Social democracy could be a solution to capitalistic world problems such as the dark side of globalization and environmental disasters.
So said Lionel Jospin, former prime minister of France who served under President Jacques Chirac.
In a special lecture at the Korea Press Center in Seoul yesterday, the 70-year-old French politician said that without proper control of the market, capitalists will continue to feast under the status quo. In that scenario, there will be a future society of insecurity.
Jospin elaborated on “social democracy.” He described social democracy as a political ideology that aims to reform capitalism democratically through state regulation.
It is different from socialism, which opposes the predominance of the capitalist system.
Jospin, a Socialist Party candidate in the French presidential election in 2002, is an advocate of social democracy in Europe.
The lecture was sponsored by the Yumin Cultural Foundation, a nonprofit organization that was established in memory of the late Hong Jin-ki, co-founder of the JoongAng Ilbo, the owner of the JoongAng Daily.
Social democracy seems to be slowly losing ground in Europe, Jospin said.
Globalization never provided adequate answers to why the gap keeps growing between the rich and the poor, why the illegal immigration rate is climbing and why terrorist attacks keep recurring.
A cooperative action among the nations is necessary, and that’s where social democracy comes in, according to Jospin.
Following the lecture there was a debate between Ahn Byong-jick, a renowned economist distinguished as a “new right” conservative in Korea, and Kim Soo-haeng, another well-known economist wth Marxist leanings.
Ahn pointed out that it is doubtful if left-wing parties in Korea have ever tried to understand the market economy before criticizing it, explaining why Korean liberals were more inclined to protest.
Kim said he agreed with Jospin in most respects.
But he believed social democracy should incorporate more left-wing ideology.
By Jung Jae-hong, Lee Soo-ki JoongAng Ilbo [firstname.lastname@example.org]