Why Did the Swedish Model Fail?

Rudolf Meidner


'From Marx to Market' is not only the title of a well-known book or a play on words: the slogan can also be used as a telegraphed history of the Swedish labour movement. The late 19th century pioneers of the movement were strongly influenced by German marxists and had as a concrete goal the transfer of the means of production into collective ownership. Their modern followers have abandoned - as have most socialists in Western democracies - the issue of ownership as the essence of socialism. The market economy is now generally accepted as the arena for the exchange of privately produced goods and services - albeit with restrictions and modifications in the interest of a fair distribution of wealth.

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