Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
the modern professional and managerial classes were beginning to emerge, and today are at least as important as the other two wealthy groups.

It doesn't mean the analysis has to chang much. The wealthy professional class (law and medecine, essentially) gets its wealth through monopoly conditions by limiting the number of members, and being necessary means of living.

As for the management, its lower rungs are now becoming part of the working class, if not of its poorest parts (at least in France), whereas higher management has been coopted by the owning class.

On the other hand the social market model of postwar Western Europe created a very good society - not perfect, but quite good in spreading prosperity to most of the population.  Why would anybody in their right mind support something which has always failed when there's a good alternative that has worked.

Firstly, even the social market model failed to put democracy in the workplace, although some attempts were made of union participation in management - that's quite an important problem, prosperity is not democracy.

Secondly, that model, which existed and prospered after  WWII, has practically disappeared in most of the world. Labor markets are being unregulated, national public services are privatised, etc... Much of that model was set up thanks to the pressures of socialist and communist forces, and the fear of revolution. Now that this alternative doesn't exists, the world is getting back to the unregulated free market model of the 19th and early 20th century, which has actually already failed twice.

A little bit of French history - after WWII, the various French Resistance groups met and decided on a few things that would be part of the French system. Everybody, from communists to Gaullists, participated in reaching that consensus - Social Security, progressive taxation, nationalisation of public utilities... The goal of a different society was necessary in creating that model. (I'd be interested in learning how that model was reached in other countries...)

Now, noone seriously rejects the market-based approach, and it seems going back to the post-WWII social democracy is hard.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 05:48:20 PM EST
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