The Nordic Model and Paving the Way for Change in Latin America
It seems… That the entire world, with a few exceptions, is experiencing a wave of turmoil within the planet’s governing bodies, one that has much of the world’s population battling its effects. And while chaos within nations is sadly becoming normalized as each country tries to deal with its crisis, whether they be the influx of displaced people fleeing conflicts, significant droughts, or food shortages. As is the case with portions of Latin America, rampant corruption and daily clashes between citizens and those that were put in place to govern, it may be easy to overlook some of the available options other countries have employed to better the lives of all that reside within their borders.
So, we can take a look at how one particular part of the world, has seemingly inoculated itself against much of the strife that is observed in other nations. While, also exploring the ways that its application may change the very state of life within areas affected by turmoil and unrest, in this particular case that of Latin America.
Latin America, An unfavorable history of conflict, corruption, and struggle…
While Latin America has a long-standing history of beautiful societies and vibrant cultures, present from the very early days of many of the nation’s inceptions, it unfortunately and sadly also has a strong history of conflict and strife within the borders of the many countries that make up the region.
Years of infighting between those in power, battles between revolutionaries and despots, rampant corruption, and dwindling prospects has unfortunately left many nations struggling to build the many needed institutions and services that make a country a bastion of happiness, progress, and equality.
No place is this more apparent than Venezuela currently, as the country struggles to maintain its identity through bloody clashes between its current leadership and those that seek to provide better lives for more than just those in the uppermost sections of society. Indeed the dire situation only grows more tense and bloody with each passing day as more and more protestors find themselves in the crosshairs of government security forces.
And while the situation within Venezuela is genuinely saddening and indeed representative of the amount of strife within the region, it cannot be forgotten that each nation struggles with very much the same things throughout Latin America.
As the citizens of those countries struggle to rebuild their nations, it is essential to look at what a restored Latin America may look like. Let us take a look at a region in which satisfaction with life and general happiness are not words but also ways of life.
Exploring what has made many of the Nordic nation’s bastions of happiness…
It seems to be well-known that many of the countries of Northern Europe, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland to name a few, have some of the highest rates of happiness for those living within their peaceful borders. And while it may be easy to look towards the region’s cultural similarities, the relative distance from many areas experiencing dire conflicts, and smaller populations as the reasoning behind much of the successes of the region regarding creating a better functioning society, doing so would overlook the most fundamental, and rather astonishing, reason behind the region’s success: The unique way in which the governing bodies operate and the way in which citizens view their government.
Exploring the Nordic Model…
The unique set of principles and ideas that govern much of the region’s controlling bodies has been furnished the name of the Nordic Model. This model refers to a unique style of governance and economic attitudes found throughout each nation, though each varies to some degree. This unique way of combining both a welfare state, that watches and cares for its most vulnerable and at-risk citizens, with free market capitalism, which focuses on creating healthy GDP, is prevalent throughout each nation.
What is discovered, at the core of this model, is not only a willingness to provide necessary safety nets and promote strong individual growth with open views towards capitalism and private ownership but a complete and resolute trust based in transparency and accountability.
The combination of trust within those that govern, strong social institutions created to protect those that are most vulnerable, and a focus on private development has created a unique environment conducive to a more open and happy society.
Applying the Nordic Model throughout Latin America…
While those nations that employ a healthy social democracy prevalent throughout Northern Europe have found low levels of corruption throughout their governing bodies, the countries that makeup Latin America are sadly not privy to the same, as corruption has become all too common throughout the region.
And while this indeed will impede application of any social and governance model, it is but one of many things that prevent the Nordic Model from being utilized to stabilize the region.
Along with corruption, Latin America does not benefit from a global economy much in the way that many of the nations of Northern Europe do. Instead, wealth and property ownership are spread throughout a small portion of society preventing the economy from reaping the full benefits of globalization. Until these disparities are adequately mitigated, no model, whether it be Nordic or some other version of social democracy will be able to take hold within the region.
As the brave citizens within the region fight to build better lives for the generations of people that have yet to be, the reality of employing a healthy social democracy is becoming a bit clearer and more feasible. And what that new Latin America, built on the foundation of firm social contracts and transparency within government, will look like, is indeed beautiful enough to continue striving towards and one day obtaining.