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Progressing Towards the Ideal Society: Social Democracy As I Understand It

FinnMacCool

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This is something which I posted on my blog but, as its unlikely to get any response from people, I decided to post it here.
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The Ideal Society is one that is free, equal, and happy. Libertarians encompass freedom while Socialists go for equality. Both try to create what they feel is the ideal society.
Libertarians, while admirable in their attempts to establish a completly free society, fail in this because their idea of Laissez-faire economics gives too much power to the corporations, allowing them to influence our politicians decisions that have an effect on us.
Socialists, while admirable in their attempts to create a more just society, fail because in trying to make us equal, they instead make us all equal in our misery.
This makes both sides unsatisfactory.
Libertarians are realistic but offer no solutions while socialists offer solutions but unrealistic ones.The thing we need for an ideal society is one that offers both solutions to problems of war, hunger, and poverty while, at the same time, remaining realistic.
Were I forced to choose between a libertarian society and a socialist society, I would have to go with libertarian mainly because, while they offer no solutions, they leave room for progression. However, if we continue to follow the libertarian way of thinking, they will lead us right off a cliff.
Pure Capitalism is no better then pure Socialism. The only difference is the short-term affects of socialism are more noticable because of the way in which they shove the socialist reforms down the peoples throats.
Social Democracy, as I understand it, is the best way to progress towards the eventual goal of an ideal society. It is both realistic and offers solutions.
Social Democracy must be accomplished through democratic means. The only way a revolution should ever be advocated is when the government that rules the People becomes so authoritarian, that trying to change the regime through democracy doesn't work. Even then, however, Social Democracy should come into power through elections.
If Social Democrats were ever given the chance to run (which is doubtful nowadays but not impossible), we would need to convince the People that our way was the best way. The best way to do this is by being honest. We would argue with our intellectual arguments as opposed to our opposing side that would bash us with terms like "Socialist" or "Fascist" or whatever they choose to try and distract the populace from the real issues. If the people could see that Social Democrats had an air of honesty about them that was lacked in our right-wing opponents, we may very well garner the support we need to win the elections.
When (and if) Social Democrats get power, the eventual reforms that they would enact should be slow but steady. The people, and especially the doubters, for they would be in large numbers, would have to see that we kept our promises after enacting reforms. Once the results of our reforms came in and if they worked as we hoped they would, we would show them we kept our promise and introduce another.
A free press is essential to the Social Democratic movement. This should be established early so that later generations would not forget it. The People would have to see that the changes we are making are positive. However, criticism should also be encouraged. If we discourage criticism through imprisonment and threats, what makes us any better then the right? Criticism not only shows that we aren't oppressive but it also is helpful towards our government. We could take the criticism we get and also see what the public thinks on certain issues and try to make improvements. At the same time, however, we should not appease the opposing side. Legitimate criticism should be considered but not immediatly acted upon if we are only working to appease the opposistion.
The first term for Social Democrats will be the most important one because, if it is succesful, it will show the People that our way works and that if they continue to support us, many great changes could be made. Once this happens though, we must not self destruct by enacting reform after reform and cripple ourselves. We must remain slow but steady.
Our foreign relations to other nations should be friendly but, at the same time, firm. Trade should be kept with those that are friendly and we should refuse to help those who are shady, no matter what the economic rewards might be.
When it comes to wars, we should do our best to remain neutral but, if attacked, we must be able to respond effectivly. We need to have a strong military but we should try our best not to use them. The reason for this is because, while we should take a firm stance on neutrality, we should also not look too weak. Our army should be gradually withdrawn from all over the world back to the US. We should yield our title as 'World Policemen' to those who are willing and able to deal with the hardships that come with it. We should be able to gain the trust of the world by showing ourselves as non-hostile.
Nuclear weapons should neither be used nor ever allowed to be used. In this area, we would have to work with countries to make sure that potentionally hostile contries know that any building of weapons of mass destruction, would be responded to with swift and harsh action.

This should sum up my idea of how a Social Democracy should be implemented and what some specific policys they should have to ensure its success. Social Democrats should remain firm yet diplomatic, progressive yet steady, realistic yet optimistic and, above all, be able to accomodate the three things most important to an ideal society;

Freedom, Equality, and Happiness.
 
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This is what many socialists forget.

Corporations have certain powers, because our laws mandate that Corporations must legaly make profits for their share holders above all else.

I believe that Libertarianism can work, if the laws are changed, so that corporations, must aim to generate profits for their share holders, but must not break national or international law that protects STAKEHOLDERS, in this process.

It amazes me that so many socialists don't seem to understand that the corporation is not really a product of the capitalist system, but rather of our LEGAL SYSTEM, and if we wan't to change the power of corporations, all we have to do is change the law.

As I see it corporations are a bastardisation of capitalism. Mostly because they will maximise profit making, infront of everything else. Problem is, that capitalism, is an interaction of people trading goods. And therefore, stakeholder's interests are just as important as shareholders interests, in the LONG TERM.
 

Comrade Brian

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Corporations have certain powers, because our laws mandate that Corporations must legaly make profits for their share holders above all else.
They only want to make profits for their owners, or CEOs. Because they have so much power, MONEY/WEALTH=POWER, they can do things illegally.
It amazes me that so many socialists don't seem to understand that the corporation is not really a product of the capitalist system, but rather of our LEGAL SYSTEM, and if we wan't to change the power of corporations, all we have to do is change the law.
It is directly off the economic system, economics guide society, it rules society. The current economy is run by corporate power. Capitalism is defined by private ownership, corporations are run by private property owners.
As I see it corporations are a bastardisation of capitalism. Mostly because they will maximise profit making, infront of everything else.
That is what capitalism's goal is.
 
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