Sunday, April 08, 2007

Political Philosophy

In my first post I said I’d give context to and justify my support for social democracy. In brevity, social democracy is state-regulation/intervention in the economy with individual freedom and leads to a more prosperous society.

My own social democracy comes from liberalist and democratic socialist philosophy. Despite this, social democracy is not true socialism, but instead a mixed economic system.

From liberalism comes the ideal of individual rights and markets. While traditional liberalism supported completely free markets, I don’t. The liberal ideal of government procedures being openly accessible to the public, an “open society”, is part of my philosophy.

The ideal of extending the type of rights comes from democratic socialist philosophy. Social rights or positive rights are rights such as the right potable water, healthcare, or education. Economic intervention for social justice is another ideal I take from democratic socialism.

Ideals I get from both liberalism and democratic socialism are democracy and secularism. By “democracy” I mean the representative kind, where there are some legal rights to protect the individual or minority from tyranny of the majority.

More concrete proposals include nationalizing or municipalizing industries like water management, healthcare, daycare, education, postal services, and telecommunications. Of course, for most of these (daycare, education, postal services, and telecommunications) there would be private alternatives.

To protect social rights, industries would be under state-regulation. Minimum wage, union rights, tax penalties for businesses causing environmental damage, and high tariffs on businesses with use child labour. Following that note, I support a fair trade, as opposed to a protectionist or free trade, policy.

The structure of government would be a representative democracy, were constituents elect a representative per constituency. It would have a constitution consisting charter of individual freedoms, protecting the individual or minority from tyranny of the majority, and a social charter, listing social rights, like the one in Europe.

The constitution would also inhibit religious inference in government affairs. This secularism would promote a “public sphere” of politics where religion had little say.

Education would be used to get informed participants in democracy. Critical thinking and numeracy would be focused on, after basic literacy.

Some may wonder what separates this view from “social liberalism”, a modern liberal philosophy. The difference I see is the extent of the regulation. Social liberals support a social safety net, but not an extensive welfare state where social rights are solidified with a social charter, a constitutional document.

Such a system is practicable and ideal. Finno-Scandinavia enacted many of these proposals. This has resulted in a lower poverty rate and a higher wage for the working class. Other Western European countries follow such policies, with reasonable success.

Yes, finally, another like-mind on Blogging Dippers! Except, I'm a bit more towards social liberalism, but still, I like to call myself social democrat, unfortunately, this puts me in a group with other socialists who I sometimes have vehement disagreements with. But European Social Democracy is pretty much my inspiration.

I'll be sure to read your blog regularly.
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]