online magazine Bella Caledonia publish an open letter from 17
leading Scandinavian writers and journalists alongside a comment
piece by Pete Ramand and James Foley, co-founders of the Radical
Independence Campaign and authors of Yes: The Radical Case for
Independence. The piece argues that an independent Scotland should
abandon Anglo-American capitalism for Nordic social democracy.
The authors note the Scandinavian approach is solid. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland have higher living standards than the UK, greater productivity, and narrower gaps between rich and poor. Also he notes the Nordic countries are politically livelier than Britain.
However, the Nordic model doesn’t deserve uncritical enthusiasm, according to the authors. In recent years, Sweden, in particular, has moved away from social democracy towards market fundamentalism, beginning with the whole or partial privatisation of 35 out of 70 state enterprises in the early 1990s, write James Foley & Pete Ramand.
They point out that Norway and Denmark remain paragons of ethical geo-politics, both countries still have their failings such as their uncritical enthusiastic supports of NATO’s occupation of Afghanistan, and America’s war on terror.
The authors conclude that the Nordic model matters because it demonstrates that Scotland can do better. Leveraged as it is on the financial services industry and cheap retail labour, British capitalism is structurally weak. An independent Scotland shouldn’t aim to simply imitate Scandinavian social democracy. It should adopt its best features – strong public and industrial infrastructures, low levels of inequality, a first rate educate system – and adapt them to specific Scottish needs. Then Scotland should aim to set precedents of its own.