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The proletarian suburbs of Stockholm explode against a society that defends only Capital, plunging the majority of proletarian youth, indigenous or immigrant, into misery and despair.
The solution is the class struggle that brings the workers together, regardless of their age, gender, race and nationality, in defense of human society against the society of money and commodities!
Just as in Paris in 2005, and London in 2011, May, 2013 saw proletarian rage against intolerable living conditions erupt in Stockholm. The economic and social violence of the ruling bourgeoisie is always accompanied by police repression. Young proletarians of the French, British or Swedish “banlieues” have unleashed their anger accumulated through years of deprivation, humiliation, discrimination and savage exploitation. The riots in Stockholm, capital of one of the richest countries in the world and one which claims to be a model of “equality” and “social justice” , once again revealed the terrible reality of such a capitalist society: only lightly touched by an economic crisis that endangers the colossal profits accumulated during the long decades of exploitation of an ever-growing proletariat, it does not hesitate to reject the proletarian masses once attracted by an expanding global market economy into poverty, marginality and forced clandestinity.
The explosion of rage as a result of the frustrations and poverty prevailing in the proletarian districts of Stockholm lasted a week, and the fear of the Swedish bourgeoisie was that this explosion would spread to the other major cities in the country. It all started on May 13 in Husby, when an 69 year-old immigrant was killed by the police; the pretext was that, armed with a machete, he allegedly threatened the cops, which is disputed by various witnesses. At a time when the social temperature was already high, this spark ignited the gunpowder, rupturing a social equilibrium already undermined by years of policies of austerity and the reduction of the much-vaunted “social guarantees” : the anger of a proletarian youth marginalized after believing in the promise of a future of well-being and prosperity, burst out.
Husby, Kista, Hagsastra, Skogås, Ragsved are the names of some of the areas mentioned in the chronicles of the revolt that has burned through the Stockholm conurbation and which also affected Malmö. This revolt struck this peaceful, tolerant and welcoming – according to the authorities – Sweden by surprise ; a revolt partially repressed and partly left to run itself out, set off alarm bells: youth unemployment, in this rich and opulent country, exceeds 20% according to official figures. According to the Economist "only 51% of those from outside Europe have a job compared with 84% of the Swedes” (Il Giorno, 24/5/3). Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt Had this to say about the protesters who clashed with police: "these are not victims of the system, only vandals” (La Repubblica, 29/5/13). Most of the protesters arrested by police are minors who have not completed their studies and are unemployed. It is in the majority children of Afghan, Iranian, Somali, Syrian or Balkan refugees who for the last twenty years or so have sought refuge in the European countries, countries which are also responsible for the wars or economic dislocations that have ravaged their country of origin.
The bourgeois themselves say that situation is explosive even in the Scandinavian countries still spared from the wrath of the youth; and for decades intellectuals have warned the ruling class about the threat posed by social and racial discrimination on the social equilibrium, even when these are hidden behind veils of tolerance and promises of “integration” which are never realized.
How does the ruling class confront the problem of integration, unemployment, the alienation of the young and very young proletarian generations?
The methods used by the Swedish bourgeois to deal with social problems are oriented – as everywhere – on the basis of the defence of their class interests; during a certain period those interests could only be imposed by an open and bloody dictatorship, but they are still defended by violence, even in democratic and parliamentary States. According to its political and historical tradition, the Swedish bourgeoisie may be more inclined to use economic and social means that attenuate the contrasts of the racist type, but the fact is that capitalist profit and class interests outweigh any other consideration.
The real struggle is not carried out between “Swedes” and “non-Europeans”, but between bourgeois and proletarians, even if it is more convenient to the dominant ideology to highlight ethnic or racial contrasts rather than class contrasts.
The real fear of the bourgeois was not only that the riots would spread to other Swedish cities; the real fear is that the proletarians will finally realize that their immediate interests are part of vastly broader class interests, opposed to the bourgeoisie and that therefore cannot be shared with it. The bourgeoisie has repressed the rage of the young people in order to bring the society back to “normality”, and it ensures that it will strive to respond to the malaise of the young immigrants or to issues of immigration.
But bourgeois normality is precisely the source of the social malaise that strikes the proletariat and within it, particularly immigrant workers!
For the bourgeoisie it is normal that the proletarians are exploited within the framework of wage labor from which it extracts surplus value and therefore its profit; for the bourgeoisie it is normal that the proletarians are paid differently according to category, merit, specialization, education, age, sex, nationality, etc., as it is normal that they are thrown out of the factories whether these are in difficulty or not, or that they find themselves unemployed because the capitalist system in crisis can no longer provide. For the bourgeoisie it is normal that youth who are not from that country or who belong to a different race, be discriminated against; it is normal that the young immigrant must seek an “integration” that he must earn by demonstrating his respect not only for the laws, but also the habits, customs and traditions of the country where he wishes to establish himself. For the bourgeoisie it is normal that police repress any act, individual or collective, which calls into question the usual process of daily life under capitalism; and it is logical not to look for the causes of acts of rebellion against a life of poverty and discrimination because these causes all reside in the capitalist economic and social system it defends by all means: political, legislative, judicial, ideological, religious, social and military. For the bourgeoisie it is normal that the economic crisis of its system should above all strike the proletarian classes and the most vulnerable strata of society, ruining a part of the petty bourgeoisie which constitutes a social insulator and whose reactions, including violent do not jeopardize the superstructure or infrastructure of capitalist society. For the bourgeoisie it is normal that in times of crisis it should rescue the major corporations, the major financial centers, the major banks – on which much of the capitalist economy and therefore the accumulation of profits – depend, even if this means, as has been demonstrated for decades, slashing public expenditure, reduction of social spending (various allowances, spending on health, education, social housing, etc.), job cuts, tax increases, etc. For the bourgeoisie it is normal that in the case of conflicts between nations and blocks of nations, it will go to war, where the “defence of the homeland” justifies all the sacrifices and all anti-social political and economic measures.
In short, for the bourgeoisie it is normal that it is always the proletariat who pays, in time of war as in time of peace.
In a country like Sweden, an imperialist country rich from the exploitation not only of his own proletariat and of its immigrant proletariat, but, like other imperialist countries, from the exploitation of the proletarians of the poor countries, exactly what is it that the proletarians have in common with "their" bourgeoisie? Nothing!
However, they have everything in common with their class brothers of all categories, all sectors, all nationalities and all countries; the strength of the dominant class lies not only in its monopoly of political and economic power, but also in the fact that the proletarian class is divided, fragmented, and remains a gross aggregate of individuals thrown into competition with each other. The rage expressed in the week of fire in Stockholm, as has occurred already in London and Paris, is an individual rage that manifested itself in an elemental way against cars, storefronts and clashes against the police until the energy that had accumulated was exhausted. Bourgeois “normality” can then take over and the young immigrant proletarians delivered back to their existence without work and without hope, until the next revolt!
The only solution lies in the prospect of the resumption of the class struggle. The proletariat must break the bonds which shackle it to the bourgeoisie; they must reorganize themselves on the terrain of struggle for the exclusive defense of their own class interests, resume the path of the independent class organization as European proletarians already have done during the epoch of revolutions of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century; the struggle between bourgeois and proletarian was born with capitalism and it will only end when capitalism is destroyed. Then there will be no more class struggle because society will no longer be based on private property, the market, money, profit.
But to achieve this objective – which is the historic goal of the world proletariat – proletarians should rise up, enter into struggle on the class terrain and organize themselves independently of all and any bourgeois and petty bourgeois interests. On this road they will always have at their side the Revolutionary Communist Party which, because it possesses the revolutionary anticapitalist program and it has concentrated in its theses and its historical balance sheets the lessons and experiences of class struggles of the past, victories and defeats, arises as the leader of the proletarian revolution and the struggle without truce, internationalist and international, against capitalism and bourgeois society.
With their blind and impotent rage the “vandals” of Stockholm and London like the “riff-raff” of Paris are a sign to the bourgeois of all countries that the real struggle against the effects of the capitalist crisis has not yet started because the proletarian class struggle has never been and will never be a transient explosion of social rage, though without doubt justified by the increasing misery produced by capitalism: it is the struggle of a class that recognizes itself in radically anti-capitalist objectives and whose goal is the end of all societies divided into classes and the formation of a society where human labor serves to satisfy the needs of humanity, and not those of the market!
International Communist Party
May, 31st 2013
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