What are some leftwing policies the NDP can take up?

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JKR

Unionist wrote:

JKR wrote:
If the ad industry can successfully sell unhealthy things like Coke and McDonalds it should be able to sell a quality brand like the NDP.

I'm not following you. The NDP sold out long ago.

Judging by last weeks's results, it wasn't enough.

Malcontent

I would like them to campaign on the Regina Manifesto or something similar.  The NDP need to be and show they are different than the Libs instead of being Liberal lite so to speak.

Sean in Ottawa

takeitslowly wrote:

we need to get top notch economic advisors to endorse our economic plan, we need to sound credible and sincere, we need to pull people's heartsrings. NDP talk to much, we need to be repetitive and simplfy our messages, we need to get good media people who can create  special moments , like trudeau boxing , or dancing to punjabi music, we need more of those. all the policies dont make a differences people just want to moved and touched and feel good by a campaign. Mulcair looked a bit creepy at the end . Mulcair promised too much, and didnt seem very trustworthy

We need to BE credible and we need to BE sincere

I agree that the way the messages are delivered should be cleaner, clearer and more direct. In fact this was the first contrast I saw in this last campaign when I was noticing the messages were not being delivered cleanly or in any kind of inspirational way.

wage zombie

alan smithee wrote:

I'd just like to remind people here that if you identify yourself as 'left' or as a 'progressive' you are by definition a liberal.

wage zombie wrote:

That doesn't sound right to me.

alan smithee wrote:

It's a fact. What are you,then? A Conservative?

No, I'm not a conservative but I also don't consider myself a Liberal.  I don't consider it a dichotomy.  Do you?  I suppose some kind of argument could be made for political stance to be largely mother-values vs father-values... but that's not what I think of when I think of liberal.

I think socialists and anarchists are not liberals, and I'd be more likely to identify (somewhat) with those labels.  I suppose I'd identify as a social democrat more than anything else.  Leftist and progressive, yes, liberal no. 

Maybe a topic for another thread

Pondering

JKR wrote:
Unionist wrote:

JKR wrote:
If the ad industry can successfully sell unhealthy things like Coke and McDonalds it should be able to sell a quality brand like the NDP.

I'm not following you. The NDP sold out long ago.

Judging by last weeks's results, it wasn't enough.

It would probably have been enough under any other leader that the Liberals might have chosen. The NDP didn't lose because it was too far left. The NDP lost because the Liberals grabbed the "inspiring" "can do" messaging and were considered farther left than the NDP on some issues. Far from being a hindrance Trudeau's "youth" also generated a desire for generational change.

 

lagatta

Wage zombie, I'm most certainly not a liberal, unless one means freedom of speech and assembly etc. I'm an ecosocialist. And a feminist, of course, but if I were to say "ecofeminist" there might be mystical Wiccan associations, which really aren't my thing.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

The entire spectrum of the 'left' is defined as liberalism. Sorry to break the news to you but you are all liberals.

The entire spectrum of the 'right' is Conservatism.

You're either a liberal or a conservative. Much like you're either left or right. Unless you're a centrist.Then you're neither.

If someone called me a liberal,I can't argue with them. I'm a social liberal,an environmental liberal and a fiscal liberal.

Remember,fascism was created to destroy liberalism. Which included socialism,marxism and anarchism.

Deny it all you like, You are what you are - liberal. Unless you're a conservative,of course. And conservatism has more in common with totalitarianism and fascism and is the opposite of liberalism.

If you're pro - civil liberties,if you are a proponent of a welfare state,if you eco-friendly,if you define your opinions by science and facts,if you want to end the war on drugs,if you're anti-war,a pacifist or pro-choice,you're a liberal.

Sorry to disappoint you all with facts.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

You know, alan, even the Oxford English Dictionary now agrees that there is no absolute meaning for any word. Instead the meaning is whatever most people intend it to mean. In this case you are trying to enforce a definition of "liberal" which many others obviously disagree with. In my opinion, that is a pointless exercise in pedantry.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

My primary motive in mentioning this is when a certain serial poster dug up a story entitled, roughly, 'Is liberalism finished in Canada'

The glee of the post made me feel very uneasy. The article was implying that the country and Canadians is becoming conservative and that liberals are a dying breed.

This is very dangerous. When progressives start championing the talking points of the right,there is something fundamentally wrong. It's confusion of identity.

What's next? 'Progressive' babblers calling people 'libtards'?

And as a progressive,as a socialist or as a secularist,you have a lot in common with liberalism. It's defined that way.

Just because federal and provincial parties label themselves 'Liberal' does not make them liberal. In fact,they are conservative.

It's not a bad word. On the issues,I'd be considered liberal. NOT 'Liberal' in the political party sense. There's a huge difference.

Anyway,not trying to make a big deal over semantics. Just explaining that articles proclaiming the death of liberalism should never be celebrated by people who identify themselves as progressive or leftist.

It would be like rooting for Social Democrat parties to lose elections.

wage zombie

alan smithee wrote:

If you're pro - civil liberties,if you are a proponent of a welfare state,if you eco-friendly,if you define your opinions by science and facts,if you want to end the war on drugs,if you're anti-war,a pacifist or pro-choice,you're a liberal.

Sorry to disappoint you all with facts.

These aren't facts, these are your opinions.  Of course everyone's welcome to an opinion, but it doesn't seem like too many here share yours.

If you want to make a case of it, then do the work to back it up with actual arguments.

wage zombie

There are no arguments in post #61 as it currently stands that bolster your assertions in post #57.

Taking 20 seconds to cut and paste from Wikipedia's Liberalism page is not as persuasive as you might have expected.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

wage zombie wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

If you're pro - civil liberties,if you are a proponent of a welfare state,if you eco-friendly,if you define your opinions by science and facts,if you want to end the war on drugs,if you're anti-war,a pacifist or pro-choice,you're a liberal.

Sorry to disappoint you all with facts.

These aren't facts, these are your opinions.  Of course everyone's welcome to an opinion, but it doesn't seem like too many here share yours.

If you want to make a case of it, then do the work to back it up with actual arguments.

Because it's not an opinion.

Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.[1][2] The former principle is stressed in classical liberalism while the latter is more evident in social liberalism.[3] Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programs such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, and international cooperation.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world. Liberalism rejected the notions, common at the time, of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings. The 17th-century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition. Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property,[11] while adding that governments must not violate these rights based on the social contract. Liberals opposed traditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with representative democracy and the rule of law.

Prominent revolutionaries in the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution used liberal philosophy to justify the armed overthrow of what they saw as tyrannical rule. Liberalism started to spread rapidly especially after the French Revolution. The 19th century saw liberal governments established in nations across Europe, South America, and North America.[12] In this period, the dominant ideological opponent of classical liberalism was conservatism, but liberalism later survived major ideological challenges from new opponents, such as fascism and communism. During the 20th century, liberal ideas spread even further as liberal democracies found themselves on the winning side in both world wars. In Europe and North America, the establishment of social liberalism became a key component in the expansion of the welfare state.[13][14] Today, liberal parties continue to wield power and influence throughout the world.

 

Does any of this sound familiar,comrade?

How about this?

Liberal socialism is a socialist political philosophy that includes liberal principles within it.[119] Liberal socialism does not have the goal of abolishing capitalism with a socialist economy;[120] instead, it supports a mixed economy that includes both public and private property in capital goods.[121][122] Principles that can be described as "liberal socialist" have been based upon or developed by the following philosophers: John Stuart Mill, Eduard Bernstein, John Dewey, Carlo Rosselli, Norberto Bobbio and Chantal Mouffe.[123] Other important liberal socialist figures include Guido Calogero, Piero Gobetti, Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse, and R. H. Tawney.[124] Liberal socialism has been particularly prominent in British and Italian politic

Social democracy, an ideology advocating progressive modification of capitalism, emerged in the 20th century and was influenced by socialism. Yet unlike socialism, it was not collectivist nor anti-capitalist. Broadly defined as a project that aims to correct, through government reformism, what it regards as the intrinsic defects of capitalism by reducing inequalities,[125] social democracy was also not against the state. Several commentators have noted strong similarities between social liberalism and social democracy, with one political scientist even calling American liberalism "bootleg social democracy" due to the absence of a significant social democratic tradition in the United States that liberals have tried to rectify.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Self denier. Social democracy is a form of liberalism. What are you? You're probably one of these geniuses that likes to label people 'libtards' while espousing liberal ideology.

wage zombie

Actually I'm someone who spoke up for you a half dozen times over the last year and a half when you were being called a Liberal shill.

Your argument is terribly weak and it shows by your need to go to ad hominem. 

lagatta

I'm well aware of the history of liberalism, but it has left a lot of stuff on its pathway from Locke to the 21st century. Calling all leftists "lliberals" nowadays is very US-American.  And just think - the capitalist "Liberal" party has a corner on RED in its campaign posters. The NDP and even Québec solidaire have to make do with some shade of orange.

Love me, I'm a liberal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw Phil Ochs.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

wage zombie wrote:

Actually I'm someone who spoke up for you a half dozen times over the last year and a half when you were being called a Liberal shill.

Your argument is terribly weak and it shows by your need to go to ad hominem. 

I thank you. But being a social democrat,many would identify you AND me liberal. Am I wrong?

I suppose if we talk American politics it's even more evident.

I consider myself a social democrat but I'm fully aware that that makes me socially liberal. Certainly NOT socially conservative.

As lagatta mentioned in her post,it's probably an American liberal/conservative mind set. But as we speak,there are 30% of Canadians that woould label Rabble as a 'liberal' news site. Mind you,out of that 30% a chunk would call us communists.Which is patently untrue. I think wer're more accurately 'liberal' than communist.

It's sort of like the right wing. They may be authoritarians,they may be fascists but they all identify as conservatives.

If you and I are not 'liberal' what are we? That's my question.

lagatta

Alan, I don't know what is eating you tonight. Usually you are courteous, but now you have responses starting with the "Sorry, but..." of rightwing trolls. I know you aren't a rightwing troll, and find that very strange.

I'm a socialist. Subspecies ecosocialist. Definitely not a Stalinist, less still a fascist. As for "communist", depends on the definition. Like "liberal".

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I'm still feeling uneasy about some comments I have read about liberalism.

I don't think 'liberal' is necessarily a bad word. I guess I'm searching for identity because I feel that fighting 'liberalism' is a right wing tactic to dismiss and humiliate those on the left of the spectrum.

Am I that far off to equate social democracy with social liberal? It's (IMHO) dangerous to relate with right wing talking points. Solidarity of the left is imperative,especially these days.

We flirted with fascism,we must never go back to that. If being a socialist means being a socialist,I apologize. But I think I'm somewhat liberal in the sense that I want an expansion of the welfare state (GAI),expansion of health care (Pharmacare,dental care),an end to morality laws and vice squads,renewable energy and the end of minimum wage and the start of a liveable wage.

These are not ideals that are conservative,They are progressive.They are socially what? If not liberal?

It's my question. If someone calls me 'liberal' what am I to say? If I say I'm a socialist,what are people going to consider myself politically?

It's a question. Clearly,I went about it the wrong way. But I'm naturally curious.

JKR

So what's the difference between "social-democrat" and "liberal"?

I think there is a difference, although in practice both philosophies often support the same kinds of government policies. I think the philosophy of liberalism stresses individual liberty while the philosophy of social democracy stresses the need for the well being of the working class.

swallow swallow's picture

Socilaism and liberalism are distinct philosophies. And I think wikipedia agrees. 

wage zombie

Well I'm definitely liberal about the amount of hot sauce I like to have on my food.  Does that make me a liberal?

I'm socially liberal, with the implicit context that the term's common usage is in opposition to "socially conservative".  But opinions on specific social issues seem to vary greatly by age demographic.  Are younger generations going to consist largely of those who are "socially liberal"?  Or will the implications of those leanings adapt to changing social issues?

If we're talking economic philisophies, no, I'm not a liberal.  I might agree with liberals on issues, or on general principles informing issues, but that's not the same thing.  And there are some different implied meanings about the word liberal depending on use, and whether used as a noun or adjective.

I think the labels "leftist" or "progressive" are more useful.  I suppose these are orientatilons as opposed to ideologies.  And yes, the contexts are very different in Canada and US, although are informed by the US usage as well.

In the US, I think progressive was selected as a better alternative than liberal, which had been demonized successfully by the right wing.  Here, our governing party has been Liberal so the word was never demonized.  Here, "progressive" I think has been pushed in part by Liberals looking to compete with the NDP for voters.  However I think it is the best term to use.  There are a large number of voters, the ABH voters, who are progressively oriented, and those are the voters the Libs, NDP, and Greens are competing for.

"Social Democrat" is hard to pin down because it's arguably more operational than ideological.  Assuming things don't start changing more drastically, "social democrat" is a good operating principle for shifting left given current state of things.  In the face of drastic change, presumably there might be fluidity in such identifications.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I see. So I'm a progressive leftist. I'm glad it has been sorted out.

It just sounds so right wing to cry out 'No,I'm not a liberal!' I've been schooled. I thank you. (Sorry that that may come across as sarcastic,I'm actually being honest)

wage zombie

Well you may very well be a liberal.  That's certainly not for me to say.

wage zombie

Have you been called a liberal and had to respond?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I've been called a liberal,I've been called a communist,I've been called a dirty hippie and I've been called a pot smoking socialist.

I identify with the latter even though it was meant as an insult.

But it's been here at babble that I've been called a liberal most.

I think my politics,certainly policy-wise,is unmistakenly leftist. My politics regarding sex and drugs would be extremely socially liberal. I don't know how else to label it.

Make of that what you will.

Sean in Ottawa

The word Liberal has quite a few different meanings and not all are lefist. Arguing semantics is pointless when it comes to words that have very common meanings and "liberal" has more than one.

Absolutely in the US it carries most often the meaning of being left.

When you look at this definition you can see the multiple meanings:

http://www.britannica.com/topic/liberalism

There you see that "liberal" can be seen as oppositional to collective and even defined as radical individualism -- or libertarian which comes from the same root.

From that same source here is a quote that shows how much the term has evolved and may mean very different things:

"Like other political doctrines, liberalism is highly sensitive to time and circumstance. Each country’s liberalism is different, and it changes in each generation. The historical development of liberalism over recent centuries has been a movement from mistrust of the state’s power on the ground that it tends to be misused, to a willingness to use the power of government to correct perceived inequities in the distribution of wealth resulting from economic competition—inequities that purportedly deprive some people of an equal opportunity to live freely."

And this:

"The expansion of governmental power and responsibility sought by liberals in the 20th century was clearly opposed to the contraction of government advocated by liberals a century earlier. In the 19th century liberals generally formed the party of business and the entrepreneurial middle class; for much of the 20th century they were more likely to work to restrict and regulate business in order to provide greater opportunities for labourers and consumers."

A fair definition of the word Liberal would seem to be one that reflects the longer term history of the ideology -- and that is the focus on the individual.

"Left" usually means greater social equality -- from the time of reducing the power of monarchies to today. Left may include a focus on the individual but not necessarily, collective approaches rather than individual or libertarian approaches to achieving social equality are both reflected in the left just as the individual is expressed in classical liberalism and right wing views. Liberal has come to mean both left and right ideas.

In fairness, I would conclude that left and right are one set of ideas and liberalism is about the means. A good many people who are "left" feel that the Darwinian competition, that liberal in many definitions implies, is the absolute wrong direction for those interested in social equality. Using liberal to mean left or right rather than simply as a focus on the individual is guaranteed to irritate people and be pointed out as inaccurate. Only in the US can the word "liberal" safely be expressed to mean "left."

Don’t be shocked when social democrats, socialists (or leftists by any label) reject the term "liberal" as not reflective of their view or their approach to social justice.

There are some who think "liberal" (focus on the individual) is the best way to preserve structures including the "natural" advantages some have (natural meaning anything from sexist and racist advantage to ideas of class and individual advantage). They see "liberal" in government terms as a means to limit government control over the individual. Right wing.

And there are those who think "liberal" (focus on the individual) is an agent of change for emancipation from old structures and effective for social justice. They may see support for the individual as something government can do to effect social change and justice. Left.

There is a "liberal" argument to increase the size of government -- or to limit it. Individual or "liberal" is the rallying cry of some on both left and right and the demon of others and even a defining characteristic of the "other." Liberal means only the focus on the individual -- it can be taken to mean either left or right. Don't be surprised when many on the left are uncomfortable with it being applied to them.

For myself personally, when it comes to collective or individual I might place myself in different places on that line even if I see myself as left. The reason is, in part, because belonging to a collective is to my mind an important expression of the individual and part of the evolution of civilization. To that end I reject the notion of the individual as, while worthy of protection, not a driver of progress, freedom, social justice etc. Instead, I see individual freedom as a prerequisite to any progress but that the progress is actually achieved through collective action – and that does imply some tension between individual freedom and collective action and protection for others. As such I reject the idea of a focus on the individual while respecting the principle of personal liberty.

Finally individual liberty is often used to mean power -- because when one person's personal liberty conflicts with another, usually power sorts that out. This is where the necessary limits on personal liberty must appear as an essential element of social or left progress. It is this limitation that prevents many on the left from accepting the idea of what we might call radical liberalism or focus of the individual. This, because a focus on the individual often does not manage conflicts between individuals' freedoms. It is this reason I would be hostile to being called a "liberal."

I have avoided references to specific philosophers who I think drawn from their context might serve more to complicate rather than explain. I hope that helps.

Sean in Ottawa

alan smithee wrote:

I've been called a liberal,I've been called a communist,I've been called a dirty hippie and I've been called a pot smoking socialist.

I identify with the latter even though it was meant as an insult.

But it's been here at babble that I've been called a liberal most.

I think my politics,certainly policy-wise,is unmistakenly leftist. My politics regarding sex and drugs would be extremely socially liberal. I don't know how else to label it.

Make of that what you will.

As I explained above, the notion of "liberal" does not fit well on a left-right contiunuum even though elements of what can be defined as "liberal" may occupy elemental parts of both left and right. Indeed conflicts with "liberal" ideas also are elemental in many views from both the left and right.

Pondering

JKR wrote:

So what's the difference between "social-democrat" and "liberal"?

I think there is a difference, although in practice both philosophies often support the same kinds of government policies. I think the philosophy of liberalism stresses individual liberty while the philosophy of social democracy stresses the need for the well being of the working class.

That's like saying what is the difference between an apple and a fruit?

There is none. "Apple" is a subset of "fruit".

I think you are thinking of libertarianism which is not the same thing.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:

So what's the difference between "social-democrat" and "liberal"?

I think there is a difference, although in practice both philosophies often support the same kinds of government policies. I think the philosophy of liberalism stresses individual liberty while the philosophy of social democracy stresses the need for the well being of the working class.

That's like saying what is the difference between an apple and a fruit?

There is none. "Apple" is a subset of "fruit".

I think you are thinking of libertarianism which is not the same thing.

If you read my post you would see that I have already refuted this statement.

Social democracy is nothing to do with "liberalism"

Your ignorance is showing (again). And so is your inability to understand the conversation and respond in a way that makes sense.

Here is a wiki definition of social democracy:

"Social democracy is a political ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy, and a policy regime involving welfare state provisions, collective bargaining arrangements, regulation of the economy in the general interest, redistribution of income and wealth, and a commitment to representative democracy.[1][2][3] Social democracy thus aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater egalitarian, democratic and solidaristic outcomes, and is often associated with the set of socioeconomic policies that became prominent in Western and Northern Europe - particularly in the Nordic countries - during the latter half of the 20th century.[4][5][6]"

Nowhere do you see individualism mentioned and that is what "liberal" means.

On the left "liberal" means use of support by the state to the individual to create greater social justice and on the right it means freedom of the individual from state interference to preserve advantages they may have.

To use your analogy "liberal" is like "round." A fruit like a cherry may be "round" but so is a rubber ball.

You fail the logic test. Some social democratic ideas are compatible or even include concepts of "liberalism." But not all. "Liberalism also exists in capitalistic ideas and indeed neo-conservative ideas. None of these ideologies express liberalism purely such that the concepts could be used interchangeably. Your statement suggests that you do not understand what either actually means.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:

So what's the difference between "social-democrat" and "liberal"?

I think there is a difference, although in practice both philosophies often support the same kinds of government policies. I think the philosophy of liberalism stresses individual liberty while the philosophy of social democracy stresses the need for the well being of the working class.

That's like saying what is the difference between an apple and a fruit?

There is none. "Apple" is a subset of "fruit".

I think you are thinking of libertarianism which is not the same thing.

Since you have made this pronouncement -- why don't you expose your "understanding" further and enlighten us on which one you think is the subset of the other. "Liberal" or "social democrat."

Unionist

So, while you're arguing over whose definitions of "liberal" and "social democratic" are the correct ones, please be so kind as to provide your commentary on this:

Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:
New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements, and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.

The framers of this preamble (i.e. the convention - supreme decision-making body of the party) obviously considered that there was a difference between social democracy and democratic socialism.

Anyone know what that might be?

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
  So, while you're arguing over whose definitions of "liberal" and "social democratic" are the correct ones, please be so kind as to provide your commentary on this:

Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:
New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, ...

Too many screenings of the Life of Brian?

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

Unionist wrote:
  So, while you're arguing over whose definitions of "liberal" and "social democratic" are the correct ones, please be so kind as to provide your commentary on this:

Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:
New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, ...

Too many screenings of the Life of Brian?

LOL, long live the People's Front(s)!!

Sean in Ottawa

Since I figured someone would want to define progressive in this context, I will go there.

I do argue tha the distinction with "liberal" is very important and critical for understanding not just politics but policy. I assert that in this thread it is the more important distinction. I do not mean disrespect to those advocating "liberalism" when I say that it is quite different -- even if it is not entirely incompatible -- from the concepts of left, socialist and progressive.

The term progressive itself is often used to mean moderate, or mushy, left but it does not have the same meaning as liberal either. I think that left and progressive have more in common than the term "liberal" has with either. I suspect that "progressive" is designed to be a positve connotation word to imply a direction that is positive. Left is a political place whereas progressive may reflect the ideas of progress or getting there. (If you are already there -- do you need progress?). You can see the value of progressive both as a positive word and one that states that we are not there yet and we need policies that must move us in that direction. That direction is left -- although the word progressive neglects to define just how far "left" is the ideal -- just that we are not there yet.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

So, while you're arguing over whose definitions of "liberal" and "social democratic" are the correct ones, please be so kind as to provide your commentary on this:

Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:
New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements, and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.

The framers of this preamble (i.e. the convention - supreme decision-making body of the party) obviously considered that there was a difference between social democracy and democratic socialism.

Anyone know what that might be?

 

I would always suggest that we have to be careful with terms as they may mean different things to different people. However, here is what the distinction may be:

Democratic socialism places the empahsis on having a democratic political system work within a socialist economic system. Purely it means a full democracy in a society where the means of production are publicly owned.

Social Democratic refers to the peaceful, democratic transition from a capitalistic economy to a socialist one. It also means, in practice, a state that includes both socialist and capitalist practices and public regulation on capital rather than outright replacement.

The word "tradition" was used becuase behind each of these terms is a different set of traditions and rhetoric. While much may be in common the difference may be that Social Democratic is a process towards the idea of Democratic socialism. Each idea has distinct associations and therefore traditions even if they ahve so much conceptually and rhetorically in common.

So there is my shot at explaining why both words exist together.

Some might be cynical and say that the wording was likely the result of a debate between whcih word should go there, resolved by an understanding that in fact the terms are actually different -- with different traditions and associations. Possibly that is how the word tradition entered the sentence.

In any event, I am sure others would offer other distinctions. I do, however, agree that they are not the same thing even if I could be persuaded that other definitions than what I advanced are the correct ones.

 

josh

Unionist wrote:

So, while you're arguing over whose definitions of "liberal" and "social democratic" are the correct ones, please be so kind as to provide your commentary on this:

Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:
New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements, and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.

The framers of this preamble (i.e. the convention - supreme decision-making body of the party) obviously considered that there was a difference between social democracy and democratic socialism.

Anyone know what that might be?

 

Democatic socialism is more "socialistic" than social democrat. A social democrat is also a big believer in governmental intervention in the economy but not as doctrinaire in terms of public ownership of the means of production

Orangutan

Balanced budgets are a LEFT WING policy.  The NDP have the best record in government according to Statistics Canada for providing balanced budgets.  The worst are the Liberals.

 

That does not mean big spending.  We need to tax the rich and large corporations and spend on social programs - within a balanced budget.  

Sean in Ottawa

josh wrote:
Unionist wrote:

So, while you're arguing over whose definitions of "liberal" and "social democratic" are the correct ones, please be so kind as to provide your commentary on this:

Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:
New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements, and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.

The framers of this preamble (i.e. the convention - supreme decision-making body of the party) obviously considered that there was a difference between social democracy and democratic socialism.

Anyone know what that might be?

 

Democatic socialism is more "socialistic" than social democrat. A social democrat is also a big believer in governmental intervention in the economy but not as doctrinaire in terms of public ownership of the means of production

I disagree that these two terms could be about a question of degree as you suggest -- then it would not make sense to say they had different traditions. It is more than that. I attempted to define the differences but one is not the other -- in a hurry...

Unionist

So FYI, for those who have forgotten, here was the preamble of the NDP Constitution before it was changed in 2013:

2012 Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:

The New Democratic Party believes that the social, economic and political progress of Canada can be assured only by the application of democratic socialist principles to government and the administration of public affairs.

The principles of democratic socialism can be defined briefly as:

That the production and distribution of goods and services shall be directed to meeting the social and individual needs of people within a sustainable environment and economy and not to the making of profit;

To modify and control the operations of the monopolistic productive and distributive organizations through economic and social planning. Towards these ends and where necessary the extension of the principle of social ownership;

The New Democratic Party holds firm to the belief that the dignity and freedom of the individual is a basic right that must be maintained and extended; and

The New Democratic Party is proud to be associated with the democratic socialist parties of the world and to share the struggle for peace, international co-operation and the abolition of poverty.

Reading that, I see social democracy, democratic socialism, and liberalism (as defined by those who are arguing upthread about the meaning of words).

The 2013 convention deleted "the application of democratic socialist principles to government and the administration of public affairs", and everything else of substance in that connection.

The aim, I guess, was to stroke the wealthy and their mass media and convince them that the NDP is a safe bet to manage capitalism without, oh, nationalizing anything (even stuff that has been privatized), or raising any rich people's taxes, or running deficits in order to stimulate the economy and pay for social services.

That aim was fully concretized in the liberal election platform of the NDP in 2015. But the capitalists - they's smart folks - they said, "fuck off, we already got what we need... if that fails, we'll call on you to fool the people... just wait your turn!"

That's my contribution to the semantic academic colloquium on the meaning of meaningless words. They're not words. They're dog-whistles.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

For all intents and purposes, the two terms could be replaced by "Faux Left" and "True Left".

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

So FYI, for those who have forgotten, here was the preamble of the NDP Constitution before it was changed in 2013:

2012 Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:

The New Democratic Party believes that the social, economic and political progress of Canada can be assured only by the application of democratic socialist principles to government and the administration of public affairs.

The principles of democratic socialism can be defined briefly as:

That the production and distribution of goods and services shall be directed to meeting the social and individual needs of people within a sustainable environment and economy and not to the making of profit;

To modify and control the operations of the monopolistic productive and distributive organizations through economic and social planning. Towards these ends and where necessary the extension of the principle of social ownership;

The New Democratic Party holds firm to the belief that the dignity and freedom of the individual is a basic right that must be maintained and extended; and

The New Democratic Party is proud to be associated with the democratic socialist parties of the world and to share the struggle for peace, international co-operation and the abolition of poverty.

Reading that, I see social democracy, democratic socialism, and liberalism (as defined by those who are arguing upthread about the meaning of words).

The 2013 convention deleted "the application of democratic socialist principles to government and the administration of public affairs", and everything else of substance in that connection.

The aim, I guess, was to stroke the wealthy and their mass media and convince them that the NDP is a safe bet to manage capitalism without, oh, nationalizing anything (even stuff that has been privatized), or raising any rich people's taxes, or running deficits in order to stimulate the economy and pay for social services.

That aim was fully concretized in the liberal election platform of the NDP in 2015. But the capitalists - they's smart folks - they said, "fuck off, we already got what we need... if that fails, we'll call on you to fool the people... just wait your turn!"

That's my contribution to the semantic academic colloquium on the meaning of meaningless words. They're not words. They're dog-whistles.

 

Well I disagree completely -- words have meaning and in fact we use them to organize thoughts as well as to speak to each other.

The requirement for freedom of the individual and for individual needs is not liberalsim -- a focus on the individual as the primary political objective is. And there is a huge difference.

The criticism of the NDP campaign may be valid but it was also not a "liberal" platform. It was in my opinion a "liberal" campaign and the contradiction betrween the two was central to the loss of over half the party's seats.

I will not disagree that the platform could and should have gone further. I was disgusted by the emphasis on exclusive notions like middle class and I think the tax and budgetary approach fo tthe NDP was nowhere near as progressive as I would want so I am not defending that.

But I will not go so far as to say words do not matter. In fact if more people thought they did perhaps the drift of the NDP would not have been so pronounced.

 

jjuares

Trying to define these terms such as "progressive, socialist, social democratic " is a meaningless exercise unless everyone agrees to an arbitrary definition. I consider myself a socialist and a social democrat and I use the terms interchangeably. But both those terms have evolved and mean so many different things things depending on the era and place. I mean, Lenin belonged to a party that called itself " social democratic" at one time.

Sean in Ottawa

jjuares wrote:
Trying to define these terms such as "progressive, socialist, social democratic " is a meaningless exercise unless everyone agrees to an arbitrary definition. I consider myself a socialist and a social democrat and I use the terms interchangeably. But both those terms have evolved and mean so many different things things depending on the era and place. I mean, Lenin belonged to a party that called itself " social democratic" at one time.

I think defining terms is an essential part of communication. Otherwise what you say is meaningless. Just becuase terms are not universal or agreed and instead they were debated does not mean an attempt at defining terms is not essential.

josh

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

josh wrote:
Unionist wrote:

So, while you're arguing over whose definitions of "liberal" and "social democratic" are the correct ones, please be so kind as to provide your commentary on this:

Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:
New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements, and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.

The framers of this preamble (i.e. the convention - supreme decision-making body of the party) obviously considered that there was a difference between social democracy and democratic socialism.

Anyone know what that might be?

 

Democatic socialism is more "socialistic" than social democrat. A social democrat is also a big believer in governmental intervention in the economy but not as doctrinaire in terms of public ownership of the means of production

I disagree that these two terms could be about a question of degree as you suggest -- then it would not make sense to say they had different traditions. It is more than that. I attempted to define the differences but one is not the other -- in a hurry...

I don't see that we're really in disagreement.

Sean in Ottawa

josh wrote:
Sean in Ottawa wrote:

josh wrote:
Unionist wrote:

So, while you're arguing over whose definitions of "liberal" and "social democratic" are the correct ones, please be so kind as to provide your commentary on this:

Preamble to NDP Constitution wrote:
New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements, and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.

The framers of this preamble (i.e. the convention - supreme decision-making body of the party) obviously considered that there was a difference between social democracy and democratic socialism.

Anyone know what that might be?

 

Democatic socialism is more "socialistic" than social democrat. A social democrat is also a big believer in governmental intervention in the economy but not as doctrinaire in terms of public ownership of the means of production

I disagree that these two terms could be about a question of degree as you suggest -- then it would not make sense to say they had different traditions. It is more than that. I attempted to define the differences but one is not the other -- in a hurry...

I don't see that we're really in disagreement.

Ok -- I just think the differences are substantive rather than one being more doctrinaire or socialistic.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I regret bringing this up. And I wasn't trying to offend anyone.

I recognize my politics as socialist. But I was not sure how to label my politics concerning my views on personal freedoms and civil liberties.

Whether it be abortion,drugs or brothels my opinion is that you should have the power of choice and the freedom to make your own decisions. I'm not sure if these are socialist values. If it's a social liberal view,I have to recognize that I (and people with similar views) fall under the banner of 'liberal' at least in the minimal sense.

Anyhow,if people want to label me a 'liberal' they are as free as those who have labeled me a 'communist' and 'radical' in the past.

I think I'm a reasonable and rational person. I try hard not to get tangled in ideologies.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Whether it be abortion,drugs or brothels my opinion is that you should have the power of choice and the freedom to make your own decisions.

The term "civil libertarian" has your back.

Don't confuse them (you?) with the "Libertarians" who think nobody should have to pay taxes.  Not the same thing at all.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Well,I'm certain that I'm not a libertarian. I think Ayn Rand was a sociopathic lunatic and a steaming pile of dog shit. I'd be happy tap dancing on her grave and urinating on it.

But thanks for linking me to civil libertarianism. Problem is,I am anti-gun and in no way,shape or form support the NRA. I'm thinking my politics are a little more complicated than choosing a specific ideology.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Well,I'm certain that I'm not a libertarian.

I'm certain that most of us aren't.  But sadly, the respectable camp known as "Civil Libertarianism" got tainted by Randian "Libertarianism" as surely as the venerable notion of "liberalism" got tainted by "The Liberal Party".

quizzical

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Quote:
Well,I'm certain that I'm not a libertarian.

I'm certain that most of us aren't.  But sadly, the respectable camp known as "Civil Libertarianism" got tainted by Randian "Libertarianism" as surely as the venerable notion of "liberalism" got tainted by "The Liberal Party".

Laughing

i don't know squat about "Randian" Libertarianism but i still got the gist.

 

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