It’s important for workers to understand the history of social democracy, known as “democratic socialism” in the US. Like elsewhere in Europe, in Denmark it arose as part of the working class movement, complete with mass strikes and protests. This is in contrast with what the left-liberal wing of the Democratic Party stands for. Danish Marxist Rolf Peterson explains the history of social democracy in Denmark. He spoke at a Zoom meeting organized by the Workers International Network.
It was interesting to hear this historical perspective. Unfortunately the betrayal of working class people happened here with the Hawke / Keating government in Australia in the signing of the Accord. The promises of occupational health and safety improvements as compromise for the limits on wages were never met. Union membership has declined, wages have been stagnant for years and the same groups Rolf described have been attacked since then ie unemployed, disabled, aged pensioners, single parents, refugees and students. Free education introduced by Whitlam’s labor government was cancelled under Hawke/Keating and a loan system was introduced. Even the superannuation system so lauded by Keating is being dismantled under the cover of Corona. The current right wing government is, like all governments from Blair onwards in UK, slowly eating away at the public health system. Medicare for all was a great triumph which the medical insurance companies and medico privateers have been seeking to dismantle ever since. Our PM is a Trump amigo. He is anti China, anti refugees, doing little to help Indigenous people (in fact stopping their inclusion in the Constitution) overcome the massive inequalities they suffer in health, welfare, housing and incarceration. Australia is becoming more and more unequal and the working class , particularly the young, are forced into part time or casual work with none of the hard fought for benefits of pay and conditions of the past. Don’;t get me started on women!
Thank you Rolf
thank you for the report, magicpoet.