Om behovet av socialdemokrati

Tony Judt skriver läsvärt i The Guardian om behovet av en ny politik. Historikern Judt är något så ovanligt som en socialdemokratisk intellektuell och skriver annars regelbundet i New York Review of Books

”We need to rethink the state, and rearticulate the language of social democracy. Social democrats should cease to be defensive and apologetic. A social democratic vision of the good society entails from the outset a greater role for the state and the public sector. The welfare state is as popular as ever with its beneficiaries: nowhere in Europe is there a constituency for abolishing public health services, ending free or subsidised education or reducing public provision of transport and other essential services. We have long practised something resembling social democracy, but we have forgotten how to preach it.

[…]

If it is to be taken seriously again, the left must find its voice. There is much to be angry about: growing inequalities of wealth and opportunity; injustices of class and caste; economic exploitation at home and abroad; corruption and money and privilege occluding the arteries of democracy. But it will no longer suffice to identify the shortcomings of ”the system” and then retreat, Pilate-like, indifferent to consequences. It is incumbent on us to reconceive the role of government. If we do not, others will.

[…]

The left has failed to respond effectively to the financial crisis of 2008 – and more generally to the shift away from the state and towards the market over the past three decades. Shorn of a story to tell, social democrats and their liberal fellows have been on the defensive for a generation, apologising for their own policies and altogether unconvincing when it comes to criticising those of their opponents. Even when their programmes are popular, they have trouble defending them against charges of budgetary incontinence or governmental interference.”

Uppdatering: Läs även den mastiga intervjun med Tony Judt i London Review of Books.

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