Tag Archives: Norway

Is Socialist Norway A Shining Example Marx Was Right?

As capitalist economies collapse, as unemployment soars to new levels, there remains the case of Norway which is based on Socialist principles and had endured the crisis without encountering the problems of capitalism. Several economists are now returning to the ideas of Karl Marx in order to re-think his comments concerning the destiny of capitalism. A difficulty in discussing “Socialism” with modern people is their confusion concerning the term. Many associate “Socialism” with the USSR which used that expression or NAZI Germany which used the expression. This is akin to saying: “Christians conducted the Inquisition. Christians committed genocide in the New World, therefore, all Christians are guilty of genocide and believe in the Inquisition.” There are Christians and there are Christians. Make a list of people who refer to themselves as “Christian” and have absolutely nothing in common with one another.

Marx was NOT the initial Socialist. There were “Utopian Socialists” prior to him and he hated Utopian Socialists. Several Utopian Socialists experiments were attempted in America during the 19th century. Among the best selling books in 19th century America was Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward” which describes a free Socialist America in 2000 which has eliminated poverty. Marx accurately identified that Capitalists were greedy and exploited people creating the concept of ‘alienation’ of the worker from his/her work. He described the spread of globalization and competition between capitalists in the world–certainly his prediction is accurate. He predicted there would be rising unemployment and urged a society in which the needs of workers would be protected from the evil of exploitation. He misinterpreted the ability of some capitalists to recognize workers needed decent pay in order to purchase products. But, has not the greed of Wall Street exemplified his belief the first priority of capitalists is their own welfare, not that of society or those who do the work of in society?

My comments are simplistic and reduce complexity of economics to a few cliches,(sorry, Marx can not be explained in a sentence or so),but how do critics of Socialism explain that Norway has been using Socialist principles and has created a modern society which provides a high standard of living and the government runs a surplus including a $300 billion fund to invest for the future? In Capitalist America, 45 million people lack medical care, in Capitalistic America there is no free early childhood care, in Capitalist America there are no paid paternity and maternity leaves for couples, in Capitalist America there is no base economic security for those who lose their jobs.

The future will eventually lead to combining the best features of Capitalism with the best features of socialism. In the first decade of the 20th century, the American Socialist Party led by Gene Debs urged addressing the ills of capitalism without calling for its end. It was Gene Debs who opposed the madness of America’s blunder in entering World War I rather than seeking to end the fighting. And, Gene Debs remains the only presidential candidate in American history who was imprisoned for opposing a war.

Perhaps, it is time to study what is beneficial in Norway and apply some of those principles in order to save capitalism from its own greed. Who today can deny that Marx was right about the inherent selfishness and greed of capitalists? I have a hunch those being fired would prefer a dose of socialism that would provide them a decent unemployment package, including access to medical care.

Norwegian Politicians Spreads Hate!

If you live in Norway, head for the fjords because them Muslims is headed your way to spread their headscarves and funny eating habits all over the nation of Norway. Progress Party leader Siv Jensen warned that Norway is in danger of being overwhelmed by “those people” and we all know who “those people” are, don’t we? In the 1930s, “those people” were the Jews and today they are the Muslims according to the idiot lady who leads a Norwegian political party. She warns Norwegians that Muslims want to impose their ideas on the nation as part of what she termed “a subtle Islamification” of her beloved country. I bet those Middle Eastern people don’t even like to ski on the slopes of the mountains!

This courageous defender of racism promised if her party gained power it would rule under the banner of Norway for Norwegians and there would not be any special privileges for any religion. I believe she would be pleased if all Arabs hit the road to Baghdad and never came back. So, tell me, Ms. Jensen, were the present Norwegian people always in the country or did they come from elsewhere?

Don’t Hit Children Says Islamic Council

The Islamic Council of Norway has come out against hitting children and made clear that a Muslim parent had no right to use physical violence against a child. The statement came in the midst of extensive discussions by the Norwegian government concerning the rights of children to be free from use of violence against them. In 1995, the Supreme Court of Norway said that giving one’s child a light disciplinary smack was not illegal, but the Norwegian government now wants to end all forms of physical violence against children. State Secretary Astri Aas-Hansen of the Ministry of Justice, said: “It needs to be crystal clear that children have the same legal protection as adults in Norway. Parents also ned to know that they do not have any punishment rights. Just as it is wrong to smack an adult, it is also wrong to smack a child.”

It is about time that Norway came to the conclusion any form of violence against children is wrong. Now, if Norway can export its sensible ideas to the United States we might put an end to physical violence against children in America.

Norwegian PM Urges Obama To Lead

Jens Stoltenberg, prime minister of Norway, is reacting to eight years of failed Bush leadership by urging the newly elected president to assume the fight to restore America’s position in the world as a moral leader. He emphasized his nation wishes to cooperate with the new leader of America, but he also made clear: “we expect the USA to take the international lead on important issues, on the basis of dialogue and cooperation. In order o handle the major global challenges facing us, we need joint solutions. this is true for the financial crisis, the climate policy, the fight against poverty and our efforts for peace and security.”

Most nations of the world want to end the Bush unilateral approach to dealing with major issues. Bush enjoyed being the person who created problems and then sought assistance from other nations in order to clean up his mess. The world is tired of such attitudes toward problems and wants joint cooperation in identifying the best path to solve problems.

Reality Of Trying To Train Afghan Police!

During the past five years, Norwegian police have been assigned the task of retraining Afghans to serve in a modern police force. The latest report of their success and failure leans more to the negative than to the positive. According to the Norwegian police analysis of what has happened over the past five years, the following are indicative of trials and tribulations of the Norwegians:

In July of this year, an Afghan officer who was being trained as an instructor, took two police cars and nine colleagues and headed off to defect to the Taliban.

Tests conducted on the police recruits for the police program revealed 95% of them tested positive for cannabis and amphetamines.

The police were assigned the task of destroying 50,000 hectares of opium production. They destroyed 4,300 hectares.

Female Afghan police officers are the targets of sexual attacks by their superiors.

Afghan police are reportedly freeing persons arrested on narcotics charges in return for bribes.

Torgrim Moseby, who plays a key role in the training program believes many who have been accepted into the program have ties to tribal chiefs and to the Taliban.

Reality is that Afghanistan will not have its problems resolved by additional brigades of soldiers unless there are efforts to restore dignity to members of the Afghan armed forces and ensure they are well paid and properly led.

Racism In Norway Where There Are Few Black Faces

The state church of Norway has found itself embroiled in a conflict over the presence of one of their ministers in the town of Oppdal which is in the mountains. The local church leader has come under sharp criticism after he prevented a pastor, who originally comes from Sierra Leone, from participating in several funerals because relatives did not want a black skin pastor having anything to do with the final send off of their dead relative. Pastor Joseph Moiba has been told by local residents, that people like himself, “don’t fit in Norway” and the pastor has been physically and verbally abused. Nils-Tore Andersen, leader of the state church council, Kirkeradet, is shocked because in his view, the church should be a leader in the fight against racism.

Andersen’s reaction to family complaints concerning a black skinned man participating in funerals was “we try to meet the wishes of families in a funeral, but there’s a limit.” Andersen was upset the local pastor acceded to requests of families and barred Moiba from participating in several funerals.

Moiba is on a sick leave due to stress caused by the incidents and he fears they will resume when he returns to duty. One can only wonder how such intensity of feeling can emerge from people who have so little contact with Africans.

NOrway Reserves Academic Posts For Women Only

Tora Aasland, Minister For Research and Higher Education, has decided to break rules of the European Union which forbid discriminating in hiring due to gender. She said next year’s budget would contain money that is earmarked for academic posts that can only be filled by women. She argued the gap in technology and science is great and there is need to close it by aggressively fostering the hiring of women for academic positions. “We used this method in the 1990’s and I believe that is why we had so many women doing post doctoral work when the scheme was ended in 2003. I hope the earmarked funds will be a useful tool” in closing the gender gap in higher education.

The 1900’s initiative had to be halted due to European Union complaints it violated equal rights. Aasaland intends to lobby for changes that will allow specific programs to deal with gender bias that already exists.

Norway Urges– Let’s Talk With Osama bin Laden!

Raymond Johansen, Norway’s Foreign Minister, has urged his nation to explore the possibility of entering into a dialogue with Osama bin Laden. “You don’t make peace with your friends, but with your enemies.” he noted. He pointed out that President Karzai of Afghanistan had also called for reconciliation among various groups fighting in his nation. Johansen emphasized that negotiation are not a sign of weakness but of strength. His comments came in the wake of a visit to Afghanistan by Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey who is advocating discussions with Taliban leaders. The Swiss Foreign Minister noted that her nation does not have any troops fighting in Afghanistan which makes it logical for it to raise the issue of negotiation.

Despite being willing to have discussions with Osama bin Laden, the Norwegian Foreign Minister has no illusions they would ever occur because the terrorist leader would “prefer rather to take the lives of infidels.” Johansen most probably is correct, but, then again, there is nothing to lose by trying to have discussions.

Somalians Won’t Integrate In Norway

A Somalian woman who came to Norway 10 years ago has just written a sharp indictment of her fellow Somalians for their failure to integrate within Norwegian society. She blames the lack of integration is due to Somali males who fear becoming more Norwegian threatens their culture and control over Somali women. She says many regard the Norwegians as infidels and lack trust or interest in their ideas. The anonymous author of “See Us” fears revealing her real name due to potential violence on the part of male religious fundamentalists. Among her charges against fellow Somalians is that many women “divorce” in order to receive welfare benefits but continue living under the authority of her husband.

The book argues women and children are kept isolated and females face physical brutality from males. At present, there are about 20,000 Somalians living in Norway, mainly concentrated in the Oslo area.

Norway Welcomes Immigrants

At a time when most nations of the world are imposing restrictions on immigrants, Norway is reaching out to encourage refugees to seek a home on its shores. The immigration service of Norway is even publishing what some critics term a “recipe” for winning asylum in the country. Asylum seekers can obtain a higher score if they are homosexuals or if they come from Iraq and face dangers of death at the hands of militants. Immigrants are being encouraged to be part of a woman’s network either in their own land or as part of some international group.

Not only is Norway offering immigrants an opportunity to find safety in its country but government officials are reaching out to Norwegian towns and urging them to provide housing and other benefits in order to assist newcomers secure an affordable life in Norway. The Norwegian approach stands in sharp contrast to that of many other nations