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Freedom with ResponsibilityThe Social Market Economy in Germany 1918-1963$
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A. J. Nicholls

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208525

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208525.001.0001

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The SPD and the Struggle for Reform

The SPD and the Struggle for Reform

(p.300) 14 The SPD and the Struggle for Reform
Freedom with Responsibility

A. J. Nicholls

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes an account of the issues faced by the SPD in implementing economic reforms in the early 1950s. Reformers within the party were trying to reassess the fundamental values upon which social democracy was based. Karl Schiller was in strong favour of liberalizing the Social Democratic attitude towards competition and the market mechanism. The democratization of economic life through co-determination, planning through the direction of investment, and the support for heavy industry emerged as relatively realistic demands. The struggles for industrial co-determination, from the Social Democratic viewpoint, had important ideological implications. Worker participation in profits and the extension of share-ownership amongst a broader spectrum of the population was directly related to the issue of co-determination. Defenders of the term ‘welfare state’ of the social market economy regarded the versions supported by socialists as incompatible with the maintenance of stable prices and sound money.

Keywords:   economic reforms, social democracy, co-determination, Social Democratic, social market economy, welfare state

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