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Sweden

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Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Jun 19 2006 11:48
Sweden

Hi

Sweden, I mean, what can you say? I recently conceded to the notion that Swedes are prone to top themselves due to lack of sunlight as opposed to boredom with their system of social welfare.

This poses a couple of questions that I can’t quite give satisfying answers for…

1.

What is wrong with Sweden? What problems do Swedes have? (apart from accumulating more leisure).

2.

Why do the Brits not like the Swedish model? Is it impossible for us due to our lack of natural resources? Or is it against the national character? Or is it shit?

Love

LR

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the button
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Jun 19 2006 11:51

*resists temptation to google "Swedish model"*

Steve
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Jun 19 2006 11:58

Problem for Sweden is the lack of goals which is strange given they have Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

ticking_fool
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Jun 19 2006 12:06

Top image result is this (with safe search on I think)

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Lazy Riser
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Jun 19 2006 12:12

Hi

Honestly. See what happens when I do a "serious post"? I'm going back to sarky one-liners.

Love

LR

revolutionrugger
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Jun 19 2006 13:46

Racial homogeny. Late industrialization. No colonial period. Negative population growth. I'm not sure, having not given sweden much thought, but i'm pretty sure these things made achieving a level of socialism alot easier for that section of the workingclass.

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Jun 19 2006 14:03

Hi

That and the hydro-electric power, iron order and timber. Are you advocating a Swedish-Socialist model? I feel an afraser moment coming on.

Anyway, from “Poverty Persistence in Sweden”…

http://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp1209.html

Quote:
The results suggest that poverty is a condition experienced mostly by a small subpopulation but with high persistence. The groups that are most vulnerable and that have both low exit probabilities and high entry probabilities are households with children and immigrant households. Short-term income support programs - such as social assistance, and child- and housing allowances - might not be sufficient to permanently move these groups out of poverty.

Is this the same in the UK? The equivalent report for us is chargeable!

What’s going on around the Rover plant? Did the expected economic meltdown actually occur…

http://www.eef.org.uk/westmid/whatwedo/information/briefings/mgrover.htm

Love

LR

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Jun 19 2006 14:14
revolutionrugger wrote:
Racial homogeny. Late industrialization. No colonial period. Negative population growth.

never underestimate what negative population growth and liberal improvements to the position of women can do to the general welfare of the population smile

Sweden also has the highest unionisation level of the workers, that must count for something.

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Jun 19 2006 14:36

Hi

Quote:
Sweden also has the highest unionisation level of the workers, that must count for something

As much a consequence of the economic conditions as a cause. I’m still struggling to move forward on my original query. What’s wrong with Sweden? Is it only a matter of time before it all falls apart or can welfare-capitalism go on forever?

Love

LR

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Jun 19 2006 14:37

and a large syndicalist union

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Lazy Riser
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Jun 19 2006 14:40

Hi

Oh for fuck's sake then. If they're so perfect, why don't they just vote capitalism out? Is it working for them?

Love

LR

Blacknred Ned
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Jun 19 2006 15:11

I understood that the Swedish social democratic model was indeed showing the strain of its half century and more of predominance.

Along with the other advantages Sweden has enjoyed I think we should take into account its historic neutrality and (I'm guessing here) its low expenditure on "defence".

There are plenty of people hacked off with what Sweden is like and plenty of problems. Imagine living in a society shaped by social democrats for three generations with a state monopoly on beer! Cor blimey, with that and the long dark winters no wonder there's a lot of suicides!

ghostzart
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Jun 19 2006 15:13
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

Oh for fuck's sake then. If they're so perfect, why don't they just vote capitalism out? Is it working for them?

Love

LR

From the ruling Social Democratic Party's platform:

Quote:
Social Democracy rejects the economic fundamentalism embraced by the right and the left, which propose one single form of ownership in the economy as a whole as a precondition for a good society. (pg. 20)

This one is good too smile

Quote:
Reformism and revolution

One line of thought, the revolutionary one, started from the idea that the fall of capitalism

would be the end of history. According to this line you need not await the final crisis of

capitalism. (A group of single-minded revolutionaries could speed up the course of events and

by means of a coup and the use of violence direct developments along the lines decreed by

history) These ideas were developed in a communist and an anarchistic direction both of

which rejected the democratic way for social change. By doing so they also rejected in

practice the idea of people’s equal value, since they did not give everybody the same right to

participate in shaping the future.

revolutionrugger
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Jun 19 2006 15:19

fence sitting sons-o-bitches. Fuck 'em.

Havin healthcare must be nice though.

*sigh*

**writes another check to insurance company, 401(k), and car insurance company**

revolutionrugger
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Jun 19 2006 15:19

fence sitting sons-o-bitches. Fuck 'em.

Havin healthcare must be nice though.

*sigh*

**writes another check to insurance company, 401(k), and car insurance company**

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Jun 19 2006 15:30
Blackn'red Ned wrote:
I understood that the Swedish social democratic model was indeed showing the strain of its half century and more of predominance.

as a finn (finland has essentially the same social democratic model) i have heard loads of talk about this "strain" but its usually just right wing propaganda, or what do you mean by strain (as in essentially different from the normal capitalist attacks to any benefits or advances working class has made in any country).

Quote:

Along with the other advantages Sweden has enjoyed I think we should take into account its historic neutrality and (I'm guessing here) its low expenditure on "defence".

for a "neutral" country they have spend loads on defence and are only now getting rid of the hugely expensive compulsory army. Perhaps they played it well when Saab etc swedish companies made the arms used by the army - kind of like public funded jobs i guess.

Quote:
a state monopoly on beer! Cor blimey, with that and the long dark winters no wonder there's a lot of suicides!

smile sweden doesn have nearly as many suicides as finland wink

anyways, of course there are loads of problems and it is not workers paradice by any means - but compared to any other capitalist country in the world i'd rather be in countries like sweden, finland or norway arguing for libertarian communism.

but then again i am a reformist bastard who doesn't understand that it is better to have absolutely dire and hopeless conditions for the working class to avert reformist tendencies wink

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Jun 19 2006 15:46

Hi

Quote:
but compared to any other capitalist country in the world i'd rather be in countries like sweden, finland or norway arguing for libertarian communism.

Why would they want "libertarian communism"? What's in it for them? Monsieur Dupont (my favourite communists) argue that we’ll have to tolerate medieval levels of technology under communism. I can’t see the Swedes going for that.

So JDMF, you think Swedish-Welfare-Capitalism can go on forever? Looks like it.

Love

LR

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Jun 19 2006 16:24

Arent most of the North Countries just country bumpkins, who because the ruling classes werent able to consolidate their strength in numbers had to rely on a generous welfare system?

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Jun 19 2006 16:44
those wierd norwegian poseurs wrote:

Although the system by now is significantly anarchist, i.e. within the Quadrant of Anarchism on the economic political map, it is somewhat far from the anarchist ideal on the top of the map. Thus, it is plenty of room for improvement from anarchist perspective, and by no means time for a break in the fight against authoritarian tendencies. The revolution must be fought permanent, in the daily life, to sustain and develope further. However, as long as a) Norway stays out of EU, b) populist and nationalist tendencies are put at place, and c) the left and right tendencies outbalance each other reasonable as by now, Norway will probably stay anarchist, and be a lighthouse for EU and the rest of the world.

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Jun 19 2006 17:00
Lazy Riser wrote:

Why would they want "libertarian communism"? What's in it for them?

working class is still working class even in the social democratic context, the first ones to lose, first ones to be sent to die in wars, last ones to have any say in their lives, workplaces etc. The usual stuff.

I think a real test for these politics is exactly the question you are asking. I hate it when lib communism/anarchist is portrayed as an ideology of despair, only attractive to people in total utter poverty and desperation. Much of our literature and discussion goes around that as well, hyping up the absolute worst examples all the time etc. This is of course valid as long as these examples exist (and they do in sweden as well mind) but our whole ideology shouldn't be based on that.

Quote:
So JDMF, you think Swedish-Welfare-Capitalism can go on forever? Looks like it.

aye, look at the production rates for instance, sweden and finland are one of the most productive countries in the world, motorola and nokia are still basing their headquarters and R&D divisions there despites of empty threaths to leave to cheaper countries and so on. The capitalists are not too concerned, of course they would like to cut costs and reduce unions power but the production rates make it up many times over.

Blacknred Ned
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Jun 19 2006 17:34

Interesting stuff JDMF, yes of course you are right about Swedish arms sales and so on.

On a slightly different tack, I think you are on to something when you argue against libertarian communism and anarchism always being seen as the ideology of despair. Whilst despair certainly has provided a revolutionary stimulus in some places at some times I reckon that the kind of prosperity and security (albeit with a stench rising from the basement) offered by some industrial societies in the 20thC and even perhaps to the present can give people the time and space to think about freedom and post-scarcity.... looking for the post-capitalist truth behind the hollow rhetoric of consumerist abundance.

Examples of this other than Scandinavia might be America in the 1950s and even Britain in the 1960s.

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Jun 19 2006 18:18

Hi

Lazy Riser wrote:
Monsieur Dupont (my favourite communists) argue that we’ll have to tolerate medieval levels of technology under communism.
Jack wrote:
Really?

I'll PM you his PM to me. I'm sure he won't mind, Mr I-pod.

OliverTwister wrote:
Although the system by now is significantly anarchist…

To be fair, they were a crank outfit…

http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/anorg-warning.html

JDMF wrote:
working class is still working class even in the social democratic context, the first ones to lose, first ones to be sent to die in wars, last ones to have any say in their lives, workplaces etc

Swedish examples please. Is there a Swedish-style Ryton? Did they ever close down their iron ore mines to implement IMF “structural reforms”? I don’t think so.

JDMF wrote:
This is of course valid as long as these examples exist (and they do in sweden as well mind)

Swedish examples please (and not “immigrants” either).

Lazy Riser wrote:
So JDMF, you think Swedish-Welfare-Capitalism can go on forever? Looks like it.
JDMF wrote:
aye, look at the production rates for instance

Thanks for your candour, JDMF.

Blackn'red Ned wrote:
Examples of this other than Scandinavia might be America in the 1950s…

Are we talking about the same America comrade?

Quote:
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmccarthyism.htm

At first Joseph McCarthy mainly targeted Democrats associated with the New Deal policies of the 1930s. Harry S. Truman and members of his Democratic administration such as George Marshall and Dean Acheson, were accused of being soft on communism. Truman was portrayed as a dangerous liberal and McCarthy's campaign helped the Republican candidate, Dwight Eisenhower, win the presidential election in 1952.

Blackn'red Ned wrote:
…and even Britain in the 1960s

Never was the “hollow rhetoric of consumerist abundance” heard with greater clarity than in the swinging sixties, or the naughty nineties. Perhaps the Yanks and the Brits just prefer the law of the jungle and the chance of ostentatious status to subsidised jobs and expensive beer. After all, those poor enough to be driven to political revolt are too marginalised to be of any consequence in either the UK, the U.S. or Sweden, so maybe their political systems just reflect cultural preference. Wasn’t there a campaign for socialised health care in Oregon in 2002? I can’t imagine Americans are so dopey they’d be convinced by other vested interests on the strength of TV-ads alone.

Could it be that there is a greater degree of social inequality in the U.S. and the U.K because we generally prefer it like that?

Love

LR

petey
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Jun 19 2006 19:35
JDMF wrote:
but then again i am a reformist bastard who doesn't understand that it is better to have absolutely dire and hopeless conditions for the working class to avert reformist tendencies ;)

grin

petey
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Jun 19 2006 19:53
Lazy Riser wrote:
JDMF wrote:
working class is still working class even in the social democratic context, the first ones to lose, first ones to be sent to die in wars, last ones to have any say in their lives, workplaces etc

Swedish examples please. Is there a Swedish-style Ryton? Did they ever close down their iron ore mines to implement IMF “structural reforms”? I don’t think so.

ayup. it's a toughie, when this sort of think works.

before the Great Hack, i was wondering on some thread that i've now forgotten, how we types on this board should expect those with some degree of social/economic/personal security to give it up during the upheval that "must necessarily" precede a deeply libertarian redevelopment. becuase this group isn't just the boozhwah, or the managers; in fact, it would seem to include not a few here. and i don't want to hear anything about "false consciousness", the greatest impediment being not that but laziness, or a perfectly reasonable satisfaction with what they've got.

unless there doesn't have to be an upheval. maybe that's the propaganda key? that "your life will be much the same, but better in every way, and you won't get killed"?

Blacknred Ned
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Jun 19 2006 20:02

There is something I hate more than being called mate! It's being called comrade! Thanks for reminding me L.R. wink

I didn't mean to suggest that America in the 1950s was social democratic just that a certain measure of prosperity (I also qualified this) created some space for the development of a new kind of rejection of the status quo. I know it's arguable but I was trying to highlight the possible role of prosperity in allowing utopian or even libertarian dreams to flourish. Behind the health plans, mortgages and pension security of suburbia there is plenty of rage and potential rebellion.

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Jun 21 2006 09:17

Hi

So am I right in summarising the prevailing view as follows?

1.

The UK “Anarchist Movement” is unable to develop a compelling case against the Swedish-Welfare-Capitalist economic model.

2.

In liberal democracies, those with a direct material interest in insurrection are in such a small minority that their preference is politically irrelevant and will remain so for all eternity.

Love

LR

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Jun 21 2006 11:58

hey i think you are getting the wrong end of the stick here, and knowing you i dont know if it is a deliberate or not smile

what is the difference between swedish model and UK one? small, reformist, incremental differences, nothing dramatic or radically different. The class relations are the same, the ownership and leadership is as concentrated as elsewhere etc. The "examples" of working class misery are almost the same than here.

While recognising this, it would be silly to throw babies out with bathwater ICC style and not recognise how much better it is for the working class to have even small reformist improvements in our conditions.

I would say swedish working class is more militant and way more leftist than the UK one, that should answer your question i think wink

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Jun 21 2006 13:35

Hi

JDMF wrote:
what is the difference between Swedish model and UK one?

There are many. How about…

1.

The policy of reducing income differentials between citizens at the top and bottom of the socio-economic hierarchy.

2.

Strategic energy self sufficiency using Hydro-power.

3.

And not closing down mines, currency devaluation, and cutting social spending to accept IMF imposed austerity measures.

JDMF wrote:
The "examples" of working class misery are almost the same than here.

Really? Perhaps you’d like to check the relative levels of bankruptcy and alcohol dependency amongst non-immigrants in the respective countries. Are things as bad in areas of Sweden as they are in, say, Wales and Devon?

JDMF wrote:
I would say swedish working class is more militant and way more leftist than the UK one, that should answer your question i think

This is a scurrilous and reactionary myth that I’ve seen John. perpetrate as well as your good self. A quick check of UK industrial relations up to 1979, not to mention events in say, 1973, should serve to more than adequately rubbish this feeble assertion.

Love

LR

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Jun 21 2006 13:53

But there's a 10000 strong syndicalist union in Sweden wink

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Jun 21 2006 14:02

Hi

As you said earlier. Your point? On the one hand you’re defending the Swedish model and on the other you’re attacking it. The popular Syndicalist union is an integrated part of Swedish-Welfare-Capitalism and is as much to blame for its problems as it is its “success”. Now, what are its problems?

I ask, because despite the new page, I'm dissapointed that...

1.

The UK "Anarchist Movement" can't construct a convincing case against reformist positions.

2.

The UK "Anarchist Movement" seems to see poverty as a marginal problem alongside other "oppressions and injustices", and no fit issue for revolutionaries who should instead argue for petit-bourgeois social ecology.

Love

LR

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Jun 21 2006 14:28
Lazy Riser wrote:
JDMF wrote:
I would say swedish working class is more militant and way more leftist than the UK one, that should answer your question i think

This is a scurrilous and reactionary myth that I’ve seen John. perpetrate as well as your good self. A quick check of UK industrial relations up to 1979, not to mention events in say, 1973, should serve to more than adequately rubbish this feeble assertion.

I would've thought JDMF's comment would be accurate.

But I just see this, from the ILO:

Quote:
Days not worked due to strikes and lockouts

Country – 1997 - 1998

Sweden - 23,577 - 1,677

UK - 234,700 - 282,400

http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/download/articles/2003-3.pdf

I would say workers are more left-wing generally in Sweden though.

As for these:

Quote:
1.

The UK "Anarchist Movement" can't construct a convincing case against reformist positions.

confused Bits of it can, bits can't. And?

Quote:
2.

The UK "Anarchist Movement" seems to see poverty as a marginal problem alongside other "oppressions and injustices", and no fit issue for revolutionaries who should instead argue for petit-bourgeois social ecology.

Social ecology is not petit-bourgeois, the first part of this statement is just silly.