Noel Thompson
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From The Future of Socialism (1956) to a future without socialism?
The crisis of British social democratic political economy

The Future of Socialism can be seen as a paean to the ascendancy of Keynesian social democracy. For the Alternative Economic Strategy (AES) left, Keynesian social democracy had failed to maintain a high and stable, non-inflationary level of employment and sustained growth free from balance of payments crises. The political economy of the AES left received considerable exposure in the 1970s and early 1980s. The proselytising efforts of the Institute for Workers' Control ensured that the political economy of industrial democracy was widely and enthusiastically disseminated. The AES offered a different vision of capitalism from that of Keynesian social democracy and, in consequence, a different view of what needed to be done to ensure that the forward march of Labour was resumed. The contemporary crisis surrounding the political economy of social democracy is profound. British social democracy found itself between Scylla and Charybdis.

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In search of social democracy

Responses to crisis and modernisation

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