Jørgen Pedersen: "Property-owning democracy"
What social system is best to suited to realize justice? Is justice served by a capitalist welfare state, and, if not, what are the alternatives?
Most prominent among the alternatives to the capitalist welfare state is property owning democracy (POD). The main claim raised by proponents of POD is that there is a conflict between capitalism and democracy. Unless the influence of money is tempered by an interventionist state, the rich will control politics and undermine the ideal that all should have equal opportunities to influence the political process. We will discuss the idea of POD, and focus on three questions. The first is the question of whether politics can be isolated from the influence of money through mechanisms such as publicly financing of political parties and fixed limits on how much campaigns can cost. The second is if the criticism of the capitalist welfare state affects comparatively egalitarian welfare states such as the Nordic countries. Finally, we will take up the arguments in favor of liberal socialism as an alternative to POD.