Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

September 26, 2009

Social Democracy in Canada, from The Program of The Communist Party of Canada, program adopted at the Feb. 2001 Central Convention of the CP


Jack has stooped so low this time - he has to look up to see down!















Social Democracy

"The main political expression of reformist ideology and class collaboration within the labour movement in Canada is social democracy.

"Social democracy however, is not the only conduit channeling bourgeois ideology into the trade union, labour and people's movements. Bourgeois parties attempt to operate within and influence the trade union and other mass democratic movements. The state apparatus and its infrastructure, including educational and cultural institutions, the capitalist-owned mass media, and other institutions of the ruling class conduct a daily ideological assault against working people.

"Nonetheless, the main obstacle to the unity of the workers' movement, to the uniting of the progressive forces and to the establishment of anti-monopoly unity is right-wing social democracy and anti-communism.

"The Communist Party has continually worked to unite the reformist and revolutionary wings of the working class movement in the struggle for peace, democracy, and Canadian independence, and against corporate rule.

"However, capitalism's deepening crisis and the resulting intensified struggle between capital and labour is evoking a deep-going ideological and political clash within the ranks of social democracy. The right-wing leadership of the social democratic movement in Canada and internationally has abandoned the goal of "socialism" entirely, embraced globalized capitalism, and reoriented social democratic parties in favour of the illusion of managing capitalism "with a human face."

"Social democracy's reorientation – a reflection of its changing class base, from the working class toward the petty bourgeoisie, professionals and other sections of the middle strata – has had far-reaching effects. It has provoked deep divisions within the New Democratic Party (the main expression of social democracy in English-speaking Canada) between its right-wing leadership, and an increasingly marginalized section of the membership who retain socialist convictions or even traditional social democratic views. This sharp debate has carried over into the labour movement itself, calling into question the continued political and organizational relationship between the NDP and the Canadian Labour Congress (and its affiliates).

"The Communist Party believes the trade union movement is not well served by having automatic affiliation or permanent organizational ties to the NDP or any other political party, but rather by taking independent political action in mass extra-parliamentary struggle as well as giving support to particular electoral candidates, parties, coalition programs, or policies.

"These developments attest to the widening gap between the interests of the working class and those of right-wing social democracy.

"In the day-to-day struggle, Communists work closely with left-wing social democrats and other activists in the labour and progressive movements, and strive to develop united action and cooperation. The Communist Party continues to work for cooperation with the NDP around common issues and reforms, despite the widening gulf between the principles and class allegiance of the two parties.

"The more effectively the Communist Party works for left and democratic unity and strengthens its independent political activity, putting forward its Marxist-Leninist program and policies, the more the left forces, both within and outside the NDP, can be brought into united struggle for genuine progressive policies."

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