Sunday, November 24, 2013

From Jacobin on social democracy

Chris Maisano on Social Democracy's Incomplete Leacy (via 3quarksdaily)" Instead of aspiring to establish public ownership of the commanding heights of the economy, Crosland argued that socialists and social democrats should instead seek to harness the wealth-generating capacities of modern capitalism for social ends. The task of modern social democracy was not to overthrow or transcend capitalism, but to manage it and redistribute the surplus in the interest of social equality. This perspective has attained almost total hegemony on the Western left since Crosland wrote his book,...
The radical energies the Occupiers and indignados have unleashed have been bracing, particularly for those of us who have only ever known defeat and demobilization. To a significant extent, the traditional formations of the social-democratic left deserve their scorn. Still, one cannot and should not lose sight of the fact that, as Harrington remarks somewhere, for all their limitations, the world’s social-democratic parties and movements are responsible for freeing more human beings from political and material deprivation than any other political formation in history. In building the new political movements of the twenty-first century, our impulse should not be to reject the social-democratic legacy, but to build on and complete its unfulfillable promise."

No comments: