Since the collapse of the so-called real socialism has been almost three decades. As a result, the capitalism had greatly strengthened and in Eastern and Western Europe. Large parts of Europe experienced a capitalist counter-revolution.
In 1989 the Wall fell and in 1991 became the history of the Soviet Union. After the ideological cold war left capitalism as the winner. And the capitalists began to behave like true winners. The values that previously were in charge of society, were like trophies divided between the oligarchs and transnational corporations. Millions of people have lost their social security in all parts of the world the decline of the trade Union movement led to the deterioration of living conditions for wage-earners.
A generation later, the population in Eastern Europe, excluding Russia, decreased by 24 million people. Many countries are experiencing a critical Exodus of young and educated population. In Western European countries, the number of the working class increased by many millions due to labour migration from the East.
The idea of a class compromise was dismissed
Few in the West mourned for the Eastern European real socialism. But what happened later showed that this form of socialism indirectly helped to strengthen the position of the Western working class. When there was the ideological rival of Western capitalism largely disappeared and the basis for a class compromise, which for several decades provided a real wage increase for most. As a result, the share of employees in creating values falling, while the owners keep the bonmost of the profits. Social disparities have worsened in all countries, the millions in Western European countries were now below the poverty line.
Thus, the collapse of real socialism was a loss for the working people both in the East and in the West of Europe. It was a triumph of the capitalists, which in practice have freedom of action in much of Europe in the last thirty years. When there is no class compromise, in fact at all levels is the class struggle.
Why is Putin so popular?
If people in the West, it is difficult to understand the reasons for the popularity of Vladimir Putin, this is due to the lack of knowledge about the situation in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is recommended to read the book by Belarusian writer, Nobel prize laureate Svetlana Aleksievich “the End of the red man. Time second hand”. It gives a very vivid idea of how people perceived the time after the fall of communism.
1990-ies in Russia was a time of gangsters and thieves (oligarchs), when people with influence, stolen what belonged to all, and one day became dollar millionaires. For a former Soviet citizen, this meant a catastrophe, security guarantees disappeared, came the triumph of crime. Mental rotation was dramatic, Soviet values were equal to zero, everyone began to rule the wild capitalism, which most of was not quite ready. The dream of Western democracy, if it ever was common, quickly disappeared.
The new Russia has become a laboratory of neoliberal experimentation, supported by the US, the West and international financial institutions. Was introduced unregulated capitalism, without any forces opposing him. The neoliberal shock therapy under Yeltsin Russian deprived of what they had of a decent life.
The Soviet Union had a rating of highly developed countries. According to the human development index, the Soviet Union occupied 25-e a place in the world, while the US — for comparison — was on the 18th position. 10 years after the capitalist counter-revolution Yeltsin Russia found itself in the rankings to 60th place. During the 1990s Russia’s GDP fell by 50%, it was a historic record for any country in peacetime. Real wages of the majority have fallen by 60%. When Yeltsin resigned his post in the new year’s eve 1999, public opinion polls showed that he was supported by 2% of the population. This explains the fact that only 5-6% of Russians now vote for liberal politicians. And that explains the strong positions of Putin.
Although the majority of Russians support Putin, they are, nevertheless, clear that the country’s major social problems. The difference in income in Russia are higher than in all European OECD countries, and also more than in the US. Public opinion polls show that the conflict between rich and poor is the most important issue for Russian voters.
The migration of peoples from the former Eastern bloc countries
The same capitalist counterrevolution carried out in most countries of the Eastern bloc. Large groups of the population have experienced a dramatic deterioration of living conditions. Millions of people responded to these social challenges that emigrated. For thirty years, many States have experienced a dramatic and critical for society, decline of population. Migration, increased mortality and low birth rate are the reasons for this.
Latvia lost every fourth citizen. Bulgaria, Lithuania and Bosnia — every fifth. 18% reduction in the population of Ukraine, 17% — in Moldova and 14% in Romania. It shows how the country was thrown back. Slovenia and the Czech Republic in a sense, exception of downhill spiral. Both countries are opposed to neo-liberal shock therapy and carried out a more gradual transition to a market economy.
Leaving mostly young and educated. Emigration from Eastern Europe has reduced unemployment, it acts as a kind of valve for political tension. Instead of start fighting in the homeland, migration is seen by some as a simple solution. The same mechanism can explain why a strict policy of cuts in countries such as Greece and Spain, has not led to social unrest.
Capitalist counterrevolution in Europe
Four “freedom” within the EEA are cornerstones of the capitalist counter-revolution in Europe. One of the “freedoms”, the agreement on the free movement of labour within the European common labor market provides an endless stream of labor to the West. As a result, the wages of a significant part of the West European working class is stagnating or even declining.
When this happens while employees in Europe are faced with a massive attack on the rights of the conquered, what is now new is called the modernisation of working life, the capitalist counter-revolution affects the entire EU region. An increasing number of Europeans are forced to take worse-paid jobs, in many countries, this takes place in cooperation with social services and the state insurance division, which require that those living on benefits, and worked to get them.
The European trade Union movement is losing ground. It was only slightly able to organize migrant workers, who are often recruited for work through recruitment agencies and who work on short-term contracts. For this temporary labour contracts do not renew, or enterprises where there is Union, simply bankrupt. The last one we saw recently in “Norchet, Produksjon” (Norse Production) in the municipality of Sund (Sund).
In many countries, Union members are about 20% of workers, and sometimes less. This applies to such major European countries as Germany, Spain and France. In this latest Union members constitute only 8% of employees. In Norway the level of organization decreases. In 2016, only 49% of employees were Union members. When the majority is not in the Union, the power of the employer increases, especially when it happens in parallel with the modernization of the European legislation that impact on working life in Norway through the EEA agreement.
Today, the EU ensures that other policies. Political rules of the game in the EU system makes it virtually impossible to conduct a social-democratic or socialist policies. So all this talk pseudaletia about changing the EU from within — political fiction.
Social dumping has become a part of business
Common European legislation is designed to serve the interests of capital. For the most cynical buyers of labour, social dumping has become part of the business. In our country a number of cases of exploitation of migrants, also attracted attention.
We saw this with the example of the scandal surrounding the joint stock company “orange HELSE as” (Orange Helse AS), which picks up the staff for hospitals and nursing homes and caregivers. Nurses hired in Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary and Slovakia. The complex structure of the company contributed to the concealment of cash flows and complicates the control of the society. When all was revealed, it turned out that the Latvian nurses who worked for the company in Norway has received 74 of the crown per hour. Simultaneously, the Latvian authorities sounded the alarm due to the fact that the country lacks nurses.
Another example — the company “Lenonardo” (RenoNorden), which won a tender for the removal and recycling in 150 communes. She had a contract with the company on recruitment in Latvia, but the tender conditions were so bad that working in such conditions nobody wanted. The solution was to import workers from Ukraine. In the end the owners of the company went bankrupt, but first they got millions of profit.
Capitalism is unpopular
No one should think that capitalism is strengthened by the fact that he is popular. Where capitalist counterrevolution is more advanced, it is also the least popular. Reactionary right-wing nationalists to a large extent collected dividends of popular discontent in Eastern Europe, we’ve seen that in Western European countries.
However, many of the socialist forces are on the rise. The concept of “socialism” are not necessarily the same intimidating effect on the generation born after the cold war. Young people want to have a free education, get jobs and housing without having to become slaves of loans. Clear voices, promoting socialist thinking, now receive such support, which a few years ago it was impossible and to dream.
In Norway, growing the party to the left of the market-liberal Norwegian labour party. The more clearly it becomes the visible face of the counter-revolutionary capitalism, the greater may be the support of the socialist project.