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Communist Workers' Party (Finland) Issue 2

Communist Workers’ Party of Finland – Communists and the National Question.

Communists have always been the most active supporters of national independence. Communists have also recognized the progressive and revolutionary significance of wars of national liberation. When the Soviet Union and the whole global socialist system were at their strongest, the state of imperialism was weaker. This era opened new possibilities for oppressed nations in the pursuit of independence.

National Independence in Europe

Europe has changed significantly since the weakening of the socialist system: The European Union was formed, of which Finland is a member. As the foundation of its functions the EU has a list of basic freedoms, which includes the free movement of capital, goods, labour force, and services, between the member states of the EU. These basic freedoms guarantee the preservation of the power of capital.
What, then, could threaten the existence of the EU? A war between imperialistic cores, with EU on one side? More than anything, the bourgeoisie of the EU is afraid of two things: the struggle of nations for freedom, which would tear down the EU, and the endeavor of the working class to found socialistic countries. They are so afraid of the latter that they want to prohibit communist symbols and parties. Some EU-countries have already done so through legislation. The saying ”no nation can be free if it oppresses other nations” is actualized in the EU.

National Independence as a Part of Class Struggle

The Communist Workers’ Party has consistently opposed Finland’s membership in the EU. The party has objected against Finns conforming and accepting the EU membership by not nominating its members to European Parliament elections. Instead, the party has urged people to boycott the elections. In order to reclaim national independence, KTP has created the campaign ”Suomi irti EU:sta” (Finland out of the EU). The campaign calls on people to protect the country’s independence, as the campaign’s logo portrays the demand to release Finland from the shackles of the EU.
Within the party, the objective of communists has been seen as the aim to seize political power within the country in which each separate party operates, not within the EU as a whole. Naturally, the goal of the communists is the foundation of a socialist country. A goal that the working class with its allies will reach. In the pursuit of this goal is unified the communists’ centennial work as advocates for national independence. The ideal of national independence lives on in the midst of the working class on the journey towards founding a socialist state, as well as within that socialist state.
Occasionally it is argued that because, as a class, the working class exists as one, across all borders, the question of national independence can be bypassed. Such a way of thinking is evident in attempts in forming, for example, a socialist Europe instead of forming separate socialist countries. The working class is, of course, one, but there sometimes can be significant societal differences between different countries. This affects the methods that fit each country within a given point in time. It is essential to preserve the principle of national independence everywhere. This doesn’t rule out the internationalism and solidarity integral to the struggle of the working class. Rather, it includes them, as well as attempting to reach as wide a consensus as possible in the fight against capitalism.

Communists Recognize the Power of Internationalism

In their discussions, the delegates of communist parties have brought up the formation of a new international central organization (Comintern). It is evident that there is a need for directing the working class in unified and simultaneous struggle, as well as for studying theory. However, the preconditions for a new comintern don’t yet exist. KTP considers an international central organization to be necessary. The party also deems that the relations between communist parties cannot be based on democratic centralism. This position makes it possible to take national independence into consideration.

Soviet Union as an Example

There is always an ongoing discussion in communist parties about what, exactly, is the socialism we propose to build and what are the paths that lead to that goal. It is difficult to present a detailed picture, today, but the main principles can be articulated. The picture becomes clearer on the way to socialism, as do the forms of collaboration between socialist countries.

Soviet Union gives one example of building national independence between socialist countries. The constitution of the Soviet Union put this into practice by giving each union republic the right to secede from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This article was used when the Soviet Union dissolved in the beginning of the 1990s.

Each union republic also had a land border with countries other than other union republics. If one was to secede, it wouldn’t have become completely surrounded by other union republics, but rather would have had its own distinct, independent territory.

Hannu Harju
Member of the Political committee, vice-chairman of the Communist Worker’s Party of Finland

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Communist Workers' Party (Finland) Issue 1

Communist Workers’ Party of Finland – What will socialism look like?

WHAT KIND OF SOCIALISM ARE WE BUILDING?

As stated in our speech at the Stockholm meeting of nordic communists, we are not fortune tellers and can’t predict with complete certainty what the future socialist society will look like. We have to be careful in this regard and not build utopias in our minds. Our plan for building socialism must be based in the material conditions of our revolution, and will take shape during the revolutionary process and working class struggle. There are some things we can say with relative certainty about our future socialist society.

RE-INDUSTRIALIZATION

Finland is a fairly technologically advanced country. Building socialism here today would be economically and technologically easier then in Russia a century ago. It would still mark a tremendous economic undertaking. Finland would begin to separate itself from the Western imperialist world order and stop exploiting cheap labor and resources in poor third world countries. Therefore Finland would have to re-industrialize itself to an extent. Finland would have to strive for greater self-sufficiency and self-reliance. This is important firstly because the imperialists are known to impose sanctions, blockades etc. on countries that try to pursue a policy free from imperialist control. We have to prepare for it. Secondly, ecological concerns say we ought to produce locally what we can. There is no need to transport goods from accross the globe if we have can produce them here for ourselves. We also aim for full employment, so the factories closed down by the capitalists should be re-opened and the unemployed workers put back to work.

DEFENSE OF THE REVOLUTION

As stated in our speech in Stockholm, communists wish to create a society without armies, intelligence agencies or instruments with which one class oppresses another — that is our aim. However, the revolution also must be able to protect itself. Lenin originally argued in The State and Revolution that the standing army could be abolished. However, developments like the Russian civil war and foreign intervention by a dozen or so capitalist countries, forced the bolsheviks to create a Red Army and develop its defensive capacity. This was necessary. Similarly, our party argues that Finland doesn’t need a military. Our military right now is only being used in the imperialist encirclement and provocation against Russia. It is not used for any justifiable defensive purpose. However in the future we can’t assume the imperialists wouldn’t try to attack a socialist Finland or fund counter-revolutionary terrorism here like they’ve done in countless other places.

How militarized a future socialist society will be, depends entirely on the level of threat by foreign imperialists and Finnish counter-revolutionaries backed by them. Same applies to all surveillance, counter-espionage etc. Marxism advocates peace but does what is necessary to defend the working class from attack. We can’t have lasting peace as long as imperialism exists.

PROSPECTS FOR DEMOCRACY

Finland is a fairly advanced country in terms of bourgeois democracy. Already in 1905 as a result of the workers’ struggle and nationwide general strike, Finland got its own parliament where women also had the right to vote. Near the end of the second world war the fascist elements of the Finnish capitalist class were defeated, and communists were able to work legally. At least since then Finland has cultivated a tradition of bourgeois democracy. Bourgeois democracy has gotten people used to the notion of democracy but it is still only a notion. If the corrupting influence of money was removed from elections, and if the media and education were taken into the hands of the working people, we could achieve real democracy, not just bourgeois sham “democracy”. Electronic voting presents certain new possibilities. We can learn from the example of socialist countries: they involved everyday people in economic planning and management of society through mass organizations like trade-unions and local soviets. We should do the same.