Viking Economics, How the Scandinavians Got it Right and How We Can Too: Book Talk & Signing with author, George Lakey.
Hosted by Judy Wicks: I always thought that democratic socialism was bad for business. After all, don’t high taxes for public services drag down the economy? I recently found out how wrong I’ve been. In his fascinating new book Viking Economics, George Lakey shows how Viking-heritage countries like Norway, Sweden and Denmark, not only rank high in social programs like universal health care and free college education, but surprisingly they also lead the world in business start-ups and have more entrepreneurs per capita than the US.
It wasn’t always like that. Lakey found surprising parallels between the Nordics a century ago and the U.S. today: constitutional forms that pretended democracy while the countries were actually dominated by their 1 percent, high rates of poverty and neglect of basic needs, inadequate infrastructure, abridgment of civil liberties, and not enough jobs. They also experienced disunity among those who wanted justice and transformation. The gripping story of how they forged mass nonviolent movements for change and pushed the economic elite out of dominance can inspire us to do the same.
Considering the popularity of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders’s political revolution, especially among young people, as well as the challenges we face of growing inequality and environmental decline, it’s time to take these ideas seriously. If you are intrigued by Bernie’s revolution, or Michael Moore’s fabulous movie Where to Invade Next, or you are searching for a way forward that will move our country toward greater well-being, come hear from the author of Viking Economics and maybe take a signed copy home.
About the author:
George Lakey, 77, wrote this book with support from Swarthmore College where he served as the Eugene Lang Professor for Civic and Social Responsibility. He has also taught at Woodbrooke College in England and the University of Pennsylvania. He was a founder of the modern international training movement for social activists, beginning while teaching in the 1960s at the Martin Luther King, Jr., School of Social Change. He founded Training for Change, and for 15 years led over 1500 workshops on five continents. George has published eight previous books related to social change, most recently Facilitating Group Learning and Toward a Living Revolution.