- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Social democrats are not socialists

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on December 15, 1999 at 16:51:00:

In Reply to: As an American, and a Socialist posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on December 15, 1999 at 13:22:52:

: Well, y'all know my feeling on this. As an American, and a Socialist,

SDF: As far as I can tell, NJ, you're not a socialist, you're a social democrat. A socialist would be arguing for the abolition of money and the democratization of property. Red Deathy was a socialist. Anyone who spends as much time as you do defending Jimmy Carter, scion of Coca-Cola and the Trilateral Commission, is not a socialist. Socialists like democracy, not dictatorship through elite appointment. Nicaragua under the Sandinistas was 40% state-owned, like Israel. Are the Israelis socialists? No, they're social democrats.

In this space and time, being a social democrat might be justified. But social democratic regimes behave in remarkably toothless ways when pressure is put upon them -- note for instance how the "Red-Green" coalition in Germany endorsed the US-led gratuitous bombing of Serbia, note the collapse of the Sandinistas, note the phoniness of the "Socialist Party" in France under Mitterand and "New Labour" under Blair in England (and in New Zealand, tho' I know less about this). So there is a danger in being a social democrat.

To efface the distinction between socialism and social democracy would make it impossible for participants on this BBS to theorize. If you're really a socialist, NJ, please explain in what ways you're a socialist. 'Cause frankly, you look to me like a social democrat.

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