This article provides an overview of Norwegian labor history and social democracy, which challenges American capitalism and the labor movement to consider Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for a “third way,” a more humane system mixing highly regulated and taxed capitalism with a strong social system powered by strong unions and a truce between workers and capitalists. The Nordic model flies in the face of American avaricious capitalism and challenges us to consider how a better society might exist even within capitalism. The author, a specialist in southern labor and civil rights history and Martin Luther King studies, urges historians to explore Norwegian and Scandinavian labor history and social democracy to see what it can teach us.

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