Sikandar Siddique – leader of the party Frie Grønne in Denmark – receives in the outermost part of Christiansborg in Copenhagen, where the undersigned has been led through winding corridors up steep stairs, far away from the top politicians' meeting places and high up in the large historic building and all the way up in Frie Grønne's humble premises.
“The revolutionary glow on the left has disappeared. So therefore, it would be beneficial if the left could develop and present sketches for an overall strategy or considerations about what the future society should look like. – A deterrent example for our children in day care institutions is how the left-wing parties only focused on minimum standards for the number of educators in day care institutions with purely quantitative goals – without a qualitative focus on the development and future of our small fellow citizens ».
The party Frie Grønne was – with three members of parliament – formed after a long break with the party Alternativet, which in the 2015 election came in the Folketing with nine seats, but in the election in 2019 was reduced to five. "When the new leader of the Alternative – Josephine Fock – wanted to change course and drink coffee with the Prime Minister, we had to resign," says Sikandar Siddique. Today, Frie Grønne only needs a few thousand voter declarations to be eligible to stand in the next general election.
"Today we are all heading for the abyss. Admittedly, many decisions are being made to counter global warming. But the choices can be reduced to a choice between a window seat and a walkway in the train towards the abyss. What is needed will be to steer the ENTIRE train in a different direction ».
“Over the years, a lifestyle with dreams and a daily practice has been developed that builds on sustained economic growth with all that it entails of resource consumption, nature destruction and crippling human life. On top of that, advertising and social media support the growth in consumption. Permanent jobs in an often trivial job become for modern man completely without inspiration from art and culture with the necessary subsequent reflection. The international organization demonstrates how we have institutionalized a system that collectively is moving towards collapse. All because the majority of politicians praise the sustainable economic growth as if it were a kind of religion ».
Towards the abyss?
Basically, Frie Grønne is therefore system-critical: “When we have to understand where the world – or the train – is moving to. Of course, we see – in isolation – many excellent individual initiatives across the field, socially, economically, organizationally, culturally, and so on. Such initiatives can create short-term solutions in a complex society and also encourage and support reform programs, nationally and internationally. But what good is it if there is 'a good mood in the train' if we are all on the train heading towards the abyss? There must be a connection between day-to-day politics and the great and necessary transformation ».
"In Denmark, the Folketing has decided to continue oil production in the North Sea until 2050."
The public has been paying attention to climate change for quite a few years: “The world community succeeded in establishing international agreements on nuclear weapons in 1968, on Ozone in 1987. We got the Biodiversity Convention in 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. But what could that mean? something crucial today will be to get a follow-up to the 2015 Paris Agreement in the form of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Now leave as much of the oil as possible in the soil. In Denmark, the Folketing has decided to continue oil production in the North Sea until 2050. This is a bad signal we are sending out into the world ».
Nature is sacred
“With the great acceleration after World War II – and especially in the last 50 years – humanity has transgressed against nature. For the people have been subjugated by an economic system. Neoliberalism from the 70s was not just an economic system – it was also a culture that shattered many communities. It became a serious attack on civil society, leaving many citizens as isolated agents in a market ».
How do we get on from here? "As participants in civil society, we must uphold ourselves and drop the blind faith in parliamentary work and its tenacious work to hold on to the sustained economic growth treadmill. By self-learning, we must reach an understanding of how we have ended up in this mess, and fight for a new dignity with a personal authority. We must undress the elements of the colonization of our consciousness that has taken place. Our individual drive must be based on the desire for increased self-insight with autonomy and self-esteem. It is from here that new communities with fellow citizens and with nature must take place. And it is also from here that we will have the opportunity to regain an understanding of our deep dependence on nature. We say: nature is sacred ».
Focus on solar panels, recycling, repairs, a simple life, organic food and production in the local area, bicycles and public transport.
Siddique continues: “It becomes necessary for us to realize that we – all living things – are part of a large global ecological network, where we as humans have a very special responsibility with tasks. It is clear that old notions and concepts from the Anthropocene period no longer last. We must develop a universe of understanding with options for action that are rooted in the eco- or biocentric worldview. We must now work on an economic model with a focus on solar panels, recycling, repairs, a simple life, organic food and production in the local area, bicycles and public transport, etc. Rather than letting market forces rule, we must then, locally and regionally, sit at the end of the table and organize ourselves locally and reach out to the municipalities. In a kind of solidarity anarchism. It will constitute a significant showdown with the parliamentary fixation to which the left has been subject for far too long. But now civil society must step into character and begin to organize itself locally ».
"Not least the European countries and perhaps especially the Nordic countries, we must take the lead and show that it is possible."
Pelle Dragsted from the Unity List, has recently published the book Nordic Socialism. How has Frie Grønne related to the content of the book?
"It is of course positive that with Pelle's book we get a document that contributes to a discussion and clarification of concepts and a world understanding. "For what exactly is a vision of a future society that should unite us on the left?"
«In addition to the themes Pelle presents in the book, we want a clearer focus on the international aspect. We should clarify «mutual aid» in the North-South relationship, where it is us in the North who «sit on the pork» after the colonial era and the neocolonization. And what about food sovereignty, agricultural reforms, local production and local public assemblies in the municipalities – as platforms for the whole transition? ».
"A permanent citizen's thing must be established."
Frie Grønne has no permanent support agreement with Mette Frederiksen's Social Democratic government, according to Siddique: “We see system criticism as our special task – in collaboration with civil society. Our basic focus is on the free development of the individual to unfold meaningful lives. It must happen around self-governing and democratic communities based in the local environment and around democratic companies with economic democracy. In general, Frie Grønne wants to let go of public companies ».
“There is great potential in civil society for the development of the diverse, more equal, and sustainable society. Therefore, a permanent citizenship must be established. This is the political direction with the built-in system critique that Frie Grønne is oriented towards. And we look forward to good, constructive talks with not only Pelle, but with the entire political left ».
It sounds as if the Free Greens will prioritize cooperation with similar movements and parties in other countries. How?
"Unfortunately, we have seen how the anti-imperialist movement today in the form of large NGOs is dominated by semi-state, financially supported organizations that drive their volunteers into stories about aid that is more and more about Danish support for business initiatives in the South. Here, too, a systemic approach to colonial times and neocolonialism is necessary. Cooperation with global civil society is a high priority in our DNA ».
The interview with Sikandar Siddique is over and the undersigned is followed all the way back through Christianborg's many stairs down many times and down to the Danish soil.