(THIS ARTICLE IS MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)
Left opposition in SV in person: Hans Ebbing, and his comment to the undersigned in Ny Tid nr 36, raises the question above (I will return to his post towards the end). For the political distance between us is large and illustrates that there are two wings in the SW. Should one of us be in another party – or is SV's values broad enough to cover both a left and a right side internally?
The last weekend before the election, Dagbladet-Friday asked many young voters what they would like to do. One of those who answered "SV" was a newly baked mother named Christina Sundet (21). Ho said: "It has to do with the way I am raised. I am a liberal and a socialist, and I think SV's views seem reasonable ”. In two words, she thus expressed what is so much of the essence of SV's values.
First, socialism: For socialists, the output of society in society is the fruit of a common endeavor from the members of society. Initially, it suggests economic equality and equal access to production decisions, but consideration of the rule of law, incentive system in the economy and the like can legitimize certain inequalities. Today, as I see it, RV stands for a narrower Marxist theory of justice, in which the working class is privileged, while the SV and the Labor Party represent the referenced extended socialist concept of justice. The SV will go further than the Ap in distributing power and financial resources, even when efficiency inspections speak against. And SV and RV are generally more willing than Ap to make painful sacrifices when environmental concerns warrant it. The left side and the right side of the SV here lie tragically closer to each other politically compared to a quarter of the surrounding parties. The difference internally is more practical than ideological. The goal is further democratization of economic power. But in an open economy and in line with the generally accepted expectations of a stable level of welfare, there is a long way between the constructive proposals for the goal can be realized.
So to the liberal. – Christian subject clause in school, homophobic bishops in a state church that should mark that one religion is somehow more Norwegian than another, veil in school, gender-neutral marriage – all these issues are about a cultural justice dimension where the question is whether one thinks it is allowed to let the state favor a perception of the good life. – No, the liberals answer. Conservatives are also found on the left, but intuitively the left is liberal. That should be it. Otherwise, she risks vouching for the oppression that is cultural instead of economic. So do liberal socialists belong in RV, SV or Ap? – It is then up to the party itself to decide. For the policy field is vacant for the party that is smart enough to annex it. The division goes here internally in SV, as in AP and RV, instead of between parties. It is not about the left-right axis, but about how one agrees with liberal state theory.
Back to Ebbing and my comment on, among others, the famed assertion in the SV party program that Norway's allied US is the biggest threat to world peace. Ebbing defends the claim to point to a kind of war index based on counting war countries we were in. From an annual average of 1,29 intervention per year in the post-war era, the United States is now probably in second place.
With such a quantitative in the city for a normative yardstick on war and peace nations, the validity problem becomes insurmountable. The fact that the United States joined in the Second World War made the country more judiciously measured by such a scale. Ebbing ends up in the kind of absurdity that thinker Charles Taylor dealt with in an analysis of the outrage. With a purely quantitative freedom movement, in the absence of obstacles, Communist-Albania at that time was a far more free country than England as there were fewer physical obstacles there, among others there were more traffic lights in England that hinder the freedom of drivers. With Ebbing's war index, North Korea also hosts a far more peaceful country than Norway, which has been involved in interventions lately. Shall we say North Korea is 2 percent more peaceful? But peace in North Korean would rather not have the left opposition in the SV.
So what with foreign policy in general and SV's values. Prio director Stein Tønneson points out that the main choice when it comes to strategy for the new government, is on the one hand symbolic politics – to declare that now there really is a different kind of policy, that is! – or to tone down the statements, but then work long-term and establish course changes quietly within the framework of realpolitik (Verden i dag, NRK 8/10). Symbolic politics will mean small real changes. Tønneson is right that the only sensible strategy is to curb the rhetoric – but change the course. It is in connection with foreign policy disputes that the left-wing opposition in SV does most of its work. But in reality, their protests may not contribute to anything other than preventing them from wanting the changes.
In a central foreign policy matter is the left-wing opposition in SV aligned with the party leadership and all the members of the central board: the EU case. For the only ones who are not as massive against the EU as the party's governing body, are the party's voters. Half of SV's voters probably think that the rationality of the stated objectives of international cooperation, the management of global capitalism and greater independence seem to the United States to be part of the EU in terms of security policy. The Labor Party, in contrast to SV (and RV), is in favor of EU membership. Here I admit that I do not understand the logic of SV. For me, it is one of the mysteries of politics how SV thinks that global political tools should be developed without institutions with a certain supranationality, – such as the EU.
If the EU case is held outside, the review indicates that the value base of the SV can be about both a left and a right wing. Therefore, I finally allowed myself to come up with a reassurance: The internal counterweight to the left opposition in the SV must be clearer. Once again, the left opposition is perceived to threaten the seriousness of the SV, is the risk that it will flee voters in the numbers from the SV to the Labor Party. In the last election, SV (net) lost about as many voters to RV as to Frp. SV lost 6-7 more times to Ap. Thus, the major welfare trips in the SV do not take place mainly between the SV and the RV, which some people seem to threaten, but between the SV and the Labor Party.
A left opposition which, in the city of criticizing other parties, often goes out and criticizes their own party leadership, may in future be far more detrimental to the SV when we are hopefully hosted in a government coalition. For this reason, SV needs a clear right-wing opposition that, when it needs to, counter the Left opposition internally. Who knows: In a few years it might be a jumble to become an EU member of the party's central government!
Svein Tuastad is a member of Sandnes SV, and former tenant of Rogaland Attac. He works as a state lecturer at the University of Stavanger and will soon finish a dissertation on Norwegian post-war politics in the light of normative political theory.