Friday, 14 February 2020

Time for our Ådalen 31


In the 1930s Norway and Sweden “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and both countries went on to build economies that eliminated poverty, expanded free university education, abolished slums, provided healthcare available to all and created a system of full employment.

They had realized that, with the 1% in charge, electoral “democracy” was stacked against them, so nonviolent direct action was needed to exert the power for change.

In both countries, troops were called out to defend the 1 percent; people died. (Bo Widerberg told the Swedish story in Ådalen 31, which depicts the sparking of a nationwide general strike.) The 1% had become increasingly desperate as militancy grew among workers and farmers. The misery of the poor became daily more urgent, and the Labour Party felt increasing pressure from its members to alleviate their suffering, which it could do only if it took charge of the government.

This it did. They expanded the economy and started public works projects to head toward a policy of full employment that became the keystone of economic policy.

The 1% thereby lost its historic power to dominate the economy and society. Not until three decades later could the Conservatives return to a governing coalition, having by then accepted the new rules of the game, including a high degree of public ownership of the means of production, extremely progressive taxation, strong business regulation for the public good and the virtual abolition of poverty.

When Conservatives tried a fling with neoliberal policies, Labour stepped back in, seized the three largest banks, fired the top management, left the stockholders without a dime and refused to bail out any of the smaller banks.

Scandinavian society’s high level of freedom and broadly-shared prosperity began when workers and farmers, along with middle class allies, waged a nonviolent struggle that empowered the people to govern for the common good.

Does this resonate with you and will Ken Loach still be alive to make our Ådalen 31

Much of this information is taken from this article

You can view Ådalen31film here


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