1. Democratic socialism is still just socialism that you vote for. You’re not going to get it in this country unless you rig all the elections like you did in California during the last midterm.

    It’s just not happening. Sorry, not sorry.

  2. Well, he does confuse and use interchangeably the terms "social democrat"/"social democracy" and "democratic socialist"/"democratic socialism", which, nowadays at least, are entirely different.

  3. Democratic Socialists solutions to everything: steal. How do you provide all these things to people who did not produce things? You steal from those who earned it and redistribute it to others. I work my ass off to pay for what I have and it pisses me off to see how much I pay in taxes for all these social programs that I do not use and have no use for. Yet I’m punished because I’m productive? I didn’t inherit wealth, I can from the bottom. Wealth is not easy, yet all these people want to vote to take what I have. I work 50 hours a week just so a third of my labor can go to taxes? It pisses me off when I have to work a 15 hour shift knowing that a third of my day was worked for taxes. Yet, someone who isn’t productive can vote to take my wealth? That I earned! Democratic Socialism is a farce. If 9/10 people vote to take my stuff it doesn’t make it right just because it’s “Democratic”. Democratic socialism will screw the minority’s who can’t vote to defend themselves from the mob of greedy socialists. You say that capitalists are greedy…. what about all the people voting to take my wealth by force? These Democratic Socialists are just government ordained thieves.

  4. "And what exactly are you, Falldin?" Sounds like a principled man who is questioning a man without principles.

  5. A common narrative is that he kicked so much fucking ass that it actually made people feel sorry for the other guy and it actually lost him the debate.

    The E is not silent.

  6. There were a lot of reasons to dislike Palme, one of which was his extremely inconsistent stance on dictatorships.
    The vast majority of the dictatorships he unequivocally denounced were right-wing faschist ones. (such as the one in Greece and Franco's Spain) The one time he turned his sights to communist dictatorships was one instance of him calling Chezch dictator Gustaf Husak something along the lines of "a creature of dictatorship". This was obviously correct and not a problem.

    He was however the first western head of state to travel to Castro's Cuba in the 70s, never asking any questions about their political prisoners (among them many democratic socialists), and not even during a speech he held for thousands of cubans brought up the value of democracy and human rights. He ended his visit with a joint communiqué expressing his and Castro's happiness over the Vietnamese and Cambodian people's victory. (At which point, Pol Pot's regime was well under way with smashing toddler heads against trees.)

    He also diplomatically sided with North-Korea during the korean war, which never was a zero sum game, one could be against the war AND be against the alternative dictatorship which was obvious to everyone would ensue.
    There are many more instances of this behavior, look it up if you want to know more.
    He would through his career praise almost every single communist revloution around the world, even though almost every single one turned into a dictatorship.
    Yet he had the nerve to call himself a friend of democracy. What a load of horse shit.

    He was also a bit two faced when it comes to the relations with the USA, while he was creating diplomatic crisies with his critique of the Vietnam war, he also made sure to have a strong military alliance with the USA. Which has been corroborated by many different swedish diplomats, military leaders and documents. He for instance told the supreme commander at the time: "Now that I'm fighting with the Americans, for god sakes make sure we have good relations in the military area."

    Palme never hated dictaorships, just the right-wing fascist ones.
    Palme was never an idealist and should never be portrayed as such.
    Palme was however a very competent head of state.

    As a Swedish social democrat I have never liked him, nor have I ever liked the Social Democrat party that much. Mostly due to them as a party being power hungry and two faced, only wanting to rule, straying from the ideals of social democracy when they think it might win them an election or allow them to stay in power (which is literally what just happend last election). This is the type of man Palme was, great at speeches but actually two faced and just thirsty for power.

  7. Olof Palme is missed in Sweden by pretty much everyone who doesn't toast to his assassination. His spirit, eloquence, compassion and drive is sorely needed in today's society.

  8. i remember hearing stories about olof palme from my late father, who became good friends with him while at kenyon college (on a GI bill scholarship)… thank you this video.

  9. As a swede who’s too young to remember Palme I Can’t help being cynical listening to this speech. The Social Democrats today will often make similar speeches, but it’s obvious the words have lost their meaning and it’s just a marketing scheme for an increasingly more blairite party.

  10. Here's the transcript. Wasn't easy but I did it.
    Thanks to Michael for showing this to us.
    Falldin has been nagging me to explain why I'm a socialist. And I am a democratic socialist. With pride and with joy. I became a socialist when I traveled around India and saw their terrible poverty and yet some where very rich. And when I saw a poverty that was even more humiliating in many ways in the United States. When I was a very young man I saw the oppression and persecution in the Communist states. When I went to the Nazi concentration camps and saw the death lists of social democrats and labor unionists. I became one when I realized it was Social Democracy that broke new ground and started our democracy. When I understood it was Social Democracy that saved the country from poverty and unemployment. And when I got to personally fight for decent pensions for ordinary blue collar people back in the day. I became one from years of working with former Prime Minister Erlander where I learned what democracy and humanism are. And with close friends like Willy Brandt, Bruno Kreisky and Trygve Bratteli who risked their lives for human dignity. But more importantly my conviction grows stronger when I look at the world, when I see war, rearmament, mass unemployment and class divides. My conviction grows stronger when I see growing unemployment, injustice and financial speculation. When I see right wing politics all over the world forcing people all over the world into unemployment destroying social security and still not solving the economic problems. And when I look into the future the conservatives seem to offer where wage earners grow poorer and the wealthy grow richer. Where our safety net is weakened and we have more luxury yachts. Where solidarity is weakened and egotism stronger. Those who are strong enrich themselves and the poor just have to cope with it. Certainly, I am a democratic socialist. I am proud of what democratic socialism has accomplished in our country. I happily call myself a socialist because we have so many things left to deal with after all these years of right wing mismanagement. And I am also confident, because now our people know what happens to our jobs, our safety and stability when you are allowed to govern. In a way I am amused because I know modern Swedish history is full of reforms which you called evil socialism, but then you fight to take credit for them when people actually experience them. Certainly, Falldin and Ullsten, I am a democratic socialist. Like Branting when he gave everybody the vote. Like Per-Albin Hansson, when he fought unemployment in the 30s and introduced our social safety net. Like Erlander when he expanded that social safety net and gave us decent pensions. Because this is about being considerate and carrying about other human beings.
    And what exactly are you, Falldin?

  11. Michael, I've been a fan for a couple years now but I'm increasingly realising just how right-wing you actually are compared to the historical/conventional position of Marxists. Idolising politicians and thinking solely in terms of capitalist elections is the domain of the millions upon millions of slaughtered and defeated left-adjacent people. Stop focusing on capitalist politicians like Bernie.

  12. "Democratic socialism" aka electoralism is basically completely worthless. We need revolution; that is to say, we need to ignore the rules of the capitalist state and form our own, new, democratic worker's organisations that can cohere to destroy or obsolete the capitalist state. That means unions, socialist organisations, and then something like worker's councils – which appeared variously as "soviets" (Russia 1917), "cordones" (Chile 1972), or "shoras/showras" (Iran 1979). Electoralism is fighting on their ground, against patently undemocratic and tyrannical laws designed entirely to either crush or placate the working class. Almost every revolution in history was either wholly betrayed or undermined by social democrats and electoralists.


    Man… Imagine Stefan Löfven trying to describe why he believes in… whatever it is he believes in.

    “Let me tell you why I am a social democrat: to preserve the neo-liberal era as it is.”

  14. Nice speech but what about the actual people on the ground who demanded those things, the same people who are still bashed by riot police when there is a democratic socialist government?

  15. Glad to see this powerful speech being shared among American demsoc. It's, short, concise and very much to the point.

  16. After these elections, which the social democrats won, Palme unfortunately employed Kjell Olof Feldt as minister of finance, and he pursued deregulatory policies in regard to the financial business, hence widening the wealth disparity and contributed to a real estate loan bubble that burst in 1991.

  17. You definitely need someone to translate. He is talking about poverty and how proud he is of being a socialist. That’s the part w/o subs.

  18. Palme can be remembered positively and respected as a "Democratic Socialist" in the same vein as Bernie Sanders, but he neutered the Meidner plan, and actively worked against the then strong push to actually move towards a socialist economy.

  19. This was the last gasp of the social democratic project in sweden. Only a decade later Social democrats together with rightwingers were working overtime to neoliberalise the system and dismantle what had been built over so many decades. Very bad!

  20. I have to chime in here. Palme was very much a mixed bag. The left at the time were very strongly critical of (if not outright hated) Palme, and with good reason. It is true that he took the right position on a number of issues (support for the ANC being a very important case), but his support for the Vietnamese only came as a result of massive pressure from the very large Swedish Vietnamese solidarity movement. Even after that, Swedish military intelligence (IB), wich at the time was under the total control of the Social Democratic party, was infiltrating the Vietnamese solidarity movement here, illegaly registering all the activists. Same with the Palestinian solidarity movement, and pretty much all other left wing groups. They even went so far as to try to provoke parts of the Swedish left to turn to terrorism, to give the government an excuse to lock them up (luckily it did not work, and discovered infiltrators and provocateurs were thrown out of the movements). The IB, and the Social Democratic Party, even infiltrated the labour unions, registering and rooting out left wing dissenters (the unions here were, and still are, under the complete control of Social Democratic Party leadership).

    Internationaly the IB, wich as I wrote earlier was more directly controled by the ruling Social Democratic Party than in any other western democracy, spied on North Vietnam (even while Palme was walking in Vietnamese solidarity marches) and gave the information to the USA (while the bombs were still falling). They spied on Egypt and infiltrated and spied on the Palestinians and gave the information they gathered to Israel.

    All of this was illegal at the time and parliament did not even know about the existance of the IB. Only the Social Democratic Party and the military leadership knew.
    The journalists who revealed this (Jan Guillou and Peter Bratt) where then thrown in prison. Thrown in prison for doing the journalistic work of revealing illegal activity by the state and the ruling party.

    None of this is unconfirmed or conspiracy theories. It was revealed by journalists at the time and decades later (long after Palmes death) confirmed by a parliamentary investigation.

    Add to that that Palme was directly involved in switching Swedish economic policy in 1982, working to push down the level of real wages with the explicit purpose of boosting profits. (He even stood in parliament talking about the necessity of lower the living standards of wage earners to help growth).

    I could go on and on and on.
    Palme was rhetorically brilliant, but a mixed bag when it came to substance.
    His assassination turned him in to a saint, so the criticism largely went quiet.

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