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Tue May 24, 2016, 01:21 PM

There's a contradiction at the heart of social democracy........

that's the reason that the so-called "left" parties the world over can't seem to stop or even slow down the corporate takeover of governments and the repeal of the social democratic programs that were enacted in the last century. Social democracy, no matter how "radical" it presents its platforms, still believes in the primacy of capitalism as the organizing principle of society. If you believe in keeping capitalism that means you have to keep the rules of capitalism too. And the rules of capitalism today says that the social democratic programs that were enacted are not affordable by the system anymore.

That's the conundrum for ALL of the current "left" electoral parties from SYRIZA to the PT in Brazil to Corbyn and Labour in Britain to Sanders in the USA. The system that you want to keep says it can't afford what you are advocating for.

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Reply There's a contradiction at the heart of social democracy........ (Original post)
socialist_n_TN May 2016 OP
Cheese Sandwich May 2016 #1
socialist_n_TN May 2016 #2
Cheese Sandwich May 2016 #3
socialist_n_TN May 2016 #5
TBF May 2016 #4
socialist_n_TN May 2016 #6
Cheese Sandwich May 2016 #9
socialist_n_TN May 2016 #10
Cheese Sandwich May 2016 #11
socialist_n_TN May 2016 #12
political marxist May 2016 #7
socialist_n_TN May 2016 #8

Response to socialist_n_TN (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 02:46 PM

1. Possibly a Corbyn or a Sanders in power could be an ally to help social movements that are

 

working separately, outside of politics. So like the climate movement, labor, cooperative workplace movement, peace movement, prison reform, internet freedom, and other social movements. Could it make sense to see movements like this as central to any revolution that may or may not be happening? Especially if there were some alliance tying several of these pieces together. Then social democratic politics can be seen as only the political arm of this independent force that commands its own social power separate from politics, if we were doing it right.

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Response to Cheese Sandwich (Reply #1)

Tue May 24, 2016, 06:37 PM

2. There should be an alliance tying these various pieces together......

but I don't think it can be done outside the purview of a workers' party. Which would leave out Sanders AS A DEMOCRAT. But even workers' parties can still be bamboozled by the nostalgia for the social democratic programs that were won in the last century and are currently under attack by the bourgeoisie world-wide. But a properly run workers party should draw together all of these elements into a cohesive bloc against austerity and ultimately capitalism. And that would be both electorally, as Lenin said "a tribune of the people", and on the streets and in the workplaces where real change will happen.

But eventually even the most radical social democratic political grouping/party must realize that what you are advocating for is currently unaffordable under capitalism. You will have to choose between what you want and capitalism. You can no longer have both.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #2)

Tue May 24, 2016, 11:53 PM

3. What do you mean it's not affordable?

 

I agree but I just want to see what you mean. Do you mean like actually providing a decent living for everyone would cut into capital accumulation so much that the system would just cease to function? Isn't that pretty much where we are right now with owners turning to automation, and shipping production overseas? The system already seems to be pretty broken.

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Response to Cheese Sandwich (Reply #3)

Wed May 25, 2016, 08:30 AM

5. Marx explained that profits already made and not reinvested is "dead" capital......

because it is a capital that doesn't reinvest in making the wider economy grow. But in order to reinvest there has to be ENOUGH profit made, not just a profit. Since the rate of profit was high during the post-war rebuilding, those social democratic gains could be afforded by the system, so they offered a few more crumbs from the table in order to keep the profit chain running smoothly. In the mid 60s through the 70s the RoP began to fall which paved the way for Reagan's neo-liberalism and the attacks on those social democratic programs in order to boost the rate of profit for a few decades, along with globalization and super exploitation of the developing countries. Since '99 though the RoP has been falling again. Which means that those social democratic programs that everybody is nostalgic for, by capitalist logic, are no longer affordable.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #2)

Wed May 25, 2016, 06:57 AM

4. My comment about neoliberalism is that when they start

sinking the yachts I'm interested in talking. All the little people on their boats - let's raise those boats. Not possible if you want to maintain your squadron of yachts off to the side.

I think that is when people start thinking it's impossible and revert back to social democracy/incrementalism.

I'm still fighting for the vision that we could reallocate resources and serve people rather than profit. My view is a long way off in the US however if the support for Trump/Clinton is any indication.

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Response to TBF (Reply #4)

Wed May 25, 2016, 08:38 AM

6. Yep. That's what a planned socialist economy would strive for.......

serving people rather than profit. Even a more radical social democracy could actually call for that. Not the ones we have today mind you, but a radical version of SYRIZA that advocates putting people over profits, but still says we can do it and keep capitalism. Actually, I guess that's what SYRIZA DID advocate for originally. But when they got into power, they were faced with the realization that the capitalists wouldn't ALLOW them to put people over profits. So they faced that choice and were forced to choose profits over people BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED IN KEEPING CAPITALISM.

That's what I meant about if you keep capitalism, you have to keep the RULES of capitalism. And the rules of capitalism says you can't have social democratic programs (people over profits) anymore.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #2)

Thu May 26, 2016, 03:23 PM

9. uh oh... speaking of a workers' party...

 


This is off topic from the thread but..

Trump: My GOP will be a 'worker's party'
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump predicted the Republican Party will become a "worker's party" under his leadership.

“Five, 10 years from now — different party," Trump said during an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek published Thursday.

"You’re going to have a worker’s party. A party of people that haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry."
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/281332-trump-my-gop-will-be-a-workers-party

Looks like fascism to me.

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Response to Cheese Sandwich (Reply #9)

Thu May 26, 2016, 05:34 PM

10. Yeah, I've been seeing this on FB (and here) all day.........

My response is the Republicans will be a "workers' party" like the NAZIs were a "socialist party".

WTF does a 64 year old who won the "lucky sperm lottery" for $40 MILLION dollars know about working?

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #10)

Thu May 26, 2016, 08:29 PM

11. Trump scares me.

 

It's like he's reading out of Mussolini's playbook. I wish they would have nominated Mitt Romney again. Nice and boring.

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Response to Cheese Sandwich (Reply #11)

Fri May 27, 2016, 08:38 AM

12. My opinion on Trump, FWIW........

and I've said this all along. Trump is an opportunist, NOT a committed ideologue. Which is why calling him a fascist is factually wrong. He is, however, calling on the social forces that create fascism to support his opportunism and that's pretty dangerous. Those forces are like a djinn and REALLY difficult to return to the bottle once they're released. Think Ukraine.

Of course he's calling on these forces because he THINKS he can control them and they will benefit him. Also like Ukraine. That's the hubris of the bourgeoisie. Fascists are the last line of defense for the system against the rest of us. When parts of the bourgeoisie trot them out for anything less than that last line of defense, they are playing with social fire. However, we can be glad of one thing in this whole farce. And that is Trump is NOT a committed fascist ideologue. If he was, we'd be in even more trouble.

And I agree with your Mussolini analogy. To me he's showing more of Mussolini's fascism than Hitler's. A slight difference in style.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Original post)

Wed May 25, 2016, 08:52 AM

7. I believe your

 

central point is correct. Social democracy has always been a compromise with the working class by capital, but only sustainable while profit rates are climbing. And real labor valorization has been falling, however incrementally, since the 1970's, which has been the basis for jettisoning the compact with labor embodied by the New Deal. That makes the Sanders campaign something of a quixotic undertaking, given that business is uninterested in anything other than austerity to increase it's profitability. Not that Bernie should give up on his challenge to corporate power, just the opposite. We've reached such a high level of productivity that socialism is now completely sustainable and capital has, in purely economic terms, become completely outmoded...a fetter on production. Any confrontation with the system that questions it's preeminence is a valuable tool in bringing it to an end. And a welcome teaching moment to boot.

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Response to political marxist (Reply #7)

Wed May 25, 2016, 01:40 PM

8. You've got the premise that I was trying to get accross........

but there are stages to consciousness of the working class. Now, I'm not talking about the Stalinist "stagiest theory" when I say this, but strictly on consciousness. The consciousness of the working class, for the most part, has now recognized that the social democratic reforms of the last century are being eroded day by day. Which has led to the rise of these left formations that are basically calling for a return to social democracy. So it's time to put this contradiction in social democracy out there and guide the workers into seeing that only an anti-capitalist movement will even have a chance to bring on ANY reforms, even social democratic ones. And if you're going to have to struggle that hard just to protect and get back what you had, you might as well go all the way this time.

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