When it comes to Europe, the Americans believe that all Europeans were leftists, either liberal or socialist. But Europe is also conservative and right-wing. True, the northern nations are more progressive then the southern, but that means nothing. What ruled in north Europe was social democracy, a social market economy based on strong state regulation of the free market. Today we only see remnants of social democracy. New-liberalism called neoliberalism has taken over and transformed the social democratic nations into capitalist dictatorships. All major political parties, from social democrats to reformist socialists support huge social cuts and lowering taxes, in order to help the capitalists and the financial markets.
After 1945, the social democrats became the ruling parties in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The Norwegian Labour Party won 87 seats out of 120 seats in 1947. It took until 1965 before the Labour Party lost their majority in the Norwegian parliament. The Scandinavian social democrats were supported by reformist socialists and christian democrats. The Danish; Socialist People's Party was a key supporter of the social democratic governments. In Sweden the communist party played a major role in helping the Social Democratic Party minority governments, this prevented right-wing forces from taking power for many years!
A social market economy means that the state is regulating the economy. While capitalism remains in power, the capitalists were forced to pay high income taxes, fair wages and were bounded by many rules. Unfortunate this also led to the rise of a huge government. Even today many people complain about the inefficiency of the government and all its rules. This is partly what led to the rise of neoliberalism in the 1980's.
The era of the social market economy was born out of a compromise between capitalists and workers parties ( social democrats ). The capitalists kept their property and all the wealth, but they were forced to pay their workers a fair wage. Because of higher salaries, the workers could buy more stuff. Soon the capitalists started to realise that a social market economy was also good for business!
But that changed around 1983. The high costs of doing business in Scandinavia led many capitalist companies to search for cheaper nations. China proofed to be a very good place were they could do business. Chinese leader; Deng Xiaoping opened China up to foreign capitalists in special economical zones. In the 90's many western companies left Europa to hire cheap Chinese workers to do their work. Because of this exodus of capitalists, the social democrats panicked. With the fall of stalinism and the USSR, social democracy and neoliberalism started to work together to attract capitalists back. Workers were told that they had to accept privatisations and deregulations.
Not only social democrats became pro-capitalist, the communists ( stalinists ) were affected also. The Communist Party of Sweden abandoned communism and became a reformist socialist party called; the Left Party. In Denmark, the right-wing of the Socialist People's Party became the party's new leadership. Finally the collapse of stalinism, started a major capitalist propaganda campaign. Capitalists groups and parties called the end of the Soviet-Union, to be the end of class struggle. Many leftists agreed with them and abandoned socialism. In reformist socialist parties, capitalist social democrats took leadership positions, like in the Norwegian; Socialist Left Party!
In Norway the Socialist Left Party was founded as a union between the Communist Party of Norway, the Socialist People's Party ( Norway ) and independent socialists. But soon the communists ( stalinists ) left the union as they opposed the ideal of dissolving their party. The Socialist Left Party became more or less a continuation of the reformist; Socialist People's Party.
With reformist socialism we mean, socialists who praise parlementarism and compromises with the pro-capitalist social democrats. The Norwegian; Socialist Left Party, the Swedish; Left Party and the Danish; Socialist People's Party have both betrayed socialism by working in a capitalist government. In 2001 the Socialist Left Party won 11% of the votes, but reformist leaders told the media that they would not support a revolutionary socialist program!
As the Norwegian social democratic government became unpopular, so became the Socialist Left Party. The party was divided between the right-wing leadership and its left-wing base. At the elections of 2005 the party lost 3% of the votes, ending with 9% in total. Even the lose of many voters did not keep the leaders of the party from turning more right-wing. The Socialist Left Party joined a coalition of social democrats and agrarian democrats. This Red Green Coalition formed a capitalist government in 2005.
Left-wing voters felt betrayed by the Socialist Left Party. So they did not vote for them in 2009. The party fell to 6.2% a lose of another 3%. In only eight years the Socialist Left Party lost 6% of its voters. For the 2013 elections, the party will likely lose more votes. The polls give them around 4,5%. Losing so many voters just because they wanted to govern under capitalism!
The Danish; Socialist People's Party won a huge victory in 2007, at the elections they got 13%. Unfortunate just before the 2011 elections, the party said they wanted to govern under capitalism. The social democrats were supportive, but the social liberals were very sceptical. The left-wing voters were not happy about the idea that a socialist party would govern under capitalism. So the Socialist People's Party lost 4% of its 2007 voters. But it did not stop the reformist leaders from taking part in the Danish social democratic government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt!
There were many sighs that the Socialist People's Party was moving to the right-wing. In 2008 they voted in favour of the national budget. This was the first time the party had accepted a capitalist budget, that was not leftist and based on social cuts. USP-RSM believes that the Socialist People's Party did this because the Danish media accused them of not being "economically responsible".
In response to the turning of the reformist socialists to the capitalist camp, revolutionary socialists founded new movement in Scandinavia. The Danish; Red-Green Movement was founded in 1989 as a left-wing alternative to both the social democrats and the reformist socialists. The Red-Green Movement is not win out its limits. They seem to become more reformist as they grow. In 2011 they won 6,7% and got more then 3000 new members in just three years!
But the growth also led to debates about the party's course. Reformist socialists in the Red-Green Alliance want to follow the same disastrous line of the Socialist People's Party. Meaning accepting capitalist budgets and joined a ''left-wing'' government with social democrats and reformist socialists. The left-wing is opposed to making compromises with the ruling parties. In 2013 the Red-Green Alliance moved to the right-wing as they supported a capitalist national budget, that would rob 40.000 unemployed people of their social benefits.
The Norwegian; Red Party seem for many revolutionary socialists to be a alternative to the capitalist; Labour Party and the reformist; Socialist Left Party. The Red Party was founded in 2007 as a fusion between the Red Electoral Alliance and the Workers Communist Party. The Red Electoral Alliance was formed in 1973 as a front for the radical Norwegian maoists. In 1991 they abandoned marxism leninism, but remained revolutionary socialist.
The maoists of the Workers Communist Party were radicals and supported the rule of Mao Zedong in China and Pol Pot in Cambodia. Their party was very secretive and its leaders had absolute control, not only over the party but also over its members private lives. In 2003 two former leaders apologized for the totalitarian culture of the Workers Communists Party!
The Communist Party of Sweden abandoned communism after the collapse of stalinism and became the Left Party, a reformist socialist party. In 1996 they added feminism to its reformist ideology. Two years later the party won 12% of the votes but degenerated soon after. The Left Party was win out a clear socialist program and supported the Swedish Social Democratic Party. This led to a lose of voters in 2002, 2006 and 2010. The Left Party is now down to 5,6% and lost about 6,4% of voters in twelve years. All because they support capitalist governments!
Right-wing capitalist politics became more common. Both the main capitalists parties and the social democrats were privatizing many state owned enterprises. The markets and capitalists were very happy, yet ordinary people felt the burden. Prices went up as markets were giving more and more control over the economy. Meanwhile the blame for the rise in prices and the destruction of the welfare state was giving to foreigners. Muslims became the scapegoat for the failure of the capitalist government to improve the living standards!
The radical right-wing; Danish People's Party was able to win the vote of many workers who felt betrayed by the social democrats and reformist socialists. Those workers who vote for the radical; Danish People's Party feel that the social democrats are too much pro-muslim, they think that Muslims have more rights then Danish citizens. They are poisoned by the capitalist media, who wants to set up workers against themselves. A conflict between the ''blond'' Danish worker and the ''dark'' muslim worker means no united front against capitalism!
Scandinavian social capitalism is almost death. Sure you will not rot in the street if you lose your job. But there is little happiness for workers in Scandinavia. Social democrats, with the help of reformist socialists and right-wing forces are attacking the living standards. They have destroyed large parts of the welfare state in the name of ''improving the economy''. Many feel betrayed, not only by the social democrats but also by the reformist socialists, who were once champions of workers and poor people. That is why a socialist alternative is needed. Scandinavia was never socialist, never in its history have workers genuinely controlled the means of production. The nature of the Scandinavian societies have always been capitalist!
The social democrats claim to support the social market economy. But in the last 23 years they have destroyed large parts of their own creation. Why? Because they have capitulated to capitalism. For them the market is God, competition is King. The right-wing is waiting in the shadows for the day that they will have a majority again. Then they can destroy the last remnants of the social capitalist system and introduce the absolute rule of markets and greed in Scandinavia!