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.
Norway’s Democratic Challenge: Revisiting the Third Way
MICHAEL K. HONEY is a Radcliffe Institute fellow at Harvard University and former Guggenheim fellow, author of five books of labor and civil rights studies, and editor of Martin Luther King’s labor speeches. His recent book is To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice (2018). He is the Haley Endowed Professor of Humanities at the University of Washington Tacoma and a past president of LAWCHA as well as Harry Bridges chair of labor studies at the University of Washington.
Michael Honey; Norway’s Democratic Challenge: Revisiting the Third Way. Labor 1 December 2020; 17 (4): 34–62. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-8643472
Download citation file: