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DN Debate. Social democrats must learn from the vänsterpopulisterna

the social democrats and the red-green parties lost the election. Despite borgerlighetens difficulty to get together a government that has a blåbrun wave taken over the country and it will appear in the policy in the coming years.

In the election assessment statement of Catalysis, now presents, we point out the seriousness of the situation. The social democrats challenged seriously by The sweden democrats on the position of the large labor party in Sweden. The basic question for us is: What is the reason that played an important role long crisis and the renewal is needed to rescue the social democrat party as a strong political force?

Our recipe consists of four ingredients:


In the postwar period flourished the socialist model of society. But in the 1980s, was defeated by neoliberalism. At the end of the Cold war emerged, the consensus around the neoliberal economic model. The central maktpartierna agreed on the economic policy framework and the socio-economic right-vänsterkonflikt to fade away. There was, or was recognized, no options.

After the financial crisis of 2008 to realize more and more that neo-liberalism has reached the end of the world. The political theorist Francis Fukuyama, who in the 1990s proclaimed the ”end of history”, mean today to the neoliberal period had ”a disastrous impact” and that socialism should make a comeback in the form of redistributive programs addressing the economic inequalities that emerged in recent decades.

Högerpopulismens xenophobic policies can be pushed back if the social democrats manage to mobilise the people in defence of equality and social justice.

Both Bernie Sanders in the US and Jeremy Corbyns new line of social-democracy in the Uk show that there are alternatives. But which is the Swedish socialdemokratis options in the ideological struggle that flared up now when neo-liberalism break down?


Our near future will be characterized by a political conflict between right wing populism and the vänsterpopulism and the force that wins gets the opportunity to shape a new political hegemony. The political scientist Chantal Mouffe argues in her political essay ”For a left populism” to vänsterpopulismen can be a tool to develop and deepen democracy.

Högerpopulismens xenophobic policies can be pushed back if the social democrats manage to mobilise the people in defence of equality and social justice. Vänsterpopulism to be understood as a linguistic strategy in order to create the necessary political distinctions between the people and the oligarchy. We believe that it is the policies that are needed to save democracy. The hope is that we are now witnessing policy return. Both Bernie Sanders in the united states and the labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the Uk is an example of how a successful social-democratic populism to create clear political boundaries between the economic elite and the people: Sanders with his rhetoric about the 99 against the 1% and Corbyn with his slogan ”For the many, not the few”.

It is time to clarify whose interests it defends and whose husband challenge. The goal of Swedish social democracy must be a clear riksdagsmajoritet for a progressive left-wing politics. To achieve this, one should learn from the successful populist strategies that have been used so far.


Since the 1990s has brought an economic policy that has entirely surrendered to neo-liberalism. First, in the 2010s, the party has begun to re-evaluate and question the impact of the totally unregulated market forces in the welfare, but the core of the economic policy has not changed. To give the social democratic alternative the credibility of the need for a policy that gives the community the tools to be able to make the necessary investments. A strong reformism requires that we reconsider the economic policies that have led us to today's rampant inequality and a welfare state that goes on your knees.

A new economic policy, a new fiscal policy framework, the removed surplus targets in the state's finances, and a policy that allows leveraged investments. S also need a new tax policy when tax revenues dropped as a share of GDP since the year 2000. In order to meet the welfare need of the tax rate rise, but a part of the reductions of income taxes made can be retained and the majority of the increases to be taken on income from capital, real estate and environmentally hazardous activities.

A new pension system is needed because the current system provides for low pensions to hundreds of thousands of people and is unsustainable.

A social housing policy is needed where the society enters into and takes upon itself the main responsibility for housing provision. According to the building needed for the construction of approximately 535.000 homes between 2018 and 2025, which is far more than what is planned to be built.


In valrörelsens final stage showed tens of thousands of S - and LO-activists the power of the labor movement. The ability to arouse a vigorous political movement is on the side of a necessary process of political renewal, the labor movement's greatest opportunity. Election campaign in Sweden to 2018 showed – as well as a radical boost in the Uk, Portugal and the united states – that people want to engage with a progressive politics. But the movement must hang together with the policy.

the Party's leadership must stop to consider the members and their views as a burden. A wide range of issues in recent years, the party leadership acted in a way that is not taken to be on the members ' commitment. Decision-making medlemsomröstningar would enable the members of the policy-making process. Many could be attracted if the party gave greater opportunities to participate seriously in the political idea development.

It is also time to let the members choose the leader in open elections. Open nominations with the debates between the candidates are an essential feature of a democratic party. The archaic model with secret candidates and kongressvoteringar without significance must come to an end. Partiledarval are all excellent occasions to discuss that played an important role in the selection of that dropped away in the last shaped by partisprängningen a hundred years ago.

Also partisekreterarens mandate should be strengthened, and selected in a membership vote in the same way as the party leader. During the periods in which the party holds the government can party, thus getting a stronger mandate to opinionsbilda around issues that may not be able to operate in a coalition government.

as urbanization, globalization, structural change, or utbildningsexpansionen. These processes have without doubt taken place and affects the people's behavior and values. But there is no law of nature that the social democrats will automatically lose support as a result of these changes.

With a policy that is better adapted to today's reality and political temperament was both the last and next elections go much better for the social democrats in Sweden. There are very good reasons to immediately start building a new strong social democracy for the 21st century. The time for standing retreats must be the end.

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