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Thu Jul 6, 2017, 03:16 AM

How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the 1 Percent

Published on
Thursday, January 26, 2012
by Waging Nonviolence

How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’
by George Lakey

While many of us are working to ensure that the Occupy movement will have a lasting impact, it’s worthwhile to consider other countries where masses of people succeeded in nonviolently bringing about a high degree of democracy and economic justice. Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different.

Both countries had a history of horrendous poverty. When the 1 percent was in charge, hundreds of thousands of people emigrated to avoid starvation. Under the leadership of the working class, however, both countries built robust and successful economies that nearly eliminated poverty, expanded free university education, abolished slums, provided excellent health care available to all as a matter of right and created a system of full employment. Unlike the Norwegians, the Swedes didn’t find oil, but that didn’t stop them from building what the latest CIA World Factbook calls “an enviable standard of living.”

Neither country is a utopia, as readers of the crime novels by Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbro will know. Critical left-wing authors such as these try to push Sweden and Norway to continue on the path toward more fully just societies. However, as an American activist who first encountered Norway as a student in 1959 and learned some of its language and culture, the achievements I found amazed me. I remember, for example, bicycling for hours through a small industrial city, looking in vain for substandard housing. Sometimes resisting the evidence of my eyes, I made up stories that “accounted for” the differences I saw: “small country,” “homogeneous,” “a value consensus.” I finally gave up imposing my frameworks on these countries and learned the real reason: their own histories.

Then I began to learn that the Swedes and Norwegians paid a price for their standards of living through nonviolent struggle. There was a time when Scandinavian workers didn’t expect that the electoral arena could deliver the change they believed in. They realized that, with the 1 percent in charge, electoral “democracy” was stacked against them, so nonviolent direct action was needed to exert the power for change.

In both countries, the troops were called out to defend the 1 percent; people died...


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Reply How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the 1 Percent (Original post)
kristopher Jul 2017 OP
Bernardo de La Paz Jul 2017 #1
Abouttime Jul 2017 #2
MiddleClass Jul 2017 #4
MiddleClass Jul 2017 #3

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Thu Jul 6, 2017, 06:08 AM

1. I've been saying wealth & income inequality getting so bad here it will be solved one way or another

Thank you for posting this.

If the 1% don't wake up and solve it more equitably, there will be revolution of one kind or another.

We all hope that the country will soon realize that there really is a progressive majority here, a liberal majority.

It is hidden by voter suppression and gerrymandering. Most recently Hillary won the majority of votes but dirty tricks and collusion targeted flipped key Electoral College votes by only 40,000 (80,000 swing).

The revolution had better be electoral and soon.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 06:07 PM

2. Wealth redistribution


Our problems are much more deep rooted and steeped in exploitation. Radical redistribution of wealth is our only salvation.
I'm sorry but if you're white and rich it's your time to leave the playing field, you won.
You can leave one of two ways, voluntarily taking enough wealth to live comfortably the rest of your days.
Or...we can take it from you and you may lose everything or worse..

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Response to Abouttime (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 8, 2017, 07:51 PM

4. Jesus Christ, what if your African-American and wealthy, you get to stay in your forbidden country?

This lipidniss, of us against them is all Bullshit

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sat Jul 8, 2017, 07:42 PM

3. Sharpen the pitchforks

The main thing is reverse citizens United by voting constantly against the rich party.

Big money controls a huge number of the vote, TV, radio, newspapers – media

and now, chat rooms/Facebook/social media – fake news.

When Trump goes down. We need to route the Russian party of Republicans

and take back our government

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