Tuesday, November 28, 2023

New Communist Party of the Netherlands: Statement on the election results and Geert Wilders' victory

In a statement concerning the Dutch General Elections held on 22 November 2023, the Central Committee of the New Communist Party of the Netherlands (NCPN) stresses out the following:

"The results of the Lower House elections show, on the one hand, the justified discontent and anger among large sections of the working class about the antipopular policies pursued by successive cabinets in recent years. But on the other hand, the results show that there are still many illusions about parties that present themselves in various ways as an ‘alternative’ while essentially serving the same politics. 

This is also true of the far-right PVV (Party for Freedom), which emerged as the largest party and serves the same policy that has smashed people's standard of living in recent years. Not only can such parties offer no alternative, but this is a dangerous, racist and anti-democratic political force. The only force that can actually stop the decline, guarantee livelihoods and enforce improvements is the working class. It is time for the working class to organise against the policies of capital! Now is the time to further strengthen the NCPN!

The elections took place in the context of growing contradictions of capitalism. Problems are piling up for the people in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, conflicts are also increasing internationally, for example with the imperialist war in Ukraine and the aggression of the Israeli state against the Palestinian people. In this context, the election results show a series of trends:

1. First of all, widespread popular discontent. People are done with the destruction of incomes, public services and rights. This manifested itself, among other things, in the big drop in votes of the former ruling parties.

2. Rightful distrust of bourgeois politics in general among a large part of the population, which also sees no opposition in the Lower House that can represent its interests. This manifested itself, among other things, in almost a quarter of those entitled to vote choosing not to exercise the right to vote.

3. The far-right PVV emerged as the largest party, reflecting a more general reactionary trend that has been noticeable in politics in recent years.

The PVV used tried methods. For instance, it made demands that ostensibly met the population's interests on housing, income, healthcare, social security and so on – demands that the PVV would not meet even with an absolute majority. Characteristically, the PVV profiled itself with a more ‘moderate’ tone – although this seems partly so because of FvD's (Forum for Democracy) positions – and Wilders expressed the ambition to be a ‘prime minister for all Dutch people’. However, such statements cannot disguise the PVV's undiminished reactionary character. The PVV remains a bastion of fascistoid views and discrimination against refugees, migrants, religious and ethnic minorities, lhbti people and others. The PVV's great achievement for big capital with this election is that it assimilated dissatisfaction with ‘the system’ in a way that keeps capitalist relations out of harm's way and fuels divisions within the working class.

Consequently, working people should have no illusions about the PVV's character: behind the ‘anti-establishment’ rhetoric, Wilders hides the fact that his party serves the interests of big capital just as much as the other bourgeois parties. The working class must not allow itself to be divided and must stop the normalisation of discrimination and racism. Together we stand strong against the capitalist class that enriches itself on the backs of the working class!

4. More generally, the election result shows that people have false expectations in parties that variously present themselves as ‘anti-establishment’, when in fact they are part of it and serve the interests of capital. This applies to the PVV, but also, for example, to Omtzigt's story about a ‘new governance culture’ of the NSC (New Social Contract), which, after losing the leadership elections within the CDA (Christan Democratic Appeal), founded a new party with the fraction he represented within the CDA, or, for example, the BBB (Farmer-Citizen Movement) that came into being as a mouthpiece of a section of mainly the agricultural sector that no longer felt represented through the CDA.

5. The various parties pretending to be ‘left’ or ‘progressive’ have failed in recent years to mount a meaningful opposition to the anti-popular policy. This has also manifested itself in the election results of these parties.

GroenLinks-PvdA (GreenLeft – Labour Party), as well as PvdD (Party for the Animals), have emerged as the biggest advocates of the anti-popular policy promoted from the EU under the guise of the ‘green transition’. These policies have nothing to do with protecting the environment, but are aimed at massive financial support for supposedly ‘green’ investments by capital – which often turn out to be not so green at all – paid for by ‘green’ taxes and levies to be paid by the working class. People who think leftist or progressive, or who rightly care about the large-scale degradation of the environment and climate, need expect nothing from these political forces, that want to preserve the cause of the problems, namely capitalism.

Other social democratic parties, including the SP (Socialist Party), have recently profiled themselves more ‘radical’ with cries like ‘system change’ and ‘anti-capitalism’. But behind this radical façade, there is a completely reformist political line whose aim is to preserve precisely this system, which was also evident in the election campaign and the pleas to be part of a future government for capital.

6. In general, there is a reactionary trend in politics. This tendency has been visible for some time and manifests itself in many ways. For example, in the proliferation of fascistoid parties. But this tendency encompasses the entire bourgeois political spectrum, not only the far-right, but also the liberal, Christian Democratic and Social Democratic parties (including the so-called ‘left’ or ‘green’ parties). All bourgeois political parties play their part in the ideological and political acceptance of constant decline, channelling discontent into paths that are harmless to the system. In the process, there is a tendency among all bourgeois political forces to adopt more reactionary positions, with public services, political rights, trade union rights and rights of various minorities coming under pressure.

7. Many people are rightly concerned about this reactionary trend in politics and the fact that a far-right party emerged as the largest (not for the first time in recent history, by the way). Already immediately after the election results, people took to the streets to express their legitimate concerns.

Very hypocritically, Green Left-PvdA tried to encapsulate this sentiment and organised demonstrations in response to the election result under the slogan "we won't let anyone be abandoned”! The anti-popular policies that GreenLeft-PvdA have supported for decades, both in the Netherlands and at EU level, have ‘abandoned’ of millions of people and demolished their incomes and rights. In doing so, they have also fuelled the dangerous propaganda of the far-right that there would supposedly be a ‘left-wing elite’. The complicity of mainly the PvdA (Labour Party) in the massive decline in living standards in recent years, as well as the inability of also the other parties profiled as ‘leftists’ to act as an opposition force and to regroup the labour movement because they are completely oriented towards capitalism despite radical slogans, has rolled out the red carpet for reactionary, fascistoid parties.

Objectively, there is a basis for forming a government with the current election result. Capital has an interest in forming a stable government that can continue its anti-popular policies in the coming period. This also in view of the dark clouds hanging over the economy and the measures being prepared to pass on the costs of economic stagnation or even crisis to the working class. Importantly for capital, this government should be capable of dampening popular discontent. That is also why these elections were held and this great ‘musical chairs’ took place in The Hague, with new faces and parties better able to sell the same anti-popular policies to the population. At the same time, there are also real contradictions in the interests of various capital groups. Ultimately, it is the interests of the ruling class that will determine how the formation of a new government will go.

Overall, the election results show the very negative correlation of forces. National politics is still completely dominated by parties that serve the interests of big capital through one means or another. First and foremost, the election result also shows the need to strengthen the NCPN. The lack of communist people's representatives at the national level is a major deficiency. Only communist people's representatives can expose bourgeois policies, consistently oppose any decline and exert pressure to enforce improvements. Only communists can do that, precisely because their aim is not to manage this system but to overthrow it.

The NCPN decided not to participate in these elections, mainly because of financial but also other organisational barriers. The party also did not offer any voting advice. The hope for a better future lies entirely in strengthening the labour movement. That is what the NCPN is devoting all its forces to. The growth of the party continues. We see this in the party, but also in the movement where the party has an increasing presence among people who stand up for the interests of the working class. The growth of the party also creates the conditions for it to be able to participate in future elections. As a communist party and vanguard of the labour movement, the NCPN, is the only party that can consistently stand up for the interests of the working class.

Our message is clear: struggle is the only way! There is no politician or political party that is going to solve the problems for the working class. Only the working class itself, with the Communist Party at the forefront, can win the struggle for a better future. It is time for communists to make themselves heard! Now is the time for the NCPN! Join our ranks!

Central Committee of the NCPN"