The welfare state in Sweden was established more than a century ago by the Social Democratic Party of Sweden, which held power for close to eight decades. The welfare state can loosely be defined through strong social programs meant to uplift the livelihoods of the Swedish people funded through a heavy tax burden. The early democratic socialists established the welfare state with the goal of creating a “folkhem”, or people’s home, in Sweden, where all people could be supported throughout their lives by government welfare programs (1). Who the “people” of Sweden are has changed over the last century, but the goal of creating a place for all to be supported has remained. Sweden was one of the earliest established countries to turn against classical liberalism and create a government system partially based in socialism (2). Classical liberalism can be defined by limited government acting in the best interests of the people. Democratic Socialists in Sweden critique this being the best model of government by insisting that the role of the government is to support the people, which can only be attained through larger involvement. This Nordic Model of government began in Sweden in the 1920s and has continued to develop today as the Social Democratic Workers Party has shaped the Swedish government. The basic tenet of classical liberalism is the government should act in the best interest of the people in order to facilitate the progress of society. Classical liberal theory defined the role of the state to be as limited as possible. According to John Locke, government must be “... prescribed no further BY SHANAN R I L EY than is for the general good of those under the law ”(3). Liberals believe that any government intervention beyond that which is absolutely necessary to maintain order in a society is overreach. The people in turn have a right to overthrow the government when they believe that it is no longer acting for the greater good. Locke writes in the same document, “The liberty of a man in society is to be under no other legislative power but that established by consent in the commonwealth” (4). Locke goes on to say, “... everyone who enjoys his share of the protection should pay out of his estate his proportion for the maintenance of it. But still it must be given by his own consent” (5). The consent of the people is essential to the function of a liberal government. All the power within a society is derived from the people, and the people have the right to take that power away at any time. The question of who the “people” are has impacted the classical liberal view of equality. Early classical liberals like Locke argued that the “people” consisted of everyone in the society who was contributing to it. “ Any man that hath any possessions or enjoyment of any part of the dominions of any government doth thereby give his tacit consent” (6). However, he did not believe that all people were equal in society, only that laws should be applied equally to everyone. He expressed permissibility towards social distinctions in society, saying, “Age or virtue may give men a just precedence… ” (7). Essentially, all people are equal in the eyes of the law, but social distinctions can be formed. It is not the place of the government to intervene to promote equality. In the early twentieth century, Swedish democratic socialists began critiquing classically liberal government by instituting welfare systems with the ultimate goal of creating a "folkhem". The Swedish PAGE 15 VOL. 1, NO. 1 ZEITGEIST