Nov. 4 talk: “Swedish ‘Socialism’: Not what it used to be, but then again it never was”

September 19, 2009 by  
Marxist-Humanist Initiative and the New SPACE (New School for Pluralistic Anti-Capitalist Education) are proud to present a talk by Swedish Marxist Daniel Ankarloo in New York City on Wed. Nov. 4. Entitled “Swedish ‘Socialism’ – Not what it used to be, but then again it never was,” the talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. and be followed by discussion. The location is TRS Inc. Professional Suite, 11th floor, 44 East 32nd Street, Manhattan (between Madison & Park Aves.) A contribution is requested.

In light of the crisis of neoliberalism that the “financial crisis” has made apparent, but also the impasse of the Left, political analysts and activists increasingly turn to Sweden as a “socialist” example. However, the “socialist” character of Swedish society is a severely limited one. For the last 20 years or more, Swedish society has been moving steadily in the opposite direction of socialism, in a wave of privatization, retrenchment of social services and social security, “flexibilization” of labor-market relations, and increasing inequalities. Furthermore, Swedish socialism – “the social policy road to socialism” – was a class-collaborationist attempt to achieve “socialism within capitalism,” a project that from the outset was bound to fail because of its inner contradictions. From this perspective the speaker deduces some political implications for the Swedish labor movement and the international Left in general.

Daniel Ankarloo holds a doctorate in economic history and is a Senior Lecturer of social policy and social work at Malmö University in Sweden. He is a frequent contributor to the theoretical and political debate within the Swedish labor movement and the Left. He has published widely in Swedish journals on topics of economics and politics – recently with specific focus on the prospects and limitations of the Swedish Welfare Model. He has published two books in Swedish on the topic: Kris i välfärdsfrågan (Crisis in the Welfare Issue) and Marknadsmyter: en kritisk granskning av nyliberala påståenden (Market myths: a Critical Look at Neo-Liberal Assertions). Ankarloo is currently working on a book on the Swedish Welfare Model in English.

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