Social Democratic Reform Proposals and the Future of Capitalism

Publication Year : 1999

This paper seeks to present an analysis of some issues raised in the debate on the future of capitalism by influential social democrats in recent years [Agleitta (1999); Habermas (1999); Rorty (1998)]. We begin with a brief description of capitalism’s genesis, its characteristics and its need for moral legitimising and proceed to a slightly more extended discussion of capitalist processes at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The paper concludes with an assessment of initiatives proposed by social democratic thinkers such as Agleitta, Habermas and Rorty to strengthen capitalism and realise social democratic objectives—the universalisation of freedom and the promotion of liberal justices in rights centric societies.