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Scandinavia on the Skids: The Failure of Social Democracy

Scandinavia on the Skids: The Failure of Social Democracy

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Scandinavia on the Skids: The Failure of Social Democracy

119 pagine
1 ora
May 19, 2017


Bernie Sanders and millions more misunderstand what socialism and social democracy are, and what economic-social system Scandinavia has been built on for the past decades. This is not a matter of concern only for the last election campaign in the United States of America (USamerica) but is important for everyone to know what these terms actually signify. That is my first objective.
My second objective is to explain that social democracy is failing in the countries that had adopted this form of capitalism, namely because the capitalist system, currently going under the name of free market globalization, no longer judges it is be necessary for their profits and world domination.
My final objective is to point us in a direction that could be of benefit to the whole world, and that requires an end of capitalism.
My work here is not primarily theoretical but mainly based on personal experiences from living three decades in Scandinavia (Denmark mainly), eight years in Cuba and seven more in other Latin American countries, 40 years USamerica, and traveling extensively in many other lands.
My writing in six of these seven chapters includes information from interviews and encounters I have had with leading politicians in Scandinavia, including former prime ministers of Denmark and Sweden a former president of Iceland.
My writing style often contains “the salty bite of authenticity in a Damon Runyan sort of way.” So wrote Theodore MacDonald, a former professor, author, musician and doctor, about my book, “Cuba Beyond the Crossroads.”
I have had nine books published in USamerica, England, Germany, and India. Six books deal with Cuba—the best know is “Backfire: The CIA’s Biggest Burn.” Others are: “Yankee Sandinistas”, “Sounds of Venezuela”, and “Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka”. I am the co-author of three other books, two in Danish.
This is my first attempt at self-publishing an ebook.

May 19, 2017

Informazioni sull'autore

Ron Ridenour was born in the US Military Empire, 1939. After four years in the Air Force, he rejected the American Dream, in 1961, and has since acted as an anti-war, anti-racist and solidarity radical activist (Long Hot Summer, 1964, in Mississippi; Wounded Knee AIM 1973; anti-Vietnam war coordinator in Los Angeles). He has lived in many countries and worked as a journalist-editor-author-translator for five decades, including for Cuba’s Editorial José Martí and Prensa Latina (1988-96). He has lived in Denmark for three decades agitating against its vassal state mentality and warmongering.

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Scandinavia on the Skids - Ron Ridenour

Scandinavia on the Skids

The Failure of Social Democracy

by Ron Ridenour

Copyright © 2017 Ron Ridenour

All rights reserved.

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This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this ebook with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

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1. Denmark: SOS Save Our Sovereignty

2. Roots to social democracy/capitalism, socialism

3. Sweden-Finland-Norway Globalization Blues

4. Iceland, this is where bankers go to jail

5. Denmark: Bernie Sanders for Prime Minister

6. Denmark: Rogue State

7. Denmark: Return of the Vikings

Denmark: SOS Save Our Sovereignty

I first met Denmark’s last truly Social Democratic Prime Minister, Anker Joergensen, in his state office, unannounced, in late 1980.

Grethe and I had just been married. We had met the year before in Los Angeles where I had been a participatory journalist, and activist for social/racial/gender equality and against the Vietnam War. I wanted to start a new life with Grethe in her peaceful, social democratic land.

I took odd jobs and did free lance writing for some Danish media, and progressive media in the US and England. As such, I often walked from Grethe’s centrally located Copenhagen apartment to Christiansborg. The palace is the only building in the world that houses all government branches. The royal palace stood beside the seat of economic power, Denmark’s Stock Exchange (Boersen).

Sometimes I covered official politics from my palace playground, as my new wife quipped. The six story building is a labyrinth of hard wooden stairs, long hallways and hundreds of offices. On my second trip inside, I ambled about unable to find the stairs that led directly to the balcony reserved for journalists covering the parliament. There were no guards and no signs on most doors. I stopped before a high door and turned the bronze polished handle.

A small man sat behind a large desk. He turned about to look at me, a smile on his face. I flushed and spurted an apology for disturbing what I realized was the nation’s political leader.

That’s quite alright. No problem, replied the prime minister unperturbed. His face wrinkled cozily through a black-white mustache and goatee. Thinning black hair was brushed back revealing a partially bald scalp. No guards or assistants appeared as I quietly closed the big door.

Later in the 1980s, I spoke a few times with the unassuming man when he was no longer prime minister yet still the Social Democratic (SD) party leader. We attended Danish union meetings with delegates from unions in Central America, men and women under threat by death squads working with the CIA and US military advisors backing murderous dictatorial regimes.

In 1985, I again met Anker, as he was known by all, standing beside his old-fashioned, gearless bicycle in the dead of winter. I asked him, as I had Palme, if he would be on standby if we had use for his political influence during the Central American peace-solidarity march. Anker readily agreed, and he did act when our marcher in El Salvador got arrested.

38 Danes were jailed by Iraq during the first Gulf War. Anker Joergensen went to Baghdad 1990 and convinced Saddam Hussein to free 16 of them

Anker started his working life as a bicycle messenger, then as an unskilled warehouse worker. He quickly was made a shop steward and worked his way up the union ladder. In the 1960s, he actively opposed the US war against Vietnam. Anker participated in Denmark sessions of the Russell-Sartre Tribunal, in 1968. He was a supporter of the oppressed in many parts of the world, and of the 1968 Danish student uproar. It was therefore with sadness for many on the left and the more militant class conscious workers that he decided to support Denmark’s admission to the EU, then called the EF, in 1972. Anker often found himself in the middle of political controversies.

During his two terms as Prime Minister, 1972-82 (minus 1973-5), he extended the social welfare system, the last state leader to do so. He got the pre-retirement benefits law passed, (at 62 years instead of waiting for old age pension at 67); increased paid vacations to five weeks for everyone; guaranteed pay raises for public employees; guaranteed social assistance, and more.

In Anker’s time, Denmark was known abroad as a tolerant, peaceful, civil liberties/freedom-loving land. Its foreign policy was based on peace. Anker supported the so-called footnote foreign policy (1982-8) when Denmark opposed placing NATO nuclear missiles in Europe. The anti-war movement had already convinced the Establishment not to allow NATO military exercises and atomic weapons on its territory. There were several serious confrontations between the US and Denmark because of this.

No to Danish war participation: Anker Jørgensen in front of the US Embassy in Copenhagen March 15, 2003. Photo Stop Terrorkrigen

Anker died peacefully, March 20, 2016, at 93. A people’s man, he lived all his adult life, until he entered a senior’s home, in a moderate apartment in a working class district of the capital city.

Denmark was a vanguard country in sexual freedom and gender equality. Brothels were legal as far back as in the 1870s. For some of 1900s sex for sale was illegal but allowed. Denmark was the first country in the world to legalize pornography, July 1969. Freetown Christiania is a major tourist attraction. It belonged to the military when, on September 4, 1971, the abandoned military area of 34 hectares was occupied by neighbors who broke down the fence. They set up living quarters in abandoned barracks and some built their own housing. Youth House was a legal underground Copenhagen center for music and free lifestyle, mainly used by autonomists and leftists for two decades until 2007. Denmark was also the first country to legalize same-sex sexual activity, in 1933; and legalize homosexual/lesbian/transvestite marriage, on June 15, 2012. Since 1977, the consent age for sex of any kind by any gender is 15.

Nevertheless, as a member of NATO and EU, Denmark cooperates with both pro-US institutions, including in war games. Ironically, it was after the fall of communism and the end of the cold war that Denmark decided to begin its activist foreign policy, based upon following the US into its wars, including breaking up Yugoslavia, the

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