WHAT LEFT?

António Rebelo de Sousa

Economist

For some, being on the left means defending the restitution of wages and retirement pensions, pressing for what have come to be known as «vested rights» of workers, being in favour of same-sex couples adopting children and, above all else, being against social mobility and structural reforms, since these would only open the door to ‘savage’ privatisations and to the worsening of conditions of «exploitation of man by man».

If truth be told, it must be said that to reinstate a Left Programme with this small set of values ​​means, quite naturally, very little, corresponding to a somewhat narrow view of what should be meant by progress and modernisation of today’s society.

And, above all else, what appears more serious is, in the name of a set of values ​​of this nature, to be prepared to establish platforms of understanding for the governance of the country with those who consider Maduro and the «Great North Korean Leader» victims of American imperialism.

The left has to modernise, it has to focus, instead,  on the subordination of economic power to democratically constituted political power, on a fair distribution of income, on the implementation of a new regional planning policy, on an indicative planning that allows the selection of strategic sectors, on the defence of social rights associated with effective accountability of the productive factor of work, on a stronger Europe -  through strengthening of its federalist scope - and on the deepening of democracy and, for this reason, of the mechanisms of citizen participation.

Without appeasement with those who do not renounce totalitarian temptations.

A European left that wants more Europe, for there to be debt mutualisation, reinforcement of structural funds and implementation of policies of neo-Keynesian inspiration, founded on new projects of EU public investment.

But, which, also, agree with the existence of budgetary rigour, which could include the creation of a European Ministry of Finance.

Being on the left is not defending limitless increases in public spending. It is, instead, to press for the implementation of progressive public policies, together with greater accountability of governments.

Is this a politically incorrect position for those in the area of ​​social democracy and of democratic socialism?

Only for those who have not yet realised that the only form of democratic socialism possible is social democracy.

Nothing more, nothing less...

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