Gransnet forums

News & politics

Which countries are socialist.

(69 Posts)
GracesGranMK2 Thu 28-Sep-17 23:31:21

I have just listed Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway in answer to this question only to be told these countries would be horrified to be considered socialist. Have I really got it that wrong?

Primrose65 Thu 28-Sep-17 23:41:58

High taxation market economies is probably more accurate.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen himself put it, in reaction to this fictionalized vision of his country: "I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy." (HuffPost)

Here's a list of self-declared socialist states

maryeliza54 Thu 28-Sep-17 23:46:02

The Nordic model (also called Nordic capitalism[1] or
Firstly, I'd delete the Netherlands and put in Iceland. Then I'd delete socialist and replace by social democratic. I found this was Wiki a good starting point

Nordic social democracy)[2][3] refers to the economic and social policies common to the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden). This includes a combination of free market capitalism with a comprehensive welfare state and collective bargaining at the national level.[4][5] The Nordic model began to earn attention after World War II.[6]

Although there are significant differences among the Nordic countries, they all share some common traits. These include support for a "universalist" welfare state aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy and promoting social mobility; a corporatist system involving a tripartite arrangement where representatives of labor and employers negotiate wages and labor market policy mediated by the government;[7] and a commitment to widespread private ownership, free markets and free trade.[8]

Each of the Nordic countries has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbours.[9] According to sociologist Lane Kenworthy, in the context of the Nordic model, "social democracy" refers to a set of policies for promoting economic security and opportunity within the framework of capitalism rather than a system to replace capitalism.[10]

Nearly all the left of centre people I know could be described as holding social democratic values

maryeliza54 Thu 28-Sep-17 23:47:41

Sorry my cut and paste went a bit wrong - first line of post belongs to beginning of second paragraph

GracesGranMK2 Fri 29-Sep-17 00:00:49

Thank you for doing it maryeliza. I shall read and learnsmile

durhamjen Fri 29-Sep-17 00:15:38

My Danish daughter in law tells me that even though Denmark is nominally right wing, it's much more socialist than this government.
Denmark has a good range of welfare benefits, and therefore the highest tax rate in the world.
People may complain about that, but they still pay, and then use the system.
Another thing is that most of their people work for small companies, with fifty or fewer workers. It seems to make them feel more fulfilled.
Is that socialism?

There's a new book out about equality and how more equal countries are happier.

yggdrasil Fri 29-Sep-17 07:09:54

Democratic Socialism is a mixed economy. The market is there, only welfare and essential services (like water) are controlled by the state.
It probably depends how the word 'socialism' translates in the different languages. And I can't think of any government in Europe that isn't more socialist that the govt in this country right now

GracesGranMK2 Fri 29-Sep-17 08:54:25

Listening to the Governor of the bank of England this morning I think the person asked a political question wanting an economic answer. Thoughts on that would help me sort my thinking out too.

Thank you all for letting me pick your brains.

whitewave Fri 29-Sep-17 09:16:54

Yes - if you want to define a socialist state using the Marxist model, then none in the west are socialist or anywhere near being so. Capitalism -another Marxist concept is what defines our economic system.

There are degrees of capitalism if you like so you could argue that a total free market without any state control whatsoever is at one end of the spectrum to one where there is a high degree of state intervention at the other.

In practice, the first cannot happen in the world capitalist system, although countries like Singapore and perhaps at one stage Hong Kong were probably relatively close to it. At the other, the nearest you would get to that model would probably be in times of war.

However, we know that there are degrees of state intervention, and it depends usually where you are on the political spectrum which you think works best for a country, its economy and its folk.

whitewave Fri 29-Sep-17 09:27:25

So if you are describing an economy as a social democratic economy, you are describing an economy where (usually) the state intervenes to ensure greater equality, and access to essential services for all members of their society to a lesser or greater degree.

So the less state intervention, generally there will be greater inequality, and less access to essential services by the poor.

In practice our state has muddled along swinging marginally from left to right in the middle of a linear line.

Primrose65 Fri 29-Sep-17 09:28:58

If you don't have a subscription to the Economist, you can register and read some articles free each week.

whitewave Fri 29-Sep-17 09:30:13

So when you hear florid language like "Britain is becoming a socialist state" etc In the Marxist model we would need a revolution, the state to have absolute control of the economy and for us to drop out of the capitalist system.

Clearly then that claim is nonsense.

whitewave Fri 29-Sep-17 09:31:29

Or of course we could stop our chat and just read the linksgrin put up so kindly by primrose

Anniebach Fri 29-Sep-17 09:54:49

Why not? We have many from vox pox and not the foggiest who writes that

whitewave Fri 29-Sep-17 09:56:03


Ana Fri 29-Sep-17 10:07:58

Well, we're all expected to read duramjen's links - what's the difference?

maryeliza54 Fri 29-Sep-17 10:14:31

no we are not annie - it's a choice

whitewave Fri 29-Sep-17 10:17:31

gg said I'd like to pick your brains. So I took that as a cue to chat about her question, rather than simply put up a link.

Ana Fri 29-Sep-17 10:18:29

Exactly - so why the sneery grin from whitewave about Primrose's links? Why comment at all?

GracesGranMK2 Fri 29-Sep-17 10:20:28

Thanks for the posts. Just so you know I am not ignoring you, I have to go out for most of the day but will catch up when I get back. It is all good stuff and really making me think that such a simple question was actually very complex!

Anniebach Fri 29-Sep-17 10:22:27

Yes it is a choice, so why the need to jeer at lemons link? Again the usual ploy from one of the few

Anniebach Fri 29-Sep-17 10:23:08

Sorry meant primrose not lemon

Anniebach Fri 29-Sep-17 10:24:48

Which countries are closest to the dream of the Momentum party? Venezuela, Cuba, N.Korea ?

maryeliza54 Fri 29-Sep-17 10:25:13

Well I have to say that I found the link excellent Primrose and it articulated many of my thoughts on the subject. It's a false dichotomy between the free market/ unfettered capitalism and socialism. Neither works in practice. The debate is all about the extent to which the state should intervene not whether it should.

maryeliza54 Fri 29-Sep-17 10:32:34

I think this thread is really interesting because it's opened up where the real debate is IMO. Don't let it be derailed, it's just not fair to those of us who want to discuss the issues.