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Social democracy

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'''Social democracy''' is an ideology of the political Left that emerged from [[socialism]] in the earlier part of the [[twentieth century]]. Unlike its cousin [[Communism]], which seeks to destroy [[capitalism]] by (violent) revolution and replace it with a different social and economic system, social democracy seeks to regulate capitalism and via [[central planning]]. This gives the government a role of intervening in order to remedy its alleged deficiencies.
==History==It is generally considered that the international Left split into two distinct camps after the [[Russian Revolution]] of 1917. Members of the more extreme factions around the world, which sought to achieve radical societal change through revolution, became known as ''[[communists]]'', while members of the less extreme factions, which sought to pursue gradual change through the democratic system, became known as ''social democrats''. The roots of these divisions, in fact, long preceded 1917: [[Marxist]]s, for example, had called for violent revolution in the nineteenth century, while more moderate parties such as the [[British]] [[Labour Party]] had never espoused such ideas. Austrian economist [[Friedrich Hayek]] writing in 1945 observed, "To many who have watched the transition from socialism to [[fascism]] at close quarters the connection between the two systems has become increasingly obvious, but in the democracies the majority of people still believe that socialism and [[freedom]] can be combined. They do not realize that democratic socialism, the great [[utopia]] of the last few generations, is not only unachievable, but that to strive for it produces something utterly different – the very destruction of freedom itself. <ref>[ ''Road to Serfdom'',] Friedrich A. Hayek, Reader's Digest Condensed Version, April 1945, pg. 36.</ref>
On one definition, ==Social Democracy in Practice==The economic policies of many European countries have been influenced by social democrats continue to have democratic principles (the ultimate objective of achieving full socialismmost notable being [[Denmark]], [[Finland]], albeit by peaceful means[[Norway]] and [[Sweden]]). Others prefer to call While such people "democratic socialists" (though ''non''-democratic, violent socialism continues to exist countries are often touted as having the highest living standards in various parts of the world), they also share very high tax rates and reserve slower growth rates as compared to rest of the term "social democrats" for those who would be content world (with a society comprising a mixture the exception of capitalist and socialist elements (for example, an economy in which a market operates, but with sizeable governmental intervention, and in which enterprise is possible, but business is subjected to high taxesSweden). [[Germany]] has been ruled three times by the [[SPD]]. The policies of this party have increased the debt.
Many parties in economically developed nations have espoused social democratic beliefs, including the [[Labour Party]] in the [[United Kingdom]], the [[SPD]] in [[Germany]] (Germany's only party to vote against Hitler's seizure of power), the Social Democratic Parties in [[Norway]], [[Sweden]] and [[Finland]], the [[New Democratic Party]] in Canada, and the [[Australian Labor Party]]. Social democratic beliefs are also found in parts of the American [[Democratic Party]], and some European and South American [[Christian democracy|Christian Democratic]] parties have resemblences to social democratic parties. Since the 1980s, a number of social democratic parties have moved away from the territory of the traditional Left and have accepted greater elements of free-market, capitalistic thought. The principal example of this phenomenon is the British Labour Party under [[Tony Blair]], while other examples include the [[Australian]] Labor Party under [[Bob Hawke]] and [[Paul Keating]], and the German SPD under [[Gerhard Schroeder]]. Also more right-wing countries have moved to the left. For example [[Canada]] introduced [[Universal Health Care]]. ==External Linkslinks==* [ Social Democratic Party of America]
[[Category:PoliticsPolitical Terms]]
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