Democracy and social democracy
in Making social democrats
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This chapter explores the enduring themes in David Marquand's work on the 'democracy' bit of social democracy. It shows how the social democratic tradition has viewed democracy, in Britain in particular, and where matters stand now. The idea of industrial democracy briefly surfaced, but was soon buried by the forces of old labourism. The nature of the state in Britain, centralised and without restraining checks and balances, and with prerogative powers transferred from monarchs to elected governments, was seen as particularly suited for social democratic collectivism. The post-1945 'settlement' seemed to have settled all the questions about the relationship between capitalism and democracy that had exercised thinkers on the left in the 1930s. If democracy is about enabling people to exercise some power and control over the forces that impact on their lives, then social democrats should be those who are constantly looking for ways to make this a reality.

Making social democrats

Citizens, mindsets, realities: Essays for David Marquand


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