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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/118

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN DENMARK

accord will work unanimously in friendly co-operation for the common good; and that the resulting conditions will be happier than those under which we are now living. But it is to be wished that this end may be approached, not by the exhortation of the untaught masses, but by studious deliberation and quiet reflection on the lessons of history. These ideas were growing among the social-democrats of Denmark during the last years before the outbreak of the war, although the party was so strictly disciplined that it presented on several occasions a solid front to the other parties. During the progress of the war conditions naturally changed. Foreign elements, largely of Slavic origin, appeared in Copenhagen; and when Bolshevism conquered Russia it won much sympathy in certain quarters here. The Syndicalistic Movement thereby gained ground, though it met with strong opposition from the old social-democracy. Especially within certain trades these teachings, with their touch of idealism, supported, as it is, by the longing of youth for immediate action, have secured a firm foothold. The party has a press which openly defies all its opponents, and not the least the old leaders of the social-democratic party. For some time to come they may not essentially disturb the quiet development of affairs; but our day has been so full of surprises that here, too, we may look for the unexpected to happen. We are justified, however, in holding that few countries are better armed against sudden catastrophes than Denmark; and, if she is spared bolshevist or syndicalistic influence from without, she shows signs, as I hope will appear from this treatise, of a healthy and independent progress, on the lines of her past efficiency and the ideals of her population, toward the solution of the social problem in such a way that it may offer an example to be imitated in several points.