Social Democrats And Neo Liberals

1611 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 7 Pages
Both social democrats and neo-liberals claim to support a free society. This essay will discuss how and why their visions of freedom diverge. This essay will focus on the social vision of social democracy and neo-liberalism, as freedom is subject to this vision. The social vision involves the society and its values. What kind of society does the ideology want and how do they want to achieve this kind of society? This essay will discuss the social democratic vision of freedom, the neo-liberal vision of freedom and will then argue how and why their visions diverge.
As a ‘hybrid’ ideology, social democracy took shape around the mid-twentieth century, resulting from the tendency among western socialist parties not only to adopt parliamentary strategies, but also to revise their socialist goals. In particular, they abandoned the goal of abolishing capitalism and sought instead to reform or ‘humanize’ it. Being based on a compromise between the market and the state, social democracy lacks a systematic underlying theory and is, arguably, inherently vague. This revisionist socialism has been primarily concerned with social justice, a just or fair distribution of wealth in society (Heywood 2012, pp. 125-129). In contrast with many liberals, social democrats believe that freedom has financial and social preconditions. It is not only about securing negative freedoms, but ensuring what is called 'positive freedom '. Freedom must be legally ensured and effectively guaranteed. Similarly…
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