The socialism we want /2

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Wed Jun 7 22:32:23 MDT 2000

> But doesn't Sweden itself have a fine record of successful non-market
> institutions -- powerful labor movements, nationalization of industries,
> public ownership of firms, hefty environmental laws, lots of aid and
> assistance to poorer countries, etc. -- which might be transferable to the
> European Union? Or has the market backlash of the 1980s and 1990s weakened
> or completely erased these gains?
> -- Dennis

Whether or not these gains are erased is irrelevant, Social Democracy was a
slight (only slight) possibility during the decades immediately following
WWII. It takes both a gutsy Soc Dem party AND several consecutive decades to
build a state like Sweeden or Denmark. Moreover, even if there was a chance
that real social democrats could win and hold power like they managed to in
Sweeden, they would still need the bounty of Imperialist profit to do it
without a major bourgeois backlash, leading to the destabilising and
eventually deposing of any state of this type. In other words, Social
Democracy, while preferable to "bare bones capitalism" is far less of an
option than ever before, even without recognising that the traditions of
SD's have been thown away by almost all their adherent parties. The Sweedish
"model" isn't one at all: Environmental laws, labour regulations, etc. have
benn achieved over decades, not this or that term of office. One term of
office for a social democratic party is usually worse than none; it allows
the state the opportunity to hold up said party as a failure, and in only
one or two terms, it will be.

I guess that just leaves the nasty prospect of building a revolution.


More information about the Marxism mailing list