Socialism VS. Modern Social Democracy

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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Socialism VS. Modern Social Democracy

Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:51 pm

Socialism has often been used by Americans to describe high taxes, lots of social programs (redistribution of wealth through these), and strict regulation on industry. However, this is not socialism under any sense of the term. This may be done with the eventual goal of socialism in mind, as socialism is the worker ownership of the means of production and can be achieved by reform. However, if this is done without the eventual goal of socialism, then what this is is modern social democracy.

I say modern social democracy because social democracy is a very tricky term to describe. In modern terms, it means high taxes, lots of social programs, and strict regulation on industry in order to "fix capitalism". However, traditionally, it means basically the same as democratic socialism, as in supporting the eventual goal of worker ownership of the means of production, but by reform instead of revolution. I consider myself a social democrat in the traditional sense. Social democracy in the traditional sense is socialism. Social democracy in the modern sense is not.

The change in the definition of social democracy came when social democratic parties began moving away from the left. You can see how the Labour Party had in Clause IV reference to common ownership of the means of production, a party of people who considered themselves social democrats. However, later on, the "Social Democratic Party" would be formed by those who considered the party too far to the left. Then, when Blair moved the party more towards the right with "New Labour" and the removal of common ownership from Clause IV, this was seen as a social democratic revolution. The same was true of Germany. The Social Democratic Party had previously supported the eventual goal of worker ownership of the means of production, however, had later moved more to the centre. This is the same with most other social democratic parties in Europe, the most notable exception to this being the British Labour Party which has moved to the left again with Corbyn's election. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, in his speech to the party conference this year praised the original Clause IV and it is clear that both he and Corbyn support the eventual goal of worker ownership of the means of production. The fact that other social democratic parties in Europe are declining in popularity after moving away from the left is not coincidental. The term is known as Pasokification, after the PASOK Party in Greece, the social democratic party which suffered a great decline in support. People are not satisfied with mere welfare reforms, and are seeking alternatives. However, a sad fact is that more often than not, that alternative comes in the form of the far-right which is gaining influence across Europe.

In conclusion, if what is misunderstood as socialism (high taxes, social programs, regulation on industry) becomes popular in the United States, those parties who advocate for it would do wise to learn from the successes and failures of the various parties that propose this in Europe. This is especially true with how prominent the far-right already is in that country.
"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." - Friedrich Nietzsche

carnap
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Post by carnap » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:51 am

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:51 pm
In conclusion, if what is misunderstood as socialism (high taxes, social programs, regulation on industry) becomes popular in the United States, those parties who advocate for it would do wise to learn from the successes and failures of the various parties that propose this in Europe.
This is unlikely to occur, the left in the United States is still very far from promoting what you're talking about. And the right is gaining in the US and Europe because liberals have largely abandoned the working-class.

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Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:43 am

carnap wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:51 am
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:51 pm
In conclusion, if what is misunderstood as socialism (high taxes, social programs, regulation on industry) becomes popular in the United States, those parties who advocate for it would do wise to learn from the successes and failures of the various parties that propose this in Europe.
This is unlikely to occur, the left in the United States is still very far from promoting what you're talking about. And the right is gaining in the US and Europe because liberals have largely abandoned the working-class.
To say that liberals have abandoned the working-class is to say that they were ever their allies to begin with. I find that when Keir Hardie, the first leader of the Labour Party, said "all the Conservatives and Liberals are joined together in the interests of capital against Labour", it is as relevant now as it was when he said it. He was referring to the Conservative Party and Liberal Party (now the Liberal Democrats after merging with the SDP), which are the principle conservative and liberal parties in Britain, however, it is equally relevant to all conservative and liberal parties across the globe. Neither of them has the interests of the working class at heart.
"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Post by carnap » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:11 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:43 am
To say that liberals have abandoned the working-class is to say that they were ever their allies to begin with. I find that when Keir Hardie, the first leader of the Labour Party, said "all the Conservatives and Liberals are joined together in the interests of capital against Labour".
I cannot speak for the UK but I think in the US liberals did promote the interests of the working-class between the 1930's and the 1970's. The "new deal" created many programs that helped the working class and the US economy between 1940 and 1980 saw significant gains for the working-class (and middle-class). But that started to change in the 1980's and policies created by Democratic politicians have been some of the most destructive for the working-class.

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