"Don’t sell Norway”
The campaign "Don’t sell Norway” has become popular among ordinary people, and this is not just because the initiator is a celebrity from the public relations advertising industry.
"The people have not given you any approval to sell the nation piecemeal", Ingebrigt Steen Jensen said when he launched the campaign that has adopted an old slogan from the EEC / EU battle in 1972. The message targets the incumbent right-wing government, but in reality it also rams the ‘red and green’ predecessors. 
The government, the employers’ association NHO and the media chatterboxes have by pure reflex launched fierce counterattacks and have tried to ridicule the campaign. However, having perceived the sentiments amongst the people, the government was impelled to make a temporary retreat concerning some of their most extreme sell-out and privatization schemes.
In the early 1970s, the motto “Don’t sell Norway” was hotly debated when launched by sections of the resistance movement against the EEC (now EU). It was introduced after heavy internal strife within the Labour Committee against the EEC and Price rises (Akmed). This slogan unquestionably had nationalistic overtones in that the main enemy apparently was not our own anti-national bourgeoisie, but foreign monopoly capital. Thus it veiled the class struggle.
Actually, the slogan is far more suitable today than was the case in the 1970s. Down-sales of state forests, fishery commons, mineral resources, fragmentation and partial privatization of all forms of state infrastructure, commercialization of hospitals and healthcare and so forth was unthinkable in Norway in that period. The odd politicians who played with such ideas, such as Anders Lange and Carl I. Hagen, were the extremists of the time, hardly taken seriously by others than right-wing brigands and reactionary elements.
Boot sale of national values
Throughout the last 25 years, we have witnessed non-stop privatization and sale of national resources and companies. Usually it begins with the conversion of state companies into wholly state-owned corporations (with all the stock shares on the hands of the state), the next step being letting in private shareholders. Statoil, Telenor, Statskog, Entra (state-owned real estate), Mesta (road construction and maintenance) and SAS (airliner) are some examples where further divestment of state shareholdings now are being prepared.
Portions of the national Postal service have been left open to private logistic firms, and more will come should the EU's Third Postal Directive  be introduced. Government interests in the aquaculture company Cermaq were agreed passed on to a Japanese investor. The Airport train is put up for sale with a Chinese company as possible buyer. Municipal ports are attempted replaced with private operators and ownership, as in Oslo. And so on and so forth.
This story could have been from Greece or Spain, where the EU, ECB and IMF have instructed governments to sell off state and municipal property en masse to pay creditors. But we're talking about Norway, a country that does not have the faintest need to strengthen already bulging government finances.
It is simply a case of capital requiring free elbowroom for their investments and acquisitions, where state borders and national interests are irrelevant obstacles that need to be swept aside. International capital has created a number of institutions and agreements intended to ensure that peoples’ and nations’ interests are trumped by "supranational framework" of the likes of the WTO, EU, TISA etc.
New robbery of the Commons
Early capitalism arose on the basis of robbery of common land. Peasants were shut out from what had been common pastures. This was the original primitive accumulation of private capital.
A new robbery of the commons is now taking place. This process has been most extreme and obvious in Africa and Eastern Europe after the Soviet Union dissolved, but it is going on in Western Europe and in Norway, too; a country where the capitalist state in no way can legitimize outlet with staggering national debt, budget deficits or threats of being downgraded on the international credit and bond markets.
The neoliberal looting expedition does not stop with industry, property and transport. Also the forests, fishery resources and mineral reserves are offered for sale to domestic and foreign private capital. Chairman Bernt Stilluf Karlsen in the municipal Port of Oslo in 2012 ensured, through his consulting company, that a Canadian mining corporation obtained exploration rights for 5 % of Norway's entire land area. He has of course also been pushing to build a new privately owned port in Oslo. The incumbent government also wants a sell-off in the State Forests, which owns a fifth of Norway's land area, of which a large part is Common area. There might be put a preliminary stop to this plan, after the opposition Labour party has found it opportune to oppose some of privatization plans from the Conservative / Progress Party coalition. They probably hope that voters have forgotten that it was The Labour Party and Jens Stoltenberg, who sped up privatization of state-owned companies in the 1990s and 2000s.
Welfare put up for sale
Even the general social welfare schemes are being expropriated by finance capital. The campaign “Don’t sell Norway” might well have included the dismantling and sale of social welfare and institutions made up of the people’s sweat and their tax money. Our pensions have in part been sold to insurance corporations already. Researchers are amazed how the parliamentary parties in Norway managed to implement dramatic cuts in pensions with quite limited protest movements.
This year a new taxation regulation for disability benefits has been put into force, which among other things means that these benefits will be taxed as ordinary income. This is yet another outright robbery of the 300,000 who have been tossed out of the labour market.
True enough, this on-going robbery is presently being conducted by the steel-blue parties now in power, but the disability reform itself was adopted by the whole caboodle of parliamentary parties, including (the reformist left party) SV. The cutback reform was presented by the Stoltenberg government.
The nation's fifth column
What does this record tell us? It shows that the greatest enemy to the Norwegian nation and our national values is the social class that has the economic and political power, i.e. the network of shareholders, directors and politicians in all parties administering the system. Parliament might just as well be baptized “The Auction House”. The fact that the bourgeoisie class alternates between letting a Jens (Stoltenberg), an Erna (Solberg, Conservative Prime Minister) or a Siv (Jensen, leader of the ultra-right Progress Party) represent their interests, changes nothing.
The bourgeoisie of 200 years ago, the impetus for the freedom and rights of the nation, was of a quite different kind. It needed to consolidate its domestic market and therefore wished to secure national resources and defend the country's sovereignty.
"Earlier, the bourgeoisie, as the heads of nations, were for the rights and independence of nations and put that 'above all.' Now there is no trace left of this 'national principle'. Now the bourgeoisie sell the rights and independence of their nations for dollars. The banner of national independence and national sovereignty has been thrown overboard." J.V. Stalin 19th Party Congress of the CPSU(b), 1952
The Norwegian bourgeoisie of today is imperialist, it is the nation's fifth column. This bourgeoisie sells the nation’s interests in change for dollars or euros, as Stalin precisely put it in 1952, if that provides greater profit opportunities and makes it easier to rob the people at home or abroad.
Abusing the flag
This class of parasites utilizes the nation, the flag and the national state solely in order to divert the class struggle and to sow chauvinism among the people. They abuse the flag to expand economically and by means of aggressive military adventures. They have long since leased out the country and people to NATO, and they are constantly aspiring to write a contract with the EU on selling out our sovereignty, because this offers the prospect of even greater profits and further weakening of the working class. The EEA Agreement was the first deal.
In order to preserve solidarity and the national values we wish to safeguard, the working people must take power from this gang of robbers and charlatans.
In the unlikely case that you, dear reader, are among those who believe that immigrants and Muslims are those who threaten Norwegian national values, you must remove your blindfold. The conception that immigrants and other peoples are "undermining" the nation and national values, is a mirage intended to prevent people from seeing that within the Norwegian ruling class there is nothing left of "the national principle". For them, the nation is only of interest as a springboard for Norwegian-based capital marauding for markets and natural resources in other countries.
First published in Revolusjon No. 46, March 2015.
Also published in Unity & Struggle no. 30, journal of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations.
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