Tuesday, February 16, 2016

If Norway Can Do It

Labor here in the U.S. and worldwide should take a look or revisit what Sweden and Norway did to beat the 1 percent, the oligarchies who had held the country’s people in horrendous poverty. It was so bad that many thousands of people fled to other countries to avoid starvation. The Norwegian workers knew that change was needed, but the 1 percent had a death grip on the electric democracy and stacked it against the proletarians. The proletarians tried nonviolence actions to bring about the power change, but in both countries the troops were called in to defend the 1 percent’s riches and power, and the workers were killed in the nationwide general strike. The Norwegian workers and unions did not give up and they still wanted to win their revolution through collective nonviolent means by establishing co-ops and using electoral arena. The fight was on and workers led strikes in 1921-1923-1924. The employers, backed by the state, beat back the strikers with 100,000 armed people to protect the strike breakers (scabs) paid for by the 1 percent. Again, the workers came back with another wave of strikes and boycotts in 1928 and this was the tipping point for them. The Norwegian conservative party started to distance itself from the 1 percent. They now understood that the ability of the few to rule the many was in doubt. The unions held the workers together in very hard times by not throwing out members if they could not pay their dues (unlike the U.S. unions). This paid off in the end. The economy, when labor took over, started with public works projects, which gave full-employment and became the keystone of Norwegian economic policies and labor stepped in when the 1 percent tried to implement neoliberal policies, which the economy then generated a bubble and was headed for disaster. This is when labor stepped in and seized the three largest banks, fired the top manager, left stockholders with a dime and refused to bailout any of the banks. The purged Norwegian financial sector was not one of those in crisis in 2008. They are well regulated and much of it is publically owned. The Norway’s financial sector was solid. There is a lot of things for the unions, workers and Bernie Sander supporters to learn. We must keep fighting for $15-$18 an hour minimum wage, jobs, especially on our infrastructure, education, single-payer healthcare, climate change, breaking up the big banks, and better, stronger labor laws. We have to be like the Norwegian workers and fight for what is right.