The leadership of the Left Party has acted very strangely on the NATO issue. Instead of conducting public opinion work against NATO, they have in practice laid themselves flat for the government and the Social Democrats’ line on the issue. The argumentation has been zero or, in cases where it has occurred, it has been meaningless.
Dadgostar has, among other things, said that there is no point in conducting opinion work against NATO because a majority of the Swedish people are against NATO membership. This is undeniably a very strange position. For it is to declare that one’s own party should not exist. A majority of the Swedish people are against the policies that the Left Party stands for. If we are to follow Dadgostar’s reasoning about NATO, it would mean that it would be impossible to pursue any Left Party demands. The party might as well close down.
How should the Left Party have acted?
The Left Party’s actions on the NATO issue are criticised by many members of the party. One of them is Marcus Wallin, a member of the municipal council for the Left Party. In an article in Flamman, he formulates how the Left Party should have acted on the issue of NATO membership:
- are to be left-wing and stand up for our party programme! It is not possible to repeatedly call the party programme obsolete or make unfounded interpretations. We are a socialist party. This also means that we are opposed to capitalism and imperialism, which we need to stand up for in word and deed. A cowardly left is a weak left!
- focus on movement building instead of political triangulation. Strengthen ties with organisations like Swedish Peace and the Rojava Committees. The influx of members to Swedish Peace and the support for the actions of the Rojava Committees clearly shows that we are not alone in our resistance to NATO. Just as V got a huge increase in membership when we fought against market rents, Swedish Peace has gained thousands of new members. A large minority in Sweden, despite all the warmongering and one-sided media reporting on NATO and the Russian threat to Sweden’s security, are still negative or uncertain about Swedish NATO membership.
- Dare to communicate what we believe in! Who wants to listen to a political robot with talking points that any social democrat could throw around? Who cares about a communication strategy that emphasises the “process” of becoming a NATO member? Dare to be a passionate political leader who talks about ideology and visions, instead of constantly racing around based on where you think the winds of opinion are blowing. This is how we pull society to the left, together.
It is still possible to act
Wallin also emphasises that it is still possible to act on the issue. Turkey and Hungary have still not accepted Sweden as a NATO member. It is still possible to conduct opinion work and to prevent Swedish NATO membership. In addition, it is possible, regardless of whether Sweden is a NATO member or not, to pursue the issue of dissolving NATO. However, NATO should be replaced with something else. NATO is a right-wing project designed to preserve existing capitalist and imperialist power relations in the world. Something that Wallin rightly points out.
At the same time, we cannot ignore the threat that exists in our neighbourhood in the form of an aggressive and imperialist Russia. There should be some kind of alliance to protect us from them. But undemocratic countries like Erdogan’s Turkey should not be part of such an alliance.