the 1930s Norway and Sweden
the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society andboth
on to build
economies that eliminated poverty, expanded free university
education, abolished slums, provided healthcare available to all and
a system of full employment.
that, with the 1% in charge, electoral “democracy” was stacked
against them, so nonviolent direct action was needed to exert the
power for change.
both countries, troops were called out to defend the 1 percent;
people died. (Bo
Widerberg told the Swedish story in Ådalen
depicts the sparking of a nationwide general strike.)The
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
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.
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.
Conservatives tried a fling with neoliberal policies, Labour
seized the three largest banks, fired the top management, left the
stockholders without a dime and refused to bail out any of the
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
this resonate with you and will Ken Loach still be alive to make our