Front and backpage MAY2018 1Denne leder blev bragt i forårsnummeret af Revolutionære Socialisters engelsksprogede avis Revolt

Internationally Denmark is known as a Social Democratic paradise. Universal free healthcare, free education and liberal political freedom. But reality is somewhat different.

Almost all political parties in parliament - with the exception of the Unity List and the Alternative to some degree - have embarked on a massive shift to the right which has accelerated in the past 12 months. They are all competing to be the most rabid reactionaries, chauvinists and racists. Being “tough on immigration,” “tough on crime,” “tough on Russia” tough on everything except the rich and powerful, of course. In this country the conventional wisdom has been that this is the ticket to popularity for any political party. “It is what the voters want,” has been the explanation from the political pundits and commentators.

In reality the political establishment has never been more unpopular since it cooperated with the Nazi-occupation forces during the Second World War.

It is as if the political elite, the media and commentators live on another planet. The average worker in Denmark is first and foremost concerned about the continuous cuts to healthcare, unemployment benefits, education etc.

Yes, it is true that the incessant campaign against immigrants which has put the blame for all the cuts on their shoulders has had some effect on the working class… for now. But this is mainly because none of the political parties have offered any alternative explanation as to why we see constant austerity. All of the parties, even the Unity List, have accepted that “numbers matter” when it comes to immigration.

At the same time the Unity List tries to convince the workers that the cuts are only happening for ideological reasons. Meanwhile the workers can see from news reports all over the world that governments of all sorts are imposing austerity. Even the previous Social Democratic government introduced extreme measures against the working class. The only conclusion the population can draw from this seems to be that “we” cannot afford the welfare state anymore. That “we” don’t have enough to share with all the immigrants of this world. This reasoning apparently makes sense. The only problem with this “analysis”, that the “we” is actually capitalism. Capitalism cannot afford decent living conditions for the workers of the world anymore, not even in Social Democratic Scandinavia.

Let us be clear: The Danish welfare state has a lot of fat to trim before the knife hits the bone compared to other European countries, not to mention non-European countries. But in terms of the effect on the consciousness of the working class the important thing is the relative decline compared to what the Danish population is used to.

And now something interesting is happening. The racist discourse which has been dominant for a long time is now starting to tear at the seams. Especially the clash between the unions and the government over the negotiations about a new collective bargaining agreement for the public sector workers has brought the class question to the fore.

The government threatened a lockout against almost half a million workers to impose vicious attacks and reduce the influence of the unions. At the same time the government has been handing out tax cuts to the rich. The ministers and especially the Prime Minister is involved in one semi-corruption scandal after another. The Danish workers are starting to realise that something really is rotten in the state of Denmark, and it stinks from the top.

What we are witnessing is the beginnings of a change in consciousness: workers and youth are beginning to realize that austerity will not end. There is no “final” cut, after which things starts to get better again. It just goes on and on, while the rich get richer. And it will continue until we stand up, organize and take matters into our own hands. Let’s smash this system and build a world where the economy is in service of the people and not the other way around.


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