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The dream of the people

The simple fact is that a large part of the working class has settled with the capitalist welfare state, and is happy to let the dreams go to Majorca.

This article is machine translated by Google from Norwegian

The pioneers of the labor movement had to cope with considerably less knowledge than today's rulers, but one can be struck that the best among them looked longer and thought bigger, whether the thoughts were right or wrong. The men and women who fought a bitter battle for the most nutritious bite from day to day often had excess ten to deal with the thoughts and dreams of human life when the need was forever overcome in a socialist society – while the welfare state's inheritance rarely exceeds the framework for next year's budget.
Well, right should be right, it's not many days since Arbeiderbladet unfolded an effervescent vision of the future after many years of "workers' rule" in Norway. This maxim of imagination in the main body of socialism the year 1963 was based on the fact that Norwegian workers in the future may be able to take a summer holiday in the winter. In this context, the magazine paid tribute to a company that, for some of its officials, had arranged holiday travel to Mallorca in Franco's forgetful land.

Through everyone the year of the struggle, there was a firm conviction among socialists that the labor movement could not only create a society that was safe to live in, but that it would lay the decisive basis for a powerful human growth, through a new interaction between one and the other. The unity a worker-controlled state would promote and build upon in its economic and social structure also had to lead to a new, socialist culture. By culture we meant something far more than schooling and books and sports and theater – it was a question of the whole human expression that would naturally flow out of the community, of a hitherto unknown contact and openness between people in a classless society.
Of course, it was important for the people to take over what existed from cultural values ​​from the time of the bourgeoisie, but these values ​​would only form part of a far greater whole in incessant growth.

Words like these almost sounds like a joke, face-to-face with today's reality in a Norway where the leaders of the movement have certainly strived hard enough for a "community", but no longer associate anything else with this concept than an association of capitalist countries in Western Europe.
We must face the fact that it is not just a question of leaders who have betrayed socialism and managed to lead the common masses behind the light. The simple fact is that a large part of the working class has settled with the capitalist welfare state, and often lets dreams go to Mallorca. With the labor movement in an almost unique position of power for many years, it is certainly not the spring break for a new, socialist way of life and culture we experience in this country, but a demonstration of the strength of bourgeois society, its ideals and life forms.

So we were sorely mistaken, we socialists who shared the old dream of the people?

Cultural growth? Sure! – schooling and education as never before, better housing conditions, the TV antennas as the culture's victory masts over the eastern edge as well as the western edge. But to an overwhelming degree, this growth is marked precisely by the capitalist competitive and climbing society. Through mass instruments such as television, radio, the press and speculative entertainment industries, people's thoughts and attitudes to life are uniformed under the ever stronger influence of "the American way of life". Cultural development in the welfare state takes the form of an increasingly passive one consumption of more and more.

So we took deadly mistake, we socialists who shared the old dream of the people?
An obvious answer is that we can not know yet, because today's Norway has no resemblance to the socialist society that could provide the basis for the emergence of new life forms, characterized by community and a richer humanity.

But certainly many of us have misjudged the preconditions and pace of a human transformation. The generations who had suffered material hardship and insecurity in the first half of the century and who then finally gained some security, no longer have any fruitful, impatience for new, untried forms of life, but will often rather fortify themselves extra well in the old ones. and renowned, whether the people cherish their conquered relaxation in a detached house with a TV or in the crowds of the slums where the isolation (with a TV) can be almost as effective.
(…) After tasting old disappointments, we say with the Danish poet Kumbel:

“I have placed somewhere
where I must see daily, the urging language of thought:
When you feel how little
one reaches with his diligence,
is it helpful to remember that

This column is from the forerunner of New Age Orientering (1953-1975) and edited by Line Fausko.

Sigurd Evensmo
Evensmo was formerly editor of Orientering, MODERN TIMES's forerunner.

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