Social Democracy in Europe is Now Swinging Decisively to the Left

Capitalism-and-Social-DemocracyPublished: 5 June 2017
Author: Pat Byrne
(British Labour Party activist)

As Britain prepares for a new General Election in which a left-led Labour Party looks set to do much better than predicted, there are clear signs that the long swing to the right within social democracy in Europe is now running in the reverse direction.

In recent years, there has been much comment on the Left that social democracy was finished and that a new mass left movement was in the process of taking its place. The rise of Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain were trumpeted as evidence for this widespread trend. While welcoming the rise of Syriza and Podemos, our Socialist Network also pointed to the potential of the left within social democracy to regain the ascendancy within the movement as an organic reflection of the rising discontent of working people hard-hit by the world economic crisis.

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The Rise and Rise of Podemos in Spain

Podemos leader 2Published: 11 Nov 2014
Intro by: TSN Editor
Author: Julian Coppens

The following highly informative article by Julian Coppens was published a few days ago in the Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. The article helps to explain the exploding popularity of Podemos and to detail the current debates taking place on how the new Party should be organised. It finishes on how the rise of Podemos has put the fear of god into the Spanish ruling establishment and their panic-stricken responses to it.

Podemos Mass Congress
About 8000 members of the new organisation Podemos packed the Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid on October 18 and 19, 2014, for the final stages of the Citizens’ Assembly ?Si se puede? (Yes we can). The assembly, with 150,000 taking part online, discussed draft documents for the foundation of the Spanish state?s newest and fastest growing political force.

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The PODEMOS ‘Phenomenon’ and its Manifesto

1podemos - smaller

As we reported in June, Podemos (‘We Can Do it’), the new Spanish left-wing party whose origins lie in the ‘Indignados’ street protests of three years ago, won 8% of the national vote in the elections for the European Parliament, and sent 5 members to the EU parliament. For a party that was only founded in March this was an amazing result that has only been amplified since the election. Already it has doubled its support in the opinion polls to around 16%, with 45,000 members joining the party online.
This level of support and membership if maintained would make Podemos the third largest part in Spain, an unprecedented achievement for a party
less than six months old!

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