In the last few months I have found myself constantly bumping into articles that speak of the dawn of social democracy and with the observation that precisely because of this, we are facing a new conservative (i.e. centre-right) modern age in Europe. I would argue that it is too early to call a clear winner because European political conservatism, championed by centre-right parties throughout the continent, is in fact in deep trouble as well.
Left-leaning authors across Europe are voicing their concern that social democracy is dead, for good. Well, to be honest, I hope they are right! But contrary to what you may think now, my desire rests more on the possibility that maybe this way centre-left parties and their leaders will reconsider their parties’ role and vision for the 21st century and somehow they will try to update their views to an understandable and socially useful level. Of course, most of you know that social democracy stands for a bigger state, social security, free trade, multiculturalism etc. or to put in simple terms, as some neoliberal right-wing bloggers usually do, it worships devilish capitalism which helps multinational companies to run the world. But I would say that there is so much more on the Left that it is insane that only a handful of people thought about making social democracy modern again (like Anthony Giddens with Labour’s Third Way but we know what was the outcome of that), like it was after WWII. As far as I am concerned, after the Second World War social democracy helped us to rebuild our continent from ashes. It created societies where people can learn, grow and earn their way into a more promising feature.