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Sweden: After the election, Right wing forces must be defeated through mass struggle

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The result of the 2022 election represents more than just a parliamentary victory for the right. Sweden will now have a government focused on militant class struggle from above. The standard of living and rights of working people will be attacked. Parliamentary dependence on a racist right-wing populist party with a background in Nazism guarantees that some of the most oppressed groups in society will be targeted. The racist incitement during the election campaign gives a taste of what lies ahead.

The victory of right-wing forces is greater than the media coverage suggests. The Centre Party is not part of a left-wing bloc, they are a neoliberal, capitalist party with large-scale cuts in welfare as their central issue. It is not at all unlikely that they will join the other nonsocialist parties, further strengthening the right wing in parliament.

Another aspect of the right-wing's victory is the way they have succeeded in pulling the reformist bourgeois workers' parties, the Social Democrats and the Left Party, to the right. When many socialists and class-conscious workers thought that it was not possible for them to go further to the right, that was exactly what their leaderships did. The Social Democrats took over central elements of the racist rhetoric in the vain hope of stopping the flow of votes to the Sweden Democrats. The Left Party, in turn, tried to profile itself as "responsible" and failed miserably to make inroads among the majority of workers, while losing some of their left-wing voters.

In addition to this, the recently formed Nuance party an Islamic, value-conservative, right-wing party, took two municipal seats, weakening the Social Democrats in some immigrant-dense constituencies. This is also part of the advance of right-wing forces.

As always, the picture is not unambiguous. Some sectors of the working class, and certainly other strata as well, did recognise the right-wing danger and turned to Social Democrats and the Left Party, or clung to them, as a way of rejecting the right. In some areas, notably in Stockholm, where the majority will shift to them in the municipality, these parties actually gained.

That the two parties are retreating overall, however, is no wonder. Their base is the working class and their influence depends on their ability to improve conditions for the working class and stand for progressive goals. When they do not do this but, on the contrary, attack the working class, particularly the case with the Social Democrats, they saw off the branch they themselves sit on.
Decades of right-wing politics from Social Democrats, tailed by the Left Party, have weakened both and also disoriented large strata of the working class politically and ideologically. The 2022 election results are a consequence of this process.

In light of this, it is preposterous to talk about the Liberals committing some kind of treason by cooperating with the Sweden Democrats. That argument is based on the delusion that there is a decent bourgeoisie, and then there is SD. The Liberals are an aggressive capitalist party that wants to reinforce all tendencies in society that objectively favour the SD.

Those within the left who say that "liberalism has a proud history of resisting fascism" are lying, or ignorant. The most important example is the German liberals who, in March 1933, voted for the special laws that gave Hitler and the Nazis unrestricted power. Liberals were and are a totally unreliable force against racism and right-wing extremism, which the Swedish liberals clearly confirm. They don't "betray any legacy" when they support SD. That is their heritage, they always put the bourgeoisie and the good of capitalism first, even if it means cooperation with the anti-liberal right-wing reaction.

In any case, the success of the Sweden Democrats does not mean that we will have a fascist-dominated regime in Sweden. The term fascism should not be diluted, it only applies to the most violent form of bourgeois reaction, such as the Third Reich, Mussolini's rule or the rise of the Islamic State. As a racist populist party, SD is of course extremely reactionary, but we are not facing a near dissolution of liberal bourgeois democracy. On the other hand, a harsh and repressive right-wing policy awaits within the framework of bourgeois democracy, which may also be reshaped in a more non-liberal direction.

While warning of the coming advance of right-wing forces, we should not overestimate the importance of an election result. Parliamentary elections in a capitalist state are basically just about which political faction should be allowed to manage the interests of the ruling class. The great battle now will be outside parliament; in the streets and workplaces and in residential areas.

The priority task is to organise wherever the working class is, with the aim of being able to mobilise against each coming attack. If enough strength can be conjured up outside the Riksdag, it does not matter who has a majority; No parliamentary majority can withstand enough pressure from mass demonstrations and strikes – and these are the kinds of methods that will be needed in the future.

The leaders of the Social Democrats and the Left Party shun the extra-parliamentary struggle like the plague. They can infiltrate existing protest movements and then deflect and neutralise them, for both, support for a strong extra-parliamentary struggle comes into conflict with their strategic goals. Both will always be loyal to capital and its state when it really matters. These are reformist parties led by bureaucrats who, in crucial situations, have acted as class traitors.

The fight cannot therefore be limited to what these two parties can agree to, because then not much will be done. In the long run, the working class will have to organise itself into a new party, if the right-wing forces are to be fought back in a more fundamental way.