Socialism, as defined by Marx, was an economic system in which capitalist exploitation had been eliminated. This means that the distribution of society’s output to its producers was in proportion to the value of labor they expended in its production.
On the other hand, social democracy is a political ideology of the centre-left on the political spectrum which is a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. Social democracy supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism. Social democracy advocates the creation of legal reforms and economic redistribution programmes to eliminate economic class disparities between the bourgeoisie and the proletarian.
The Frankfurt declaration of the Socialist International in 1951, attended by many social democratic parties from across the world, committed adherents to oppose Bolshevik communism and Stalinism, and to promote a gradual transformation of capitalism into socialism. Practical modern social democratic policies include the promotion of a welfare state and the creation of economic democracy as a means to secure workers’ rights.
Since the rise in popularity of the new right and neo-libralism, a number of prominent social democratic parties have abandoned the goal of the gradual evolution of capitalism to socialism, and instead, support welfare state capitalism. In recent years, several social democratic parties, in particular the British labour party, have embraced more centrist, third way policy positions.
The development of third way social democracy has resulted in the rise of democratic socialism as a distinct ideology split from social democracy. In many countries, social democrats continue to exist alongside democratic socialists, who stand to the left of them on the political spectrum. The two movements sometimes operate within the same political party, such as the Brazilian workers’ party and the socialist party of France.
From the above facts, it is very clear that the NDC, as a political entity, is definitely suffering from crass ideological crisis. This is because they profess to be social democrats whose ideology falls in line with that of the CPP. But the CPP, ideologically, believes in the purest form of Stalinism while the very core essence of social democracy being propounded by vision bereft and ideologically constipated NDC, was to rather counter the spread of Stalinism into then western Europe.
It is also instructive to note that those who were originally propounding this social democracy ideology have now abandoned it for an alternative form of ideology called democratic socialism which supports welfare state capitalism, and an example of this practice is what has made China what it is today.
Now, with even the academic intricacies of these ideologies aside, the very lifestyle of these NDC gluttons who continue to bother our ears with this noise of social democracy is a complete departure from what they are preaching. These are people whose insatiable taste for obscene opulence is simply matchless. They have been putting up multi-billion dollar mansions and acquiring other exotic property that will make even the oil Sheikhs of Saudi Arabia go green with pure envy.
They claim to be Bolshevik socialist who abhor everything that is of value but are today sending even their concubines to America to deliver babies. Others are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, annually, to educate their daughters in universities of purely capitalist nations. A very impecunious individual who used to walk around in tattered clothes has today relocated his entire nuclear family to Canada while he stays at home and frantically litters every corner within the geographical boundaries of Ghana with multi-billion celestial palaces.
Socialism aims to achieve a more just society by putting the means of production in the hands of the government and it is against privatization, though not necessarily for common ownership, that’s communism. But when in opposition, the NDC, led by then candidate Atta Mills touted this purest form of socialist ideals, went into bed with the likes of Fidel Castro and Kim Jon-iL of Cuba and North Korea respectively, while vociferously castigating Kufuor for dealing with nations as USA and Britain.
They continuously shouted from the roof tops, this concept of socialism that abhors privatization of state enterprises but they ultimately ended up disposing of over 340 state enterprises to themselves and their cronies, and inflicted grievously debilitating economic wounds on Ghanaians by bequeathing to them an infamous legacy of HIPC after nearly 20 years of subjecting our dear nation to horrific economic mismanagement and plain-faced looting of state assets.
Social democracy which they are now trumpeting over the roof tops, on the other hand, acknowledges that the free market fails to automatically take into account certain goals the society might value, that are most often those based on solidarity and long-term plans; for example, environmental protection, help for medical emergencies, social help etc.
These are the people who embraced the IMF/World bank with both indecent haste and widely opened arms. That decision brought along venomous economic policies as SAP-1, SAP-2, SAP-3 and later enhanced SAP. This ended up opening our market for all kinds of foreign imports.
This level of market libralisation, which is explicitly abhorred by the very ideology they falsely claim to believe in, rather ended up having a mercilessly negative socio-economic impact on the sick, the old, the poor, the uneducated and all other members of society who were not contributing directly to economic growth for whatever reason. As a result of this reckless management of affairs of state by these ruthless economic gangsters, most of our compatriots were prematurely dispatched into the other world as a result of poverty.
The concept of social democracy includes the human wish not to see your neighbors starve the moment they can no longer be productive, and recognize that one day you might be in that same situation. Yet, these very people were the originators of the once highly deadly concept of “cash and carry” where access to healthcare was the preserve of NDC looting brigades with money bags.
The way it is typically done is to take away money from those who have plenty, e.g. by taxes, and give it to those who need it to survive. Yes, that means redistribution of wealth. You do that backed up by a democratic system to ensure this redistribution is considered just by the majority of people and not in conflict with more fundamental laws.
But rather ironically, we have a party that presses to be having the true blood of socialism running through their veins and are therefore ruthlessly taxing the ordinary Ghanaian through the nose. It has failed to redistribute these accumulated monies to the citizenry by way of job creation and provision of social intervention programmes. This has actually manifested in the form of their very own foot-soldiers going on rampage and ceasing toilets, lorry parks and toll booths because they do not have jobs.
Following the election of Samia Nkrumah as the chairperson of the CPP, apologists of the NDC, in their desperate attempt to hide their evil machinations over the years to politically massacre the CPP, have set their propaganda machine in motion and trumpeting their falsified self-acclaimed social democratic ideology and bogus Nkrumaist linkage.
Now, the Frankfurt declaration of the Socialist International in 1951, attended by many social democratic parties from across the world, committed adherents to oppose Bolshevik communism and Stalinism, and to promote a gradual transformation of capitalism into socialism.
It is therefore erroneous for the NDC to claim to be an Nkrumaist party which believes in pure Stalinism. Effectively, the Atta Mills-led NDC is simply suffering from an acute form of ideological constipation.
Source: Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei - E-mail: [email protected]/D-Guide
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