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Friday, May 6, 2011

RAW and Scandinavia

Sue Howard, one of the regular posters at, had an interesting post there the other day in which she talked about RAW's interest in the Scandinavian countries. Can anyone help on her question about whether RAW wrote at length about the Scandinavian political/economic systems? Her post:

I remember RAW mentioning a few times (in various places - books?
audio?) that of all the socio-economic systems he'd experienced, he
favoured the "Scandinavian" kind. I think he described it as a mix of
capitalism and socialism.

I've heard others saying similar things - eg that Sweden, for decades,
combined economic success (in the conventional sense) with good scores
on the "social indicator" scales (eg the kind of thing Prof Chomsky
would focus on, including green environmental measures).

Given that these countries (Sweden, etc) didn't have widespread
nationalisation of industry (characteristic of "socialism"), perhaps
it makes sense to see them as "capitalist", at least in large part.

And yet, some of my left-leaning friends seem quick to dismiss
anything "capitalist" as "inherently" (or "structurally",
"systemically", whatever) biocidal, genocidal, psychopathic, corrupt,
etc. And, of course, all talk of European variants "is" just a
smokescreen hiding the evil core of capitalism (as legally encoded,
etc, etc).

No doubt a fine example of confusing map with territory. Decades of
*relatively* successful social-economic functioning (affecting
millions of humans) gets dismissed under the bogey label.

Comments welcome (and did RAW talk about this at length anywhere, or
just brief allusions)...

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