Program of The Red Party
Adopted at The Red Partys 3. Congress 27. - 30. of may 2010
Throughout history, rulers have seen their own social system as the final one, the one that humankind will exist under forever. Today they portray capitalism as the final culmination of human development.
For the Red Party, capitalism is just a particular era in human history. When capitalism swept feudal society aside, it represented a progressive force that brought human society a great leap forward. It has led to an enormous development of mankind's productive capabilities, and it has, especially in some parts of the world, led to great material and social progress. It is now becoming increasingly clear, however, that capitalism as a system has become a threat to human beings and to nature.
We can no longer live with a small minority owning the means of production, exploiting those who create value, and destroying the basis for the livelihood of future generations in order to increase their own wealth and power. There is a glaring contrast between our enormous productive capacity and the fact that more people than ever before are living with hunger and deprivation - that every six seconds a child dies of hunger or malnutrition. Capitalism has outlived itself. It is now urgent to get rid of it. That would be in the interest of the great majority of the world's population.
The working class - women and men - whose work creates the values that capital exploits, must be the driving and decisive force in the rebellion that will lead humanity out of capitalism and into the new society: socialism. It must stand at the head of the organization and management of this new society.
We live in an age where much is changing fast and in surprising ways. We want to contribute in such a way that the great upheavals go in the right direction: that they lead to equality, emancipation of humankind and the conservation of nature’s resources for humanity, so that our descendants can experience a society without suffering and poverty.
Chapter 2 was revised and approved at the Red Party’s Congress May 9th-11th 2014.
The Red Party is striving for a more democratic society than today’s society. We want to make the big decisions collectively. The question is: how can the majority rule society?
Who is the majority? In Norway today, we have a huge class of workers – in commerce, transport, in the service sector, including health care, education, in industry of all kinds, at offices and in warehouses, at small farms and in fishing boats, culture workers and retirees. As capitalistic organizing grows, more and more people become workers. Groups that had an unclear position in the class society before, are now in an increasingly subordinate position. A society in which the majority rules is in all of these people’s interest. We call this a socialist society. This kind of system presupposes the people’s support. To the Red Party, socialism without democracy is not socialism whatsoever.
The point of socialism is to abolish exploitation, to prevent that the main goal of a person’s work is to increase the capital of the owners. This abolishment can create a better and freer society. To get there, a long-term perspective needs to direct the broad lines of production. In a socialist society, private ownership of the most important means of production is abolished. Both private ownership of the means of production and markets will be able to exist on less prioritized areas. Over the last centuries, there has been a development of democratic institutions, a common right to vote and welfare states, although limited. Despite this development, capitalists have made sure that the economy has remained democracy-free.
In a socialist society, democratic governance of all-important fields in the society will prevail, including the economy. Power should not be concentrated, and profit should not be the main goal. The working class, the biggest class, who previously were without power over the production, will be in a completely different and stronger political position. In combination with their allies, the working class will be the majority and have the power over all-important societal institutions.
The Red Party is working for a socialist economy that is sustainable for the environment, and that does not ruin the livelihood of generations to come.
Everlasting growth is the foundation of our current economy. This has led to an overexploitation of nature through an increased use of nature’s resources, and high amounts of waste and emissions. The earth has a limited amount of resources, and the climate can only take so much of human-made emissions and waste before the earth is permanently damaged. To avoid this we need to face the limits nature poses, and avoid that the economy surpasses these limits.
We are rapidly approaching the breaking point of the world’s ecosystems. The worst example is human-made climate change caused by consumption and combustion of fossil fuel. The increased emissions are a result of the capitalist logic of reinvestment of profit to grow. Ever more products need to be made, and more products need to be consumed.
Because of its limited capacity, the environment on earth puts limits on future socialist countries. To stay within these limits, we cannot continue with today’s system of increased production and consumption. The goods we produce need to be justly redistributed, and the production must be redirected to products and services that do not overwhelm the earth’s capacity. To do this, we need a democratically governed socialist economy that secures that the redistribution is evenhanded. People with minimal resources should be able to increase their materiel consumption at the expense of those with a lot. In the future, climate considerations, the management of the earth’s resources and capacity – along with new technology and human needs – will decide the content and pace of economic growth.
When we stop producing increasingly more, we can reduce our working hours instead. Resulting in more free time to spend with our families and loved ones, more time to partake in democratic institutions and NGOs, and more time to develop ourselves as human beings.
Socialism means that the people themselves decide a sustainable use of the profit of their production. Yet, even though socialism presents this possibility, socialism is no guarantee for green and sustainable politics. This is why we need an active environmental movement, so that a renewable, sustainable society can be realized.
The human worth
Human beings are valued differently under capitalism. In a socialist society, the working class will take over the power. In this way, the inequality between social classes will be gradually reduced.
The divide between the sexes means that one half of the people are generally valued less than the other half. Systematic work to abolish all oppression of women is required to create equal freedom for all. All parts of society need to work persistently for the equal power and value of women. At the same time, distinctive and independent female organizing is important to demand improvement for women, continuously.
Capitalism puts workers up against each other based on the color of their skin, origin and belief. The Red Party values a society where a person is a person – where people are not identical, but valued equally.
A group cannot be free if it is active in oppressing another group. As many as possible should become aware of, and fight against, the oppression they themselves are a part of. The oppressed need to organize and take the lead in the fight for liberation.
Norway needs to end the oppression of the Sami people, and dismantle our imperialist exploitation of other countries around the world.
A socialist economical system will obviously need people performing work characterized as routine, manual or tough. Our goal is to distribute such work in the population evenly. Such redistribution is more fair than to distribute tough labor through competition on a labor market, where the less fortunate both have the lowest wages and the heaviest tasks.
Socialism is far more than a new government and some state regulation. There is no predefined and fixed socialism, but a multitude of socialist ideas and models in continuous interaction and conflict. Many of these can contribute in the development of a future socialist Norway, and must be built on an expansion of democracy. The right to vote and elected political bodies is self-evident. The seeds for such a future commonwealth already exist today. The Norwegian right to publicly access the wilderness and have experiences in nature is an example of this type of seed (the so-called “Allemannsretten”). The welfare state, which is the result of a century long working class struggle, initially made a series of public services free for everyone, for example schools, health care and roads. The Red Party’s policy is to remove more goods and services from the capitalistic market, and convert them into free welfare benefits instead. This could include for example public transport, dental services, legal assistance, art and culture. Initially, this will still be financed through the community through a fair tax system where everyone contribute according to capacity.
One of the characteristics of socialism is that the workers are in charge at work, and that the workers decide how their work should be organized.
Large businesses that affect the economy of the entire country must be owned by society and be subject to democratic governance and control – for example big banks and financial institutions, or large industrial companies that exploit Norwegian energy and natural resources.
We need centrally decided environmental regulations to secure our common natural values and resources that affect the entire country or a bigger region, and to prevent unfair geographical distribution of advantages and disadvantages. The Red Party also advocates international environmental regulations to secure global and international environment issues and a fairer international distribution, for example through limits for greenhouse gases.
In other cases, it is best to control resources locally. The Red Party wants to give ownership of the fishing industry back to the population living on the coast of Norway. We want to do this by taking fishing quota off the market, transfer quotas to the coastal fishing fleet and regulate the pisciculture industry in favor of local production. Licenses and quotas should be allocated by district.
The Red Party wants to contribute to the development of a plethora of socialist forms of organization, through worker-run businesses, increased power and influence for workers in other types of businesses, through participatory budgeting and other forms of participatory economy. Combined with other forms, such as models of negotiation, cooperatives and elements of planned economy, this could form the foundations of an adaptive economy that puts the needs of the people first, and can operate within the climate’s limits.
A democratic revolution is required
Although the Norwegian people have attained a number of important democratic rights, capitalism itself stands in the way of an actual democracy. The power relations need to change radically. This entails a democratic revolution. This will be a continuation of the labor movement’s struggle to give ordinary women and men increased influence through the right to vote and greater security, both social and economic, through the strengthening of the welfare state. When the working class and its allies have actual and formal power, completely different, directly democratic processes than those in today’s society can arise. The working class cannot govern within the framework of capitalism, the right to private property and within the bourgeois state apparatus. Instead, we need to build a state that is actually governed by the majority, by the people.
The economic system has to be fundamentally changed – a revolution, where the majority take over the societal power and management. We want such a revolution to be peaceful, based on democratic principles. This means that the majority of the population has to support the change, and that the labor movement, trade unions and big NGOs raise the matter. Such change in the people’s opinion will manifest through political actions, in elections and in other ways before an upheaval, and will change the political composition in elected bodies. This process can lead to the creation of new democratic government bodies.
Because of the importance of democracy, the majority’s support needs to be confirmed through democratic referenda or free elections. A democratic revolution differs fundamentally from state coups.
The Red Party is of the opinion that based on history, oppositional forces will not accept a popular and democratic takeover, but will use unacceptable means to stop this. This will make it necessary to defend the people’s will. To secure a good result, the working class should be well organized and have clear goals. We should already work for a multitude of strong and actual member-controlled people’s movements, of which the trade unions are the most important.
In a socialist society, elected representative parliaments should have the overall control of the economy and the state apparatus. Meanwhile, people should have increased direct power, in both their workplaces and their communities. People should be able to participate in big decisions with the help of new technology, among other things. If people are to gain real power, we need smaller units and communities. The Red Party feel that freedom of speech, freedom of associations, free elections, the right to strike, freedom of religion and an independent judiciary that guarantees legal protection for the individual, is fundamental for a socialist society. The right to criticize and disagree with the authorities must apply to everyone, including opponents of socialism. Everyone must be protected against abuse by the state. The democratic, socialist future is dependent on open discussion between opponents with conflicting interests, and that different political views self-organize. Socialism requires support from the popular majority.
Socialism is not an ideal society. Problems will still exist, but unlike today, where capital interests determine the framework for the society development, the possibilities of controlling the society and economy in a direction that benefits the environment and common good will be greater, both nationally and internationally.
If a minority of people keep the power, it will not take long before they will abuse this power to protect their own interests. Good systems for power sharing and power control must be established, for example by rotation in office and by the option to revoke representatives.
To change power relations, people need to organize actively. A socialist country needs an active labor movement, an environmental movement, women’s organizations, local interest groups and anti-racist organizations. A real democracy means that everyone gains the strength to speak and to be heard.
International solidarity is a central part of socialism, and a socialist Norway needs to tie bonds with, and support, modern people’s movements in other countries. The foreign policy within socialism is based upon respect, reciprocity and equal rights. It is important that we cooperate with parties, forums and organizations working for a socialist society in other countries. A socialist government must support other people and nations that struggle to break with imperialism and that try to build socialist societies based on their own preconditions. Yet this solidarity should not hinder criticism.
To develop the human civilization further, it is necessary to prevent a new, devastating war between the leading countries. To keep the peace is a prerequisite for building socialism.
Socialism for the 21st Century
The revolutionary forces that are trying to develop a strategy for 21st century socialism are drawing lessons from the mistakes that have been made in the past. The Red Party sees itself as a part of this movement, but stresses that a Norwegian socialism cannot be a copy of others’. Our socialism must build on the tradition of our own history of class- and political struggle, which has led to cooperatives and the demand for a highly developed welfare state. Our socialism must develop the democratic rights that workers have fought for the last centuries, e.g. organizational freedom, the right to vote, freedom of speech and security under the law.
Internationally, an ecology-socialistic movement is forming. This movement point to the abolition of capitalism as an essential prerequisite to preserve our livelihood and avoid a climate catastrophe. The Red Party sees itself as a part of this movement, and aim to cooperate with anti-capitalist parties and organizations in other countries within this network.
The road ahead
At first, a socialist society will be characterized by the society from which it arose. Through class struggle and women’s liberation, socialism must develop in a direction of a classless society, without oppression – where the distinction between the governing and the governed is gone. The Red Party’s goal is a classless society. This is what Karl Marx called communism.
Capitalism is a class society where the economic and political elite controls the state apparatus and owns and manages companies and corporations. This relatively small number of people - the bourgeoisie - has the power and the wealth that lifts them sky high compared to ordinary people. On the opposite side stands the working class. The Red Party believes that the contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the working class is the basic contradiction in Norwegian society.
The capitalism of today is international. Capital’s need for continuous growth leads to the national markets neither being able to digest all the goods produced, nor to provide enough raw materials. The owners of capital must therefore go out in the international market. In addition to trade in goods, come financial transactions which lead to financial capital becoming dominant in the capitalist world system that we call imperialism.
The international bourgeoisie, that owns the large multinational companies, has great influence over both states and international institutions and the rules that they have established, and they use this influence to control most of the trade in the world. They have divided the world among themselves, while they simultaneously compete in order to grow at each other’s expense. The exploitation of those who create value is increasing. The wealth is collected in the hands of a few, while billions of poor people must be content with the crumbs.
This economic system that exploits people and depletes natural resources , implies an incessant pressure towards subsuming all parts of society and all natural resources under the same market logic: health services, education, drinking water and genetic hereditary material - everything must be turned into a commodity that companies can make money out of.
The Future of Mankind is Threatened
The pursuit of profit is now threatening life on earth. We are changing the global climate through the unrestrained use of fossil fuels. We are destroying nature and the environment. This leads to serious crises that threaten the livelihood of many people, especially in the poor countries. We are overfishing in the sea, we are destroying large amounts of topsoil, and the hunt for timber and pasture lands is demolishing the rainforests and diminishing the amount of species, while simultaneously leading to food crises and hunger.
The Red Party's attitude to humanity - that we are a part of nature - implies that we must organize society in accordance with sustainable principles. We must not inflict a greater strain on nature than it can bear, whether this concerns the use of natural resources or encroaching on virgin land. Capitalism must be removed if humanity is to survive. After capitalism is gone, we must work to repair the damage to the environment that it has caused, and create a completely different relationship between people and nature.
The state serves the interests of the owners
The state is often portrayed as a neutral organ, but it is controlled by the bourgeoisie (the upper class) during capitalism and has various forms: parliamentary, corporative cooperation between the state and industrial organizations, or authoritarian dictatorship and fascism. Most of the rich and politically stable capitalist countries have universal suffrage and elections to representative assemblies. Large parts of the economy are, however, exempted from the rule of the bodies elected by the people, and the legislation has been designed on the basis of private ownership.
To prevent insurrection and class struggle, all class societies have established systems for surveillance and control that work both openly and covertly. Today the systems for control are increasing dramatically under the guise of the "war on terror". The aim is to make oppositional work more difficult, and to prepare for action in case major social crises should arise.
In the background, the state has a police and a military apparatus, which can be used against those whom the powers that be consider to be internal enemies.
The Oppression of Women is Woven into the Fabric of Capitalism
The suppression of women found in former societies has been taken over by capitalism; which has woven it into the economy, into the institutions and organizations of society and into the daily relations between women and men. Indeed, the oppression of women is one of the dominating ideas of capitalism. The bourgeoisie benefits from this oppression, but it also gives men several material, social and psychological advantages. At the same time, the gender roles into which we are socialized, also means that men are not able to become complete human beings or to develop their various abilities.
Women’s salaries are lower than men’s, many women work part-time jobs and many live on low social benefits. The basis for women’s low salaries is the provider system of capitalism where the family isn’t only a way of living together, but it is also an economic unit, with personal responsibility for providing and caring . This is how men’s salary is sustained as the provider’s salary. Women are caught in part-time jobs with low salaries, at the same time that the unpaid work of a caring nature saves expenses for the capitalists. Women living alone, with or without children, become the poorest. Furthermore, the provider system strengthens men’s power over women.
Working for the abolishment of the family as an economic unit is thus a condition for women’s liberation. This means, amongst other things, equal pay and economic independence for women, a shorter working day as well as good and free public services for children and the elderly. Developing collective solutions for domestic work and work of a caring nature will give room for new and different ways of organizing committed communities, and through these measures improve the conditions for personal growth and development, different ways of living together and a love life that is free and based on respect and equal status.
Men’s violence against women in today’s society is a result of the oppression of, and contempt for, women. Prostitution, trafficking and pornography are extreme expressions of how women’s bodies are turned into a commodity from which capital owners earn big money. The role of men needs to be developed so that violence is not accepted by society.
Imperialism leads to war and oppression
In the last century, the rivalry of the imperialist nations and their urge to expand their areas of interest led to the two world wars. In the long run, the potential danger of new large wars between imperialistic superpowers is a continual threat to people all over the world.
Since the Second World War, the rivalry between the major powers has usually taken the form of proxy wars in and against less developed countries; either to remain in control of them or to expand the attacking country’s area of influence. This has damaged several societies and caused incredible suffering for their population.
The Red Party supports people and nations that fight against occupation and oppression, and we recognise the right to self-determination for nations. At the same time we reject violence against civilians, the curtailment of democratic rights and suppression, no matter where it happens in the world or by whom.
Imperialism creates racism and chauvinism
Most of today’s refugees migrate within their own country or to neighbouring countries in the poorer parts of the world. They flee from, amongst other things, problems created by capitalism: the climate crisis, poverty, war and oppression.
A small part of the world’s refugees manage to come to the wealthy, western countries. Here, most of them join the labour reserve as cheap labour and are exposed to blatant discrimination and demands that they become assimilated into the new country. Today, racism and chauvinism against different minority groups is a growing trend in the countries of the north. One of the main reasons for this growth in racism is the so called “war on terror”. In order to legitimize imperialistic wars, an attempt is made to dehumanise immigrants from non-western countries in general and Muslims in particular.
Racism divides the working class. With our vision of solidarity across borders followed by a world free from exploitation, we work to create unity and mutual respect amongst workers from all countries. This kind of unity is a precondition for the creation of a classless society based on solidarity.
The Norwegian welfare state has developed through a protracted political and social struggle. The state has also been responsible for building the infrastructure in Norway. This is an historic tradition which means that our rich natural resources are being used to build the country. The laws concerning reversion of the ownership of waterfalls to the state, the act concerning unprocessed fish, the electrical power contracts for industry, and the politics during the early years of the oil industry, are good examples of this. Also the ideology concerning cooperatives has a strong position, especially among farmers and fishermen.
The emergence of the welfare state in Norway and other countries is a result of a compromise between the working class and the bourgeoisie. The growth in welfare has been traded for industrial peace, despite the fundamental conflicts of interest. The leaders of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and the Norwegian Labour Party (and later on other organisations as well), have been a guaranty for this. The same leaders have circulated between directorships in large companies and cabinet posts.
The state and the local councils have, all the way up towards the end of the last century, played an important role in developing the economy, both as owners and through political control. Returns from oil investments started to build up profit from the 1980s onwards. This developed rapidly into a situation where capital was centralized and exported, and economic activities were moved to other countries.
Market liberalism has gained an increasingly stronger foothold since the 1980s. Privatization, increased exposure to competition and the splitting up of state owned companies such as the Postal Services, Norwegian State Railways and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration are examples of increased market economy in the public sector. This, however, does not mean that the state plays a lesser role. The state is used in a large degree to secure the expansion of the market economy and the state itself also acts as a market operator. In Norway, the state still controls more economic activity than in most other west-European countries.
A major part of the bourgeoisie holds important positions in the state apparatus. The bourgeoisie dominates the Norwegian media, parts of cultural life and many professional and industrial bodies. A proportion of bosses in the unions and other mass organisations also belong the bourgeoisie.
The leaders of the Norwegian Labour Party and the Socialist Left Party are working to maintain capitalism by virtue of their positions. They share out rescue packages to the capitalists that have speculated themselves into a mess, they invest Norway’s oil and gold on the Stock Exchange, they privatize and attack the position of the unions. They use their parties as a tool to keep the working class passive. The majority of their members and voters want control over the forces of capitalism through regulations, control over the market and a policy of economic redistribution. The belief that people can maintain and improve their living conditions and standards within today’s class society is strong.
The economic crises that are haunting today’s capitalistic system will weaken this belief. Welfare systems and collective arrangements are being put under pressure to dismantle and privatise. Social dumping is creating new layers of poorer working class.
This trust in the social democratic parties is a strong obstacle in the way of the working class, hindering it from seeking political power.
Imperialism is not only imposed on people and nations through occupation, weapons and colonialism. Imperialism can also be achieved by using economic might and thus gaining control and dominance over weaker nations. Norway’s huge oil and gas resources allow it to act as a large exporter of capital making heavy investments in the international financial market. Statoil and Telenor are important tools of Norwegian imperialism.
It is an important task for revolutionaries to oppose all kinds of Norwegian imperialism. The Red Party doesn’t accept that Norway’s wealth is to be built upon the exploitation and oppression of other people.
The Norwegian military apparatus is tied ever closer to the big imperialistic powers in step with the economical expansion abroad. The defence of Norwegian territory has become a secondary matter. Yet, it is becoming all the more important to secure the bourgeoisie’s investments abroad and to defend imperialism by acting as mercenaries in wars conducted by the USA and NATO.
The Norwegian state is founded on the territory of two nations, the Sami and the Norwegian. Colonization has divided the Sami nation between four states. Norway has systematically robbed Sami territory and oppressed the Sami economy, culture and language. The Red Party’s opinion is that the Sami right to self-determination must be guaranteed according to ILO convention 169 and the UN’s Declaration on the Rights Indigenous Peoples.
Also Norwegian society’s oppression of the Kven People, the Roma (Gipsies), the Romani (Tinkers), the Jews and Forest Finns has long traditions. This oppression has led to an ingrained racism with deep roots in Norwegian society.
The working class
The working class consists of those who do not own or have control over the means of production. They depend on selling their labour power. They do not have positions in the hierarchy of production and society that give them decisive power over other human beings.
The vast majority of the wage labourers, and others that survive though their own work, create and develop the society that we live in and through this they acquire experience and knowledge in many areas. Also, the working class is continually forced to defend itself against attacks from the buyers of labour in the individual workplace and in society as a whole. Therefore, they develop ideas on alternative ways to organize work and society. Hence, the workers not only have an interest in revolution and socialism, they also have the experience, knowledge and ideas that are needed to manage society in accordance with the interests of the majority.
The working class constitutes the majority of the people in Norway, and its numbers are growing. Those that are economically active now number 1.5 million people, with 10-15 % of these being immigrants or children born in Norway to immigrant parents. An increasing part of those that were formerly considered as independent intermediate strata (academics, cultural workers, consultants etc) are acquiring a position in society more like that of the working class. The majority of the workers are women.
Approximately one million workers are employed in the private sector, i.e. industry, construction, transport or in privately controlled services (retail trade, hotels, restaurants, banks, cleaning etc). While the majority of the above mentioned are men, more than 70 % of the employees in the public sector are women, and most of these are employed in health-, caring- and educational institutions.
We must also include all those who depend on various forms of social security, those who depend on what are mostly low public benefits. These include the unemployed, the majority of the pensioners and those living on disability pensions and social welfare benefits.
The working class is complex and many-sided, and needs a common class consciousness that is able to unite different cultures and professions. To attain unity and a common class consciousness, different opinions must be able to be voiced and one must be able to deal openly with various forms of oppressive relationships within the working class.
Men have to fight against their role as the oppressive sex in order for the working class to be victorious in its struggle for liberation. Workers with a Norwegian background have to fight against oppression and the marginalization of workers with a minority background. The union movement has to become a force in the struggle against racism.
Women in the working class can act as a separate force because they have experience both as women and workers. Therefore, women in the working class need both class consciousness and women’s consciousness, and to be organised in both unions and women’s organisations.
Besides the right to vote and the right to be a member of a union and other people’s organizations, the working class has little power over its conditions. Individuals move upwards in the class society, but the prerequisite for this is that the majority stays where it is. Therefore, the working class has the greatest interest in a socialist society where freedom and democracy is extended to embrace everyone.
The working class has to ally itself with all groups and individuals that have an interest in revolution and socialism. In Norwegian history the alliance with the majority of the farmers and fishermen has played an important role in the struggle of the working class. We saw that clearly in the fight against membership in the European Union.
When the working class was on the offensive and class consciousness was strong, working class culture helped bring forward a class identity and a positive attitude to solidarity. Today, this culture is much weaker. It is of strategic importance we make use of the experiences of the working class in this area to develop a working class culture suitable for our era which is an independent and multi-faceted cultural force.
The trade union movement
Today, the trade union movement is the most important form of organization for the struggle of the working class. It is through the trade unions that workers fight for better wages and working conditions and better welfare arrangements. However, the trade union movement is also an arena where the highest leadership in the Labour Party and a hierarchical power apparatus have traditionally exercised their role in keeping the members passive. Apart from the shop stewards, the trade union movement has been characterized by low grassroots activity. The Red Party wishes to work for the increased activity of regular members of trade unions.
Trade unions play an important political role. As the Labour Party has become increasingly more dedicated to market liberalism, the Norwegian Trade Union Council has been forced to follow a more independent line. The Red Party is fighting for an even more politically independent trade union movement that is an important strategic actor in the working class struggle for another society.
The offensive from capital has created great unrest in the working class and increased resistance within the trade union movement. The shop stewards, who still wish to be social democrats and fight for the interests of their members, are forced into a situation where they must turn to the left. This has created a foundation for a new unity action in the trade union movement. This means that The Red Party can cooperate with the grassroots in the social-democratic parties. Simultaneously, while we stand together against the offensive from capital and the rightist forces, The Red Party is working to build up the movement for a socialist society.
A multitude of social forces
There are many forms of oppression that reinforce economic exploitation under capitalism. War, racism, environmental destruction, women's oppression and discrimination of lesbians and gays are examples. The Red Party supports the multitude of movements that are fighting against oppression.
The Red Party regards the women's struggle as a revolutionary force. The complete liberation of women is not possible under capitalism, and the fight against women's oppression must be directed against the capitalist economy, societal institutions and the prevailing ideology in society. At the same time, revolution and socialism are not possible without women organizing themselves to fight women's oppression. Separate, independent women's organizations are critical in order to create a strategy for today’s struggle and the struggle for another society.
All these different forms of oppression and conflicts trigger different movements which can help to play a role in creating another society. The task must be to generate a movement that unites the different forces in a way that allows them to retain their independent character, while standing together in the common struggle.
The struggle for revolution and socialism in Norway is a part of the international struggle for social and national liberation. Today, the peoples of the South are bearing the heaviest burdens and fighting the hardest battles against the imperialist world system, even though most of these struggles are not poised on the threshold of implementing socialist revolutions in their countries.
The Red Party develops contact with the working class and revolutionary forces in other countries and supports their efforts for revolution and socialist construction, based on their local conditions, although we do not uncritically embrace all who call themselves revolutionaries or socialists.
The Red Party’s role
The Red Party rejects the ideas that workers can be liberated from above by a socialist elite. The working class must liberate itself. Socialism is impossible without the majority of the working class struggling for revolutionary changes in society.
The purpose and task of a revolutionary party is that it must function as a tool of the working class struggle. The Red Party’s aim is to become such a party. The reason for our existence is to do away with today’s capitalistic relationship - the exploitation of the working class. In order to muster support the Red Party must make itself heard in the workplaces as a party that creates discussion, develops democracy and initiates struggles against injustice and oppression. We need a party that works throughout Norwegian society - in the elected bodies, in peoples’ movements and in the political arena. Not least, we need a party that works for, and organizes, people for the socialist upheaval that is necessary.
The Red Party bases its understanding of society on Marxist theory. Our ideology and politics must develop based on this understanding and on our own experiences. Like all other theories, Marxism must be proved in practice, so that it becomes a continually better tool in the political struggle. Marxist theory must always be criticized and be developed in line with changes in society. Our knowledge of the world will always be in development. Therefore, studies involving discussions and disagreements will not be a problem, but a source of development and a basis for new understanding, something that we need in the struggle for a better world.