[Marxism] On Sweden

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Thu Aug 5 19:58:32 MDT 2010

On Thu, 05 Aug 2010 19:35:15 -0400 Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> writes:

> (Forwarded from Anthony Brain.)
> The polls shows a class polarisation within Sweden.  Polls
> for the centre left show a massive working class and elements
> of a middle class radicalisation.  If the Fascists hold the balance
> of power for the centre right it could escalate class tensions
> further.  It could also destroy them with by being involved with
> increased austerity measures.  This is what happened to the
> right wing Austrian populist Freedom Party from 2000 to 2005.
> Despite dangers of the Fascists holding the balance of power it
> is not elections which  ultimately determine the balance of class
> forces but battles in the streets.  If the Fascists threats 
> accelerates
> it could provoke a deeper revolutionary upheaval by workers not
> wanting their mass organisations smashed.  Sweden is split right
> down the middle with class polarisations in which revolutionaries
> coud influence events.

If Anthony is correct then the Swedish political situation
looks a lot like the one that country experienced in the
early 1930s, when the country for a time, seemed to be
tottering on the brink of civil unrest, if not civil war.
It was the return of the Social Democrats into office
which eventually resolved the situation, in which
that party forged a compromise with the country's
capitalist class, in which the Social Democrats
agreed to leave the economy in the hands of
the capitalists, who in turn agreed to let the
Social Democrats build a welfare state.

However, Sweden's position in the world,
economically and geopolitically was rather
different from what it is now.  Sweden
was neutral in both world wars and
later was neutral in the cold war.
That allowed the country to prosper
by doing business with both sides in
all of these conflicts. In the post-cold war
era, Sweden no longer has that option.
And, now a days, Sweden is a member
of the EU, and so its economy is much
more integrated with the rest of Europe.
Under such circumstances, there seems
much less room for a party like the
Social Democrats to forge the kinds
of compromises, that in the past were
able to bring that country social peace
and economic prosperity.
Jim Farmelant

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