Can Europe’s Mainstream Left Reconnect with Socialism and Economic Democracy? | Nyegosh Dube on Social Europe Journal
Recent elections in France have given the Socialist Party control of both the executive and legislative branches. Good news? For those of us on the Left, definitely. A major step towards bringing about a socialist economic order in Europe? Hardly. In France we have a Socialist Party that does not advocate socialism. But it’s not just France, of course. Spain’s Socialist Workers’ Party has little to do with socialism or advancing workers’ collective power. In Britain we have a Labour Party that does not advocate any form of labour control over the economy. In Germany and Sweden we have Social Democratic parties that seem to believe that social democracy can coexist with the economic undemocracy of corporate capitalism – as neo-liberalism has advanced, this notion has increasingly proved to be flawed. These parties long ago retreated from socialism and democratic control of capital.
In other words, at the heart of socialism lies economic democracy, i.e. democracy expanded into the economic sphere, at the micro, meso and macro levels. It involves institutions such as worker-owned and worker-managed companies (including cooperatives), labour-sponsored collective investment funds and multi-company worker ownership, socially owned and controlled financial institutions, democratically controlled national and transnational investment funds that have substantial ownership of major corporations, as well as state and municipal ownership and investment if they include a high level of citizen and worker participation. While “political democracy is an indispensable element of a socialist society”, as the SI’s 1989 Declaration of Principles proclaims, economic democracy is in turn a prerequisite for genuine political democracy undistorted by oligarchic corporate power.
Latest posts by Tombuktu (see all)
- Pareto at Melos | Cosma Shalizi - September 13, 2012
- The G192 report | Robert H Wade - August 15, 2012
- Can Europe’s Mainstream Left Reconnect with Socialism and Economic Democracy? | Nyegosh Dube - July 17, 2012
- Mark Ames | The Quiet Extermination Of Labor Rights From Human Rights - June 25, 2012
- Chris Dillow | Marx was right - March 20, 2012