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Why Socialism works in Sweden and not US

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Here’s the thing about why Socialism doesn’t work in a country that has the culture (very important distinction here) that we have.

    Everyone points to Sweden or another small, very nationalistic country that is running some form of government level Socialism. This is a massive mistake without understanding what goes in to a country to make Socialism a viable model. Let me outline that for you here:

    1. Nationalism. At some point in our country not only did we stop being proud of it, it’s not just generally acceptable but cheered on to bash it. We took airing our dirty laundry to another level and now we join the enemies of US in the bashing of it. Nationalism is one of those things that keeps corruption and abuse of resources and safety nets at bay, allows populace to police their own (this could be good and bad, of course) and generally lay out a foundation on the behavior and etiquette on the use of government supplied and funded programs.

    2. Population count. It’s much easier to govern and economically model a country when it’s smaller. The population of Sweden is little more than 10 million people, NYC alone has almost 9 million. That’s New York CITY, not the entire state (which has almost 20 million). To govern and even try new programs with a 10 million country vs one of over 300 million is apparent, I hope.

    3. Culture. Which brings me to the last piece in the equation of why Socialism can work in Sweden and not the US. Aside from two points above, the culture within the US is complex, diverse (I don’t believe that diversity is 100% a good thing, never had), and very dynamic – constantly moving. As we know some of the immigrant waves work for both those that come in to the US and for the US as a whole. Immigrant waves like Soviets (yay us), Nigerian and other non-Muslim African countries, European, etc… I believe most waves work and I’d rather point out the countries that do not work as well as others. However, on average, the immigrant is more hard working, diligent, and applies themselves more than an American born. I would notch that to our horrible education system in the US (Family & Diversity Immigrants Are Far Better Educated Than U.S.-Born Americans).

    Sorry for the long post, had this in my head because there’s a mass of Bernie Sanders followers who do not get it, will never get it. But it really started with this LL Bean announcement:

    L.L.Bean Is Making Changes to Its Longstanding Lifetime Guarantee Policy – Adweek
    Allene and Arc like this.
  2. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    Actually, I don't believe Sweden is a Socialist (government owning the means of production). They are a free-market economy with a large social safety net and a large tax rate to go along with it.

    Other than that, I agree with your points.

    1. Nationalism I believe is tied in with culture, somewhat. The ethnic unity they have can never exist here. That ethnic unity also crosses over into culture, as they have (statistically speaking) the same social goals.

    2. Yes. Just because something works at 1x size, doesn't mean you can 30x it and expect it to work.

    3. While the US agrees on a general direction, the disparate cultural and ethnic directions makes the "spread" of our direction +/- 45 degrees from our course (lots of going steering back and forth along the base course, think surface ship zig-zagging to avoid old-type torpedoes), while most European countries with less ethnic and cultural diversities might be +/- 5 degrees.
  3. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Good post. The bit about taking the airing of dirty laundry to another level is spot on! I cringe at a lot of this stuff! It's totally lacking in class. I get the population differences, too, not to mention we are in too much debt to get into anything like that.

    You may have heard about the mayor of Stockton, CA, and his free handouts to everybody. I think it is $500 each. His city declared bankruptcy back around 2010. Stockton's mayor wants to give residents $500 a month, no strings attached

    I had someone under my supervision in the library years ago, who was from Taiwan, going to school full time and working as many hours as possible. The difference between him and his American peers in that department was striking! I'm sure he left them all in the dust long ago.

    That said, I've been hearing bad news from Sweden. They have too many immigrants right now.

    I have a 25-year-old pair of gumshoes from L. L. Bean. They are still doing their thing in spite of Emma, the beagle, dragging them around by the laces when I'm not looking.
  4. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Not so much education as it is how they are raised. In years gone by, most kids worked their butts off to earn their spending money. Many a summer I spent walking beans and bucking bails to earn extra spendies aside from that I was making working in the family biz. We learned there were consequences for our actions. Forgot to do chores? We went to bed hungry, just like the animals we "forgot" to feed. If there was something we wanted, we learned quickly that we had to work hard for it.

    Work ethic is taught at an early age and this is something that just isn't done any longer. Is it no small wonder we have tons of young people these days who not only don't have a decent work ethic, they're horrified that "9-5" is generally a myth and you're going to have to bust your ass to get anywhere.

    All those Bernie Sanders followers are those who have a horrid work ethic and want those goodies handed to them on a silver platter rather than working their ass off for it.
    Allene likes this.
  5. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Yes, I was raised like that, too, and I consider myself very lucky.
  6. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Bernie Sanders is not enjoying his 15 minutes because of his socialistic rhetoric. He appeals to a side of Americans that still lives. He appeals to those who want more equality of outcome. He appeals to those who think the current ratio of top dogs to bottom dogs is far too high. Regardless of how bad our current clown in chief does Bernie will never get the nomination much less be elected. He is more rhetoric than substance. Although there is no doubt in my mind he would do better than Trump but I am still hoping a better candidate comes along.

    How did we get to this place where the discussion is often the haves versus the have nots? Let's start with what preceded capitalism. A definition of feudalism from dictionary.com.

    Also called feudal system. the legal and social system that evolved in W Europe in the 8th and 9th centuries, in which vassals were protected and maintained by their lords, usually through the granting of fiefs, and were required to serve under them in war See also vassalage, fief.

    Eventually the serfs demanded a voice in government and democracy came into being. It was imperfect and still it was the land owner calling most of the shots. Even after 1776 our democracy had the vote vested only in the land owners. It took the industrial revolution and the choice the "vassals" now had, to work the land or earn wages in industrial plants to effect change. But the industrial revolution was and is a sham. While the nobility under feudalism provided everything the vassal needed, industrialists provided wages rather than shelter and food, but still provided health care.

    While this was going on roll of voters now included women and, in many places, blacks. On the outside the period of time between the mid 50's and mid 60's looked pretty idyllic in this country. We now know that issues that would later divide this country were just smoldering beneath the surface, racism being the primary cinder.

    Presidents Kennedy and Johnson led the charge to get the vote to all and to end discrimination in all its forms. But they were also involved in a cold war. Nobody could lead this country that appeared soft on communism so all judgement was cast aside and we entered a long war that nobody believed we could win. Big mistake. Big Mistake.

    But the even bigger mistake was in deciding to wage the war without raising taxes to support it and to fight it with a conscript army. The conscription of the children of our country was also based on class to a certain degree. Those that could afford continued education were deferred. Those who could not afford college or to buy a doctor's diagnosis were drafted and often sent to war. The failure to raise taxes meant that most of the country was not paying for the war so they kind of ignored the start and went along with anything anti communist.

    And then the war dragged on. Now those who had college deferments and were nearing graduation began to realize they could be drafted. And the campuses erupted. Protests against the war and the draft begat protests against discrimination and it felt like every part of the country was against every other part of the country.

    As the war came to an end it was followed by several basic changes in our country.

    One, big companies had to begin paying the bills for their promised pensions and health care and began reneging on them. Two, the protests against the draft resulted in an all volunteer military. From my viewpoint the first was a break with the promise of capitalism replacing feudalism but the second was a reversion to feudalism. Now the military was not a shared load, it was a hired mercenary arm of the government. It should be noted that the smaller, volunteer military has been very successful in its ability to fight with fewer numbers. But at the same time a volunteer military has allowed the government to engage in wars measured in decades rather than months or years. No conscription means the current wars again are not having an immediate affect on the majority of the country so it has been allowed to continue.

    So capitalism has apparently thrived. The corporations and their shareholders are doing very well. But they are leaving most of the country behind. And when the majority began demanding a piece of the pie in the form of higher wages and higher minimum wages the CEO's respond by using technology to need fewer workers.

    So now the political wars become the haves versus the have nots. Neither party will admit this but it is readily apparent. Currently the war is being fought on two fronts, immigration and taxes.

    Is the Democratic support of immigrants because they believe in the idealistic notion of a country of immigrants or because they want more people who will vote for them? Hell, I don't know but suspect it is a mixture of both. Is Trump's anti immigrant policy and rants because he wants fewer votes for the Dems or because he is an elitist prick? I don't know but have my own opinion.

    The tax situation is more apparent. The recent tax bill has left no doubt where the battle is and that it was not won for the majority of the country.

    So in the recent election President Trump appealed to the basest of our beliefs. He campaigned appealed to the fears of Americans. He put the blame on immigrants and on the evil Hilary. He did not give campaign speeches, he spoke to rallies. Attendees were not allowed to protest or even wear the wrong garb or risk being tossed out, even at the spoken orders of the man on the podium. And he played on his only trump card (I typed it before realizing the irony), the Electoral College. It does not seem to matter that his promises are not benefiting those he appealed to.

    Long, long post that many will not read to the end. I cannot blame you. But the point I wandered all over to get to is that socialism will never work in this country as long as there is no limit on what capitalism can do. Campaign reform to stop elections from being decided by those who have money is a non starter as long as those who have to vote for it are profiting by no limit on campaign contributions.

    Ya, not for socialism but unbridled capitalism does not appear to work for all. So we have to get somewhere in between. One would hope we get there peacefully but the divisions appear to be deepening.
    ethics and Susan Addams like this.
  7. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    My long post was written to follow Ethics post. Several have made good points.

    I do want to comment on the younger generation not having a good work ethic. Part of that is labor laws and part is the changing nature of child abuse. Some of the ways I was raised and, indeed, some of the ways I raised my children could get you arrested if observed and reported. And I did not beat my kids.
  8. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Not buying it. I've talked to many in the agriculture biz and it's literally impossible to hire teenagers as they don't want to do the work.
  9. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    I've heard Sweden cited as the rape capital of the world. The stories sounded legitimate to me until I asked Google and came up with the Snopes take on it.
    To be honest I don't quite understand it but I get the feeling that much of EU is suffering consequences from too much immigration.

    I noticed the mention of Swedish Democrats as a source of unfounded rumors and wonder if there is any parallel between Swedish Democrats and US Democrats. I simply do not understand US Democrats and wonder if they have lost touch with reality.
    Allene likes this.
  10. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Thanks for the interesting excerpts. When it comes to Sweden Democrats versus U.S. Democrats, it appears that the former is a far-right group: What you need to know about Sweden's party leaders ahead of the 2018 election
    Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna)

    Who: Jimmie Åkesson

    Age: 38

    Current role: Party leader

    Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Ari Luostarinen/TT

    Background: An early entrant into politics, Jimmie Åkesson began his career as a city councillor in his home town, Sölvesborg in southern Sweden, after joining the party's youth wing as a teenager. After leading the Sweden Democrats to a record 12.9 percent of the vote in the September 2014 election, he took a break due to chronic fatigue before returning in 2015 but it does not appear to have harmed his popularity, with opinion polls in mid-2017 placing voter confidence in Åkesson at around the 25 percent mark.

    Party: The nationalist Sweden Democrats were founded in 1988, evolving from far-right organizations with neo-Nazi roots. In recent years the party has worked to tone down its image as a racist and extremist group. However, cutting immigration remains the party's main goal.

    Sweden's third biggest party following the 2014 election, the Sweden Democrats had the chance to be kingmakers in parliament and sparked a government crisis shortly after the vote when they helped block the centre-left coalition's budget proposal. An unprecedented deal between the Social Democrat-Green government and the centre-right opposition ended the crisis and froze Åkesson's party out for the time being, but a recent thawing towards them from the Moderates show that they still have the capacity to influence even without formal power. The polls suggest they will be an influence in the future too: just over a year ahead of the 2018 election they polled as Sweden's second largest party.

    Number of seats: 45
    Susan Addams likes this.
  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Many points made in response and I’d like to address as many as I can.

    Sweden is not a Socialist country AND Bernie Sanders is not for Socialism. I’ll address two in one. In no way shape or form would anyone believe that Sweden is pure Socialism, just like America is not pure Capitalism. Sweden, however, does redistribution more than any others, however. They tend to get in to the income equality, etc.… They are also full force on “Folkhemmet” (look it up). Bernie Sanders uses this when questioned about his ideology and tells us to look in to Sweden, Norway, Denmark.

    Let me add that if you talk to Swedes, they are not at all pushing this ideology elsewhere and readily admit there are issues with their system. I mean, there’s no perfect country with a perfect political and economic system out there. As many already pointed out, the acceptance of (too) many immigrants is souring the Swedes on being overly accepting – especially of Muslims.

    Which brings me to immigration. I don’t believe Nationalism NEEDS to be tied in to ethnicity. You look at some of the immigration waves of the 70’s, you will see Soviets being zealous in to integration in to America. Same for Nigerians (although not Somalis) and other groups. The unity I speak of is one for the country, not for skin color, or specific religion. The pot that everyone wants to believe exists in many of the other ethnic groups, unfortunately, is a faery tale.

    Education and how people are raised? I have to think this is tied in to each other. Priority on education is a fleeting movement in this country. We’ve dumbed down our public schools in order to make believe they are getting better in comparison to other countries.

    And finally, in no way am I a proponent of a runaway Capitalist model.
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  12. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    This is a country that has evolved into one devoid of a consensus nationalism or culture. We are now a nation of clans and tribes of diverse cultures at both the political and socioeconomic level. The clan's and the tribe's interest supersede any national interest. That divide will continue. We are the leader in First World Nations when it comes to having special interest groups and a lack of common identity, even at the grass root level. This country as it was meant to be and was evolving to be is now dying and that cannot be stopped. This no longer the "land of the free" but rather a land of the "my way or the highway."

    Hell, even English as the dominant language is disappearing.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  13. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    America has evolved into the land of freeeee moneyzzz. Our dominant political parties are now struggling to see who can bribe the most voters to keep or get them into power. It's the land of the selfish; the land of "me first."

    My sister in RSA is primarily responsible for helping to strip the blindfold from my eyes.
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Spot on, as always.
  15. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    It's sad to see that happening!
  16. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Just remember it's not over until it's over, and it isn't over yet.

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