Paul Lachine

Keynes et la démocratie sociale aujourd’hui

LONDRES – Pendant des décennies, le Keynésianisme a été associé aux politiques sociale-démocrates des grands gouvernements. Mais la relation de John Keynes avec la social-démocratie est complexe. Bien qu’ayant été l’architecte des composants essentiels de la social-démocratie – particulièrement le plein emploi – il n’a pas souscrit aux autres objectifs clé de la social-démocratie, comme la propriété de droit public ou l’extension massive de l’Etat Providence.

Dans La Théorie Générale de l’Emploi, des Intérêts et de la Monnaie, Keynes a finalement résumé les forces et les faiblesses du système capitaliste. D’un côté, le capitalisme constitue le meilleur garant de la liberté individuelle, du libre choix, et de l’initiative entrepreneuriale. D’un autre côté, les marchés non régulés ne parviennent pas à atteindre deux objectifs essentiels à n’importe quelle société civilisée : « La société dans laquelle nous vivons commet deux fautes remarquables : elle ne parvient pas à fournir le plein emploi et elle autorise une distribution arbitraire et inéquitable des ressources et des revenus. » Ceci implique un rôle actif du le gouvernement, une idée qui flirte avec certains des principes importants de la pensée de gauche.

Jusqu’à la publication de La Théorie Générale en 1936, les sociaux démocrates ne savaient comment parvenir au plein emploi. Les politiques appliquées visaient à déposséder les capitalistes de la propriété des moyens de production. Comment cela était-il sensé produire le plein emploi n’a jamais été déterminé.

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