July 30, 2018

If democratic socialism is so bad, why is Norway so great?

Ryan Cooper, The Week - Democratic socialism is a political tradition aiming broadly at democratic control of the economy, achieved through electoral processes. In concrete terms, that generally means a completed cradle-to-grave welfare state plus democratic ownership of big swathes of the economy through mechanisms like a social wealth fund or state-owned enterprises. Importantly, this definition rules out authoritarian systems like the state socialism seen in the Soviet Union. ... American conservatives have one international example in their case against democratic socialism: Venezuela. ....Venezuela may embrace socialism, but it definitely doesn't embrace democratic socialism.

A more important rejoinder to this argument is Norway (and the other Nordic countries to a lesser extent). Norwegian workers are heavily protected, with 70 percent of workers covered by union contracts, and over a third directly employed by the government...

Norway is not some destitute hellscape. ... It is actually considerably more wealthy than the U.S., with a GDP of over $70,000 per person....Socially, it routinely ranks as the happiest (2017) or second-happiest (2018) country in the world. T



Anonymous said...

Scandinavian systems are social democracy, not democratic socialism. The means of production are still owned by capitalists, not the people who work there.

The Swedes almost went for some real socialism back in the '70s, but funked it at the last moment...it was just "a bridge too far" and their failure doomed them to continued exploitation by Capitalists.

Anonymous said...

"Maduro recognizes Venezuela is still a capitalist-based economy…", (Popular Resistance newsletter, 27 May, 2018)

Anonymous said...

Norway's government is a coalition between the Conservatives, Progress and Liberal parties. Calling this country 'democratic socialist' is as inappropriate as seeing Denmark in the same light. But you are not the first to make such a mistake: "..people living in Denmark, as well as the other Scandinavian countries, tend to be happier than people living in Capitalistic countries" (townhall. com).