Commentaries

Social Democratic Thought

Social democracy views freedom and justice as complementary and interrelated ideas, and any imbalance in one leads to imbalances in the other. Justice in the distribution of income and development gains, education, health, transportation and infrastructure (particularly technology infrastructure) leads to a decent life for all citizens, with no hegemonic power for some groups over others in society, and no hegemony to serve their selfish interests and privileges. The basic premise of social democracy is to achieve progress and well-being for society and the individuals in it. 

This is not achieved by abstract slogans and calls, but by creating the tools and means that lead to it and enable citizens to participate politically and democratic competition between ideas and programs put forward by elites, leaders, and political parties, and to enable the institutional framework of this competition.  

Reform and political development occupy an important position in the social democratic approach, in parallel with economic and administrative reform, along with cultural and social development.

Accordingly, social democracy calls for the public participation of all citizens, regardless of their differences, where women and men can be partners in making decisions related to their wellbeing and in organizing the affairs of their state. It is the approach of social democracy to make the best use of material and human resources to achieve sustainable development of a society free from ignorance, hunger and fear, free from coercion and submission and from the congestion caused by differences, privileges and discrimination. This should be a society free from divisions and fanaticism, a society of equal citizenship where abilities and creativity are rewarded without prejudice and where all people have the same rights and values that reflect the full meaning of the rule of law and civil state, the state of law and institutions. 

Social democratic thought is not a singular rigid thought, but an open one that develops based on experiences and adjusts to the factual and specific data of a place, whether in the third world or developed countries, whether under monarchy or republic government. 

Some values of social democratic thought include freedom, human rights, cultural and spiritual development, creativity, respect for privacy and diversity, rejection of discrimination, violence and extremism, upholding community solidarity and sympathy, and standing with weak, fragile and marginalized groups. These values are at the heart of social democratic thought, along with creating a just and developed economy that is not directed by profit and material incentives alone, but rather in human value that prioritizes well-being and the benefits of growth and development, along with the reduction of social differences and inequalities.

The state and its institutions are responsible for achieving balance and justice, correcting imbalances and preventing disruption of this progress.

While respecting freedoms, competition, private gains, market laws, and trade, the state monitors the private sector and considers it the leader of employment and human resources. At the same time, the state develops the public sector and directs resources as much as possible to be spent on public services like education, health, transportation, social care and infrastructure, all with the goal of achieving the highest possible level of well-being for all. 

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