Title: Socialising capital: looking back on the Meidner plan

Authors: Joe Guinan

Addresses: The Democracy Collaborative, 1200 18th Street NW, Suite 1225, Washington, D.C. 20036, USA

Abstract: The radical 'Meidner Plan' for wage-earner funds in Sweden in the mid-seventies was one of the most promising roads not taken by the European left in the second half of the twentieth century. Had it been implemented in full, it could have marked a major shift within social democracy from income redistribution to asset redistribution, thereby setting course for an inexorable transition to economic democracy through the gradual socialisation of all major industry. Today, the genesis and fate of the wage-earner funds can provide a valuable historical perspective on the challenges of democratising wealth, while the core components of Meidner's innovative proposal - the share levy and collective ownership of capital - are once again up for reconsideration and recovery in the programme of the Jeremy Corbyn-led British Labour Party, given yawning inequality and a widespread and growing sense of the need for a very different pattern of political economy.

Keywords: Meidner plan; wage-earner funds; social democracy; public ownership.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2019.099049

International Journal of Public Policy, 2019 Vol.15 No.1/2, pp.38 - 58

Published online: 12 Apr 2019 *

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