File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-01-29.113, message 49


Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 15:26:45 +0100 (MET)
Subject: M-I: Sweden--Moral and political dilemma!


Dear List,

Been confronted with a moral and political dilema of the first class this 
week which cultimated in a huge fight in the community i live in. 

Being that I have been unemployed for a year and a half their is a rule 
which says that the unemployed has to do a 6 month ALU project in order to 
be eligible for a new period of unemployment benefits. ALU is surpose to be 
some sort of worker developing program which gives people projects in the 
work place without taking somebodies job.

I was offered a 6 month bit going around to the schools and talking about 
envionment. Which naturally would have been a great opportunity to turn the 
class room into a place where one could link up the envionment question to a 
Trotskyist perspective on class struggle.

I had already planned to show a couple of films on Bougainville and what the 
Australian imperialists and multi national mining company were prepared to 
do in order to convince people about their interest in the envionment and 
linking it to that these same companies were now looking for precious metals 
(gold,Diamonds) all over the place here in northern Scandinavia. This is 
being done with the good wishes of the Social Democratic Government here in 
Sweden who along with the bougeoisie have given the rights to mining and 
exploitation (which the state use to control) to International private 
interests! Including having key company men on the state board who gives out 
the permits and rights to exploaitation of everything that lies one meter 
under the ground here in Northern Scandinavia. This operation is being 
headed by an International outfit called Rio Tinto Zinc who has its head 
office in London and owns a lot of the shit in Australia and the gold mine 
that the war in Bougainville is being fought about. This is the same Social 
democratic government by the way that was critisied by this years "Nobel 
peace prize" winner for "dubble morals" because of the Swedes allowing 
Bofors to ship replacement parts to the Sukarto regime's gunboats!

However, I have been getting the arguements from my ex-wife among others 
that going to the school with this kind of stuff is in fact scabbing on the 
teachers who with teacher resources being cut across the board no longer can 
garantee that children learn anything never mind the national school plan 
which every teacher has a responsibilty to carry out! And it is the weakest 
poor and working class children children and the non-swede children that are 
effected most by these cutbacks!

Well the person responsible for the project just called on the telephone and 
we had a big fight. Because in principle the whole thing was ready to go 
including and announcement of others to help in the project (which had 
already gone out) and I said I don,t think it possible to carry out the 
project because the teachers would consider it in principle free labor and 
helping the government to make the cuts and use ALU people to fill the gaps.

She appealed to me "Well the only thing left if you refuse is WELFARE!". I 
said no I would shovel shit or take WELFARE before I would break the 
principle of scabbing on a union! But it really was difficult! I mean the 
teachers in Sweden make a lot of bread. My ex makes 18,000 a month and I get 
7500 a month before taxes! And the teachers are in fact a working group 
which generally holds up the ideals, culture and rules of bougeois society. 
And with my prolo background there is a bit of deep embedded hate for these 
professional purveyors of bougeois morals and rules of the game people.

So anyhow as a Communist and a Trotskyist it is important despite my 
personal weaknesses on this question to act on principle which I believe I 
did. This means concretely that the teachers and their trade union will be 
happy and the teachers will still be making 18,000 a month for teaching a 
lot of this garbage. While they refuse to take class struggle action to 
fight the government and the cutbacks which mainly effect poor and working 
class kids the most and especially the non-Swede foreign nationals. They do 
this  as a group of middle class professionals who wory more about their 
standard of living for those who are left then collective struggle in the 
interest of the whole class. They in fact are turning towards solutions of 
discussing raising individual salaries even more, (which on the one hand is 
defensible and on the other sickening) because these creeps are using the 
cuts to raise their salaries even more in relationship to a normal worker. 
The teachers are certainly a very cuddled group both in salaries and working 
hours despite the cutbacks. The real problem is that they do less and it is 
poor and working class children that suffer! I will either be put on welfare 
or now i am working on the possibility of helping to arrange a big Ski 
tournament and painting some houses for a sports club in the area.. 

PS: The project will probably be carried out anyway by some fucking greenie 
with no class struggle principles at all and probably on the level of 
turning milk cartons into returnable paper. A real moral and political 
dilema! For example which wheighs most  the struggle on Bougainville where 
people are dying everyday, the possibility of gaining quite a large audience 
for political agitation, the trade union principle for a group of 
professionals who salarie is twice the size of mine and other poor and 
working class people. Believe me this was a really painful decision to 
fucking make for a group of middle class creeps who mostly probably will be 
on the other side of the barricades when push comes to shove!

Bob Malecki

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