Proletarians of all countries, unite!
Imperialism in Crisis: The Growing Torrent of Repudiation and the Crisis in Parliamentarism
2022 Swedish General Election
“[…] the historical main tendency is the fusion of the People’s War led by the Party, with that great torrent represented by the millions of non registered, non voting and those blank or null vote casters; this is the torrent, which the Party is helping to structure as part of the sea of masses which necessarily will sweep away the old order of exploitation and oppression.”
– The Communist Party of Peru, “Elections, no! People’s war, Yes!”, 1990
Elections is the method to renew the government administration of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, i.e. renew its mediators. Like Marx aptly pointed out: “Every few years the oppressed are authorized to decide which members of the oppressor class will represent and crush them in parliament!” The bourgeois parties are instruments in the service of maintaining the established order, its preservation and evolution.
Imperialism is the highest and final stage of capitalism, it is reaction all along the line. This change of substance brought about a crisis in the forms of government. Today imperialism is in an advanced stage of decomposition and in its final crisis in which it will be swept away, it is facing a profound cyclic crisis since late 2019 and all this further aggravates its political crisis.
The World Proletarian Revolution is advancing and the world sees a high tide in the national liberation movement. Universal history is entering a new period of revolutions and corresponding to this situation the communists today are marching forward to the Unified Maoist International Conference and the New International Organisation of the Proletariat.
These are the general conditions in the two aspects of the contradiction, the condition of our forces and those of the enemy, of our hill and of theirs. We are in perspective and essence the powerful and principal aspect. We see that we are advancing on the grounds of the characteristics of our epoch, which are determining the outcome; the inevitable historically defined victory of the international proletariat. We see it characteristically expressed in the trend of those below refusing to live as before and those above being unable to rule as before, and this manifests concretely among other in the torrent of masses who reject or repudiate the bourgeois electoral farce on the one hand, and the crisis in parliamentarism on the other, and this, like everything, follows the law of uneven development.
On the 11th of September, the parliamentary, municipal and regional elections in Sweden took place simultaneously. The indecisive outcome required protracted negotiations before incoming Swedish Prime Minister and leader of “The Moderates”-party Ulf Kristersson was able to announce the formation of a cabinet on October 18th, consisting of “The Moderates (M)”, “The Liberals (L)”, “The Christian Democrats (KD)”, and with “The Sweden Democrats” as support in the parliament.
Selected Statistics from the 2022 Swedish General Election
|Percentage of the total population eligible to vote (7,775,390)||In numbers|
|The Social Democrats||25.15||1,955,972|
|The Sweden Democrats||17.01||1,322,774|
|The Left Party||5.58||434,410|
|Blank or null votes||1.27||99,166|
|Total abstainers and blank or null vote casters||17.06||1,326,900|
The results of the elections is part of the general trend of the crisis in parliamentarism, and is in line with its particular expression in Sweden during the last few years, as seen in the last term from 2018-2022.
The results of the 2018 general election also gave rise to a complicated situation. The Social Democrats lead by Stefan Lövfen first formed the minority Lövfen I government, but lost a vote of no-confidence on September 25th, forcing a parliamentary vote on a new government.
A protracted process was required before a new government could be formed. Eventually, Lövfen was tasked with forming a new government, but his proposals were turned down in parliament. Finally, in January of 2019, an the “January Agreement” was finally reached an the new Lövfen II government was formed.
From discontent and disagreement with the results and consequences of the January agreement a vote of no confidence was initiated against the Lövfen II government, as a result of which, “The Alliance” consisting of four of the major parties which had existed since 2004 was effectively dissolved at a national level. Despite the vote of no-confidence, the Lövfen II government would persist to govern during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June of 2021, another vote of no-confidence was sparked, mainly arising from disagreement over a proposal on rent controls proposed by the “January parties”. As a result of the vote of no-confidence, the Lövfen II government was brought down, and for the first time in Swedish history, the prime minister was impeached in a vote of no-confidence.
Speaker of the parliament Andreas Norlén proposed that Lövfen form a new government, and in July, Lövfen was re-elected prime minister and the Lövfen III government was formed consisting of the Social Democrats and the Green Party. In November of 2021, Lövfen resigned from all political offices, and was hastily succeeded by Magdalena Andersson.
A coalition government of the Social Democrats and the Green Party was expected, but the Green Party withdrew support as a result of disagreement with the posed budget proposal. The new cabinet was expected to be put in motion on November 26th, but due to the change in the composition of government, Andersson resigned.
A confirmation vote was initiated by the Speaker Norlén in which Adersson vote, and so the Andersson cabinet was formed, a minority government by the Social Democrats, taking office on November 30th. It was the smallest Swedish government since 1979, relying on 100 of the 349 parliament members (28,65%).
The internal contradiction within the bourgeois state, the increased collusion and struggle between the parties which represent in the main respective factions of the Swedish bourgeoisie, is a result of the pressure they are facing. With the direness of the situation, they struggle more to achieve relative unity over methods to preserve and develop the old order. On the one hand, it is a manifestation of the crisis of parliamentarism, an expression of the general crisis of imperialism. On the one hand, in the period since the 2018 general election, it must also be seen as a consequence of the pressure from the cyclical crisis which effects are still ominously present in the Swedish economy. At this moment, the Swedish economy is heading into a recession and inflation is running at nearly 10%.
We see also in Sweden the manifestation of the general trend of vote dispersal and consequent electoral indecisiveness, which with the increased collusion and struggle that follows, has a tendency to result in parliamentary gridlocks. The trend of vote dispersal is characteristic of the process in which sections of the masses go through different qualitative stages from loss of faith in the bourgeois electoral system, to rejection and finally to repudiation. The early stages of this process manifests firstly in loss of faith in the main, traditional parties, and we see this on a global scale with rapid rise and most usually falls of new “alternative” parties, which inevitably demonstrate to the masses who cast their vote in favour of them that they are in substance the very same as all the parties in parliament – representatives of various factions or sections of the big, monopoly, imperialist bourgeoisie in collusion and struggle for the role as mediators of the bourgeois dictatorship.
The voter turnout in the 2018 general election was 87.18%, the highest in 33 years. The peak was in 1976 with 91.76 % and in the 2022 general election it decreased by 2.97% to 84.21% (minus 1.27% null or blank, i.e. 82.94% real turnout). This confirms the law of uneven development. Development is never straight, linear and even. In Sweden we see that in the contradiction the aspect of crisis of parliamentarism is more developed than the aspect of the torrent of abstention, rejection and repudiation, which is also developing. Moreover, the development of first of the aspects, in which the impotency of the parliamentary system reveals itself, will surely drive the development of the other. Anyway the part of the population that did not vote for one of the bourgeois parties still makes up the second largest “party” (with 17.06% before the Sweden Democrats with 17.01% and behind the Social-democrats with 25.15%). And we must not forget about the temporarily successful reactionary counter-torrent set up by the bourgeoisie by means of the Sweden Democrats, as they did likewise for example in Austria with the “FPÖ”, Germany with the “AFD” or in Italy with “Italian Brothers”.
With the crisis in parliamentarism, the foundations of the old Swedish state weakens, and it will like all states have to rely more and more on mere armed and repressive forces to maintain its rule, and so will demarcate itself and its character even more, fuelling the stream of repudiation of the old bourgeois state. The illusions of peaceful and voluntary democracy will be shattered as it is revealed clearly for all to see that the backbone of every state is the armed forces.
With every election, the bourgeois electoral farce proves itself again and again for what it is, e.g. in the recent electoral campaign no one spoke a word on Sweden joining the NATO and ending the centuries-long “neutrality-policy”, since the reign of Karl XIII Bernadotte. Hence, a section of the masses advance to greater or lesser degree, through the stages of this process, and through this process the torrent of rejection and repudiation grows. It is up to the communists to take up this unconscious and spontaneous torrent, elevate it and giving it back to the masses, liquidating all rests of parliamentary illusions serving the short-, mid- and long-term tasks. This is expressed, once again, in the need of the proletariat to reconstitute its Communist Party, an urgent and overdue task.