Split up by Economism

[From: There will come a day... By Gotfred Appel. Futura 1971 pp. 11-12]

The draft settlement was adopted with an overwhelming majority – there were more direct votes in favour at the ballot than votes against at the ballot and in the competent assembly taken together.

What does this show?

It shows that we were right, when in our last issue we said that there was  n o  movement or real stir in the working class behind the demands raised. Thus the correctness of our theory has been proved by practice.

The result of the voting also shows something else, however, which is more important: That “economism” – the workers' fight solely for economic and social improvements over the decades has split up the class into groups of interests, has drained its consciousness of being one class standing apart from another class which has the power in society.

LAND og FOLK (organ of the CPD, ed.) stubbornly tried to stick to the myth of its own making about profound dissatisfaction and fighting spirit. “Almost 100.000 people voted against” the paper proclaimed in bold letters. There you were!

Where were you? Are the almost 100.000 votes against the draft settlement a manifestation of a unified, compact attitude against the employers (not to mention, an attitude against capitalism)? No, they are not. Does anyone believe for instance that the printers voted against for the same reason as did the slaughter house workers or the members of the ceramic union? Will anyone seriously maintain that the 17.600 odd machine workers, who voted against, did so in order to promise support to the unskilled workers with the lowest wages or to odd strength to the demand for equal pay?

Did the sailors vote against for the same reason as did the tobacco workers?

The 100.000 votes against are  n o t  a manifestation of a united attitude to the basic problems of the class, and you will only succeed in blinding yourself by asserting that it is so (just that, yes, yourself, for the workers you cannot fool!)

On the other hand, it is just as evident that the some 170.000 votes in favour are  n o t  a manifestation of utter satisfaction in the working class with the draft settlement or with life as such in capitalist Denmark of today. There are many reasons why people voted in favour. The most widespread undoubtedly being this very simple one: “We do get something out of it, don't we, and striking is not likely to give us any more”.

The almost 100.000 votes against, the some 170.000 votes in favour at the voting, and the some 270.000 votes which were not cast at all thus expressly serve to show that the working class has been split up, is without common determination, without genuine class solidarity, without genuine class consciousness.

When this is said, and in our opinion it  m u s t  be said, it must also be said and heavily stressed that this situation in the Danish working class is a temporary and transitory phenomenon. It is a phenomenon which has been caused by a certain historical, economic and ideological development, and it will change again under a new historical, economic and ideological development.

Communists exist in this country in order to contribute towards changing this situation, and therefore it is our first duty to realize the situation and openly acknowledge that it is just like that. You can only change your world if you know it. If you do not know it and if you consciously shut your eyes to it, you will be acting blindly and – as has been the case with the leaders of the CPD for a good many years – you will grope your way from one closed door to another!