About the text:
From: There will come a day… Imperialism and Parasite State. Futura 1971, 31 p., p. 7-10.
First published in Danish in Kommunistisk Orientering, 15th March, 1967
How is it that Communist Working Circle has had nothing to say in the collective agreement situation? How is it that even this time “Communist ORIENTATION” does not have any ardent appeal to the working class to “stand firm”, to vote N 0 and to “prepare for struggle”?
Firstly because the collective agreement situation and the general demands raised are n o t a manifestation of any thing like a profound movement in the working class. It is, so to say, stipulated by law that every other year the workers must raise a number of demands for improvement on one front or another through their top trade union leaders. The demands do n o t actually come from below, and they are n o t a manifestation of a painful, urgent need among the workers causing a real stir about them. This situation is not one in which a working class in desperate self-defence takes up its strongest weapon – the strike.
This is roughly the situation in connection with the collective agreements, and it has been like that for many years. In such a case a communist organisation will achieve one thing only – namely a total and complete isolation – if it should try by appeals and calls to impose upon the workers an urgent need, which they do not have; and if it should try by means of incantations and invocations to conjure up a fighting spirit, which in fact the working class does not feel – and has no immediate reason to feel.
It is of no use trying to make the working class believe that it is in an economic condition in which the standard of living is being seriously threatened, or where s t r u g g l e to the end is an absolute necessity for the very existence of the class – if it is not t r u e that this struggle is a necessity, or if the workers themselves do not feel it to be a necessity.
Therefore we gladly leave the violent gestures and the hoarse shouts to the leaders of the Danish Communist Party.
Secondly because the attitude of communists to the spontaneous economic-trade union struggles of the working class must a l w a y s be to strive to raise this struggle to a socialist-political level. That is to say, the task of the communists in the economic-trade union struggle is through this struggle to make the working class realize the necessity of the socialist revolution.
Communists must strive to lead these economic-trade union struggles with the purpose of making the working class understand its own strength through its victories in these struggles, and to realize the necessity of discipline in its ranks, with the purpose of making the working class – through its defeats in these struggles – realize that the class enemy must be cleared away not only in their capacity of exploiters, but also in their capacity of the ruling class in society.
Communists must n e v e r just trail behind the spontaneous economic struggles of the working class, and they must never fight just for reforms. They must constantly educate the workers to keep the final goal in sight.
All international experience shows just that.
But all international experience also shows another thing, hitherto less noticed, of special significance for our part of the world:
It shows that objectively (here we leave the capability of the communists themselves etc. out of account) it is only p o s s i b l e for revolutionary communists to play this role – that objectively it is only p o s s i b l e to raise the spontaneous economic struggle to a socialist-political level – if the economic problems facing the working class and the broad strata of the working people, for the solution of which they have started to move, are of such a nature that they in actual fact can be solved only through a socialist revolution.
Such was the case in imperialist, tsarist Russia, and such was the case in semi-colonial and semi-feudal China. There it was possible for the communist party under the leadership of Lenin and Mao Tse-tung respectively to raise the spontaneous struggle of the workers and the large working majority of the population there against exploitation and oppression to a socialist-political level, and it was only possible because the very economic and national problems which gave rise to this spontaneous struggle, simply could only be solved by the socialist, respectively the new-democratic revolution. THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN THE CAPITALIST PARASITE STATE OF DENMARK TODAY!
The general demands – e.g. greater holiday allowances, shorter working hours, better regulation of wages according to the price index – have n o t been put forward because without their fulfilment the workers will be threatened as to their present standard of living, let alone as to their existence. It is not a question of demands put forward in spontaneous self-defence against harsh exploitation.
Some of these general demands c a n – under the economic boom and temporarily – be met now or later by the present capitalist society.
On the other hand it must be Stressed that apart from the demand for equal pay for equal work which probably will only be finally solved after the socialist revolution, none of the general demands can immediately be solved by a socialist revolution.
The economic-trade union demands involved in the present and a number of former collective agreement situations are manifestations of needs and wishes on a material level (and spiritual-ideological level) characteristic of a working class in a country, where the capitalists have been able to give and have had a direct interest in giving the workers a share in the super profits of western capitalism as a whole from the exploitation of the majority of mankind – the peoples of the present and former colonial, semicolonial and dependent countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
There is n o direct road from a parasite state of Denmark’s kind to socialism!
Not only will a socialist revolution not be able to immediately solve, it will not even have to face those economic problems with which the vast majority of the working class concern themselves (and that even to a limited degree) in such a fully developed capitalist parasite state.
But a day will come. A day will come, when through revolutionary struggle the majority of mankind will have liberated themselves from the exploitation of western capitalism and when an end is put to the super profits.
A day will come, when also the economic problems of the Danish working class under growing and crushing exploitation will be of such a nature and at such a level that they can be solved o n l y through a socialist revolution.
On t h a t day communists must place themselves at the head of the struggle to which these problems will give rise, raise the struggle to the socialist-political level and lead the working class in the Socialist revolution.
And t h a t precisely is what communists should tell the workers in the present collective agreement situation. We should not make holes in the air with our clenched fists, nor should we try to persuade the workers not to raise demands for longer holidays or shorter working hours. We should carefully listen to the wishes and needs of the workers, get to the core of their true sentiments and feelings – and tell them that neither at our present level, nor at any higher or lower level will the economic struggle be the decisive struggle.
We should tell them that the day is bound to come when they will have to be ready for a far more important and far more strenuous struggle – the struggle for power in society – which first and last will demand of them a spirit of sacrifice and of unselfish efforts for the w h o l e class, for the w h o l e people.
Om forfatteren / About the Writer
Gotfred Appel, Formand og ideologisk leder af Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds fra 1964 til splittelsen i 1978. Gotfred Appel fortsatte sammen med Ulla Houton under navnet Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds, KAK.
Gotfred Appel, Chairperson and ideological leader of the Danish Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds, KAK (Communist Working Circle, CWC) from 1964 till the splitt in 1978. Gotfred Appel continuned with Ulla Houton as Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds, KAK.