Form of Political Ideology: Social Democracy Explicatory Essay
Social democracy is a form of political ideology that originated from Marxist reformists. The main principle of the ideology includes provision of social services to all members of the public, such as education, healthcare, and pension schemes. The ideology seeks to support the disadvantaged in society, including the elderly and children from poor families.
In the labor industry, the ideology aims at achieving collective bargaining for all workers. Therefore, the advocates of the ideology are trade unionists. Scholars note that it is difficult to stage a revolution because of the evaluation of the class system. Therefore, social democracy is the alternative. Fromm observes that human beings no longer enjoy fundamental freedoms and rights because of the shifting relationships in the family unit.
According to Fromm, the society influences the behavior of an individual in a number of ways. The society restricts an individual from pursuing certain goals. These restrictions are negative because they impede the freedom of an individual. Therefore, people can participate fully in society if they are allowed to make independent decisions.
However, capitalists note that individualism should be encouraged because it encourages innovativeness and creativity. On the other hand, Fromm observes that increased individualism leads to several challenges in life. When individuals are left to perform duties that satisfy their pleasures, they are likely to break the law because they will use illegal techniques.
The ideas of Fromm justify the existence of social democracy because individualism no longer holds in society. Fromm’s main idea is that individuals cannot learn to tolerate the views of others in society because of human nature. This has led to authoritarianism since some groups try to dominate others. This means that democracy sets other people free and at the same time alienates others from governmental power and authority.
Individuals in opposition feel that their interests are not represented adequately. In the modern society, individuals are willing to submit themselves to totalitarian rule because of the effects of democracy. Democracy creates a society that is characterized by tension, individualism, and conflicts.
Therefore, social democracy is the only ideology that can resolve the current problem. For instance, minorities feel that their demands are not always provided in time. They have to demand their rights through organizing strikes, demonstrations, go-slows and lobbying. In this sense, the views of Fromm that democracy alienates some members of society are valid.
In fact, some ancient scholars observe that democracy is the worst form of governance because it generates hatred. Plato claims that democracy is the tyranny of the multitude because the majority might be wrong yet they end up ruling. Social democracy is a refined ideology that stems from the ideas of Marx. It supports the ideas of Plato on justice.
The effects of individualism can be prevented through the application of social democracy ideals. The ideals of social democracy include freedom, justice, and solidarity. Social democracy is different from communism because communists believe that human nature is maintained by a system of value production. To a communist, exploitation is a social construct that aims at oppressing the poor.
Social democrats underscore the fact that human beings are driven by self-interests in their actions. In this case, equality cannot be interpreted to mean justice. For capitalists, justice means a free market economy whereby production of goods is determined by the market forces. In society, capitalists observe that some individuals are strong while others are weak.
The strong individuals have the ability to accumulate wealth while the weak can simply offer labor. The government should never interfere with the market because it will be giving undue advantage to the weak. Market competition might bring happiness because consumers will have a variety of choices. This is based on the idea that an individual is free to do as she wishes. However, this might not guarantee happiness.
Social democrats believe that the free market economy is unpersuasive. This is because the government needs to control the market in order to safeguard the consumer. In this case, the government needs to ensure that the society functions effectively. For instance, the government must come up with some of the strongest institutions to control the behavior of individuals.
The society should exist to offer opportunities, as well as limit the behavior of individuals. In society, the government needs to ensure that the interests of various groups are achieved. For instance, women should be given similar chances as those of other groups.
Even though women might be allowed to divorce and procure an abortion, the procedures governing abortion must be formulated. Social democrats fight the cultural aspects that restrain the success of certain groups in society. However, they do not fight the rich in society. They ensure that even the poor accesses economic opportunities.
Social democrats have a different interpretation of the concept freedom. In this case, social democrats support liberal freedoms. They interpret freedom to mean the freedom of speech, religion, assembly, expression, and the right to privacy. In society, an individual has the right to choose what he or she desires. However, the right of an individual should not interfere with the rights and freedoms of other individuals in society.
Capitalism is an ideology that allows individuals to exercise their rights without interruption. However, it breeds individualism because it does not give individuals the means to enjoy their rights. Communism restricts individual freedoms and rights. Freedom cannot be enjoyed without money, shelter, and food. For social democrats, freedom means political and economic liberty.
In a capitalist society, individuals are interested in their own affairs. They simply think of ways through which they can accumulate wealth.
Social capitalists observe that all human beings should be provided with food, shelter, and healthcare. Individualism encourages private ownership of property whereby the state cannot use public funds to provide basic needs to the poor. For capitalists, provision of basic needs to the poor would amount to violation of the rights of the rich.
The last ideal of social democracy is solidarity. Whenever there is a problem in society, social democrats suggest that each person should be involved in resolving the problem. Therefore, cooperation and unity are some of the ideals valued by social democrats. Individualistic societies do not encourage cooperation, especially when the issue at hand concerns the poor.
Problems affecting one group in society should be considered the problems of the entire society. For instance, each person is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the poor and the elderly are provided with the basic needs. Without solidarity, the society cannot achieve its objectives. A society that cooperates during the difficult time has many chances of success.
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