An interesting article that highlights some inconsistencies Center-Left parties have in implementing a social-democratic platform while effectively maintaining and strengthening capitalism … Via Socialist Worker:
With the electoral breakthrough of the NDP in the federal election, attention to the nature of social democracy has returned to the political agenda. What do socialists say about the NDP and social democracy today?
There are two main views about parliamentary — or electoral — democracy in the history of the socialist movement. The social democratic view sees the liberal democratic state as a neutral body that can be peopled by delegates of the right or the left. Marxists, however, have stressed the limitations of the liberal democratic state. This view dates back to Marx’s analysis stated simply in the Communist Manifesto.
Contemporary social democratic parties, like the NDP or the Labour Party in the UK, keep a close eye on every aspect of parliamentary practice. Social movements, student activism and trade union struggles are seen as important at times. But what is considered “extra-parliamentary” work is seen as a means to influence “political” outcomes, which are narrowly defined in terms of parliamentary elections, debates or policies.
But the difference between a reformist, or social democratic, view, and a revolutionary, or Marxist, one, has not always been easy to discern.
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