By definition - A system of government that allows and encourages
public participation, particularly through the activities of pressure
groups seeking to influence the government.
Traditional socialism has always been associated with an analysis of
society that class differences are crucial, in particular the middle
classes - those who have gained to the working classes expense -
summarised, the two classes interests are in conflict. Social
democrats believe society is far more complex than a class interest
struggle, and this concept becomes outdated in a pluralist society - a
community of individuals and varied interests.
Traditional Socialism is arguably intolerant in its outlook with
1) A reluctance to accept that there may be other ways to achieve
socialist goals (equality of opportunity, welfare provision etc)
2) Assumptions that all people will benefit from these goals.
Social Democracy provides the prospect of choice - the right to choose
which services they wish to consume, whether they wish to make their
own welfare provisions. The vital goal of social democracy therefore
is to enhance and facilitate choices for individuals and to oppose
socialist measures infringing on these preferences. (E.g. A
flourishing state run education system should not preclude private
education system existence but merely run alongside each other to
provided excellence and choice for education.)
New Right conservatives = monetarism - laissez faire - little
involvement as possible - neo liberalism
Traditional Socialists = Keynesian economics - cause to intervene in
economy - ensuring stability and enhancing personal liberty.
Prefer these economic management strategies. Social democrats reject
such a dogmatic approach - need for a pragmatic pluralist approach to
It was a member of the Labour Party in...