Resolution Nepal

June 2018

Supporting democracy and fostering renewal in times of change

International Social Democracy undergoing transformation


Our values: Freedom, justice and solidarity
The joint set of values held by social democratic and socialist parties – Freedom, justice and solidarity – is sturdy and held in high esteem around the globe. These values are echoed in many social campaigns. The challenge facing our movement is to gain enough confidence to be able to reconcile these values with current problems and then draw practical conclusions for political topics and strategies, the forming of alliances, a political style and party structure.

Overcoming contradictions: Thinking and acting together to achieve new solutions
In light of global and internal social challenges, progressive, socialist and social democratic parties are now needed more than ever. In the past, they were often called for when the lines of conflict between different forms of political, social and economic ideas became evident, when central rifts in society had to be dealt with, contradictions had to be overcome and differing interests and opinions had to be resolved. And whenever large sections of society have a strong need for explanations and alternative solutions with regard to the current state of affairs, as is now the case, this ability to think together and act together has to be strengthened again.

Challenges for our movement
The radical changes in the cultural, economic, organisational and bureaucratic foundations of our work pose a challenge. The issues at hand involve developments and phenomena such as the dissolution of traditional (working class) environments and the differentiation of societies, structural changes in the economy and pressure on social democratic efforts to introduce regulation into the nation state, determination to combat neo-liberal policies, the holistic discussion on ecological and economic issues, the loss of former allies and the revival of populism.
What is more, in many countries and regions political parties – and not just those belonging to our movement – are so severely suppressed that they cannot fulfil their democratic and social role.

For a culture of independence and understanding
The goal of our political activities is a good life for everyone, where people are free, enjoy respect, determine their own lives and are safe. Our activities must be based on a political humanism that takes people seriously – with all their anxieties, but also and above all, with their ability to help in solving problems. Our politics must allow people to actively contribute their own political ideas in order to shape and decide the future. While right-wing populists promote a culture of dependency and ignorance, social democratic and socialist politics help people regain their world by their own efforts – in cooperation with others – to give it a new meaning and to reinstate community spirit. But this new political humanism also includes standing up to those who claim that nothing can be changed anyway. In fact, we must also take up the struggle for the future again, for our societies have a tremendous need for an open, adaptable future which involves more than just paying off debts and remedying the sins of the past. It is not just a matter of overcoming the past, we have to create a future as well.

Combining alternative visions with concrete measures
What does this mean specifically? We need convincing, plausible and attractive alternatives, each combined with a strategy for action. These must encompass both political strategies and initial projects for the here and now as well as long-term ideas and plans in order to establish a relationship between everyday political activities and far-reaching visions. Actually, we need not reinvent the wheel, since all this talk of ‘no alternative’ is unfounded because numerous practical and concrete suggestions already exist: the parameters of an energy transition have already been calculated, implementable climate protection plans have been drafted and detailed suggestions for a radical banking reform have been discussed, concrete measures to contain the financial markets and transnational corporations even further, to reduce inequality and implement decent jobs have been presented worldwide. And now that the ‘Agenda 2030 for a sustainable development’ has been approved by the international community, a global framework for the vision of social and ecological transformation is also in place – with specific aims and indicators.

Four benchmarks for our policies

Key topics of social-democratic politics
In the coming years, we will have to concentrate on topics which are key to the social and ecological transformation process, contribute to the renewal of democracy, “motivate” our society and parties, help to build trust and confidence within and between societies and which emphasise fundamental socialist and social democratic values. These include: