(Programme from 1952 of
the Communist Party of Denmark)
Adopted by the 17th Congress of the Communist Party of Denmark, 22-25 May, 1952
The time has come, where Denmark must
embark on new tracks.
But there is a way forward for Denmark and the Danish people.
Denmark has previously gone through tough times. Also previously headstrong rulers have mortgaged the country, or lead it to defeat, default, and dissolution. But always new forces have broken forth. They have united the people, so that it with united strength carried the country forward again.
Therefore, through the history of the Danish people, there goes an unbroken line of willingness for peace and prosperity, for popular rule and independence. This willingness has become the supreme hallmark of the Danish people, and it lives with unimpaired strength today.
The liberation struggle under the occupation still stands clearly in the memory. When the people joined their ranks in a united front and swept the false leaders away, broke the subjugation and humiliation of the Scavenius-policy.1 The Danish people took its place in the common struggle of the peoples for freedom, and the liberation opened paths for prosperity and a new era.
At that time all opportunities were present. Consensus and commitment to break with the old reigned like never before among the people. But the will of the people wasn’t followed. The old politicians surely spoke pretty words about a “new policy”, that should fulfil the demands of the people, but in reality they turned everything into the old rut. They are responsible for that we instead of peace, freedom, and social progress have gotten the circumstances, that reigns now. Their policy has failed.
But the people were on the right track. And for Denmark to escape the trouble, the people must stand firm, that its interests will be respected. The power of the ruling political clique must be broken. A whole other scheme must be created.
The Danish people own the strength to enforce the needed changes.
In our time it is the working class that is the backbone in the nation and in the struggle of the people. In its rising it has defied reaction and men of wealth and guarded the most cherished values of the Danish people.
It created powerful organizations that were of irresistible strength, when they were put into the struggle for the case of the poor. In crucial moments – like under the occupation – it has shown itself as the power that united the people and took the lead in its struggle against internal and external enemies. It is this task, that now again accrues the Danish working class. Ever since the working class rose up as an independent force, its goal has been socialism, a society where no one thrives on the labour of others. The people would have long ago been won for socialism, if not the social democratic leaders had betrayed the struggle and dishonoured the name of socialism. But their political failure doesn’t mean the failure of socialism. That is demonstrated by the development there, where socialism has been victorious and has created societies with lasting prosperity and public happiness. More and more realize that there must be decisive societal changes in Denmark. But what needs to be done, and how should it be done? This programme shows how a real safeguarding of the interests of the people must lead to a socialistic transformation of society.
The power of the high finance has led Denmark into misfortune.
It is not the people that have the power in Denmark today. The real power rests within a small circle of money men, industrialists, and landlords, who via their capitalistic monopolies own the banks, the large industry, the large commerce and the manors, and by virtue of their dominance over the credit control the agriculture, fisheries, commerce, and crafts.
Such monopolies are e.g. the large banking groups and shipping companies, the oil companies, the cement trust, the margarine trust, etc. Via the monopolies a dozen persons rule over two thirds of all share capital in Denmark. “Money rules everything” is the slogan of the high finance, and so it is in today’s Denmark. By their economic power the financial lords have directly and indirectly secured influence on the state apparatus and willing politicians, so that the government and the state administration carry out their will. Profit is their intent and goal. They only achieve that on the expense of the working people. Therefore their policy is directed against the interests of the people.
Through many years the capitalists in Denmark managed partly to conceal these facts and propagate the belief that lasting prosperity could be created for the Danish people without a revolution.
In the beginning of the century capitalism was still in its relatively peaceful period of development.
Danish capitalism was by virtue of specific circumstances in a favourable position.
It was, when England still flourished as a colonial power. At that time the English market was capable of purchasing and pay quality prices for Danish agricultural products. Thereby Danish capitalism also obtained a part of the extra profits that the English high finance squeezed out of the slave labour of the colonial peoples.
It was, when British and German power politics kept each other in balance in Denmark. At that time Danish capitalism obtained special advantages by acting as “neutral” and therefore did not participate in the weapons race. Under those circumstances the Danish working class managed through tough struggles, although easier than in many other countries, to win certain economic and social concessions
But now all that is over. Capitalism is in decline and decay. It is therefore not temporarily inconveniences, but a profound crisis it has brought over the Danish society.
The British Empire flourishes no more, but sinks into ever deeper dependence on the USA.
Rather than leaving a bit of its profits to the Danish capitalists, British monopoly capital plunders Denmark in a most brutal way by the trading conditions laid down by the England Agreement. While the majority of Danish agricultural export is being sold to England to established low prices, England has free hands to turn the prices on its deliveries of goods to Denmark up high and to default on its delivery obligations.
Danish capitalism no longer acts “neutral”. The monopoly capital of Denmark which itself is dependent on the giant trusts of the capitalistic world has economically and politically handed out our country to the imperialism of England and above all to the imperialism of USA.
For this the Marshall Plan has served. Its golden promises about “help to economic progress” have shown itself to only conceal the intent, which is to harness Denmark into the war economy of USA.
Devaluation of the Danish currency, shortages of raw materials for the peace industry, shortages of foreign currency, flagrant interference and control with Danish business, and American dictate
about continuous reduction of Denmark’s trade with Eastern Europe is the true nature of the Marshall “Aid”. On all this the American capitalists enrich themselves, so they have taken plenty of payment for the “aid”.
While the Marshall Aid meant a surrender of the Denmark’s economic independence, the North Atlantic Treaty meant that our political and national independence was put at risk. Denmark has been fully involved in the capitalistic armament madness that is about to transform the country into a fortified poorhouse.
The Danish people are now being exploited twice, both by the British-American monopoly capital and at the same time by the domestic capitalist class which exploits the war economy and the inflation to turn its profits higher and higher up.
The work effort of the people and the production has reached heights like never before.
So the conditions to improve the circumstances of the people are there. When they nevertheless are deteriorated it is due to the fact that the government and the Rigsdag carry out the policy of the monopoly capital.
The deception against the Danish people
How could it happen that such a policy has been imposed on the Danish people? It has first and foremost happened through a huge deception. Those who have the money have the power over the press and the general propaganda. They have used it to keep the people in ignorance of the actual development at home and in the world around us. Always the policy of the big business is presented as altruistic acts, and systematically and mendacious has it been denied that the consequence would be all this that we now are in.
At the same time the socialistic world is being depicted as a misfortune for the people and as a threat against Denmark, regardless that the facts of the socialistic construction every day testify to the contrary.
The American war propaganda is being more and more unidirectional parroted. The callous lifestyles of the official USA is being mimicked and spread through the press and literature, film and radio. Danish cultural life is forced back and is offered deteriorating conditions in an attempt to break the self-respect of the Danish people.
The “old politicians” who claimed to defend the interests of the people, has on the contrary served the moneymen and the foreign powers to mislead the people and bring it into doubt about its own strength. They put every effort in to split the people’s unity after the liberation. They strewed around with empty promises, waged political sham fencings between themselves, while in reality they were in agreement to make the Rigsdag2 into a mere channel for foreign orders in all essential affairs. Thus they have eroded the democracy from inside and made the people’s freedom rights illusory. Police state methods are invoked, while bureaucracy and corruption are spreading in the swollen police and judicial apparatus.
The deception against the Danish people could not have been done without the right-wing socialist leaders. This was seen in 1945, at that time everything was to gain. They put their influence into bringing the advance of the working class to a halt. In words they proclaimed: “Three steps to the left!” In actions they helped Knud Kristensen3 to power.
Step by step the social democratic leaders have evolved to play such a role, so that they today have nothing in common with the ideas that the Danish labour movement was build upon and was carried forward. They have betrayed socialism long time ago and adapted themselves in warm positions in the capitalistic society. Thus they sank down to conduct bourgeois-liberal reform policy.
But their fall has become even deeper. Today they are in league with the capitalistic right-wing parties to implement the most anti-popular and reactionary policy Denmark has known in living memory. They receive praise from the militarists for their indispensable support to the armament policy that they once professed to fight. The actively fight to maintain the capitalistic social system. Also internationally they have associated themselves with the worst enemies of the working class. They praise the USA, the country of the most brutal and ruthless monopoly lords, and praise its “leadership in the world”. They are the most officious whips for the American war policy which they follow and praise, no matter how disastrous it is for the working class and the Danish nation. Their theory that “national sovereignty is an outdated concept” is to serve as a cover over their betrayal against the interests of the nation. As they under Hitler’s heyday adapted to a life under his supremacy, they now submissively assist the USA of the high finance.
They base their influence on the power, they have within the bureaucracy in the labour organizations. They seek to stifle the democracy in them and get them tied and bound through legislation. Thus, in the service of their anti-popular policy, they have been able to abuse the workers’ loyalty to organizations that have been built up through the arduous work of the generations.
There is now in standard of living and thinking a gap between the right-social democratic leaders and the ordinary workers. When many ordinary workers still follow the Social Democracy, it happens in an honest but vain hope that the leaders, however, sometime will go to battle for the cause of the working class and the people.
To keep that hope alive the leaders regularly present well-sounding programs and manifestos. With words they seek to win the trust of the workers, in action they continue the policy of the big business.
In reality they have put all their influence to create division and to sow discouragement in the working class, to weaken and disorganize its and thus the people’s struggle.
Their phrases about “democratic socialism” have only had to serve to cover over a policy that neither is democratic nor socialist. They have in all things guarded the interests of the monopolies, while they continuously prevent the workers in guarding theirs. When the workers raise their demands, the only answer is streams of shameful lies and hateful smear campaigns against the Soviet Union and every country that builds socialism.
The victories of socialism
The deceit of capitalism is not feasible, when the people become aware of the truth about the development in the countries of socialism. For it delivers the proof that the working class in its struggle for socialism has steered towards the correct target. Socialism has in practice shown itself as a social system that is superior to capitalism, and the one which will replace it in history.
In the Soviet Union the socialist society, which workers through generations have dreamt about and fought for, has become reality. All means of production, all the riches of society, have become the common property of the people, and thus the exploitation of humans by humans has been removed.
The production is organized according to a plan after the needs of the people. Therefore the right to work could be realized. Unemployment is unknown, living standards are raised rapidly, and the culture is brought to a thriving development. The people live without fear for the future and participate actively in the management of the society.
In the ordeal of the war the Soviet Union showed, how a socialist society by virtue of the devotion of the people becomes an invincible power. After the war the Soviet people not only have been able to overcome the appalling devastations of the war by putting its full power into peaceful construction, but have also embarked on new gigantic works that will make the land fertile and increase its wealth.
Through the progress that in the Soviet Union has been created for the people, through the peaceful coexistence that within the Union is created between the nations, the first country of socialism shows the way forward for the oppressed masses in the capitalist countries and the colonies.
Since the war the peoples in the most of Eastern Europe have seized power and have begun to build socialism. Thus the countries, where the people until just a few years ago lived in misery and fascistic oppression, have been transformed into free people’s communities in rapid development. In the Far East China has pulled itself out of the oppression and backwardness that the landowners, speculators, and foreign financial lords through centuries have kept it down in and now builds a free future for itself.
In contrast to this development the countries of capitalism are having crises, decline, and all-encompassing preparations for war. The victories of socialism prove that it doesn’t have to be so. This is the truth that the political leaders of capitalism fear, but which they in the long run will not manage to hide from the peoples.
The struggle for peace
The most terrible danger that threatens our land and our people is a new world war. More than anything else this calls on the people to take the fate of Denmark in their own hands.
It is capitalism that has led to the world wars of our time. It is the big monopolies who benefit from the armament. By war they rob colonies and territories which they squeeze for new profits. For them war isn’t a terrible thing, but a terribly lucrative thing.
The American monopolies that are the biggest and strongest of capitalism strive after world domination. They morbidly fantasize about an atomic war as a mean to subdue everything under their will. The war has become the main objective of their policy.
In league with them are the forces around the world who expect to benefit from the war, or who in the war see a mean to subdue the increasingly stronger rising of the peoples, in the colonies as in the capitalist countries. Above all they seek a war against the Soviet Union, because they fear the upswing of socialism and want to lay its construction results desolate.
In spite of the contradictions and conflicting power interests among them, these powers have united themselves in a war camp which is subject to the dictatorship of the American power policy. It has shattered the allied collaboration of great powers and split the world. It misuses the UN which was created for peace and collaboration, as a tool to organize war. It launches deafening war propaganda to incite the peoples to enmity and fratricide.
On the other side stand the countries and the forces that fight for peace and independence. Hundreds of millions of people, regular people who know what they have to defend, belong together in the peace camp, whose strongest and guiding force is the socialist Soviet Union. For socialist countries peace is a vital interest. Under socialism there is no one who can benefit from war. War is a disaster for each as well as the entire society.
The Soviet Union who more than anyone else knows the horrors of war therefore leads an indispensable peace policy, and makes one initiative after another for the cause of peace. For the peoples in all the countries of the world, the struggle for peace is the struggle for life itself. The seriousness of present time therefore compels all good forces to across any political, religious, or other kind of dividing line to get together about one thing: the preservation of peace.
A lasting peace must build on the following principles:
Disputes between the states must be solved through negotiations, not through war. Freely made commitments must be respected.
Countries with socialist and countries with capitalist economic systems must live side by side in peaceful emulation and in relations on equal footing.
Changes in a state’s social system must be in accordance with the will of the people and not imposed or prevented by aggression.
These principles are recognized by the communists and must be recognized by anyone who sincerely wants peace. These principles are recognized by the socialist countries and furthermore by any country that pursues a policy of peace. It is the powers and groups, who through threats about atomic war and with the most brutal acts of war seek to impose their will on other peoples, who break these principles and puts peace in jeopardy.
But the bellicose rulers can be stopped. Repeatedly the peoples’ opposition has forced them to stop in their ventures. If the peoples stand invariably fixed, they can enforce respect for their demands about negotiation instead of war, and the foundation will be laid for cooperation between the states in accordance with the spirit and letter of the UN charter.
The peoples join their ranks in defence of peace. An organized peace front has arisen worldwide, with a force that history never has seen before. It already includes a majority of the world’s population and is in constant strengthening and growth.
Although peace is in imminent danger, it is therefore false to claim, that a new world war should be inevitable. Such propaganda is only spread to undermine the determination of the peoples in the resistance against the war preparations and in the struggle to prevent the war. This time it can be prevented, that capitalism’s armament rush and war hysteria ends up in a new war. Peace will be preserved and strengthened if the peoples take the cause of peace in their own hands and defend it to the utmost.
This is the task of present time that is above all others.
For a Danish peace policy out of the North Atlantic Treaty
For the Danish people peace is a necessity of life. The war is an immediate threat to the very existence of Denmark as a habitable area.
This is a consequence of Denmark’s incorporation into the aggressive North Atlantic Treaty. If it comes to war, the North Atlantic Treaty makes Denmark from the outset a war participant and battleground. When the North Atlantic Treaty was signed, it was asseverated that its purpose was to secure peace, democracy, and independence. But it has resulted in British and American generals arrange Denmark as an attack base against the Soviet Union, that we are being allied with the worst enemies of democracy, from German Nazis to Franco, and that our political and military independence is compromised. It is obvious that the pact was signed under false pretence.
The Danish people has never got the treaty submitted, has never approved it, and can not be bound by it. If Denmark is to secure its peace, the people must first and foremost free itself from the North Atlantic Treaty and regain its independence.
Alone the Danish people don’t manage to secure the peace. But it can do its independent effort for the peace by keeping its own country outside all involvement to war plans and stand up for the cause of peace. Thereby it also provides its valuable contribution to that common struggle of the peoples that is necessary for the preservation of peace. Denmark has by virtue of its geographical and political position special opportunities for this.
Denmark must go from Atlantic policy to peace policy. Danish peace policy is:
Denmark is in favour, that a peace pact is concluded between the five great powers, which is open for all states.
Denmark terminates all pacts that violate its independence, first and foremost the Marshall Agreement and the North Atlantic Treaty.
Denmark opposes the misapplication of the UN in the interest of one group of power and is in favour of détente and cooperation.
Denmark is in favour of general and controlled disarmament and prohibition of nuclear weapons and other means of mass destruction.
Denmark is in favour of a ban on war propaganda.
Denmark breaks with the systematic poisoning of the relations with the Soviet Union and replaces it with good neighbourly relations. The same applies to the relations to China and the people’s democracies.
Denmark is in favour of a united, demilitarized and democratic Germany.
Denmark develops its trade relations to all sides on the ground of equal rights.
The transition from war policy to peace policy means, that the burdens that now rest heavily on the Danish people are immediately facilitated.
The armament madness is halted, so taxes can be eased.
The foreign trade is reorganized, so the currency crisis can be resolved.
The war economy will be broken, so that peace production can provide labour and cheap goods to the people.
The policy of cuts is brought to an end, so social improvements can be implemented.
Military construction is halted, so that residential construction can be started.
The Americanization of the culture is prevented, so that Danish cultural life can flourish.
The crushing pressure of the dread for war over the minds will be lifted, and the Danes can live as Danish.
This is the policy that corresponds to the interests of the Danish people. This is the policy that meets the just demands that today come from worker as from the peasant, from scientist as from shopkeeper.
This policy can be brought to victory, when the Danish people united raise up against the impoverishment, which has been inflicted on them by the armament for a foreign matter, and when it resolutely refuses to make its youth and land available to the American war plans.
It will happen through a people’s unity on peace and independence. As the Danish people once rejected the Scavenius-politicians, it must now reject the excuses and pretexts of the Atlantic-politicians to lead the country into disaster after foreign order. If the people stand united and firm in their opposition against impoverishment and war-policy, the Atlantic-politicians will experience their 29th August.4
But there is no time to waste! All those, who see where the war policy is carrying us, must find each other in common opposition while there still is time.
The communists therefore declare themselves willing to cooperate, regardless of other differences of opinion, with all persons, movements, or organizations, that are in favour of peace policy, that will break the policy of national defeatism, and will use the war billions for the good of the people. They will provide support to any government and any political initiative that takes steps in this direction.
Aware that the whole future of the country and the people depends on the victory of peace, the communists will make every effort to bring such a unity about. They will as always loyally respect the obligations they assume in such cooperation. At the same time they will as an independent party show the paths onwards for Denmark and work to win the people for the socialist transformation of society.
Only the people’s power ensures lasting prosperity.
Transition to peace policy would be a huge victory for the Danish people, but their problems will not be solved by that alone. Poverty would still exist, and there would still be rich people, who would use their economic power to extort the people, corrupt the political life, and once again drive the country in ruin. It happened like that in 1945. At that time there wasn’t put an end on the forces that betrayed Denmark and worked against the interests of the people. The result was, that speculators, collaborators, and cooperation politicians once again entered their old positions, began to split the people, and continued their pernicious policy, which once again brought the country into trouble.
If lasting prosperity is to be created for the Danish people, there must be a profound societal change. The power of the high finance must be broken. The real power in society must be laid into the hands of the people.
The people must actively defend their own interests. They must do away with the politicians who in the interest of the monopoly capital have deceived them and led them into misfortune. They must secure a renewed people’s representation, a Rigsdag of parties and persons, who make the will of the people the law of the country.
Carried forward by the active support of the overwhelming majority of the people the people’s representation and the people’s government will take the measures which are necessary of primary importance to break the power of the big exploiters:
Nationalization – societal takeover – of big industry, banks, insurance companies, and the other monopolies of the business, whereby these are placed in the service of the people.
The foreign trade is placed in the service of the people through nationalization.
The ground of the landowners is seized and given to those, who cultivate it.
Democracy is ensured through the active employeeship of the people in all spheres of public life – in production, administration, public education, and press.
Thus the key centres of power would be put into the hands of the people, and the wealth and opportunities of Denmark will be utilized to create prosperity and happiness for the people. These measures will result in the beginning to the transformation of the Danish society to a socialist society, where the exploitation of men by men is abolished, and where the people’s freedom and right to decide is guaranteed.
The unity of the people – the victory of the people
The time has for a long time ago become ripe for the transforming of the Danish society. The overwhelming majority of the people are interesting in that happening. In the long run it will therefore not be possible to withhold it. Not only the working class, but also the working agriculture, fishermen, officials, traders, mental workers, and even more are weighed down to their knees under the burdens from the ruling social order. The youth is being offered a future without prospect, and the old are being offered a hopeless old age. The whole people hate the war and want to live as Danish.
United the people form an immense force. That was what, we experienced in the country in the days of the resistance. As long as the working class was united, and the whole working people stood together, it went forward. The setback first came, when the people were successfully split again. But now, in the struggle against war policy and brutal cuts, the unity is again strengthened in people and in the working class. Old prejudices fade, when they in concord defend their immediate interests in struggle against external and internal enemies. From the shared vision of today’s problems grows a shared vision of the future.
Thus arises the unity in the people that gives them strength to form the future of Denmark. The unity in the people can only happen on the basis of unity in the working class which is the largest and most closely knit part of the population. When the working class in unity actively sets in against any attack, against any cuts, against any violation of the people’s democratic rights, when it uses its trade unions and its other organizations in the struggle for its just demands, the result will not only be much needed improvements, but the working class will become the political force that at the head of the people paves the way for new times.
The enemies of the people fear the unity, above all in the working class. They bring into action both power and cunning to prevent it. The working class must in reply steadily continue its struggle and reject all attempts to create division in the ranks. This applies especially to the shameful acts of the right–social democrats, when they with poisonous gossip want to create artificial contradictions among the workers, or when they spread their propaganda about capitulating to the capital and the reaction. Unity and combat power in the working class can only be secured through incessantly work to break the influence of the false leaders and make their propaganda ineffective.
When the unity is obtained, when it is maintained and strengthened, so that it not goes into decline like in 1945, then the foundation is created to implement key changes to the Danish society and tread the path to socialism. An active, alert, and united working class will throng the large majority around itself and carry a people’s government to power.
That is the path that the communists urge to go on.
It will be the path to accomplishment of the historical struggle of the Danish people for peace and freedom, for democracy and independence.
The people’s democracy – the path to socialism
The people’s takeover of the power in the society means democracy for the people. Through the people’s democracy, the path of Denmark will go to socialism.
The Rigsdag will not as now be a tool for domestic financial cliques or a channel for foreign orders. It will be renewed through free elections. The Rigsdag will be the true seat of popular sovereignty, such as the Danish people has fought for against absolutism and the provisory-dictatorship of Estrup.5 Therefore the Landsting will also be abolished, the youth will get the right to vote from 18 years, and the electoral law will be made completely fair. The elected representatives of the people will be made accountable for violations on their programme and the obligations they have undertaken to the voters.
The democratic rights will not as now be restricted and conditional for the majority of the people. People’s democracy means abolishment of all the privileges of the wealthy that make the democratic liberties to hollow words. The country’s legislative and executive organs will at any time be accountable to the people, and the people will be drawn into active participation in the administration and control in all spheres of public life.
The trade unions of the workers will play a significant role. They will come to serve the purpose, for which they were built: as direct defenders of the workers’ interests. The legalisms of the unions will be abolished, and the freedom of the trade-union movement will be secured. There will be democracy in the trade-union movement, and the power of trade-union careerists will be abolished.
The trade unions will, as representatives for the working class participate in the organization of the economic policy of the country, in the management of industry and other businesses, and in the shaping and administration of the labour and social legislation.
Similarly the other organizations of the working people, small-holder unions, fishermen unions, the associations of the mental workers, the youth organizations, etc., will participate in the shaping and administration of the legislation, just as the cooperative movement with its experiences will come to play an important role in organizing the people’s supply of goods.
The securing of the principle of democracy: from the people – for the people – by the people, will be done by that on all responsible positions in the state apparatus will sit men and women, coming from the people, who take care, that the laws are observed in the spirit, in which they are enacted. All attempts to bureaucracy and sabotage, to police regime, will be broken with the participation of the people’s democratic control.
The democratic rights of the citizens will not only be enshrined in the constitution, but will be guaranteed, because the law provides the people the means to realize them. The freedom of press, speech, and assembly will not be limited by the fact, that a minority through property relations control printing houses and assembly rooms. Thus the monopoly of the money men on the press will be broken. The ownership of the papers will be handed over to the democratic organizations of the working class and the general population that on the basis of the law work for their interests. Equality before the law will be guaranteed regardless of race, nationality or gender. Freedom of belief will be guaranteed. The legal rights will be assured by the democratization of the judicial system.
By these measures the people is secured real political power that enables the transformation of the society.
It cannot be expected, that the big capitalists and the landowners, that the united reaction will give up their robbed properties and privileges without further ado. On the contrary it must be assumed, that they will use all their influence and all their connections to by undermining and sabotage, coupled with open and violent opposition prevent the implementation of a democratic and socialist policy. Therefore the Danish people and its people’s government must be ready to resolutely strike such opposition down. The Danish people’s path to peace, prosperity, and freedom can only be ensured by the power of the working people.
What the people’s government will mean for the people
The people’s government does not give empty promises. It fullfills the demands of the people. It can do that because it breaks the power of the monopolies. It will do that because it stands in the service of the people and under the control of the people.
A people’s government will consolidate the victory of the peace policy by invariably be in favour of peace and national independence. It will and can do that, because it builds directly on the Danish people and their honest desire to live in peace and friendship with all other peoples, and because it is freed from any kind of dependence on the capitalistic spheres who are interested in armament and war.
Just as the people’s government will cherish the Danish people’s natural right to decide over the fate of their land and themselves, it recognizes the same right in all other peoples, and on this basis wants cooperation with them on the basis of friendship and equal rights. This also applies to the Faroese and Greenlandic peoples. A people’s government can never approve a policy that sacrifices these peoples and their countries to the war plans of the imperialistic great powers.
A people’s government will in accordance to its peace policy stop the militarization and lower the military spending to what is necessary to create a democratic defence in accordance with Denmark’s own interests.
Already this will lead to, that it gets substantial funds in its hands for improvement of the conditions of the people. Far more, however, it means that the nationalization of the monopolies in industry, banking, shipping, big trade, etc. places their enormous profits at the disposal of the state and thus of the people. At the same time it means, that the production can be organized and developed according to a plan which aims to meet the needs of the people.
This nationalization, which makes the key means of production to the property of society, i.e. of the people, should not be confused with what we have known up to now with regard to the takeover and operation of certain businesses by the state and the municipalities. These enterprises have still been operated as capitalistic enterprises in the interest of the capitalistic society and in a special bureaucratic manner. It has nothing to do with socialism.
Under a people’s government the nationalized companies will instead be democratically managed.
The management will consist of workers along with technicians and the representatives of society, just as the entire operation will continuously be subject to the participation and control of the trade unions. The production will no longer be dictated by the private profit hunger of the capitalists, but organized according to a common plan based on what benefits the society as well as the workers of the company’s workers. The working people, and no private capitalist, will benefit from improvements in methods of production and work. This will increase the pace of development in an unprecedented degree.
The production plan will be organized in such way that there will be a significant expansion of the Danish industry. Such an industrialization of Denmark is a necessity when the economic opportunities of the country are to be utilized to continuously raise the standard of life and to extend the employment opportunities, in order to ensure work for all.
The nationalization of banks and other financial institutions as well as of the insurance system will break the power of the interest capital, provide cheap capital at the disposal of production for the benefit of society, and will in general allow an effective societal control of the economic development.
The nationalization of the foreign trade is essential for the improvement of Denmark’s economic position. Only this way it will be possible to organize our trade policy purely in the interests of the whole people, according to where we are offered the best conditions for our exports, while the supplies of the country, particularly of necessary raw materials, are secured. The import monopoly of the financially strong merchants will be broken, and the import goods will be distributed according to the interests of the production and the consumers.
A land reform will be implemented. First of all the landed estates, the aristocratic foundations, etc, which some time ago was robbed from the working peasants, will be given back to the people.
Thereby there will be created opportunities to create thousands of new farms through parcellation. There will be created economic conditions so that the rural workers and the youth can get their own homes this way, and there will be additional land to the cramped smallholders.
The yoke of interest will be broken, the debt will be cancelled, and speculation in Danish soil will be made impossible. The economic policy of the people’s government will for ever abolish agricultural crises, and ensure the agriculture sale of its products at fair prices. The further development of the cooperative movement, maintenance of machine pools, common stables, and other forms of rational utilization of the progress of technology, etc. will be supported. Collective farming will be promoted to the extent that the farmers want. All this, combined with increased support for agronomical research work will form the foundation for a further rapid development of Danish agriculture.
At the same time the technical development will also be utilized to improve the conditions of the rural workers and the rural youth, so that their demands for equality with other workers with regards to wages, working hours, and holidays are finally realized. The rural youth will get access to education and cultural activities.
The fishery will be promoted and developed in accordance with our country’s natural conditions. State subsidy and credits for the improvement of the fishing boat fleet and the fishing gear will be provided. The sea fishing is organized and developed with the support of the people’s government. The release of fry is increased to the extent, the fishermen and science in cooperation consider appropriate.
Unloading centres, freeze centres, canned food factories, and similar, will be established on cooperative basis by state subsidy. Thereby remunerative sale of the catch is secured at any time. Intermediaries on the fish’s way from the fishermen to the consumers, who make it more expensive, will be abolished. The new trade policy will provide great opportunities for the sale of fish in foreign markets.
The middle class in trade, industry, and crafts will be liberated from the yoke of the interest capital, and will benefit from the social security. Small savers will get full compensation for the losses, they may suffer by the nationalization, but others may also get compensation to the extent they take a position of loyalty to the people’s power.
When the economic centres of power of the society are under control, the economy is no longer subject to blind laws. The planned expansion of the production will provide ample supplies to falling prices. The standard of life will be able to be continuously raised. The typical capitalistic crises with their so-called overproduction, with their unemployment, and with economic disasters for the peasants and for thousands of small traders will no longer be known. For all parts of the working people the life will be easier and happier.
Social security and cultural flourishing
When the profits of the monopolies are confiscated through nationalization, when the foreign plundering is stopped through a reorganization of the foreign trade, and when the armament is halted, then a people’s government will have the necessary means to realize the social progress that the labour movement through generations has fought for. And yet the taxes will be able to be reduced significantly for the working people. The social legislation of the people’s government will put an end to the fear of tomorrow, for illness, accident, unemployment, and old age which now often rides the people as a mare.
The right to work will be legally established and will by virtue of the economic basis be realized. By introducing state pensions without dues the society will fulfil its duty towards the old and ensure them an evening of their life in comfort and good conditions. Invalids, the ill, and the injured will receive full compensation for lost earnings and will furthermore be secured a decent existence on equal footing with other citizens.
Through free medicine, medical care, and hospital treatment the public’s health is protected. The preventive healthcare is expanded. The family will be secured. There will be implemented an up-to-date maternity allowance and a genuine child allowance. The preventive child care will be extended and the needed childcare institutions will be set up.
All condescension and bureaucracy in the administration of the social assistance will be done away with through direct participation of the representatives of the working people.
The housing question will finally be solved. The rents will be able to be significantly reduced through the confiscation of the interest. The nationalization of the credit and the buildings materials industry will make the initiation of an extensive construction of apartments to cheap prices possible.
Three weeks of vacation with full pay will be the minimum for all workers. Holiday houses and sanatoriums for the working people are established in appropriate and healthy buildings.
For the women a people’s government will mean, that they not only in words but also in fact achieve equality with the man in terms of politics, economics, and wage. A new life will be opened up for the youth. There will be implemented a genuine youth legislation. The young workers will get shorter working time and longer vacation, and the apprentices will have day schools and a guarantee for an efficient utilization of the apprenticeship. In all spheres the youth will get huge expanded opportunities for development of its skills and interests.
Sports and the recreational pursuits of the youth will be encouraged through the necessary funding from state and municipalities, and through construction of the needed sports facilities, assembly houses, after-school recreation centres, cultural centres, etc. Money speculation in the sports will no longer be a question. Everyone will have equal right to education. Only abilities and aptitudes should be decisive for the opportunities of the individual. The necessary study grants are made available. The number of schools and higher education institutions are expanded, as the society will develop an extraordinary need for specialists and experts in all spheres.
There will be put an end to all pettiness towards the cultural life and on its dependence on private capital interests. The society requires a strong development of Danish science, art, and public education. Scientific institutions will be expanded or newly established. Under the leadership of research councils that will have extensive funding available, science will be developed and utilized for the good of the people. Ample resources will secure the work of the artist and the development of art. Through an extensive network of community centres, libraries, theatres, concert halls, exhibition rooms, etc., and by placing the press and publishing houses in the service of public education the conditions will be created to bring the cultural life into close and fruitful connection with the entire people.
Thus the cultural life will no longer be a matter for narrow circles. On the contrary, the entire people will participate in a further development of our rich cultural heritage, carried by faith in the future and concern for man. A genuine people’s government will ensure that the Danish society is transformed in order to take the necessary steps towards socialism. The wealth of the society and self-expression of man will flourish as never before. Only under such social conditions one can speak of freedom, of a genuine human existence. Without regard to the possibility of persecution by employers or money men can the citizens freely discuss how to make the life easier and more eventful for everyone in the best and fastest way. For the first time in our country’s history the opinions and decisions the working people arrives at will be made real by the help of the society. And the people will continue their march – still forward, towards new and higher goals.
The communists and the path to socialism
The communists present this programme to show, that there for the Danish people exists another perspective than the one of war policy, cuts, and national humiliation. There is a way forward and behind the strife and struggle of everyday life a great and achievable goal can be seen ahead. The Communist Party of Denmark devotes all its efforts to the task of calling the Danish people to the struggle for peace, freedom, and their threatened interests of life, in order to achieve the great goal.
The Communist Party of Denmark is an organic part of the Danish people. It has grown out from our old socialist labour movement, born at the time the right-social democrats betrayed the banners of socialism. It has no interests which differ from the interests of Denmark and the Danish people. In its ranks it gathers the most self-sacrificing and best fighters for the cause of the working class. It has, even in the most difficult times, faithfully stood in the service of the Danish people.
The Communist Party of Denmark builds in all its work on the experiences of the working class and the liberation movements, as they are summarized in the doctrine of scientific socialism developed by Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin. The Marxist theory has historically proved its correctness as the doctrine of the victory of the working class and socialism. History has also established that the struggle for socialism can nowhere be won without a party that works on the basis of and in accordance with the socialist theory.
The Communist Party is in favour of the true and genuine democracy. It wants, that the majority of the people should be deciding. It seeks a socialistic democracy where all the riches of the society belongs to the society – the whole people – and are managed by the organs of the society under the participation and control of the people, a society where democracy prevails economically, politically, and culturally. Only with the support of the great majority of the people the communists will achieve this goal. The communists are opposed to a dictatorship of a minority. They will fight against all attempts to impose or maintain such a thing. The communists want that the majority of the people should decide in the interest of the vast majority of the people.
That is the foundation for the struggle of the communists for the interests of the people and for the revolution from capitalism to socialism. The victories of socialism in a number of countries have shown that different paths to socialism are given. Every country, every people must walk the path that follows from its own circumstances and conditions. But without the majority of the people and its struggle effort there is no path to socialism and thereby to lasting peace and freedom.
For Denmark the path goes in continuation of the rich-in-tradition
battle of the Danish people throughout the ages that only will be
accomplished in a free and happy, socialistic Denmark.
Translated from the Danish by
Gustav Henri Kelkeland.
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