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Social democracy in decline. June 16, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Mentioned in comments… Paul Mason makes what I think is the central point about the social democratic left at this juncture:

Social democracy’s electoral decline – from Scotland to Poland – is rooted in its attachment to free-market economics, which it needs to deliver rising wealth and wellbeing for the broad mass of people. The years since 2008 have shown that it does not and it cannot. From Matteo Renzi in Italy to Kezia Dugdale in Scotland, a generation of technocratic centrists across Europe have found that personal charm and modernity cannot counteract the toxicity of a form of economics that brings only inequality and stagnation.

And he notes one other thing:

The paralysis of the centre-left presents their radical challengers with both a historic opportunity and a challenge.


The opportunity – as in Greece – is to become something close to a “natural party of government” for the networked generation that has lost out during the post-2008 crisis. The challenge is how to maintain the radicalism while enmeshed in the tangled web of power. In the cities the left controls, Podemos MP Pablo Bustinduy told me last week, “the biggest frustration is the amount of time it takes for a decision to leave the mayor’s office and actually take effect in society”. Welcome to the real world, a weary generation of centrist technocrats might sigh.

At the very least a scepticism about markets would be a start. Indeed any programmes from here on out that don’t have that scepticism are not worth the paper they’re printed on. Mason’s discussions with Podemos members suggests some are interested in challenging EU deficit rules. That’s an essential project. But how does it work in practice if they are in government with PSOE as a partner? Indeed how does it work if the only route to power is with less radical parties, parties that in the main have championed the status quo?

A lot to wonder about there…


1. Admin - June 16, 2016
2. Gewerkschaftler - June 16, 2016

Indeed a central question.

I’m moving increasingly to the position that we (parties of the left that want to break the neo-liberal hegemony in Europe) should not go into coalition with other parties without a watertight agreement to challenge the EU’s fiscal pact and a plan B against the ECB should it be used to attack the elected government of a member state. Again.

Without that we’re heading to Pasok/Syrizification.

If that means staying out of government and watching former social democrat parties shrivel further and concentrating on extra-parliamentary actions, so be it.

Liked by 1 person

Ciaran - June 16, 2016

Agreed, particularly on the fiscal pact. The so-called Stability and Growth Pact and all its off-shoots should be entirely scrapped.


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