To What Extent Is the Labour Party Still Socialist?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By MikeAzrael
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To What Extent Is Labour Still A Socialist Party?
Socialism, as it is understood in Britain, is a political ideology whereby all people are considered fundamentally equal, the means of production are nationalised, and a mass redistribution of wealth is desired in order to uphold social justice and prevent monopoly by the upper class. It effectively supports a view of collectivism – the idea that society, as a whole, should be treated as one economic unit, and that ‘the economy’ should therefore be in its hands.
During the 1980s, Labour was arguably the farthest left that it has ever been. During this period, Labour was of an ideology of Social Democracy. Social democracy is a form of socialism which aims to reform the capitalist system to reduce social inequality and promote social justice. The core values of the social democracy can be seen in the old Clause IV which supported equality, redistribution of wealth, social justice, nationalisation, full employment and welfare for all, which were heavily socialist leanings.
Its main means of upholding these values were through a mixed economy, Keynesian demand management to support employment and the redistribution of wealth via the welfare system. By the 1970's this system of running the country had led to stagflation, and Keynesianism had failed in the eyes of many. The Conservative Party was later elected with a New Right agenda under Thatcher, and the electorate consensus following their periods in office was that her free-market neo-liberalism was the best so far at generating wealth.
Due to the recovery that the UK’s economy made under Thatcherism, Labour was hard pressed to change its policies or suffer electoral defeat – and it took the 1980s for this to happen. During this time, Labour suffered crippling electoral defeat due to its perceived far-left ideology. With the internal election of Tony Blair as…...

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