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Dissent on the future of Euro Social Democracy, American Conservatism

The Decent Left magazine Dissent has a pair of features in this issue. Robert Taylor asks "Does European Social Democracy have a Future?"

Based on demographics alone, the answer is clearly "no" within 30 years or less. In the near term, however, the answer is yes, despite or possibly because of the rising neo-fascist hard left. Taylor doesn't have a full answer to his question - at this point, nobody does. Nonetheless, his explanation of the key stress points is valuable, and so are the pointers to new thinking from people like Dutch Labour Party leader Wouter Bos. Given that soft socialism's failures have led to fascism in Europe before, that kind of adaptation and thinking is a service to all.

On the other side of the spectrum, Kevin Mattson asks "Has Conservatism Cracked Up?" Here, Dissent suffers from the lack of an inside perspective, but American conservatives are indeed going through a self-definition and reflection process. Sarah Palin's nomination has paused it - but not stopped it. Note that Europe's conservatives (including Britain's) have a very different identity, and would represent a separate subject.

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