There was a time when social democracy seemed to be on an upward trajectory. That was the time when we had social democratic parties winning elections left right and center (especially in Europe). That was also the period when you’d often find long queues of people lining outside social democratic parties’ offices, seeking to enlist as members. That era seems to be over. Nowadays, you go to Social Democratic parties’ offices in many parts of the world, and you will tend to find that they are deserted. People seem to have given up on the dream of social democracy, or they may have become disillusioned. They seem to have switched allegiance to far right parties — apparently due to to the populist agendas pursued by far right parties. The question that arises, then, is as to whether social democracy has a future (or whether social democracy is actually dead), given that state of affairs.
It is hard to give a definitive answer to the question as to whether social democracy has a future. Things are always changing. What we can say however is that while social democracy may be ‘down’, it is definitely not ‘out’. We still have many young people who believe in social democracy, and as we all know, the youth are the future. So to the extent that we still have a critical mass of young people who believe in social democracy, we can say with a certain degree of certainty that social democracy has a future.
Remember the 2016 US elections, where there was this gentleman, Bernie Sanders — who portrayed himself as a social democrat. Then you had hordes of youths following him everywhere, and giving him all manner of support: to the extent that he was on the verge of winning the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket. You occasionally even had young individuals asking for time off work (through HR portals like myinsite) to attend Bernie Sanders’ rallies. Now to the extent that an American Presidential candidate, standing on a social democratic platform, can have such an impact, we have every reason to believe that it has a future. It is not a lost cause.