The purpose of social democracy is to interpret the world and help change it

It sounds incredible, but in the days before the government pact with Babiš, self-confidence and self-respect were part of the identity of a social democrat. Photo FB Young Social Democrats

At the upcoming convention, the Czech Social Democratic Party will deal with changing its internal functioning, adjusting its desperately out-of-date communication and how it acts and is seen and heard in public. There is no reason to expect a power earthquake, but rather an evolution and realignment. If the actors of the power struggle within the party have the will, they can strengthen the party’s ability to act as a result.

Ideas and critical social analysis are essential

An analysis of the upcoming Diet could be completed in a paragraph of a Twitter post — but it would not be complete. In addition to operational questions and marketing, the question of the long-term program and value orientation of the party must also be raised. In the past, the ČSSD assemblies were also a platform on which new ideas were discussed, the horizon of the nearest elections was considered and to some extent holistically.

Experts from various fields of humanities spoke at the congresses: philosophers, sociologists, economists, historians, but also people from industry and the civil sector — far from all necessarily united by a party card, but rather by a belief in the active fulfillment of Masaryk’s ideal “democracy is discussion”. .

Social democracy drew from the colorful cauldron of ideas, perhaps sometimes not quite visibly, but on the other hand more than it might admit today. The proximity of great ideas had a certain cultivating effect on the delegates and through them on the membership. For them, the party was a communication platform and an authority in relation to the world and its interpretation.

Being a social democrat had content and formed an identity shaped — perhaps unconsciously — by Bělohradský, Shabbat, Uhl or the trade union movement. The strong identity of a social democrat was then a source of political self-confidence. Yes, it sounds incredible, but in the days before the government pact with Babiš, self-confidence and self-respect were also part of the identity of a social democrat.

We live in a time of shorthand with a simple punch line because it sells best, and this reality will not just go away. But it is useful to be able to fill the ideological void that is hidden behind the superficiality of social networks.

Resignation to one’s own opinion, critical analysis and conscious flattening of the debate to momentary cries means a loss of credibility and a fall into interchangeability and merging with the noise in the background of the political spectrum. Can you think of something that was politically interesting to the PEOPLE, the US-DEU during the period when it lit firecrackers in the TV clip, Public Affairs, or Bursík Zelení? Would you like any of them to return to politics? You are missing? Barely.

The best thing that happens when political slogans are not backed by a solid political philosophy (or at least an attempt at analysis and critical understanding), but only a cheap marketing calculation, after all, social democracy found out for itself when it believed that the role of the fig leaf on Babiš’s shame.

It seems that Ivan Bartoš, who has definitely realized himself in the role of an obedient coalition partner of Mr. Fiala, now wants to go in a similar direction. Bartoš will end up the same as Hamáček, and the space that already exists today for “post-marketing” social democracy has a chance to increase considerably.

Theme book

There is no shortage of topics. I will now focus on just one, which I consider essential for society and social democracy. It is a matter of respect that the Pirates are silent on the rise of artificial intelligence and are unable to articulate it as a political issue. So let’s leave the futile as well as pointless “fight with Husák” to them and let’s start with a brief outline of the topic.

Even on these pages, the debate about the risks associated with the development of artificial intelligence, which has been conducted in recent years and more intensively in recent months in the global salon among a wide range of experts, resonated. The first reaction is mainly fear. For the people who have until now run institutions that control other people’s lives (and I don’t mean that pejoratively) for the first time in a long time felt what it could be like to have an entity potentially more powerful than themselves. However, the vast majority of humanity lives in such a reality, and artificial intelligence is therefore of little interest to them in this direction.

But what may be of great interest to them in the Czech Republic is, for example, the state administration system, which is on the verge of personnel collapse and is unable to grant retirement pensions to people who are entitled to it and are in real existential danger for several months. There is no one to do the monotonous and routine work, the volume of which is constantly increasing. We blame the social system and the bureaucracy in general for lack of direction, rigidity, slowness and mistakes and missteps with regard to administrative and other law.

A number of these problems are due to the volume of the entire agenda and the limited capacities of the state apparatus, i.e. circumstances that will rather worsen in the future. Mistakes are caused by a person’s ability to make mistakes intentionally or unintentionally due to various motives. Artificial intelligence could fix all these weaknesses of an increasingly stuck public gear. Not as a replacement for all civil servants, but as a tool that will fundamentally speed up the bureaucracy and free up human resources for, for example, field work — provided, of course, that they are decently compensated for their work.

On the other hand, a debate about public scrutiny and regulation of artificial intelligence needs to begin. If we want to use artificial intelligence, we don’t necessarily need to use it everywhere. It would be great if the preparation of a public transparent regulation of artificial intelligence and, above all, clarification of the areas in which we do not want to apply it would become part of the debate at the congress of social democracy and after it.

The technical and political aspects of the phenomenon are intertwined so closely that we cannot solve one without the other. A political party platform uniting workers and the manufacturing sector on the one hand, with a strong humanitarian tradition on the other, seems ideal for this. This is just an example of one current topic — just listing all the possible others would take up a separate text.

At the same time, serious political work that corresponds to the contemporary world could restore the faith of the members of the social democracy in the meaningfulness of the party and politics, and at the same time make it possible to face the disinformation narratives that we do not know how to deal with today.

Simply put, social democracy must begin to reinterpret the world and thus prepare for its transformation. Then it will become believable again for its members and voters.

Source: Deník referendum by

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