Social democracy is a political ideology that officially has as its goal the establishment of democratic socialism through reformist and gradualist methods. Alternatively, social democracy is defined as a policy regime involving a universal welfare state and collective bargaining schemes within the framework of a capitalist economy.
Social democracy originated in 19th-century Germany from the influence of both the internationalist revolutionary socialism and doctrine of communism advanced by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels; and the reformist socialism of Ferdinand Lassalle. Social democracy was originally known as revisionism because it represented a change in basic Marxist doctrine, primarily in the former’s repudiation of the use of revolution to establish a socialist society. The Marxists and Lassallians were in rivalry over political influence in the movement until 1868–1869 when Marxism became the official basis of Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany. In the Hague Congress of 1872, Marx modified his stance on revolution by declaring that there were countries with democratic institutions where reformist measures could be advanced, saying that "workers may achieve their aims by peaceful means, But this is not true of all countries." Marx stressed his support for the Paris Commune due to its representative democracy based on universal suffrage.
A highly controversial development in social democracy occurred in the 1990s, with the development of Third Way politics and social democratic adherents of it. The social democratic variant of the Third Way has been advocated by its proponents as an alternative to both capitalism and what it regards as the traditional forms of socialism, including Marxist socialism and state socialism, that Third Way social democrats reject. It officially advocates ethical socialism, reformism, gradualism - that includes advocating the humanized capitalism, a mixed economy, political pluralism, and liberal democracy.
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