“It is increasingly clear to me that it is the lower classes who pay the price for unregulated globalization, massive immigration and freedom of movement for workers.” The authorship of that quoted sentence could well correspond to Anne-Marie LePena Matthew Salvinia Viktor Orbana Santiago Abascal or even to donald trump. But it turns out that whoever pronounced it on her day answers for Mette Fredriksenby more signs the Danish prime minister.
Frederiksen is one of the main leaders of world social democracy at this very precise moment. Although, the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Denmark is still much more significant for her actions than for her words. Events sometimes loaded with disturbing, very disturbing historical reminiscences, such as the police practice established by your Government and consisting of confiscating personal jewelery and other valuables that irregular immigrants caught within Danish territory might be carrying, something that none of the quoted up there has never even dared to insinuate; nor to insinuate
In Denmark, as soon as in Germany, yes, the social democracy governs, but at the present time that is already part of the more or less peculiar exception, not the norm. In fact, what is truly strange today is that social democracy, a doctrinal current that in its day grouped together, and chronically, almost routinely, 40% of the European electorate since the end of the Second World War, continues to hold power at some part.
To the point that in countries like France, Ireland or Poland It’s not that it’s in decline, it’s just that the map has disappeared because it does not exist. An unnatural death, that of genuine classical social democracy [asunto bien distinto es que aún existan partidos aquí o allá que todavía conserven nominalmente esa definición en sus siglas]. a death that branko milanovićone of the most lucid economists of the new century, attributes to four brand new historical obstacles that he revealed himself unable to overcome.
The four gravediggers of social democracy would have been multiculturalism, globalization, demographic change and the final decline of ‘Taylorism’
Not necessarily in this order, those four gravediggers of social democracy would have been multiculturalism, globalization, demographic change and, finally, the final decline of the taylorism as the great ordering principle of the old industrial universe. The globalization, it is known, has made it easier for capital to flee progressive taxation across national borders that are increasingly ethereal and porous; at the same time, and it is also well known, the massive migratory flows intercontinental conflicts end up causing, sooner or later, the operational collapse of the main free public services associated with the Welfare State, the supreme historical banner of social democracy.
For his part, the aging of the western population leads to a financial impasse to another of its great ideological identity signs: the state pension systems.
Add to that the definitive technical and economic obsolescence of the taylorisman almost geological extinction, that of those great concentrations of factory workers, those typical of the old assembly lines that drew the productive landscape of the industrial era.
And it is that the current decline of trade unions, another of the pillars of social democracy, is not at all alien to the new atomization and physical dispersion of the labor force. As for multiculturalism, or its effective infeasibility in the real world to be precise, it is enough to look at the sociological profile of the electoral districts where the European extreme right has consolidated its main voting grounds to acknowledge receipt of the very deep cultural fracture that it has ended up splitting the traditional social base of social democracy.
The reformist variant of socialism emerged at the time to offer the third way that outlined a possible solution to the main collective problem of the 19th century and also of much of the 20th: the class struggle.
But the main collective problem of the 21st century, and in all Western societies as well, turns out to be a very different one, namely: immigration from the underdeveloped world, something that coincides with the decline of stable and lifelong jobs for the population. of the receiving companies.
The main collective problem of the 21st century, and in all Western societies, is immigration from the underdeveloped world
A new terrain of confrontation before which the majority current of social democracy is usually stunned and unarmed, both ideologically and politically. He simply has nothing of his own and original to say about it. Because, In the face of the migratory avalanche, there are currently three strategies, the three already well defined, although none of them can be associated with the social democratic theses, at least with the orthodox ones. Thus, there is the canonical doctrine of the populist right on both sides of the Atlantic, which advocates the ubiquitous erection of physical barriers, literally physical, to stop this flow.
There is the strategy of alternative world leftthe one headed by La Francia Insumisa de Jean-Luc Mélenchonwhich also postulates high national barriers in order to change the dominant trend of the new times, but in its case -and in a complementary way to the legal restrictions on the entry of immigrants- these barriers would have the mission of preventing transnational movements of capital to in order to avoid relocations.
And there is also the proposal of another faction of the alt leftone that will be experimented with in Catalonia in the coming months with a sample of 5,000 people under the technical supervision of the English sociologist guy standingthe main world theoretician of that current.
His idea, at least the idea, seems simple: to establish a form of universal guaranteed income for the part of the Western population that will no longer have a stable job on a more or less permanent basis. Three ideas, but as has been said, none coined by the Social Democrats. One of the fathers of the Second International, the ‘renegade’ Kautskywas, along with bernstein, the pioneer who opened the door so that European socialism could get rid of the heavy Leninist and Bolshevik slab. Perhaps Mette Frederiksen, with the help of the imminent chancellor of Germany, is now the call to resurrect the old European social democracy for the second time from the dead.
*** José García Domínguez is an economist and journalist.