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A sustainable labor movement

The Fight for the Workers – The Political History of the Workers' Concept 1750-2019
OTHER WORLDS? / Heavier by the marketing of society and the alienation of man, the question now is: Who constitutes subject one in the struggle for another world?


Today, young people are mobilizing and insisting that another world is possible. A showdown with our devastating lifestyle is urgent.

But neither an inexperienced youth nor our politicians – children of post-war economic growth and contributors to growing social inequality – immediately hold the keys to a sustainable world.

Where the progress in living standards of reconstruction followed World War II in the sixties, 81 percent of workers in the Denmark gave their vote to one of the labor parties, then the picture today is different diffused. Not only is the red color generally faded. Today, all political parties appeal to all "those who make the wheels turn".

So, where do we find the social force that can show "that another world is possible"?

A socialist alternative?

From the end of the 19th century, and most of the following, the concept of labor was defined by socialist discourse as "a class-conscious, skilled or unskilled man employed in the production profession" (from the book).

As industrialization became Paris Commune in 1871 a great inspiration for the new large group of workers who grew up. But in parallel with a socialist discourse that, as an end goal, had the classless society, developed a non-socialist discourse, which can best be termed a bourgeois discourse. In this discourse, the miserable conditions of the workers had to be remedied if revolutionary conditions were to be avoided. The goal of the bourgeois workers' discourse was to increase individual work with diligence and striving towards the social ranking.

"The disappeared is the socialist labor discourse."

The struggle against the power that underpins the greed of capitalism and threatens civilization may seem well-founded. In the Nordic labor movement, the Social Democrats were satisfied with the returns that the post-war welfare state could provide each year. In Denmark, the Social Democrats even participated in combating the influence of degenerate Soviet communism in the trade union movement – in collaboration with CIA, according to Vilstrup.

What happened?

In the post-war period, the worker was included as a neutral statistical category in the link «worker, official and official». The Social Democrats dropped the worker as an actor in the class struggle and designed him / her as an employee and employee.

The post-war social democratic vision – formulated in The future of Denmark – was never revised into a version on the development of a sustainable welfare society. On the whole – culminating in this century – it has become increasingly difficult to glimpse ideological futures in the alternative societal debate. As Vilstrup points out: “The welfare state has [...] become the 21st-century battlefield and the framework for new workerism. The disappeared is the socialist labor discourse that paints the image of the 'working class' as a future-creating force that would, through a showdown, reach the realization of the socialist, classless society.'

perspective Ring

Heavier by the marketing of society and the alienation of man, the question now is: Who constitutes the subject in the struggle for another world? Opposition to working capital is no longer present in the political agenda. The forces that are now at the forefront of the confrontation are youth, women, the indigenous peoples and certain peasants. Women are markedly present in the extensive youth rebellion launched from Greta Thunberg's initiative. Trade unions are also getting involved here and there.

Today – guided by an inner moral-ethical compass – there is a diversity of creative, creative and self-organizing communities. But these years, advertising, indebtedness and general consumerism continue to persuade many in a passivity that blocks the necessary participation in the transition. The question is whether awakening will happen on this or the other side of the time where the tipping point occurs.

Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Juhl-Nielsen resides in Copenhagen.

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