An Introduction to Kämpa tillsammans!

A brief introduction to Kämpa tillsammans! (Struggle Together!), a Swedish communist group.

Submitted by Khawaga on January 3, 2008

Kämpa tillsammans! (Struggle Together!) is a communist group who are mainly concerned with theory building. The group, founded in 1997 with members from Malmo and Gothenburg, have their roots in the extra-parliamentary left.

Kämpa tillsammans! believes that their theory is undogmatic and has been inspired by several different currents who are interested in the working class' autonomous struggles, the "real communist movement" that assumes a form independent from the labour/workers' parties and the trade unions (theories referred to are among others class struggle anarchism, council communism, situationsim, operaism/autonomism and the ultra-left (need proper translation). What puts Struggle Together apart from the other left-radical groups, and has made them almost unique in Scandinavia, is them being inspired by operaismo, the precursor to what is known today as autonomism.

Operaismo is a radical and for the Swedish experience/context a very sophisticated Marx-interpretation developed in Italy during the workers' revolt/rebellion in the 1960s and 70s. The most prominent theoreticians of this current are Raniero Panzieri, Mario Tronti, Sergio Bologna and Antonio Negri. Central to this current is that the working class is in an antagonistic relation to capital and the attempt to capture this dynamic through the concept of class composition.

Class composition means that the working class' composition, its forms of struggle and organisation, are subject to constant change because of its relationship to how work is organised, not least technological change. Technology and the organisation of work is not seen as something value-neutral and objectively given, without being conditioned/determined by capitalist logic/rationality. Hence, the how work is organised through e.g. Fredrick Winslow Taylor's scientific management (Taylorism) works as a permanent weapon against workers' revolts. This analysis also supports the foundation of their critique against the socialist states, who they believe did not make away with the capitalist mode of production.

Starting for Marx's critique of political economy, like it is presented in Capital, they argue that workers' resistance against the imposition of work as such is the main conflict in capitalist society. Thus, workers' resistance against being workers is also the most important component to understand the class struggle, crises of capital and overall societal change.

Briefly, the working class is considered the central subject in society. Through its pure existence as class the workers have ability to constantly put capital on the defence and force it to transform its own condition (which gets its expression in globalization, restructuring of branches etc.). In this complex process we can find struggles for a nascent self-determined life, an immeasurable "human society" which is not determined by "value". It is this social movement that is argued to be the communist movement, in what we can already today see to a future, class-less society. Through studies of working class history the focus is on what is called the "second" working class, a militant current that has always existed parallel with the official working class movements' organisations, who during times of revolt are often in conflict with even these organisations.

Kämpa tillsammans! has introduced the term "faceless resistance" in Sweden, an emphasis on the many hidden, informal micro-conflicts at workplaces that occur outside the union's and management's control, e.g. through sabotage or auto-reduction (?). There is revolutionary potential in this type of resistance which is often "every day" , seemingly "apolitical" and happens in "all walks of life".

That they see the struggle for higher real wages as something that cannot be limited to the traditional workplaces is linked to the argument that capitalism has developed into a huge "social factory". Because of this the logic of the struggle for the wage must be taken into consideration the struggles that take place on the street and in the public space (the activism of Reclaim the Streets, and anti-summit protests fall into this category, though in Struggle Together!'s publications they do not have a prominent place). Against the view of other leftists groups, working class consciousness is not something idealistic or ideological, it can only be found in the concrete activities of the working class. In order to find the full potential in the micro-conflicts they have conducted "militant investigations" These investigations try to develop the resistance by tying together practical experience from working outside of the unions in workplaces with a more overarching theoretical analysis.

Members of Kämpa tillsammans! joined the editorial board of the magazine riff-raff. Since 2003 they have been involved with the organising of the annual so-called "Vår Makt (Our Power)"-conferences in Malmo togheter with Gatuaktionen, KC Glassfabrikken and ABF.

Kämpa Tillsammans! English archive.

Translated by Khawaga for from Swedish Wikipedia