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Class society and social democracy in Sweden

Perceived as a bastion of egalitarian values, a social democratic culture, generous welfare state, Sweden has turned rightwards politically in recent decades. And may be worst in the elections of september 9.

Things look grim for the Swedish left when it comes to the upcoming elections, September 9. Polls suggest that two thirds of the next parliament will be hostile towards the Swedish working class and labour movement. Five right-wing parties are poised to change labour laws, create a low wage sector and weaken the power of unions, with the “Moderates” returning to office.

The Social Democrats, who historically took around 40 to 45 percent of voters’ support, will only receive around a quarter of the votes. In the meantime, the Sweden Democrats, a xenophobic right-wing populist party once openly sympathetic to Nazism, will garner roughly 20 percent. As in many other countries, right-wing populism has been on the rise and the Sweden Democrats didn’t even exist in parliament before 2010. Now it is poised to be one of the biggest parties in the country.

It seems counterintuitive that only a third of Swedish citizens vote for progressive politics (i.e. vote for either of the nation’s two left-wing parties), since income equality has increased significantly in recent decades. Moreover, a new Swedish research project shows some unanticipated results concerning contemporary Swedish class-based society.

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