Government 1B Week 13 Sweden’s Economy and the Values of Fascism

Question 1: The standard claim about Sweden is that it shows that society can prosper without such a free market and with extensive government intervention. Based on the lesson and on your reading, what would be a good response to this claim?

The claim that Sweden has prospered without any form of free market is inaccurate. The initial growth of Sweden’s wealth was actually accumulated within a free market, as from the 19th century into the 20th century Sweden maintained all the essentials of a free market. There wasn’t any form of socialism or social democracy until after this, until after their wealth had already been built up. So Sweden earned its wealth through a free market, then it must have been social democracy that allowed them to maintain that wealth right? Wrong, it was mainly Sweden’s insistence that they avoid war as much as possible. Since they weren’t throwing millions towards the war fund they were able to further develop their own technology and productivity. From 1870 to 1950 (when Sweden was using a free market system) they had the highest rate of per-capita income in the world. Then from 1970 to 1989 taxes and government welfare programs rose dramatically, and Sweden dropped from the fourth richest industrialized country to the fourteenth. After 1970 establishment of Swedish firms dropped significantly. In 1990 a real estate crash occurred that lowered GDP by 6%. By 1993 government spending had increased to 71.7% of GDP, and consequently this is when the country dropped from fourth wealthiest to fourteenth.

What were the primary values of fascism?

The primary value of fascism is that the leader of a country is in complete and utter power. Its sort of a mix between extreme nationalism and absolutism, the dictator is basically viewed as a human representation of God. They will be patriotic to an unhealthy level, dehumanizing outsiders and convincing the people their nation is superior to all others. They will also usually be fixated on conquering other peoples and further spreading and developing their rule. The way fascism is most commonly developed within a country is the people become blinded by the pre-fascists political charisma. They are promised economic and social liberation, but once the fascist gains power more often than not they deliver the opposite. Fascism is the most extreme example of the central government growing out of control. In a healthy political arena there are thousands of representatives debating laws and regulations, and hundreds of thousands more civilians voting on whether or not they approve. In fascism only the dictator and his or hers advisers make the countries decisions.

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