We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Roots to Social Democracy/Capitalism, Socialism: The Failure of Social Democracy (Part 2 of 7) [A must read post]

Click here to access article by Ron Ridenour from Dissident Voice. (I am not posting Part 1 because I think it is largely subsumed in this post.)

This article offers the best, most accurate, most concise history of class conflict under capitalism in the 20th century that I have ever seen. Not that it's perfect because it leaves a lot of important details out such as Operation Gladio under the direction of the CIA which used terrorist methods against militant workers in Europe following WWII to insure that only capitalist parties would triumph. 

The fact that this sort of accurate history is so unusual is simply due to the triumph of capitalist classes, especially the dominant capitalist class in the US, following WWII. The emerging US capitalist class has tried, and largely succeeded, in re-writing the history of this post-WWII era and re-defining important political-economic concepts (socialism equals social democracy) to obscure the basic class conflict between ruling capitalist classes and workers to insure that capitalist interests prevailed. As a result we see the dominance of the US Empire in world affairs today and all the chaos, social problems, never-ending wars, and deterioration of the lives of ordinary people throughout the world.

It is clear to me and this history that social democracy has always been a temporary strategy by ruling capitalist classes to stave off working class interests in public ownership and control of economies.
...World War II was an economic boom for the USA [mostly for the capitalists]. Its weapons, oil, steel, auto, and construction industries grew manifold. Their surplus financed the Marshall Plan to rebuild the capitalist economies of Western Europe and prevent socialist-communist electoral victories. This policy succeeded, especially in Greece and Italy where a majority of workers were leftist.

Europe’s two largest political parties, the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats, adopted and even extended welfare benefits enabled by the Marshall Plan. The “free market” has since largely replaced the state as the politically determining force, and the welfare model is no longer viewed as necessary.

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