Social democracy

From ProleWiki, the proletarian encyclopedia
Not to be confused with democratic socialism.

Social democracy is an ideology that advocates for reforming capitalism and creating a welfare state without changing the mode of production or creating a dictatorship of the proletariat.[1] Social democrats are sometimes called "social fascists" because they usually side with the bourgeoisie over revolutionary socialists, such as in Germany in 1919.[2] Examples of social democratic states are France, Finland, and Sweden. The most well-known social democrat in the United States is Bernie Sanders.


The term "social democracy" has a complicated history. Many communists identified with the term in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was formed from the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Following the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks rejected the term "social democracy" because democracy is a form of state power and the higher stage of communism will be stateless.[3]

The term was only ever popular in western Europe, and thus its association with communism or Marxism died with the rise of liberal economics in western Europe.


  1. "Marxists Internet Archive Encyclopedia". Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 2022-02-07.
  2. Mark Jones (2016). Founding Weimar: Violence and the German Revolution of 1918–1919. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107115125 [LG]
  3. Vladimir Lenin (1917). The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution: 'The Situation within the Socialist International'. [MIA]