By Tony Fitzpatrick
Social democracy has made a political comeback in recent times, specially less than the impression of the 3rd means. notwithstanding, no longer every body in convinces that 3rd approach social democracy is the easiest technique of reviving the Left's venture. This ebook explains why and provides another process. Bringing jointly a variety of social and political theories this publication engages with essentially the most vital modern debates in regards to the current path and way forward for the Left.
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Extra info for After the new social democracy: social welfare for the twenty-first century
It seems clear that the NSD favours a mixture of weak equality and strong reciprocity. As indicated in the last chapter and already in this, New Labour is committed to a weak version of egalitarianism, of equal opportunities detached from any hint of outcome equality, where the objective is to arm citizens with the skills and assets that they need to prosper: the fishing rod rather than the fish. This is not to suggest that the NSD discards redistributive policies altogether, hence Tony Blair’s pledge to eradicate child poverty in the UK by 2019 (Walker, 2000).
New social democrats have played the game without trying to change many of the rules. For instance, it has appealed to a particular aspect of middle-class identity, the desire for security, but without a critique of privatisation and marketisation that would enable the goal of security to be redefined and allow other more progressive and cooperative aspects of middle-class identity to emerge and mobilise with other social groupings. Consequently, the NSD retains not only the economics of the Right, but also its moral authoritarianism and intolerance for dissent.
So what this entails is a midpoint between primary resources on the one hand and the end-state of welfare and achievements on the other: an equal freedom to achieve. For our purposes Sen is important because he recontextualises income and wealth. He does not necessarily downgrade the importance of a primary resource such as income and wealth, but he does TZP2 4/25/2005 4:50 PM Page 43 Justice and citizenship 43 insist that ‘income inequality’ is not the same thing as ‘income inadequacy’ (Sen, 1992: 109–12) since only the latter captures the idea that different capabilities will convert a low income into differential levels of well-being.