Capitalism means that physical capital is controlled by entrepreneurs hoping to retain a profit after paying wages to labor, rent to landowners, interest to providers of finance and taxes to the State or other provider of 'public goods'.
Social Democracy just means Democracy. The notion is that the Government will use tax revenue to help the poor and do all sorts of nice things for Society. But it may just piss money against the wall.
Pranab Bardhan writes in 3 Quarks-
Different people mean different things when they talk of social democracy and its somewhat close kin, democratic socialism.
But all these people are alike in being worthless tossers.
I usually associate the former with the mode of production remaining essentially capitalist, though with some important modifications, and the latter with the case where the ownership or control of the means of production is primarily with non-private entities (the state or cooperatives or worker-managed enterprises). In this sense Bernie Sanders and his followers wrongly describe themselves as democratic socialists, to me they are social democrats.
But tossers they remain. True, they aren't crazy enough to think the US Government can collectivize the land and take over all the business enterprises. But they are tossers nonetheless- unless their aim really was to get Trump elected.
In social democracy those important modifications to the capitalist mode of production may involve some substantial reform in the governance of the firm and in the fiscal power of the democratic state to raise taxes to fund a significant expansion of redistributive and infrastructure programs.
This is true of any sort of state. A monarchy may institute changes in the governance of the firm or in taxes and transfers. A tyrant may declare that everything belongs to him- all must be as productive as they can but only as his slaves. Everything over and above what they need to stay alive must be handed over to his goons. In other words, adding the tag 'social' to democracy or dictatorship or anything else is a meaningless exercise.
Yet these modifications will remain constrained by what used to be called the ‘structural dependence’ on private capital.
There was a time when talking of structures was supposed to make you sound smart. But only assholes did it. So it is now understood as the mark of a cretin. There also used to be 'dependency' theorists. But they were useless. That is why only senile cretins think 'structural dependence' means something different from 'having no money of your own coz u r a useless tosser which is why you have to try fool people by talking incessant bollocks'.
How far that structural limit can be pushed will vary with a country’s institutional history, political culture, and social norms.
Nonsense! The only thing which matters is resources and productivity. But resources get squandered by shitheads who talk of 'social democracy' or 'democratic socialism'. Productivity goes in the crapper because shitheads are in charge.
Much will depend on how far the modifications of capitalism can leave unhampered the mechanism of productivity growth and innovation, which Schumpeter considered the engine of capitalist dynamics.
No. What matters is who is doing the modification and for what purpose. If it is smart patriots who are modifying how the economy works so as to win a war against a technologically advanced and ruthless enemy then growth and innovation could go through the roof. Their may be a 'peace dividend' as new technology is transferred from the Defense sector to the rest of the Economy. But this depends on mimetic effects of a competitive type.
Is there a magic balance achievable under social democracy?
No. When Bardhan was young some Indians did shite PhDs on 'balanced growth' and 'optimal growth paths' and turnpike theorems and other such shite. But other Indians soon realized that these tossers were utterly useless. Magic beans may enable you to climb up into the Heavens to steal treasure from a Giant. 'Magic balance' is just boring nonsense.
This will be central to my discussion in this article, as I often find that my social-democratic and democratic-socialist friends do not pay adequate attention to the question of innovations.
because their heads are stuck up their own butts. Bardhan wishes to enlighten them by getting them to insert their heads into his capacious rectum.
I shall also comment on the need for significant reforms in the financial system, labor market policy and election funding for a social democracy to function properly.
The problem is that those who advocate 'significant reform' are as stupid as shit. Let people with skin in the game reform things which matters to them.
Social democrats often insist on a larger voice of workers in the governance of the firm.
But workers don't want this because they are aware that the 'comrades' with the loudest voices are as stupid as shit. Only a few lunatics want to run the Asylum. Most don't because they are merely mad, not irremediably stupid.
(In the US presidential primary campaign Elizabeth Warren was a main proponent).
Pocahontas's wokeness backfired.
At a time of widespread job losses this can be particularly important in influencing the firm’s decision to outsource or relocate.
Or concentrate on lobbying for Government money, tariffs and so forth.
Outside the firm they also demand anti-monopoly regulations not just because corporate concentration of power is bad for an efficient economy and democratic polity, but also because such concentration of buying power in the labor market (what economists call ‘monopsony’ power) weakens labor’s bargaining strength.
Whereas, the countervailing power of Trade Unions can kill off industries and destroy the life-chances of the young. As for Regulatory Agencies, they soon get 'captured'.
They also ask for an active role of labor in the negotiations on international trade agreements, which are currently shaped by powerful corporate lobbies.
Or you could just vote for Trump.
Similarly, unregulated financial capital that often destabilizes capitalism and unregulated international capital mobility are vehemently opposed by social democrats as they weaken labor’s bargaining power and job security.
Vehemently? No. Uselessly. That's the problem with being a 'social democrat'. People think you are a virtue signaling cretin.
To all this one may raise the objection that with this kind of restrictions social democracy hurts the cause of technological innovations, and thus productivity growth and improvements in our standard of living.
People figure out ways to prevent too much 'incentive incompatibility' in mechanisms of use to them.
I am going to argue that this is not necessarily so. But before I go there, let me mention two issues relevant here which are not central to my argument. One is that some kinds of ‘innovations’ particularly in the financial sector (like the cleverly repackaged mortgages that were used in ‘subprime lending’ in the US), that became prominent before the financial crisis of 2008-9, are surely not worth the great devastation the crisis caused, or that their effects on productivity growth in the real economy are at best minimal.
The problem wasn't 'fin-tech'. It was crap Economics and 'Agency Capture' and the fact that the Second Gulf War was an expensive failure.
Secondly, on a more personal note, whenever I have visited Japan in the last two or three decades (the so-called ‘lost’ decades, of stagnation) I had come away with a sneaking feeling that for all the stagnation the Japanese standard of living is reasonably comfortable, and if it can be rendered environmentally and fiscally sustainable, maybe they, and other rich countries, do not need a frantic pursuit of more and more innovations.
But Japan is still innovating. It has to for demographic reasons.
The story is, of course, different for developing countries, where productivities and living standards are still very low. But for these countries the challenge often is not that of really new innovations, but of catch-up and adaptive technical changes.
Mimetics. That's all that matters. Sadly elderly tossers like Bardhan have persuaded a lot of Indians that imitating 'Social Democracies' which are very rich means not worrying about productivity or mimicking the other poor, over populated, countries which managed to rise up. Instead one should concentrate on denouncing Fascism so that Money will appear by magic for transfers to the poor.
The question of technological innovations under systems that are alternatives to capitalism is important not just today, but it has played some role at least in Europe in the evolution of social democracy.
Nonsense! The Superpowers decided what would happen.
There was a time in the immediate postwar period when the workers in some west European countries were sufficiently politically powerful to have the capacity to democratically upend much of the capitalist system if they really wanted to, and replace it with some form of democratic socialism.
The C.I.A spent a lot of money to avert any such outcome. In any case, everybody could see that Communism sucked ass big time. Even the Communist Parties did not want to come under Moscow's thumb.
But astute consideration of the prospect of more innovation and productivity growth under capitalism persuaded many of their leaders that the workers’ share of a larger economic pie will in the long-run get them more, even at the expense of allowing a significant share of the pie to the capitalists.
Workers wanted higher wages. They would only tolerate Leftist nutjobs if they could deliver higher wages. But all this was predicated on cheap oil. By the Seventies, it became obvious that the upper working class would either have to accept 'solidarity wages' (i.e. reduced pay differentials with the unskilled) or turn their backs on Left-Liberal political parties. Large scale immigration was also a factor. The Class Struggle was over. The working class would have to pick its own pocket to support Big Government.
But what about a larger role of labor in firm governance?
How about letting janitors run the Universities?
Does it hurt innovations? Germany is one major country where some social democratic institution for voice of labor in the governance of the firm (in the form of works council or Betriebsrat, or more generally what is called codetermination or shared governance) has been active for some time and for which some empirical analysis is available.
In practice, this just means workers take pay-cuts in bad times in return for job security. It isn't the case that the janitors get a big say in Treasury Management. The other point has to do with the power of a few big banks. Germany is good at fostering external economies of scale in Marshallian industrial districts but appears to be falling behind in the key technological industries of the future.
Although codetermination is there in some other countries of continental Europe (and recently spread to Canada and South Korea), it started earliest in Germany and worker representation in supervisory boards of large companies there has reached parity with shareholder representation. The worker representatives have a significant influence on investment and financial decisions and control of executives.
This means higher wages and longer holidays. Perhaps it is also a barrier to entry for foreign firms who find the setting up of a Worker's Council an expensive business.
Observational data on German works council suggest a generally positive effect on productivity, particularly if the firm has profit-sharing and collective bargaining arrangements. They also help in building trustful industrial relations, in improving information channels between managers and workers and in carrying out environmental goals, like emissions reduction. (Of course, trustful industrial relations are so scarce in the hierarchical workplaces, as in say much of US and India, that one may need more social and structural changes before codetermination can even begin to work.)
In America, Unions like the Teamsters would challenge any German style Workers Council as being per se illegal under the National Labour Relations Act which prohibits any type of employer influence or control of a Union because an adversarial relationship is assumed. Electromation Inc (1992) clarifies the current position.
In India, Trade Unions are either affiliated with Political Parties or lawyer/gangsters. Cooperation can't be expected from them.
Recently a Berkeley colleague of mine, Ben Schoefer and co-authors have gone beyond observational data and used quasi-experimental evidence on German firms to come out with some interesting results on the effects of shared governance. They show that shared governance significantly raises firm productivity, without negative effects on profitability, on capital investment or on capacity to raise external finance.
What was shown was that Germans are a deeply boring people who can work well together on boring committees. Furthermore, workers will take pay cuts in bad times. The US could get rid of antiquated Labor legislation and permit this sort of sensible 'mechanism design'. But is paranoid style of politics militates against any such outcome.
They also show that it reduces outsourcing by the firm, and improves women’s representation in the supervisory board.
Outsourcing and discriminatory managerial practices aren't efficient. They are responses to legal and other rigidities of an ultimately political kind.
Of course, not all productivity improvements are innovations, a great deal of it is catch-up and adaptation of technology. Not all innovations are fundamental breakthroughs, and often the real breakthroughs are products of basic research in public organizations (including the military, like that of internet and GPS in the US) and publicly subsidized institutions like universities and public laboratories. Commercial applications are usually made by enterprising private companies. Even in commercial innovations, one may distinguish between ‘disruptive’ innovations (which often upend incumbent firms and are close to the ‘creative destruction’ Schumpeter had in mind) and steady ‘incremental’ innovations (akin to what the Japanese call kaizen), which can be carried out even in large incumbent firms, but over time cumulate to quite a lot of productivity change. In Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc. the innovations are more often of this incremental kind. And there is no reason why, a social democracy committed to public and private investment in Research and Development cannot accomplish a steady stream of such incremental innovations.
The same could be said of any type of Society- with or without a Government. The Law may inhibit mimetic effects- and the desire to discover and innovate is itself mimetic- thus it is pointless to taxonomize innovation and try to figure out how to boost it.
Disruptive innovations funded by venture capital (taking a significant stake in start-ups) are more common in the US,
Why? Because it has a huge internal market of a homogenous type.
but even there disruption in the form of exit of established firms is not that common now; more often established firms with deep pockets co-opt or buy up start-ups that are potential rivals–what Facebook did with Instagram and WhatsApp, and Alphabet with YouTube are well-known recent examples from the Big Tech sector.
Only because Financial Markets trust the Big guys to acquire the start-ups more cheaply. So this is really a story about the 'divorce between ownership and control' evolving in a manner which concentrates the power of leveraging in fewer hands such that compliance costs fall and regulations have less power to delay everything.
For Germany the quasi-experimental study cited above shows that shared governance did not have any differential effect in firm exit (or facing of bankruptcy) compared to other firms, which means labor representation did not significantly block firm exit or restructuring. But there is some indirect evidence that worker-elected representatives on the supervisory board of the firm can have longer horizons in matters like investment and more stake in the firm compared to the outside shareholder members of the board. This may make it easier for a firm to take up innovative projects with larger risk but higher return.
This is a story of the savings of workers financing their own employers. Overall it means wages and profits are depressed which is reflected in a lower real exchange rate and a desperate, but often foolish, search for higher returns in overseas financial markets.
One may also mention here that one important rationale for universal social protection systems (like universal basic income) is that by delinking the economic security issue from being tied to particular jobs such systems may make exit of inefficient firms or plants more acceptable to workers.
This is foolish. One would rather have a job then have to struggle on the same stipend as a unemployable cretin.
There is also considerable evidence—cited in the work of the labor economist Richard Freeman and co-authors–of positive productivity effects of employee stock ownership and profit-sharing, as, for example, shown in a large 2007 study commissioned by the Treasury Department of the British Government.
There is evidence that some firms where productivity has risen have implemented employee stock ownership schemes- because employees figure such shares will rise in value. Where productivity is falling, it is likely that losses are being incurred. Employees don't want shares because they are worthless.
Studying the workers in US firms with meaningful programs of shared capitalism and a supportive culture of participation, and contrasting them with workers in firms that do not have such programs, Freeman finds the former to have more loyalty to the firm and pride in their work, and a willingness to think more innovatively and make creative suggestions.
It makes sense for a company that has enthusiastic workers to get those workers to become share-holders. They are likely to be loyal. Moreover, there is a tax advantage for both.
The problem is that if you are in a shitty line of business with employees who hate what they do then no amount of profit sharing will change things. On the contrary, having a bit of capital will cause your workers to try to find some more salubrious type of job.
Apart from more worker voice in firm governance and stock-ownership, social democracies may also try to experiment with some mixed (public-private) ownership and see if that helps or hinders innovations.
Governments which 'experiment' with taxpayer money have a funny way of ending up lining the pockets of cronies.
We do not have much hard evidence on this but there are useful anecdotes. Most recent such anecdotes are from China (even though China is definitely not a democracy, the results about mixed ownership on innovations need not depend on its authoritarianism per se). In the desperate technology race that China has launched vis-à-vis the US there are now stories about some mixed-ownership firms doing reasonably well, benefiting both from long-term finance provided by the state and equity capital and risk initiatives from the private owner-partners. In the integrated circuits sector, for example, a recent mixed-ownership semiconductor company, YMTC, established in 2016 is already reported to be making memory chips almost as advanced as the world’s best (like those by Samsung from South Korea).
The US is now taking draconian action against YMTC whose 'Xtacking' approach was believed to be a money pit for the Chinese government. But this has nothing to do with who owns YMTC. There is a National Security angle to this.
There are similar stories from state-aided and –guided Chinese private firms in Artificial Intelligence (AI), where in some types of AI application the US is no longer the leader. Of course, with mixed-ownership and state-aided private firms there is always the danger that too-big-to-fail (or too much of a state favorite to fail) ventures after some time may turn into cozy rental havens, prone to ‘socializing’ losses and ‘privatizing’ profits. Keeping international competition open can, however, act here as a healthy disciplining factor, as the recent history of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan suggests.
It is perfectly possible to find good tech savvy entrepreneurs whom the Government can work with to meet national objectives. Beaverbrook turned out to be a great Minister of Air-craft production.
Crony Capitalism can be a good thing if the crony is smart, patriotic, and not too greedy.
Apart from aid and mixed ownership in firms the state can sometimes play a catalytic role in the innovation process through coordination and directional guidance, shaping the market expectations, creating demand through public procurement practices, and underwriting risks and making strategic initial investments.
In other words, if the State is good at business it can run a successful business. But the sorts of people who get elected tend to be good at bullshitting, not business.
There are many examples of all this cited in the book by Mariana Mazzucato, The Entrepreneurial State. As she illustratively points out, every bit of technology that makes the iPhone so ‘smart’ was government-funded—the Internet, GPS, its touch-screen display and the voice-activated virtual assistant Siri.
The US Govt. was sitting on a huge stockpile of patents and discoveries. It was like the last scene in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'- a big Government warehouse where all sorts of treasures are left to moulder away in crates. Then the law was changed forcing the Government to release these discoveries into the market. Otherwise we'd still be using dial up phones.
In discussing the role of the social democratic state or the firm in the innovation process it is also important to stress that
one is talking worthless bollocks
the pattern of innovations may be just as, if not more, important as the rate of innovations. If workers have a strong voice in the running of a firm and also in the general polity outside, it may be possible to redirect investment in new technology by a firm and by public authorities that conform more to social priorities—labor-absorbing and labor-empowering rather than labor-replacing technology, environmental and other long-run goals instead of short-run profits and monopoly rights –even with private patents the state may buy them and put in the public domain to accelerate future research and innovations, as, to take an early example, the French state did for the patented photographic invention of Louis Daguerre in 1839, which led to a rapid development of photographic technology.
If workers have a strong voice in the running of the Academy, worthless tossers like Bardhan would be employed only as janitors.
On the other hand, it is true to say that everybody was very very smart and very very nice then naughtiness would diminish appreciably.
It is worth stressing that Nordic social democracy has been quite conducive to innovations.
The Vikings were good at innovation too. Countries which were innovative remained innovative- indeed they could change their political arrangements in an endogenous, not a mimetic, manner. Countries which were not innovative remained desperately poor no matter which political ideology they espoused.
Taking the rough country ranking estimates of the Global Innovation Index (reported by WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization), the ranking score for 2019 was slightly higher for Sweden than for US, and slightly lower for Finland and Denmark. The two most conspicuous features of the wage determination process in Scandinavian countries are compression of wages between high- and low-productivity firms and industries, and the confederate, rather than local, collective setting of such wage patterns. The relatively low wages in high-productivity firms/industries and hence higher profitability stimulate innovations as capitalists get to keep much of the surplus, when they invest in new technology. Contrary to popular impression the Scandinavian economic model is thus as much about dynamic capitalist efficiency as about equality—this was clearly stated in the original exposition of the model by two Swedish trade union economists Gosta Rehn and Rudolf Meidner in 1951, and subsequently developed by Scandinavian academic economists like Karl Ove Moene. Of course, these distinctive features of the Scandinavian model may be difficult to reproduce in countries with different labor institutions and cultural mores. In US and India, for example, labor bargaining, where it exists, is much too decentralized
India and the US are much larger. There is no point comparing them to Nordic countries.
; a confederate mode of wage bargaining will require a major restructuring of labor institutions.
It will require population falling to Nordic levels.
Similarly, in both countries a repression of salaries of high-skilled workers and managers may induce large-scale emigration, to an extent that is not common in Scandinavian socio-cultural context, in spite of the fact that post-tax post-transfer household income in the top decile is much higher in US and Canada than in Sweden or Denmark. (These problems of social democracy in one country, when the surrounding world is different, may be akin to the problems of ‘socialism in one country’ that Trotskyists used to worry about in the now long-gone past).
Shooting people trying to escape is the way 'People's Democracies' solved the problem.
The ‘democracy’ part of social democracy should apply as much to economic democracy as to political.
Thus custodial staff should have an equal say in determining the Curriculum and grading dissertations.
Our preceding discussion on the voice of labor in the governance of the firm and outside has already involved a major part of that economic democracy. Similarly, the call for anti-monopoly legislation is aimed at reducing concentration of economic power. In the US contrary to the prevailing view of anti-trust, influenced by the Chicago School, that looked primarily at the effect of monopoly on prices and consumer harm, there is a new generation of legal scholars (sometimes described as followers of the neo-Brandeis movement, following Justice Brandeis who had pointed to broader effects of concentration) who look at the impact of concentration on all stakeholders in the economy, including workers, producers and citizens, not just the consumers. This allows them, for example, to look at the adverse impact of the giant Tech companies, even when they are reducing prices for consumers (like Amazon), or providing services at what seems like zero price (like Google or Facebook). Not merely should social democrats embrace this wider view of anti-monopoly, they should also join in a growing demand for Big Tech to pay back for the ownership and control of massive amounts of private data that they are collecting from their billions of customers and using profitably (apart from aiming at installation of appropriate privacy protection systems and antidotes to ‘surveillance capitalism’). Andrew Yang, another contender in the US Presidential primary campaign, has launched a campaign for Tech firms to pay users a ‘digital dividend’ for their data. Since the state may be in a better position to bargain with Big Tech than the numerous, often unwitting, suppliers of the data, it may act on behalf of the users in return for a share in that dividend going into a public fund. (As it is, already the state in countries like China and India have got involved in making sure that the data from their citizens remain within the country). In general the aim of economic democracy should be to curb the growing power not just of tangible capital but of this kind of intangible capital as well.
But, clearly, this happens regardless of the political regime. States tax those who can be taxed and regulate those who can be regulated. It is a Stationary Bandit, after all.
Apart from Big Tech, one area of heavy concentration of largely intangible capital is that of Finance. Their concentrated power and excessive risk-taking allowed them to precipitate the Financial Crisis of 2008-9 and the attendant world-wide devastation, and then to come out of it with relative impunity. In the US even today just 3 private asset-managing firms, BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, together own about 20% of all firms on the S&P 500 index. In this context social democrats should seriously consider a public option in the financial system. The Roosevelt Institute, a think tank in New York has called for a Modern Reconstruction Finance Corporation (somewhat on the lines of a similar financial authority in the New Deal era) to help fund the proposed Green New Deal. Social democrats in all countries should try to redirect the pension funds of workers toward such public finance authorities that facilitate public investment in the service of social and environmental goals (projects like mass transit, affordable working-class housing, public broadband, public health and sanitation, and so on).
This will require the reintroduction of capital and exchange controls and banning the private ownership of gold and implementing land ceilings and so forth. These may be required if there is a serious external or internal challenge to the Polity. Still, a lot of the smarter people will flee. When things go wrong, there will be a demand for scapegoats and nobody likes a smartass.
In doing this there is, however, a lot to learn from the mistakes in handling the public option in the financial system already in use for many years in countries like India, where public banks and insurance companies have been abused by politicians for dud loans to crony private companies and for parking Government debt to cover unproductive expenditure. The public development banks in East Asia (and Germany) have a somewhat better record. For countries with mainly private banking systems it has also been suggested that if the Central banks allow all citizens to open free bank accounts directly with the Central bank with all the usual facilities of a commercial bank account, then this public option can reduce the monopoly power of the big banks, apart from making it easier to run monetary policy and fiscal stimulus programs in a crisis. Morgan Ricks, John Crawford and Lev Menand have called for such a ‘FedAccount program’ for the American public.
This is feasible. Why not integrate the Tax and Banking system under the aegis of the Government? Kill off the Tax Avoidance industry. Put an end to Organized Crime. Never again be forced to bailout 'too big to fail' Financial Institutions. Instead of regulating markets just have cash transfers to the needy based on Medical reports. Indeed, why not centralize all information flows? Let Big Brother do 'Bio-politics'.
In the US where the safety net is patchy and in developing countries where it is often non-existent, particularly for the vast masses of informal workers, social democrats supporting a generous welfare state (including a significant universal basic income) have to think about restructuring the whole public finance system, including streamlining the existing structure of subsidies (many of them mainly going to the rich and middle classes or taking the form of energy-inefficient fuel subsidies) and revamping the system of raising taxes from the rich (like more progressive income taxes, wealth, capital gains, and inheritance taxes, and a reformed system of local property taxes). This will be difficult if they do not simultaneously (and in coordination with other countries) put restrictions on international capital mobility and flight to offshore tax havens. It has been suggested by some that a tax on foreign financial transactions collected by individual countries may be contributed to a Global Environmental Fund, from which developing countries that usually suffer most from flight of financial capital, can borrow at a concessional rate for investment in mitigation of environmental degradation. (One, of course, has to keep in mind that in a world of digital super-connectivity there are some limits to restrictions on capital mobility and taxes on financial transactions). In addition to raising the tax rates, for expanding the tax base (and, of course, for other labor-friendly objectives) social democrats should also keep the goal of high level of employment as a top priority. North European and other social democracies have often achieved this with active labor market policies for retraining and re-skilling, wage subsidies, and with public care-giving services which enable women to participate in large numbers.
Any type of regime would sponsor reforms which 'pay for themselves'- i.e. generate more revenue than they cost. No regime can afford to pay for virtue signalling bullshit unless vested interests are getting a pay-off and, in any case, the scheme has been set up to disillusion the voter.
The ‘democracy’ part of social democracy will remain essentially rigged as long as politicians mainly depend on large corporate donations for the increasingly expensive elections. It is now recognized that the Blair-Clinton-style social democracy wedded to High Finance is doomed to failure,
Clearly Bardhan thinks Biden won't win.
both for the ‘social’ and the ‘democracy’ parts. But the most egregious recent case of a major social democratic party crashing under the burden of corruption is that of PT in Brazil. The corruption scandals clearly involved personal greed of some PT politicians, but much of the money illicitly procured was to feed the political machine of the party, that needed large sums to fund elections and to lubricate the post-election wooing of legislators of allied parties to rally behind particular policy programs.
Brazil, like Venezuela, was hit by falling commodity prices. Chavez was a General. His regime, being more authoritarian, could survive while Lula's protege's could not.
In the US the largely unregulated, and court-sanctioned, role of corporate money for campaign finance before elections and for lobbying of legislators between elections has made a mockery of democracy and rule of law, when these laws are essentially for sale. The situation is in some respects even worse in India, where the ruling party legally raises corporate money many times the total raised by all the other parties combined, not to speak of the undocumented illegal finance. Matters have been made murkier by the con game of what is called electoral bond (with very little disclosure requirement), introduced by the current regime under the guise of what was called electoral reform. In order to raise money some smaller parties at election time now sell their party ‘tickets’ for contesting elections to the largest contributors to the party fund.
There is nothing new about any of this. The fact remains, cunts Bardhan approves of can't rule America because their slogan is 'Make America shit' and can't rule India because they denounce Hinduism- the religion of 80 percent of the people- at every opportunity.
Social democrats have to seriously consider the alternative of public financing of elections, with, of course, a system of strictly enforced limits on (and independent auditing of) expenditure by both parties and candidates.
But they will still be unelectable because the temptation to virtue signal about the plight of abortion seeking transgender Palestinians will overcome them.
It is worth learning from cases of relatively successful reforms in public funding of election in some social democratic countries. In Canada there is substantial public funding with stringent regulations on ceilings of election spending; there are also tax incentives for small contributors. Germany uses public grants that match the funds from small contributors. Sweden, where corporate donations used to be a major source for political parties, public subsidies are now generous enough for the parties to voluntarily stop accepting corporate donations.
So what? It is the US Supreme Court you have to convince. What Canada or Germany does is not relevant.
Indeed, talk of 'Social Democracy' is irrelevant unless a Political Party is in a position to amend the Constitution and change the composition of the Bench.
Social democracy to be viable and vigorous has to grapple with
Reality. Not bullshit about Scandinavia or vacuous verbiage about
systemic issues arising from
having taught a shite subject for too many years
the structural dependence on capital, by increasing the role of labor in firm governance, influencing the pace and pattern of innovations, democratizing the financial and fiscal space, and draining the current swamp of electoral funding.
Just concentrate of getting Biden the old fashioned way- i.e. by outspending the other guys.
Of course, the oligarchic interests of business and capital that now dominate most democratic polities will not easily give up on the powers they have acquired.
Because people don't like giving up stuff that is useful to them.
Apart from the obvious uphill task of social movements and mass organizations in forcefully pushing an alternative political agenda and moral narrative,
uphill and futile- like Sisyphus pushing his rock.
it may be possible to persuade some sections of the business world that social-democratic improvements in workers’ participation, welfare and morale within a modified framework of capitalism may not conflict with their long-term interests of productivity and profits, that capitalism can be saved from myopic capitalists.
Business people are smarter, at least when it comes to making money, than senile academics or woke activists. They understand 'incomplete contracts' and change the incentive mix as required. They also employ some bullshitters and P.R firms and so forth.
Instead of saving capitalism from myopic capitalists why not save shit from myopic assholes who don't understand that if they release a turd then their endowment set will be reduced. Only by a proper analysis of the anal sphincter's structural dependence can a proper Socially Democratic defecational procedure be implemented.