Re: what makes a theory 'social democratic'?

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Thu Dec 04 2003 - 16:12:06 EST

>What makes a theory (which is to be distinguished from the expressed
>politics of the one holding the theory) 'social democratic' rather than
>         in solidarity,
>         michael

Moschonas gives an institutional definition of social
democracy--centralized wage bargaining, fiscal policy as instrument
of full employment as well as central bank accomodation thereof,
mildly progressive tax structure. I call a theory social democratic
if it implies that such an arrangment would work, i.e. could
stabilize capitalism with output growth, low inflation, some bottom
up real wage improvement over time, and contained inequality.
Social democracy as a practice is state centric; as a theory it is
meant to guide the state as a rational supra-class institution
towards economically and normatively sound policy. Social democratic
propaganda tends to identify the main enemy as rentiers who are
worried about their incomes being inflated away in a full employment
context. The struggle for emancipation from the alienation inherent
the industrial capitalist work process cannot figure prominently in
social democratic theory and practice, as you long ago pointed out.
The attention is focused on the distribution of the net product after
it has resulted from alienated industrial labor. I think Ajit
explores the differences in the meaning of exploitation.
I cannot imagine that as a practice or theory S-D would not have been
the object of Marx's critique. Marx certainly would not have said
policy is irrelevant and should not be struggled over, but the limits
of social democracy he would have attempted to elucidate, no?
This is all terribly well understood, no? I'm not saying anything
controversial here, right?
Yours, Rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Dec 06 2003 - 00:00:00 EST