Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

However, even in Europe, the direction of socialism for step-by-step reforms through the parliamentary route, e.g. Social Democrats, historically favoured policies building up a wide middle-class. Myself, I think the self-defeating nature of this project could have been seen on the onset: the have-some will have a tendency to defend what they have, and hope they will rise further, thus a significant part will end up supporting the have-mores against the have-nones. Worse, when the party leaders themselves rise up the social ladder, there will be a tendency to view issues and weigh their importance from their current (or hoped-for even higher) position. (And to those who'd protest: a tendency of course doesn't mean that everyone is incapable of social solidarity, only that that realising [apparent] class interests is the easy route.) Thus to a large extent I view the current doldrums of the European centre-left and the plague of Third Wayism as a logical consequence of core Social Democrat strategy from at least 60, but perhaps 120 years ago.

I would say apparent is the operative word there.

The purpose of social-democratic politics has to be to cast both its policial narrative and structure its proposed solutions in a way that fuses the interests of the middle income class with those of the poor. It's the only way in which it can actually hope to both command majorities and implement policies that help the poor.

Interests are not narrowly fixed. They are perceived.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun May 18th, 2008 at 10:48:46 AM EST
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