By Gabriel Beldea
Socialist and radical leftist politicians in the United States believe that countries in Nordic Europe have high standards of living because of socialism. However, America and countries in Northern Europe have very different histories, that is why there is such a big difference in economic policies.
For example, Northern Europe has few interactions with the rest of the continent. In fact, during the 18th-19th century, notable French aristocrats believed that in Stockholm, Sweden, bears were walking in the city and that there were huge amounts of snow in the city. This was not specific to France, this feeling was widespread throughout the most advanced countries of Europe such as Prussia, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, etc. Therefore, even if this feeling may not be totally accurate, it shows that the Nordic countries were far more civilized then the other European countries.
In 1914, they undertook a step of economic transformation using capitalism. In fact, they developed a small enterprise that managed to compete with the biggest economic powers of that time. This system worked in these countries because they have a small population compared to the “classical capitalist countries” like the USA (330 million), France (65 million), or Germany (80 million). Smaller communities tend to be much more egalitarian, while big communities tend to be less egalitarian, with a hierarchy clearly affirmed.
On the other hand, America was found on capitalist principles from the beginning and was built by European aristocrats from England, France, Germany, etc. The economic system conceived by the Founding Fathers was an opposite system that is now in place in Northern Europe. This system was adapted to a larger population that was constantly growing. What is unique about America is that it is the only country where people can start very low and go very high. For instance, at age 16, John D. Rockefeller had to take small jobs in order to make a decent living to provide for his family. Later on, he became the entrepreneur we all know. This cannot happen in Northern Europe because of the reasons explained previously. When you see such things, you see the American Dream.
Finally, the goal of this article is not to say that one system is better than the other, but that each of these systems corresponds to its respective society and history. What works for Scandinavian countries does not work for America and vice-versa.
And no, Senator Sanders, Representative Ocasio-Cortez, and all the other socialist politicians, Nordic Europe is NOT socialist, it is capitalist, but in a particular way as mentioned in the previous paragraph. Do not promote democratic socialism, because socialism CANNOT be democratic. Stay tuned for my future articles to find out why.
1. Mont, Joe. “10 people living the American Dream”. The Street. (2011).https://www.thestreet.com/investing/stocks/10-people-living-the-american-dream-11173382
2. McWhinney, James. “The Nordic Model: Pros and cons”. Investopedia. (2020). https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/100714/nordic-model-pros-and-cons.asp
3. Remilleux, Jean-Louis, dir. Secrets d’histoire: Désirée Clary: Marseillaise et reine de Suède. September 21, 2015. (1:36:19)
4. Derry, T.K. History of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 1979.
5. Burger, Michael. The Shaping of Western Civilization. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
LinkedIn: Gabriel Beldea
Gabriel Beldea is from Romania, a country that was destroyed by socialism. Even though communism fall in 1989, Romania is still governed by the former communists and is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. Gabriel wants to spread the message to his peers in America that once you get into socialism, it is very hard to get out! Gabriel currently attends Marianopolis College.