characterised by the greatest energy. There was no empty or artificial ‘hype’ around it that we find in so many other places, but rather a deep energy based on the ideas we defend and fight for, and that every day prove their worth as a tool for understanding the crisis of capitalism and taking action.
With this year’s Congress, we can confidently open a new chapter in the history of RS. It is a great time to be a revolutionary.