Government Policy and Welfare State Relating To Social Care - Copy.docx

Government Policy and Welfare State Relating To Social Care - Copy.docx

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Running head: GOVERNMENT POLICY Government Policy and Welfare State Relating To Social Care Submitted by: Student ID: Tutor’s Name: Date:
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Government policy 2 Government Policy and Welfare State Relating To Social Care For the first half of the twentieth century, Europe was the most turbulent region on earth, convulsed by war, economic crisis, and social and political conflict. For the second half of the century, it was among the most placid, a study in harmony and prosperity. What changed? Two narratives commonly emerge in answer to this question. The first focuses on the struggle between democracy and its alternatives, pitting liberalism against fascism, National Socialism, and Marxist-Leninism. The second focuses on competition between capitalism and its alternatives, pitting liberals against socialists and communists. Democratic capitalism is simply the best, indeed the “natural” form of societal organization, these stories assert, and once Western Europe fully embraced it, all was well. This account obviously contains some truth: the century did witness a struggle between democracy and its enemies and the market and its alternatives. But it is only a partial truth, because it overlooks a crucial point: democracy and capitalism were historically at odds. An indispensable element of their joint victory, therefore, was the discovery of some way for them to coexist. In practice, that turned out to mean a willingness to use political power to protect citizens from the ravages of untrammeled markets. The ideology that triumphed was not liberalism, as the “End of History” folks would have it, it was social democracy. If this sounds surprising or overblown it is because social democracy rarely gets either the respect or in-depth ideological analysis it deserves. As a result, a force that has altered the course of European politics in the past and could do so again in the future remains strangely obscure. One reason for this neglect is a simple confusion of terms. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many socialists adopted the label “social democrat” to differentiate themselves from other socialists who did not accept democracy. But these figures often agreed on little beyond the rejection of an insurrectionary or violent route to power, making their grouping of limited analytical use. Today the situation is similar, with a wide range of individuals and very different political parties identifying themselves as social democratic and having little in common save some vaguely leftist sentiments and fervent desire not to be identified as communist. Modern scholars, meanwhile, have often failed to appreciate social democracy’s ideological distinctiveness. Most work on the subject in recent decades adopts one of two perspectives.
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