The laws of property have never yet conformed to the principles on which the justification of private property rests. They have made property of things which never ought to be property, and absolute property where only a qualified property ought to exist. They have not held the balance fairly between human beings, but have heaped impediments upon some, to give advantage to others; they have purposely fostered inequalities, and prevented all from starting fair in the race. That all should indeed start on perfectly equal terms is inconsistent with any law of private property; but if as much pains as has been taken to aggravate the inequality of chances arising from the natural working of the principle, had been taken to temper that inequality by every means not subversive of the principle itself; if the tendency of legislation had been to favour the diffusion, instead of concentration of wealth Marx once remarked acidly that the eminence of John Stuart Mill in England was due to the flatness of the terrain.
But on the central question of the historical possibilities of capitalism, Mill was by far the wiser of the two. In his emphasis on the potential contribution of socialism at the level of the firm, rather than the economy as a whole, Mill was also, I believe, wiser than my second exemplary liberal, John Dewey. Dewey subscribed to the view that socialism is a higher stage of liberalism and that the great "task before us," to use a favorite phrase of his, is to find a synthesis between liberal political values and socialist economics.
Adopted by the XVIII Congress, Stockholm, June 1989
Dewey spelled out the argument in Liberalism and Social Action , published in His understanding of early liberalism reflected Marxist influence; he accepted the premise that liberalism had emerged as the ideology of the rising bourgeoisie. But, unlike the Marxists, Dewey thought if one stripped away the "adventitious" elements that accompanied liberalism at its genesis, enduring values remained, and he particularly identified three: "liberty, the development of the inherent capacities of individuals made possible through liberty, and the central role of free intelligence in inquiry, discussion and expression.
Organized social planning Such planning demands in turn a new conception and logic of freed intelligence as a social force. This emphasis on intelligence was the core of Dewey's argument and, alas, the core of what was wrong with it. He credited all economic advance to intelligence, nothing to the market. The opposite force is that of older institutions and the habits that have grown up around them.
Since he saw capitalism as having no positive impact at all, Dewey was unable to see how subjecting the economy to collective control could hinder its development. Dewey continually spoke about the need for "social control of the economy," but exactly what he wanted is unclear. In Liberalism and Social Action he criticized current political life for merely summing up individuals quantitatively, as if intelligence were purely an individual possession; for still depending upon "the method of discussion, with only incidental scientific control"; and for relying upon symbols, which are readily manipulated.
Dewey did not, however, take the model of science to imply a need for technocratic rule because, in his mind, the world of science was a democratic community. Indeed, his primary criticism of socialism was that it was insufficiently committed to democratic practice. I read considerable talk about 'the democratic' as applying to the process of getting socialism; damn little about it as an adjective applying to socialism when you get it.
Westbrook, who quotes this and similar passages in a new intellectual biography of Dewey, sees in Dewey a guide for a vision of a liberal, socialist, participatory democracy. His belief that the method of intelligence, as embodied in science, could be applied to social choices reflected a failure to understand the irreducible differences between science and politics.
Despite frequent references to planning and public ownership, Dewey failed to specify how participatory democratic planning and public ownership would work in practice -- for example, what branches or levels of government would have what powers; how people were to be represented; or how decisions were to be made on investments in firms.
This vagueness is not simply a limitation of Dewey's work; it is indicative of the deeper problems in the tradition of democratic socialism. The theory comes to grief on the hard rock of specifying political arrangements. To condemn bureaucracy is easy; to find means that will actually avoid it is the trick. To favor participation is fine; to find means to sustain it is another thing. Oscar Wilde's famous remark that the problem with socialism is that it takes too many evenings is not just the view of the ironic aesthete; it is the basic problem with a theory that is unrealistic about human interests and energies.
No matter how participatory in theory, democratic planning cannot escape the problem of bureaucracy; democracy creates bureaucracy. As James Q. Wilson points out in his recent book Bureaucracy , the demands for democratic access and participation in America are one of the principal reasons why bureaucracy in America is especially encumbered with rules. To avoid domination by experts, the experts must be checked, and these checks involve formal rules controlling their discretion, requiring public disclosure, providing opportunities for hearings, and so on.
If the modern economy were simple, planning could be simple. But it cannot be simple, and every attempt to make it democratic would make it more complex. If the economic world were not only simple but stationary, a democratically planned economy might be manageable. Change, however, is devastating. The reasons for the failure of the planned economy lie fundamentally in its inability to generate innovation or to deal with fundamental shifts in markets and technologies. In theory, socialist governments should be able to set prices in line with marginal costs; the socialist planner, as the economist Oskar Lange argued in the s, should be capable of taking into account all costs and consequently be less resistant than the private entrepreneur to technological progress that devalues existing capital investments.
But, in practice, the difficulties in securing information and maintaining political legitimacy, as well as the privileges of elites with a stake in protected economic sectors, prevent socialist planners from readily adjusting prices or promoting technical change. The concentration of economic responsibilities on the state makes it difficult to impose the economic cruelties of higher consumer prices, factory shutdowns, occupational displacement, and social dislocation that innovation and growth typically require.
Over time, prices typically get drastically out of line with costs; public enterprises become sinkholes of public subsidy; and the planned economy becomes a backwater of development. More democratic economic planning, far from solving these problems, quite likely would aggravate them, since it would be even harder to carry out the changes that development requires. These difficulties do not necessarily appear in the short term or under conditions of national crisis.
That is why command-and-control planning can be successful in wartime or in the initial stages of a revolution, especially if a regime is able to transplant technologies developed elsewhere. But as time wears on, the planned economy's slowness to innovate and its resistance to what Joseph Schumpeter called capitalism's "gales of creative destruction" bring about a long-term deterioration.
I am not suggesting that the human costs of economic and technological change should be of no political concern. On the contrary, cushioning the losses and insecurities of economic upheaval is one of the principal interests of the liberal state, in part to ensure that the costs and benefits of change are fairly distributed and that progress does not founder because of resistance from those who would otherwise be the losers. But it has proved far more advantageous to release the transformative powers of capitalism and spread the gains, than to try to preserve the stakes of the weak in the status quo.
I also do not wish to suggest that the difficulties of economic planning on the command-and-control model extend to every other type of state intervention. The problems arise specifically from micro-management of the economy and suppression of the price system. Planning and public ownership, especially when combined, simultaneously suppress information market signals and demand continuously replenished information of minute detail. Both the basis for economic decisions and the mechanisms for correcting them are fatally weakened.
This is not so of the use of fiscal and monetary instruments in macroeconomic policy. Nor does it apply to social insurance and other income-transfer programs, to government planning in the management of a limited public sector, to planning of public investments in human capital and physical infrastructure, and other areas where the term "planning" merely stands for the making of policy in line with longer-term objectives and projections of trends.
Indeed, without national economic planning of the kind envisioned by socialists, we have achieved at least some of the social control of economic life that Dewey and others half a century ago wanted. But we do so -- and, in some areas, ought to do more -- without the detailed management of finance and industry that the socialist critics of capitalism thought necessary.
Marxists and other socialist critics earlier in this century, and even some today, have repeatedly underestimated the capacities of capitalist democracies for adaptation, stability, redistribution, and growth. But, of course, many defenders of capitalism have thought its requirements to be equally rigid.
The tradition represented by Mill, in contrast, saw that capitalism could be drastically altered by law and government and was compatible with radical advances in equality and democratization, including a more just distribution of income, diminished status differences, and an altered hierarchy in the firm.
This recognition that capitalism is not governed by iron laws of motion, as Marx believed, but can be modified politically and culturally lies at the foundation of the tradition of democratic liberalism. For Dewey and others to have believed half a century ago that capitalism needed to be transformed into socialism to realize liberal values was perhaps understandable, given what they knew of the two systems.
But that was, in a sense, before socialism, at least before we had accumulated much experience of socialism. The socialist experiment has now been run in many variations. Governments professing socialism have come to power by armed force and exercised dictatorial power; others have come to power through elections and exercised power more democratically. Some regimes, initially totalitarian, have tried to reform themselves from within. Nonetheless, we have yet to see the socialist economic model succeed in practice. It is evidently as hard for human beings to enter the kingdom of socialism as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
If socialism is so difficult to get right, people are justifiably skeptical of the democratic socialists among us who say that it has yet to be tried. Now we know what we could not have known when socialism was a theory, and liberalism after socialism can never be the same. The task before us is plainly not to synthesize liberal political values with socialist economics. Neither is it to reconceive socialism on a more democratic, decentralized basis; the idea of a decentralized socialism bears even less relevance to economic realities today than the model of central planning whose bad odor socialist theorists are trying to escape.
Socialism is simply not our appointed historical destiny. Indeed, the great irony is that while theorists have vexed themselves over the much-anticipated transition from capitalism to socialism, the great task in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union is the reverse: how to build liberal societies after socialism has done such great damage to their economies, civil life, and even the legitimacy of their states.
The socialist critique of liberalism and its program for the reconstruction of society had other aspects besides those I have mentioned. To give a full assessment of those arguments, or of communitarianism -- which might be thought of socialism without the embarrassment of socialist economics -- is more than I can attempt here. By way of conclusion, let me spell out some elements of a realistic democratic liberalism, as I see it.
Like all versions of political liberalism, democratic liberalism rests on a foundation of constitutionalism and guarantees of individual political and civil liberty. These rights are primary; they take priority over property rights where they come into conflict, and the most fundamental of them cannot be sacrificed or compromised for prudential reasons, except in cases of rare and compelling state interest.
Since the capacity to hold leaders accountable is essential to the limitation of power, the protection of liberty requires democracy. And as Dewey properly argued, liberal values require democracy as a thoroughgoing social practice, a way of life. But where Dewey and others were mistaken was in asking too much of democracy, particularly by expecting that the economy as a whole could be directly subjected to democratic rule.
For the economy as a whole, collective interests require collective political restraint. The choice is not between "market" and "plan," as so many theorists have put it. For even for those committed to reliance on the market, the question remains, "What market?
The realistic, democratic alternative to socialist planning lies primarily in the design of markets and other institutions: the shaping of the rules of the game. Banks and other financial institutions, broadcasting stations, school systems, health care services, agriculture -- these institutions all require a framework of legal rules that influence what they do, whom they serve, how they are controlled.
In the shaping of the framework, not in the active management of those institutions, lies the principal point of liberal influence. To be sure, choices in institutional design are not as grand and inspiring as the great ideological struggle between capitalism and socialism. But those choices are where the big public decisions of our time lie. Unlike socialism, which has held up an impractical vision of a classless society and total equality in all spheres, liberalism has a vision of equality that is more restricted, but less likely to be perennially disappointed, liberalism has often been accused of failing to extend its egalitarian ideals beyond the civil and political spheres.
But there is good reason for holding back from organizing the economy according to the same rules as the polity. Political and civil liberty imply political and civil equality: equality before the law, equal rights of political participation. But even the strong, affirmative efforts necessary to create the institutions and conditions for civil and political liberty do not require an equalization of wealth and income or eradication of class differences.
What that floor entails is a distinctly social judgment; it will likely rise over time. Since the support of that floor will be a political decision, policies must be designed to maintain not only the floor, but the political support beneath it. As a result, the evaluation of policies and programs, even from the standpoint of distributive justice, cannot be separated from the overall task of constructing democratic majorities.
And that imperative will often mean support for programs that provide universal benefits to all groups, including the middle class as well as the poor and majorities as well as minority groups. Moreover, the long-term tasks of nation-building and of fostering a common culture and a sense of shared citizenship also strongly argue for public and universal schooling, old-age pensions, and other services that serve an integrative as well as egalitarian purpose.
In a few cases, particularly those involving insurance, the universal alternative is also simply more efficient because of endemic market failures. But the universalism of liberal democratic policies is limited to particular spheres of social life; it is not a stepping stone to generalized equality of economic condition, if only because of the inevitable conflict, which socialists hardly anticipated, between democracy and equality.
The level of redistribution required to achieve the socialist vision of a classless society is so vast that it is unlikely ever to command majority support.
Early Views on Internationalism: Marxist Socialists vs Liberals - Persée
It is difficult enough, and often impossible, to secure democratic approval even for the more limited equality that liberals favor. This problem must be taken, not as a temporary obstacle arising from false consciousness, but as a permanent problem arising from rational voter hesitations about losses of income and the role of the state.
Where socialism imagined transforming things "private" into things "public," liberalism seeks to maintain the public-private distinction and to enrich the forces of civil society, not in opposition to the state, but in partnership with it. The state has a comparative advantage in performing certain functions; for example, it can collect taxes more reliably and efficiently than can charities raise voluntary contributions.
But it is not always best able to produce or deliver the services it finances. Through the devolution of functions to the independent associations and agencies of civil society, liberal policy provides a genuine way to limit governmental bureaucracy. In addition, the cultivation and strengthening of civil society reflects a commitment, not to some mythical idea of a single community but to the many and various communities that must exist peaceably and tolerantly along with each other in a liberal society. As I have said nothing about international affairs and foreign policy, about the problems of moral authority, education, and the family, and countless other matters, this can scarcely be counted a general discussion of the problems facing liberalism.
What I have tried to argue is that we need to draw, more sharply than we have, the distinction between liberalism and socialism. In everyday American politics, liberalism is now identified with a commitment to expanding public social programs, and this link is partly the cause of the general confusion of liberalism and socialism, which to many people appear to stand for the same thing. Why American conservatives conflate liberalism and socialism is clear since, in their eyes, any defense of positive government counts as statism.
The same principles and political commitments which socialism has always held have to be attained in a world that has changed radically since the Frankfurt Declaration of The Socialist International was founded a hundred years ago in order to coordinate the worldwide struggle of democratic socialist movements for social justice, human dignity and democracy.
It brought together parties and organisations from different traditions which shared a common goal: democratic socialism. Throughout their history, socialist, social democratic and labour parties have stood for the same values and principles. Today the Socialist International combines its traditional struggle for freedom, justice and solidarity with a deep commitment to peace, the protection of the environment, and the development of the South.
All these issues require common answers. To this end, the Socialist International seeks the support of all those who share its values and commitment. Democratic socialism is an international movement for freedom, social justice and solidarity. Its goal is to achieve a peaceful world where these basic values can be enhanced and where each individual can live a meaningful life with the full development of his or her personality and talents and with the guarantee of human and civil rights in a democratic framework of society.
Freedom is the product of both individual and cooperative efforts - the two aspects are parts of a single process. Each person has the right to be free of political coercion and also to the greatest chance to act in pursuit of individual goals and to fulfil personal potential. But that is only possible if humanity as a whole succeeds in its long-standing struggle to master its history and to ensure that no person, class, sex, religion or race becomes the servant of another. Justice and Equality. Justice means the end of all discrimination against individuals, and the equality of rights and opportunities.
It demands compensation for physical, mental and social inequalities, and freedom from dependence on either the owners of the means of production or the holders of political power. Equality is the expression of the equal value of all human beings and the precondition for the free development of the human personality.
Basic economic, social and cultural equality is essential for individual diversity and social progress. Freedom and equality are not contradictory. Equality is the condition for the development of individual personality. Equality and personal freedom are indivisible. Solidarity is all-encompassing and global. It is the practical expression of common humanity and of the sense of compassion with the victims of injustice. Solidarity is rightly stressed and celebrated by all major humanist traditions.
In the present era of unprecedented interdependence between individuals and nations, solidarity gains an enhanced significance since it is imperative for human survival. Democratic socialists attach equal importance to these fundamental principles. They are interdependent. Each is a prerequisite of the other. As opposed to this position, Liberals and Conservatives have placed the main emphasis on individual liberty at the expense of justice and solidarity while Communists have claimed to achieve equality and solidarity, but at the expense of freedom.
The idea of democracy is based on the principles of freedom and equality. Therefore, equal rights for men and women - not only in theory, but also in practice, at work, in the family and in all areas of social life - are part of the socialist concept of society. Democratic socialists strive to achieve equal rights for all races, ethnic groups, nations and denominations.
These rights are seriously in question in many regions of the world today. Forms of democracy of course may vary. However, it is only possible to speak of democracy if people have a free choice between various political alternatives in the framework of free elections; if there is a possibility for a change of government by peaceful means based on the free will of the people; if individual and minority rights are guaranteed; and, if there is an independent judicial system based on the rule of law impartially applied to all citizens.
Political democracy is an indispensable element of a socialist society. Democratic socialism is a continuing process of social and economic democratisation and of increasing social justice. Individual rights are fundamental to the values of socialism. Democracy and human rights are also the substance of popular power, and the indispensable mechanism whereby people can control the economic structures which have so long dominated them.
Without democracy, social policies cannot disguise the dictatorial character of a government. There can be no doubt that different cultures will develop their own institutional forms of democracy. But whatever form democracy assumes - nationally or internationally - it must provide full rights for individuals and for organised minority opinions. For socialists, democracy is of its very nature pluralist, and this pluralism provides the best guarantee of its vitality and creativity.
Freedom from arbitrary and dictatorial government is essential. It constitutes the precondition whereby peoples and societies can create a new and better world of peace and international cooperation - a world in which political, economic and social destinies will be democratically determined.
Democratic socialists have arrived at the definition of these values in many different ways.
They originate in the labour movement, popular liberation movements, cultural traditions of mutual assistance, and communal solidarity in many parts of the world. They have also gained from the various humanist traditions of the world. But although there are differences in their cultures and ideologies, all socialists are united in their vision of a peaceful and democratic world society combining freedom, justice and solidarity.
The national struggles for democratic socialism in the years to come will show differences in policy and divergences on legislative provisions. These will reflect different histories and the pluralism of varied societies. Socialists do not claim to possess the blueprint for some final and fixed society which cannot be changed, reformed or further developed. In a movement committed to democratic self-determination there will always be room for creativity since each people and every generation must set its own goals. In addition to the principles which guide all democratic socialists, there is a clear consensus among socialists on fundamental values.
Despite all diversity, it is common ground that democracy and human rights are not simply political means to socialist ends but the very substance of those ends - a democratic economy and society. Individual freedom and basic rights in society are the preconditions of human dignity for all. These rights cannot replace one another, nor can they be played off against each other. Socialists protect the inalienable right to life and to physical safety, to freedom of belief and free expression of opinion, to freedom of association and to protection from torture and degradation.
Socialists are committed to achieve freedom from hunger and want, genuine social security, and the right to work. Democratic socialism also means cultural democracy. There must be equal rights and opportunities for the different cultures within each society as well as equal access for everyone to the national and global cultural heritage. Peace is the precondition of all our hopes. It is a basic value of common interest to all political systems and necessary for human society. War destroys human life and the basis for social development.
A nuclear holocaust could spell the end of human life as we know it. A lasting peace cannot be guaranteed through nuclear deterrence nor through an arms race with conventional forces. Therefore disarmament and new models of common security are imperative. What is now essential is the achievement, not merely of military stability at the lowest possible level of defensive weapon systems, but also a climate of mutual political confidence. This can be developed through cooperation on projects for our common future and a new emphasis on peaceful competition between societies with different political, economic and social structures.
Peace is more than the absence of war. It cannot be based on fear or on ephemeral goodwill between the Superpowers.
The fundamental economic and social causes of international conflict must be abolished by the achievement of global justice and by the creation of new institutions for the peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world. The establishment of a New International Economic and Political Order is an essential contribution to peace. This should involve respect for national sovereignty and the right to national self-government, negotiated settlement of conflict, and suspension of arms supplies to the parties in conflict. There must be both global and regional systems for cooperation and peaceful conflict resolution in all parts of the world.
These could be brought about through the action of the UN, complementing agreements between the Superpowers. Peace is equally a necessity within nations. Violent ways of handling conflicts destroy opportunities for development and human rights. Education for peace and disarmament must be intensified. The militarisation of relations between nations of the South has become a serious threat to the future of humanity, as are the tensions between East and West.
In some cases the major powers, with their tendency to globalise conflict, have engaged in proxy struggles in countries of the South. In others, the arms merchants of both East and West have contributed to raising the level of violence in the South as they sought political advantage or profit.
National Integration Through Socialist Planning
It is undeniable that every war in the past four decades has been fought in those regions of the world. Social, economic and other causes of conflict in the South must be eliminated. Democratic socialists reject a world order in which there is an armed peace between East and West but constant bloodshed in developing countries. Peacekeeping efforts must focus upon putting an end to these confrontations. Europe has a unique role in this process.
For decades it has been the most likely battlefield for armed conflict between East and West. Europe can now become the area in which a new climate of mutual trust and restraint can develop and grow. Initiatives for peace require that different socio-economic systems and nations cooperate with one another on projects for confidence building and disarmament, justice in the South and protection of the planet's biosphere.
At the same time, they should engage in peaceful competition in the fields of wealth creation, welfare and solidarity. Societies should be prepared to learn from one another. It must become the norm for the different systems to trade, negotiate and work together. There should also be a place for frank and open exchange of views, in particular where issues of human rights and peace are at stake.
East-West cooperation in the common struggle to close the gap between North and South and for the protection of the environment are perhaps the areas of greatest potential for fruitful action to build human solidarity regardless of frontiers and blocs. Recent decades have been characterised by an accelerating internationalisation of world affairs, or globalisation. Oil shocks, exchange rate fluctuations and stock market crashes are directly transmitted between the world's economies, North and South. New information technologies disseminate a mass culture to every corner of the world.
Financial decisions by multinational corporations can have far-reaching effects overnight. National and international conflicts are generating huge and growing refugee movements of continental and intercontinental dimensions. Further, globalisation of the international economy has shattered the bipolar division of the world which dominated the era of the Cold War. New industrial powers have emerged in the Pacific rim and, until recent setbacks, the rapidly developing Latin American nations. There are also new international forces such as China and the Non-Aligned Movement.
Interdependence is a reality. It is more important than ever to establish multilateral institutions with a more equal role for the South under the aegis of the UN. At a global level, economic crisis and conservative deflationary policies have brought the return of mass unemployment to many of the advanced economies.
They have also had a destructive effect on poor countries. They have wiped out export markets, sharpened the debt crisis and undone progress already made. At the same time, such regress in the South, combined with the necessity to service enormous debts, closed huge potential markets to the North. Thus the declining living standards of the debtor nations became a factor promoting unemployment in the creditor nations.
A transformed global economy must involve the growth centres of the South in a radically new way if it is to advance the development of either South or North. Programmes to stimulate economic and social development in the South can and must become a vehicle for stimulating the world economy as a whole. Such issues must feature as integral parts of global macro-economic strategies. In Africa, the continuation of the apartheid regime in South Africa is not only a crime against the majority of the people of that nation but has subverted the economic efforts of the Front Line States and had a negative impact throughout the entire continent.
There, as elsewhere, the fight for human rights and democracy goes hand in hand with the battle for economic and social justice. Africa and Latin America are in particular faced with an intolerable debt problem which precludes the investments and imports which are needed to ensure development and provide jobs for rapidly growing populations. Global action to alleviate the debt burden is a precondition for progress.
It must be a central goal of East-West cooperation in the common search for North-South justice. A critical and fundamental challenge of worldwide dimensions is the crisis of the environment. Every year, animal and plant species are being exterminated while there is increasing evidence of a depletion of the ozone layer. In the North, irresponsible industrialism destroys forest areas; in the South, the rain forests which are vital to the survival of the whole world are shrinking with alarming speed. In the rich countries, soil pollution is increasing.
In the poor countries, deserts are encroaching upon civilisation. Everywhere clean water is in short supply. Since environmental destruction extends across national frontiers, environmental protection must be international. It is, above all, a question of maintaining the relations between natural cycles, since ecological protection is always more economical and more responsible than environmental renovation.
The best and cheapest solutions to the crisis are those that change the basic framework of production and consumption so that environmental damage does not occur in the first place. We advocate joint international efforts to replace all environmentally damaging products and processes by alternatives which enhance nature.
The transfer of technology from North to South must not be allowed to become a matter of exporting ecologically unacceptable systems, or the toxic wastes of rich economies. Renewable energy sources and decentralised supply structures should be encouraged in both North and South.
Moreover, there must be an international early warning system to identify environmental threats and catastrophes which cross national frontiers. These environmental problems affect the whole world community as well as doing harm to the developing countries. Without multilateral assistance and cooperation, poor nations cannot solve them. For these reasons it is crucial to achieve a substantial transfer of resources through development aid. Such policies are compatible with qualitative economic growth, in the North and South, in order to meet the social and economic responsibilities of the future.
Social investment in ecological reconstruction - which many experts count as an expenditure without benefits and which is not computed as part of the Gross National Product - is one of the most positive investments a society can possibly make. The technological revolution which has already begun in the advanced industrial economies will profoundly change the conditions of the environment and resource management within the life-time of the present generation. Moreover, the impact of this change will be experienced worldwide.
Micro-electronics, robotics, weapons technology, bio-engineering - plus innovations which are not yet dreamed of - will transform the circumstances of both individuals and the structures of society in the world as a whole. Technology is not simply a matter of objective science or inanimate machines.
It is always guided by particular interests and designed according to human values, whether implicit or explicit. It has to be brought under social control in order to use the positive opportunities offered by new technologies for humankind, to minimise the risks and the dangers of uncontrolled developments and to prevent socially unacceptable technologies. Social progress requires, and inspires, technological progress.
- A Review of Health Sector Aid Financing to Somalia (World Bank Working Papers) (World Bank Working Papers; Africa Human Development).
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- How Socialists Built America.
What is needed is technology appropriate to the different conditions, experiences and levels of development prevailing in the North and in the South. There must be a substantial transfer of suitable technology - and of basic technological know-how - between North and South. The North has much to learn from the experience of the South, especially its use of low-waste technologies. There should be social dialogue, and democratic political control of the context in which new technologies are introduced.
This should ensure that their availability:. In order to ensure that these standards are met throughout the world there must be institutions and procedures for assessment of technology. Innovation should be introduced in accordance with social needs and priorities as expressed through democratic debate and decision-making. Manipulation of human genetic material and exploitation of women through new reproductive technologies must be prevented. Likewise ways must be found to protect humanity from nuclear danger and chemical risk.
Disarmament agreements between the Superpowers will do more than remove the threat of annihilation from the planet. With such agreements in place, many of the resources now wasted on thermonuclear, chemical, biological and conventional weapons could be released for investment in economic and social development programmes in the South.
Disarmament between the East and West should be linked with programmes for justice between the North and South. A proportion of the substantial funds which the highly industrialised countries of the West and the East would save as a result of negotiated disarmament should be utilised to create a multinational fund to promote a secure and sustainable development in the countries of the South. Recent events have made the achievement of political, economic and social democracy on a world scale more feasible than ever before. Democracy represents the prime means for popular control and humanisation of the otherwise uncontrolled forces which are re-shaping our planet without regard for its survival.
Human rights include economic and social rights; the right to form trade unions and to strike; the right to social security and welfare for all, including the protection of mothers and children; the right to education, training and leisure; the right to decent housing in a liveable environment, and the right to economic security. Crucially, there is the right to both full and useful employment in an adequately rewarded job.
Unemployment undermines human dignity, threatens social stability and wastes the world's most valuable resource. Economic rights must not be considered as benefits paid to passive individuals lacking in initiative, but as a necessary base from which to secure the active participation of all citizens in a project for society. This is not a matter of subsidising those on the fringe of society, but of creating the conditions for an integrated society with social welfare for all people.
Democratic socialism today is based on the same values on which it was founded. But they must be formulated critically, both assimilating past experience and looking ahead to the future. For instance, experience has shown that while nationalisation in some circumstances may be necessary, it is not by itself a sovereign remedy for social ills. Likewise, economic growth can often be destructive and divisive, especially where private interests evade their social and ecological responsibility.