chapter  2
26 Pages

Social Democrats and Socialists

Long Way of Adaptation and Peculiarities of Origins of East-Central European Parties

The social democratic and socialist parties have their origins in the broad Socialist movement that rose out of the industrial revolution during the 19th century, and the growing number of factory workers these parties represented. In the economic sphere after the Second World War in Scandinavia even before it the social democrats called for the creation of an extensive welfare state, and the mitigation of social differences in society. An important factor in the environment of post-communist East-Central Europe after 1989 was that many politicians were considered to have been compromised by their past under the former regime: not only communists, but the left as a whole. Formal program compatibility with the Party of European Socialists (PES) is not enough when the behaviour of party in many important values sharply contrasts to PES principles. Therefore we find more appropriate to label Smer in its contemporary form as nationalistic left party undergoing the process of social democratization.