Talar med trovärdighet, insikt och pondus om vitt skilda frågor. T.ex. apartheidsystemet i Sydafrika (exempel: företaget Smith Mitchell driver ”mentalsjukhus” med goda vinstmarginaler, där dissidenter fängslas). T.ex. klimatfrågan (märk väl att detta var 50 år sedan!), kärnvapen och nedrustningsfrågan. T.ex. om Viet Nam: Palme talade om My Lai med god insikt 1970, om fosterskador pga kemiska vapen, och kanske allra mest ihågkommet är hans fördömande av bombningarna av Ha Noi 1972).
Talet inför parlamentet 21 februari 1986om apartheid i Sydafrika, och vad som krävs för avskaffandet, blev sorgligt nog hans sista men finns återgivet i sin helhet i boken.
Debatten om mottagare och avsändare (och i grund och botten hönan och ägget); är våra medier ett gensvar på sin ”dumma” publik (och deras efterfrågan för skvaller) eller har publiken gjorts korkad av medierna? I samma bana, är våra politiker en reflektion av vår inkompetens som väljare eller har vi vaggats in i dumheten av dem? Med ett ord – kanske kan bara ärliga, raka, stolta politiker komma till i tider då deras spegelbild finns i folket; kanske är det därför det inte finns någon Olof Palme idag.
He proved to be an efficient administrator and cabinet minister. Hs most conspicuous achievement as minister of transport and communications was the change-over to driving on the right, a very complex organsational achievement.
Olof Palme stayed on as prime minister and for the most part made deals with one or more of the non-socialist parties, less frequently with the Communists. But governmental power was weak and it was more difficult now for the Social Democrats to carry through reforms and, after 44 years in power, the 1976 election obliged the Party to hand over to a non-socialist coalition. Olof Palme now became leader of the opposition.
Ett och samma tal om vad politik är;
– Siktade på den ”gyllene mittenvägen” (hycklande eller inte överlämnar jag till andra att bedöma; den självförhärligande tendensen går dock inte att förneka):
But we no longer believe in standard formulas. We cannot consult these writings and find absolute answers. Schoolchildren in Communist states may reel off quotations from Marx and Lenin as readily as the hymns that we learned by rote when we were children, and American corporations may publish tracts with basically the same kind of bigotry, although they sing the praises of capitalism. But for us dogma has given way to free debate. We have learned always to ask questions and to reconsider with an open mind, to question authority and distrust authority.
– Motsatte sig ”avideologiseringen”;
History shows clearly that when ”practical politicians” banish ideas from the poltical arena, political rot sets in.
– One thing that socialists have always agreed about in all countries […] is their hatred of class society… Countless arguments have been put forward, directly or indirectly, in defence of class barriers over the years. One of these is based on Darwin and the theory of natural selection… As late as the 1950s, the Nobel laureate T.S. Eliot published a book in which he maintained that if economic redistribution [ie more equal distribution of wealth] went too far, the foundations of civilization might be undermined. ”We are destroying our ancient edifices to make ready the ground upon which the barbarian nomads of he future will encamp in their mechanised caravans.” […] But the economic arguments predominate. It has been claimed that large income disparities are necessary to encourage the will to work. ”It must pay to work”. In fact, however, the will to work and the rate of progress have never been greater than when class barriers are pulled down.
On reformism; ‘utopias vs real life’:
For one thing, it stops us behaving as if we are already living in a utopia. Grass points out that wherever utopias have been converted into systems – whether by the state as in Communist countries or by commercial TV in the USA – people are either ordered to be happy by the central commitee or are mesmerized into a state of consumer bliss. Anything to keep real life at bay.
Socialism och demokrati; just detta citat beskriver vilken riktning otyglad kapitalism kommer att röra sig mot:
Trends in the captalist economy are toward evergreater concentration of economic power. In Sweden this is true to a great degree. But this concentration of power in our economy is a reflection of what is happening in the entire world economy, where worldwide enterprises operate independently of national boundaries and uncommitted to the objectives set up by national governments.
Från ett tal som om social rättvisa och individuell frihet; se, vilket språk, vilka termer! Och jämför med dagens ämbetsmannapolitik. Och tänk vilken publik han måste ha haft när han levererade talet på Stanford 1977:
This of course implies a change in the power relations in production. In a certain sense the freedom of capital owners has been reduced. The employees have been given influence because they give their productive life, their work, to production. In a way this is a reflection of a better balance between the production factor [I]capital and the production factor [I]work.
There have been fears that an expanded welfare system would have devastating effects on economic efficiency and in this way constitute a threat to freedom. Too much security makes a man lazy and inefficient – so it is argued – it even takes the sense of adventure out of life.
Such arguments are brought forward with special vehemence by people who have been able to afford for themselves and their families extensive systems of security without apparently becoming either lazy or losing their sense of adventure*. What it all amounts to is that by using the state as an instrument we have achieved for ordinary wage-earners the same type of security and the same type of servces that have always been self-evident for the well-to-do to obtain for themselves because they have been able to pay for it directly. Thus, it is a question of fundamental social justice.
* Marx & Engels ang detta i Kommunistiska manifestet:
It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property, all work will cease, and
universal laziness will overtake us.
According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer
idleness; for those those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire
anything do not work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that
there can no longer be any wage-labour when there is no longer any capital.
Kvinnorättskampen (FN-konferens på internationella kvinnodagen, 1977):
A shift of power in favour of the poor countries – which is the essence of these demands – will facilitate broad international cooperation on the global issues of justice.
This is of immediate importance for people’s conditions of life, for survival, for economic and social progress, for women’s [sic] liberation. Thus the efforts to achieve equality between men and women must be integrated with the struggle for economic and social equality within and between nations.
But not only have the conventional weapons grown in quantities. Quality has also been ”improved” at a pace commensurable only with that of the innovative capability of military research and development. The dynamic drive towards effectiveness has made warfare ever more brutal. Violence has become impoersonal and automated. Mechanical mass extermination of human beings has been set as an objective for weapons technology.
Om Viet Nam:
Consequently he [Richard Hammer, NYT] does not consider My Lai an accident. On the contrary, My Lai was inevitable. What happened there was a direct consequence of what the United States has done during the last six years in Vietnam, an inevitable consequence of its involvement.
Om Afghanistan, 1980 (inte långt efter den sovjetiska invasionen):
Others will have noted the curious fact that the rebel movement supported by the USA in Afghanistan represents basically the same Muslim nationalists as the relgious groups in Iran with which the USA is in such bitter conflict.
Något senare nämner han hur det amerikanska militära stödet för Pakistan (som bas för motstånd mot Sovjet i Afghanistan) ökade dramatiskt efter invasionen; trots den dåliga relationen innandess.
Connection disarmament –> development
Jämför Ha Noi-bombningarna med Oradour (centrala Frankrike, ett 600-tal civila slaktades av SS-trupper 1944), Katyn (plats för först tyskt och sedan sovjetiskt massmord av polacker), Babi Yar (Tysklands massaker av ffa Kievs judiska befolkning september 1941) , Lidice (tjeckisk by som förintades av nazisterna som svar på att en SS-officer mördades), Sharpeville, Treblinka och Guernica.
Utläst på (techno-)bussen till Nha Trang.