Monday, September 15, 2014

The Scottish Referendum - The Case of Norway seceding from Sweden - Statement from Communist League of Norway and Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr in Wales

                                                   Lenin and Luxembourg


Serve the People - the Communist League of Norway and the Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr in Wales are pleased that vast sections of the working Class in England and Wales support Scottish Independence, but we are conscious that  more support must be won for our Scottish brothers and sisters.

We would ask those undecided to on the issue to take heed of Comrade Lenin's advice to Swedish working class concerning the question of Norwegian Independence.

Lenin Writes :

What position did the Norwegian and Swedish proletariat take, and indeed had to take, in the conflict over secession?

 After Norway seceded, the class-conscious workers of Norway would naturally have voted for a republic, and if some socialists voted otherwise it only goes to show how much dense, philistine opportunism there sometimes is in the European socialist movement.

There can be no two opinions about that, and we mention the point only because Rosa Luxemburg is trying to obscure the issue by speaking off the mark…

There cannot be the slightest doubt that the Swedish Social-Democrats would have betrayed the cause of socialism and democracy if they had not fought with all their might to combat both the landlord and the “Kokoshkin” ideology and policy, and if they had failed to demand, not only equality of nations in general (to which the Kokoshkins also subscribe), but also the right of nations to self-determination, Norway’s freedom to secede.

The close alliance between the Norwegian and Swedish workers, their complete fraternal class solidarity, gained from the Swedish workers’ recognition of the right of the Norwegians to secede.
This convinced the Norwegian workers that the Swedish workers were not infected with Swedish nationalism, and that they placed fraternity with the Norwegian proletarians above the privileges of the Swedish bourgeoisie and aristocracy.

The Swedish workers… will be able to preserve and defend the complete equality and class solidarity of the workers of both nations in the struggle against both the Swedish and the Norwegian bourgeoisie.”


Long Live The Unity of the Welsh, Scottish, Kernow,  Manxx and Irish Working Class in the Struggle for Socialism in the British Isles and may you always place the fraternity of proletarians above the privileges of the British Bourgeoisie.

Serve the People - Communist League of Norway

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr - Wales

Democracy and Class Struggle - British Isles

15th September 2014



Anonymous said...

What about Tibetan Independence? Or don't they count?

nickglais said...

If you are familiar with this site you should know that we take the view that China has restored capitalism.

We stand for the rights of all minorities in China and the rights of nations like Tibet to self determination.

Michael Harrison said...

One of the problems some Leninists make is to assume that what Lenin might have said a hundred years ago still applies now. Not being an expert on Scandinavian history I can't say whether Lenin was correct or not about the situation in Sweden/Norway when there were decisions made about separation/independence.

What I do know is that in the late 1960s/early 1970s there was a heated debate about support for the Labour Party. Some on the Anti-Revisionist Maoist Left argued that even though the party had shown itself at every opportunity to be a treacherous and thoroughly capitalist orientated party we should be supporting Labour as the Tories were even worse. This 'lesser of two evils' attitude was basically what the Trots of the time were also arguing.

(Perhaps it's important here to remind you that it was the Labour Government of Wilson which sent the British Army into Northern Ireland at the end of the 60s. Do you think that this was greeted with enthusiasm by the Republican movement? Did they believe that the British Labour Party was doing this to establish the independence for Ireland? This, in some ways, brings the two matters closer together.)

My point in bringing the matter about support of the Labour Party in the elections from 1970 onwards is to demonstrate that however correct Lenin might have been in his criticism of the Socialists/Communists in 1920 fifty years later the situation was radically different. Forty Four years further on we are even further away from Lenin's analysis. Isn't it a dogmatic form of anti-Marxist 'Marxism' to maintain an idea when the situation has drastically changed? Isn't this one of the problems we're facing in the International Communist Movement that we don't use Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as our basic ideology to them adapt it to whatever circumstances we might find ourselves?

You seem to suggest that there was a working class groundswell that supported the Yes side in the recent referendum on Scottish Independence, in Scotland itself, as well as in England and Wales. If that was the case I certainly wasn't aware of it – and the No victory on the 18th seems to indicate that there weren't sufficient of the workers north of the border who thought that the matter was in their interests.

And that shouldn't be a surprise. From its inception the Scottish Nationalist Party was always a basically petite bourgeois organisation who only really gained any support from the organised working class because of the treacherous, corrupt and arrogant attitude of Labour, in Scotland, England and Wales.

And why should workers in other parts of Britain 'support' Scottish independence? They're not making a very good job at defending their own jobs, conditions, welfare and social conditions under the continual onslaught of whatever the colour of the government in Westminster.

And let's not mention the war (or more accurately wars).

I've never accepted, in the circumstances in which we find ourselves at the moment (and that covers the last 40 or 50 years or so), that divisions amongst workers should be promoted rather than fought against. My argument would be shot to pieces if there had been any improvement in the conditions of the workers of either/or Scotland and Wales since the introduction of devolution. If they exist I'm not aware of them as the people in those parts of Britain suffer under the same attacks as those of us who live in England. The solution to the attacks is a unifying of our efforts not a division that is based merely on which part of land we happen to inhabit on Earth.

If you are interested you might like to read my interpretation of the referendum at