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How Swedes and Norwegians broke the power of the ‘1 percent’

  • The well-purged Norwegian financial sector was not one of those countries that lurched into crisis in 2008; carefully regulated and much of it publicly owned, the sector was solid.
  • The Imperative of Revolutionary Nonviolence

George Lakey, Waging Nonviolence
 
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Associate Editor Jeanette Eastman

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A march in Ådalen, Sweden, in 1931.

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.
 
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Related:

The Imperative of Revolutionary Nonviolence, Brian W. Willson
Nonviolence is not only realistic, it is our only hope if we are to survive with dignity on this planet. As Martin Luther King said, “The issue is no longer between violence or nonviolence, but between nonviolence or nonexistence.”