Where are all the progressives? Where are you, democratic socialists? Where are you left-wing oriented activists? This permanently present question in the fight against the alcohol industry is still echoing without answers.
You are 23 years old, you are a vegetarian, you detest Arla for what they do to cows, you worship Oatly, buy all your clothes from second hand stores and you love Jonas Sjöstedt. But on weekends you booze your brains out and apologize later on Instagram for any bad behavior.
You are 19 years old, you get involved in SSU, you sit in some mossy committee that you like to brag about on Twitter, you hate capitalism more than anything else in the whole wide world and after every local club meeting you go out with the same people to the nearest and best bar to gulp down cheap beer.
The alcohol industry is one of the most oppressive and environmentally harmful industries.”
What these two personality types have in common is their ideological conviction that society needs to change and their lack of responsibility regarding their own alcohol consumption.
The alcohol industry is one of the most oppressive and environmentally harmful industries. And yet, not a single suggestion comes from the Left Party or the Social Democrats on how to prevent young people being put in harm’s way by the ruthless and exploitative alcohol industry.
International solidarity must be pursued on a broad front by all who say they cherish it. No one is free until everyone is free.
As long as people suffer from alcohol harm and are exploited by the capitalist interests of Big Alcohol, we will not rest in the UNF, but we cannot fight the battle on our own.
And so still unanswered question remains: Where are you progressives?
*This article was originally published on April 30, 2020, in Swedish at Motdrag.se under the title: “UNGA VÄNSTERORIENTERADE ÄR DE STÖRSTA HYCKLARNA”, translation by Movendi International
For further reading:
Arla Foods amba is a Scandinavian multinational cooperative based in Viby, Denmark, and the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia.
Oatly is a vegan food brand from Sweden which produces alternatives to dairy products from oats.
Jonas Sjöstedt is a Swedish politician who used to be the chairman of the Left Party since 2012 until recently, and who is a former metalworker.
The Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (Swedish: Sveriges Socialdemokratiska Ungdomsförbund, or SSU) is a branch of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and the Swedish Trade Union Confederation in Sweden. It has around 10,000 members.
The alcohol industry is manufacturing death, disease, disability and destruction worldwide. Big Alcohol – consisting of producers, distributors, retailers and marketers of alcohol products – has accumulated so much financial and political power that it can block and alter public policies that protect Human Rights and that promote sustainable development, social justice and public health.
UNF, the Swedish Youth Temperance Association (Swedish: Ungdomens Nykterhetsförbund, or UNF) is the largest Swedish movement of young people to promote solidarity and democracy through sobriety. Motdrag is UNF’s drug policy magazine. UNF is member of Movendi International.
As a recovering alcoholic liberal, not a progressive, I couldn’t agree more