Monday, April 26, 2010

Is Sweden Socialist? — The Rise and Fall of the Swedish Model

Within the left internationally, the question often arises about the politics and economy of the Nordic states, particularly Sweden, and whether these societies represent a form of ‘socialism’ or an alternative to neo-liberal capitalism. Per Olsson of Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden) dissects the ‘Swedish model’, or what is left of it.

"Sweden has always been a solid market economy", states the present right-wing government on its website. And that is certainly true. Sweden has never been a socialist society - based on public ownership of production, workers’ control and management, social equality and a democratic plan of production. Neither has Sweden been a ‘mixed economy’ or provided a ‘third way’ - an alternative to both capitalism and socialism, if such a thing were possible.

However, in the 1960s and in the early 1970s, thanks to the worldwide capitalist boom and a working class movement at home, a welfare system was created that became a model for the rest of the world. Universal welfare financed by public means (through taxation) provided a highly developed education system, world class healthcare, pensions, a childcare system second to none, and numerous other social benefits and insurance cover. The ‘welfare state’ and the social harmony that existed in those days became known as the "Swedish model", although that term already entered circulation in the 1930s.
Socialist Alternative(via Fenian Rising)

No comments:

Post a Comment