Skip to comments.Understanding the Social Democratic collapse (perhaps, Europe is more intelligent than USA)
Posted on 10/20/2010 9:54:33 PM PDT by WesternCulture
The Social Democrats' stinging defeat in Swedens September 19th election has less to do with campaign miscalculations than it does with a systemic shift in European society, write Moderate Party MP Johnny Munkhammar of the Captus think tank.
In Sweden, where Social Democrats have been in government for 65 of the last 78 years, they just lost their second consecutive election and ended up with 31 per cent of the votes their lowest support in a century. The situation in the other Nordic countries, formerly with strong Social Democratic parties, is similar: Norway 35 per cent, Denmark 26 per cent, and Finland 21 per cent. In France, the Socialists have been in disarray for some time, in Germany the SPD was supported by a mere 23 per cent and in the UK, Labour got 29 per cent.
This is part of a downward trend which has been visible since the 1950s, and the fall has been accelerated during the last decade. And this happens in a time of financial crisis and deep recession, when the traditional Social Democratic idea of big government, if ever, should have prospects of gaining support. Clearly, this phenomenon cannot be explained by temporary mistakes in election campaigns, one or two weak leaders or any of those other visible factors on the surface so often discussed in the media.
The fact that our societies are changing in several quite fundamental ways could explain much more of this shift. Trade unions traditionally support the Social Democrats and trade union membership has been falling for decades from different levels in different countries, but the trend is the same. It is generally acknowledged that Ed Miliband won the leadership contest thanks to trade unions. They still retain the power over their parties, but their influence in society is decreasing.
For decades, Europe has been marching into the services society, seeing employment in manufacturing industry decreasing thanks to globalization and technological development. This means that the traditional base for Social Democratic parties workers is getting ever smaller. On average, seven out of ten Europeans now work in the services sector, which is different from the manufacturing industry. Often, individual skill, rather than collective strength, is essential.
Economic freedom has increased throughout the world for 25 years, not least in Europe. Of course this is true for Eastern and Central Europe, but for Western Europe too. State ownership has decreased, markets have been liberalized, tax rates have decreased, foreign trade has opened up, choice in welfare services has increased and public monopolies have been dismantled. Many of these reforms were controversial at the time, but have become universally accepted afterwards. People dont want to go back.
People have simply increasingly managed without too much government interference in their lives, and this has been appreciated. Combine this with rising incomes however slowly in some European countries, fairly stable consumer prices several categories of goods actually have actually gotten cheaper and more people belonging to the middle class. Social Democrats have failed to see this and have not changed their policies or messages to appeal to this new society.
It has also become increasingly difficult to be a party for workers with policies that make it more expensive to hire people, that make work less profitable and that make the labor market less flexible. Paying vast amounts of people through social security for not working has become expensive, and many countries have large numbers of unemployed people hidden in statistics like sick leave or early retirement. This has also had a detrimental effect on work ethics. According to the World Values Survey, support for the principle of receiving contributions from the state when not working is declining.
Some have claimed that the absence of success for the left after the financial crisis can be explained by the centre-right taking over their policies and rhetoric. True, in half of the rich countries, the role of government in society has increased. But many countries have also continued to increase economic freedom. And above all, the countries that have stuck to the most classic Keynesian economic policies like the UK have been governed by Social democrats and their failure in crisis management has been spectacular.
The GDP of Sweden, Germany and the UK all fell by five percent in 2009 as the financial crisis struck. But the three nations have dealt with the crisis quite differently. The UK, which until the 2010 elections was dominated by Labour rule, is facing substantial problems. The public deficit has been twelve percent of GDP during the past two years and is expected to remain high. The British national debt is approaching 90 percent. The UK has simply not been able to cope with the massive increase in public expenditure which has occurred during the last ten years of Labour rule.
The center-right government of Sweden, on the other hand, has managed to keep the public deficit at a low level, whilst still reducing tax levels quite significantly. Germany, until recently ruled by a Grand coalition between the centre-left and the centre-right, has experienced higher deficits than Sweden, but much lower than the UK. If there is a lesson to learn from these three nations, it is that social democratic policies bent on increasing government expenditure further and further is simply not a viable recipe for Europe. Perhaps it is not surprising that Social Democratic parties in all three nations have recently experienced major setbacks.
New Labour represented the perhaps boldest step in attempting to renew Social Democrats, in embracing globalization, welfare reform and individual freedom. In the 1990s, there was talk of the new middle in European politics. This is all gone and partly reversed. The forces against such a development were too strong. It seems that the more clearly traditional leftist approach is here to stay, which would seem to guarantee the continuation of the downward trend and marginalization for European Social Democrats.
This is like watching someone burn their hand on a hot stove and his sidekick saying, “Let me try it!”
Say whatever you wish,
I disrespect nations who fail to develop.
Japan is a dead economy.
America is very, very close to the fate of them.
The GDP of Germany, Britain and France will grow only by 2 or 3 percent this year.
I like it over here in Sweden.
If you, as a nation, cant perform an annual growth rate of 4-5% you have failed.
I think Germany is getting it, Italy gets it, Holland is getting there with Geert, the Swedes too. Maybe the Danes as well. The invaders need to be sent home.
America may have a backlash on Nov 2 to the elites but ALL of TV will go into full brainwashing mode after Nov 2. The idiots serfs who watch TV in the USA. TV manipulated and lied to the idiots to get a muslim marxist in the white hut.
This article on Zero Hedge about WW3 could have been written by me particularly the last line. We are all headed toward serfdom and TV is used to control us, lie to us, fool us and confuse us.
“The fact that the average American never gets the information presented in this report via mainstream media proves how tightly controlled the corporate media is. It also clearly demonstrates the blatant fact that the Global Banking Cartel doesnt want American citizens to have even a basic understanding of geo-strategic interests and how power really functions. Above all, the American public must be kept in its place, as the cartel emphatically believes that they are the kings and we are the serfs, and it is none of our business how they conduct themselves. If you are not already a multi-millionaire or billionaire, you have now been marked for either servitude or slow death. That is a very harsh truth, but in the new world of declining resources, looted economies and environmental upheaval, this is the unfortunate reality of the situation. Until the American public can wake up to this new reality, turn off the television and fight back, our living standards will continue to decline at an increasing rate.”
What be your views on this topic:
- If I ever will crash while being in a car, I’d not fancy doing it in a Ford or a Mazda..
What “environmental upheaval” is referenced?
Americans are not stupid, Europeans actually are much more unaware, especially in the domain of politics.
We Europeans need to become aware of our cultural heritage instead of being ashamed of it.
Back to the issue of America.
Recently, the Americans have made a major mistake electing Obama for president.
If you ask a European like me, America needs a new guy like Reagan, not four more moron Obama years.
thanks for link
Can a country with the population a bit more than New York City really be considered on par with the other countries you site as dead or near dead?
Germany 82 Million
Japan 128 Million
USA 350 Million
Sweden 9 Million
Not really a comparison here.
As much as I love these cultures (and Sverige), I have to agree. In this world, to stay static is to decay and die. If it is their destiny to (sigh!) rot away and make room for what’s to come, so be it.
Don’t try and hide behind irrelevant figures.
Why does the Swedish economy grow while the American one is standing still?
I wish the best for America, but don’t bs me or yourself..
Bad lies equals a poor start.
Get a grip.
Warning! Contains explicit language!!:
I suggest you should come into reality. Sweden is a socialist nanny state with absolutely no real contribution to the world other than Saab, which was sold to GM. Those population figures mean all the difference in the world. When you have to manage a small city economically, its easy. When you have to manage very large economies with hundreds of millions of people, you deal in a different realm. When your population is so low, selling a couple fish and running tour groups fills your coffers. And what I see of your country, you never had any sustained growth of any significant measure. This year seem ok but over the past decades? How where the 90’s? Last year was a boom right?
This article comes from the perspective of a people steeped in Gov’t solutions and total control of the people. They were so far left for so long this seems like a huge shift to the right even though they are still socialists. The US may be on hard times now but we are not out by any stretch. We are shifting here to a true right Gov’t that will unleash true economic and personal freedoms. Something Sweden has no idea of because they never had it. Traded it for the security of the massive statist control cradle to grave.
ROFLMAO! I am so headin’ to the airport and HITTIN’ IT! Yo, MoFo’s! Break out the lutefisk and Spendrups! Your MackDadda is coming to Svenkstown!
Too bad that Swedes have decided to vote themselves off the their own island with their immigration and multiculuralism insanity. It gives any good news a rather short shelf life.
But America suffers from the same disease. It’s a civilizational issue and not a national one.
That's some pretty big talk given that it's not at all clear whether or not the USA will recover from its 2008 suicide attempt.
Remember, Objectivity is your friend. Your arguments are emotional and way off base. You need to let go of your imagination, preconceived notions, and wishful thinking. National pride is all fine and good and long as it is rooted in reality and right now, the only basis for American pride is on the accomplishments of those who have gone before us. Sweden is indeed moving to the Right after learning some things the hard way, while the USA is still free falling, caught in a death spiral, having learned nothing from the Europe's failed social and economic experiments.
Truth is, America is still digging its hole deeper.
I never understood anarchy.
Let me see if i get this right Anarchy in practice would be like a bunch of City/states. City/states of old was over thrown by invaders they either didn't last long or they created countries.
Isn't that right? do anarchist actually not read history or what?