Återkomsten av djungelns lag: om svensk arbetarrörelse och prekariatet
Hobbe’s Leviathan has not only proved important for the theory of International Relations. This explorative study suggests that Hobbe’s experiences from the British civil war (1648-51), “bellum omnium contra omnes”, and the role he gave Leviathan are of vital importance in order to understand the emerging situation on domestic labor markets, in this thesis illustrated by the case of the Swedish labor market. The neoliberal policy pursued during the last decades has implied an erosion of the social contract upon which Leviathan based its legitimacy and has subsequently put in danger social order, social cohesion and social sustainability. Traditionally the labor movement has been relatively unified. However, this is far from the reality of today. Standing (2013) describes a rise of what he calls the precariat - the new dangerous class. While the United Nations-system has moved towards a discourse where Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Human Rights are the utmost security object, this essay argues that it is possible to say that the labor market on the national level has made a return to the phase of anarchy and law of the jungle. The development is contradictory: on one hand R2P is the new paradigm, genetic enhancement and vendettas are objectionable and on the other hand is the law of the jungle the ideal of the free labor market. The main theoretical perspective is the emerging new social class in the Swedish labor market, the precariat, which constitutes the red line through the essay. Qualitative interviews are the method of this study. The people interviewed all work for central organizations: the worker’s educational association, union confederations, Gothenburg’s municipality management, Crossroads, the Social Service Center and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. The aim of this study is to appose whether the chosen informants believe that a rise of a precariat is happening in Sweden or not, as well as if this would risk to shatter the labor movement and in that case which consequences this would have on the unions’ collective battle and bargaining position. In addition is the question about the fact that a large group in the labor market does not have a union voice that represents them addressed. Finally, Polanyi’s second movement is discussed, and the possibilities for such a movement if a unified class struggle no longer exists. None of the information provided by the interviewed disproves Standings theory. From their perspectives, it is possible to say that there is a rise of the precariat in Sweden. The focus on flexibility from the employers’ perspective causes a war of everyone against everyone among the workers. Employers may not only see flexibility as a necessity due to market forces, it may also be an effective tool for weakening the labor movement.