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9. Socialism: Ends II Social democracy

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AS Swift

on 17 October 2015

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Transcript of 9. Socialism: Ends II Social democracy

Socialism: Ends II
Ethical socialism
Since Marx's scientific basis had been abandoned along with the failure of a genuine proletariat revolution, another basis for why socialism would and should work needed to be found.

Social democracy found this in moral and/or religious answers. In other words, we should have socialism rather than capitalism because capitalism is immoral while socialism is morally good and based ties of love and compassion between people.

It has been based in humanism which means that because satisfying human needs is morally good, socialism should and must be brought about.

Equally, Christian socialists such as Tawney have claimed that capitalism should be controlled because it encourages greed which is sinful.

The change in theoretical basis has lead social democrats to be interested in social justice (a morally justifiable distribution of wealth) which leads to equality of opportunity rather than absolute equality brought about by collectivization.
Revisionist socialism
The revision or reworking of a political theory that departs from earlier interpretations in an attempt to present a 'corrected' view.

They believed the abolition of private property and abandonment of capitalism was a flawed theory. Instead, in order to achieve socialism they aimed for the following:
Mixed economy- the nationalization of industries which naturally become monopolies
Economic management- allow capitalism to generate wealth, but control it through corporation tax and other laws to prevent monopolies, unemployment, exploitation of workers, and enable the redistribution of wealth
Welfare state- to eradicate poverty and promote social equality
Social democracy
An ideological stance that supports a broad balance between market capitalism and state intervention. As a compromise between the market and the state social democracy therefore lacks systematic underlying theory and has been criticized as being vague. It has been associated with the following views:
1. Capitalism is the only reliable way of generating wealth but it is morally defective at distributing the wealth.
2. The defects of capitalism can be rectified through economic and social intervention (state as custodian of public interests).
3. Social change can and should be brought about peacefully and constitutionally.
Neo-revisionist and the 'third way'
The notion of an alternative form of economics to both state socialism and free-market capitalism, sought at different times by conservatives and socialists.
Crisis of social democracy
Rejecting communism meant abandoning absolute equality. Accepting capitalism meant adopting a weakened form of equality: distributive equality in which the gap between rich and poor was reduced rather than closed entirely.

Therefore there was a crisis with social democracy because it could not achieve both economic efficiency and egalitarianism.

Recession in the 1970s and 80s as predicted by Crosland created even more doubt about the success of social democracy: the state could not provide both employment and welfare support for the unemployed since there were note enough employed people to contribute taxes to fund the welfare state.

In the 1990s, the shrinkage of the traditional working class meant that there were fewer people interested in voting for Labour parties. In addition the credibility of social democracy suffered along with the collapse of communist socialism.
Social democracy
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