Social Reform and Capitalism
excerpted from the book
and the Decline of Social Reform
by Gary Teeple
Garamond Press / Humanity Books, 2000, paper
Social Reform and Capitalism
Since the 1970s enormous changes have taken place in social
policy and economic regulation in the industrial nations. A transformation
is well under way, and the neo-liberal policies of governments
around the world provide numerous examples of conscious efforts
to undermine, retrench, or eliminate long-standing social welfare
programs and regulatory agencies.' Regardless of the social and
economic insecurity they engender, these policies appear to be
the main items on government agendas everywhere.
Contrary to the images cast by the mass media, however, the
majority of citizens in most industrial countries remain in favour
of the reforms that have come to be known as the welfare state.
Despite more than a decade of concerted attempts to undermine
these reforms, and despite repetitious declarations, even by left-wing
writers, that "welfarism" has lost its public favour,
that "big government" is a major if not the central
problem, that state intervention in the economy inhibits growth,
and that neo-liberalism has won the battle for "moral hegemony,"
the reforms comprising the welfare state have shown a remarkable
resilience and continuing popular support.
That most citizens are in favour of the social and economic
reforms that have been achieved since World War II should not
be surprising. Capitalist society is characterized by contradictory
interests, divided fundamentally between those who own the means
of production and distribution and those who do not. By virtue
of this ownership, the business sector possesses enormous power
over a highly stratified working-class majority. Without reforms
such a society would be marked by extreme fear and unalloyed exploitation
stemming from unmitigated differences in wealth, ownership, and
power. Given the constant demand by corporations above all to
maximize profit, their power would be used to reduce standards
to the lowest possible levels; and given a competitive labour
market without reforms, wages and conditions of work in general
would be driven down to "minimums." Because the reforms
achieved have offered a degree of security from the labour market
it has now become difficult to imagine such conditions, even though
it was not so long ago when reforms were few or non-existent and
the effects of "unreformed" capitalism plain to see.
Even in capitalist societies with reforms, pervasive fear,
although often implicit, remains - particularly of unemployment
and of the financial consequences of illness, injury, childbirth,
or old age. This is because reforms are still just reforms; that
is, they rarely provide more than minimal support and certainly
give no guarantee that membership in society will bring employment,
decent housing, accessible education, freedom from poverty, a
living pension in old age or in sickness, an unpolluted environment,
or higher employment standards. For the most part, social reforms
provide only limited security or standards for a particular need;
and while these "minimums" can be raised, they can also
be lowered. Given present widespread budgetary cutbacks, restrictions
to reforms, and rising unemployment, these fears have become explicit
for growing numbers of people in the labour force. Unemployment
rates in most of the industrial nations since the late 1980s continue
to be high, yet the statistics do not normally take into account
underemployment, part-time work, or those who have given up looking
for work. The global rate of long-term or structural unemployment,
moreover, continues to rise despite the continual narrowing of
Such fears in the industrial nations are at the very least
implicit, but there can be little doubt about the consequences
of retrenchment and even elimination of social reforms. Examples
of capitalist societies with minimal or no reforms are close at
hand. Here are found workplaces without standards, child labour,
coerced workforces, high rates of illiteracy, environmental degradation
and destruction, and enormous disparities in wealth. These are
largely the direct or indirect result of corporate activity with
few or no restraints. In general the simplest regulations must
be imposed upon capital, and even these are often resisted by
the corporations, at enormous expense. In areas poorly or not
regulated by a political state - in the Third World, in the newly
industrialized countries (NIC), in free-trade zones (FTZ), and
in the high seas or the global atmosphere - the disregard of the
well-being of nature and human beings is extreme.
If the future of social reform in the industrial nations appears
to be one of continuous retrenchment, it has placed the question
of the nature of the welfare state and the reasons for its decline
at centre stage. We can, then, begin to understand the present
dismantling of welfare systems around the world by examining the
origins of the welfare state and the principles and rationale
The Origins of the Welfare State
The introduction of social reforms has varied in time and
circumstance across nations. If it is not possible to identify
all the specific reasons and how in each case they contributed
to the welfare state, we can at least isolate a common premise
and other factors pivotal to the development of all national reform
programs in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The shared premise was the development and rise to pre-eminence
of industrial capitalism and the subordination of landed property
to capital within the political framework of the nation-state.
These changes brought in their wake new forces, class contradictions,
and social consequences peculiar to capitalism. In all the nations
where industrial capitalism came to prevail, social reforms followed
sooner or later as corollaries of the breakdown of the old and
the coming of the new mode of production.
The most significant consequences of the destruction of precapitalist
modes of production were, first, the creation of a capitalist
labour market and working class, or the "freeing" of
labour from its means of production and existing forms of bondage,
and, second, the breakdown of social institutions, labour processes,
and communities that embodied to a considerable degree an integrated
social, political, and economic life. As a corollary to these
developments, capitalism gave rise to objective "needs"
that had previously been coherent aspects of a way of life, such
as child care, old age facilities, and schools. It also created
new needs and new problems, which arose from and were associated
with the capitalist labour market, the "freedom" of
the worker, and new labour processes, such as unemployment insurance,
workers' compensation, employment standards, and pollution regulation.
In itself, capitalism had no answer to these needs and problems
aside from the wage relation and the purchase of commodities;
the answers were to come as imposed reforms.
The "freed" working class, now possessing no means
of production and dependent on employment for its livelihood,
found it necessary to defend itself against the depredations of
the capitalist class and the vagaries of the labour market. The
consequent struggle between labour and capital brought into being
trade unions, which became the principal force behind the introduction,
defence, and extension of many social reforms. Class conflict
of one sort or another, or at least the potential for class conflict,
has been the common context for all social reform.
Far from homogeneous, the fragmented working class produced
corresponding fractures in its organized representation. As a
counterforce to capital, trade unions were perpetually weakened
in most countries by the irresolvable sectionalism and narrow
interests and cautiousness of unions representing certain strata.
In part because of the uneven development of the trade union movement
- that is, the absence of a unified, militant, and class-conscious
movement - the class conflict intrinsic to the system was increasingly
framed in gradualist terms, and the outcome was to be limited
to forms of compromise and accommodation.'
This same organized resistance also spurred the struggle for
universal enfranchisement and gave rise to political parties representative
of certain strata of the working population. Such changes broadened
the institutional political choices, allowing for a modicum of
access to state power and the public purse and for more political
leverage for reform legislation. The number and inclusiveness
of reforms owe much to these extraparliamentary struggles and
to the nature of the political expression for the working class
within the nation-state.
Out of the resistance to industrial capitalism came theories
of socialist alternatives. The spectre of socialism or communism,
a direct consequence of the coming of capitalism and the organized
working class, has always been part of the motivation for the
introduction of systematic reform programs. All the industrial
countries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
had working-class parties and trade unions well versed in socialist
theory and aware of the potential for revolution. This is not
to mention the actual attempts at revolution - throughout Europe
in 1848, in Paris in 1870, Russia in 1905 and 1917, Germany in
1918, and so on - or the numerous examples of general strikes
the world over. The success of the Bolshevik revolution was no
small inspiration to reforms in the West. Even after much of the
political theory of the working class turned from revolution to
reform and social democracy, there were still the examples of
ongoing wars of liberation and of the Soviet Union and later China
and Cuba as, at least in rhetoric, "workers' states"
- in short, certain reminders to the representatives of capital
who might resist reforms.
By the late nineteenth century, new technology, increased
productivity, and expanded markets had begun to increase the segmentation,
stratification, and social mobility of the labour force. The resulting
complex hierarchies and numerous strata created a multitude of
varying immediate interests within the working class, which actually
rested on the continuing expansion of capitalism. Such divisions
along many lines, which fractured the working population, and
the grounding of the interests of some strata in capitalism itself
made substantial sections of the class more amenable to reform
With industrial capitalism also came the business cycle -
the periodic rise and fall of economic activity and employment.
In times of economic slumps, the working population, with no alternative
to employment for its livelihood, suffered profoundly. These periodic
deprivations created no uncertain amount of social unrest, and
at times even piqued the conscience of certain middle-class strata
and corporate leaders. Organized and unorganized social disruption
(and, to a small degree, charitable sentiments) during recessions
or depressions has been the motivation for some reforms.
There is another general aspect to the origin of the welfare
state, and that is the concessions made by organized capital,
as well as its promotional efforts. The concessions are explained
in part by the delimited national labour market and relative immobility
of national capital in the relatively closed national economy,
prior to the 1970s. The promotional efforts arise from the desire
of the corporate sector to "socialize" and thereby limit
some of the costs to industry that are incidental to its operations.
This desire has led, in different countries, to the introduction
of old age pensions, hospital insurance, and even public education.
The origin of industrial accident insurance schemes, while not
without the component of working-class demand, lies largely in
the efforts by corporations to create a system both limiting their
liability for industrial accidents and "socializing"
the costs through industry-wide insurance premiums and chronic
inadequate compensation to workers and their families.
Another outcome of industrial capitalism was increased productivity
and the consequent growing necessity to expand overseas, producing
colonial or imperial systems to "complement" the productivity
of the industrial metropoles. This expansion of capitalism brought
with it the possibility of ameliorating its inherent conflicts.
Among the effects of this export-led growth was the rapid increase
in capital accumulation in the metropolitan countries. In turn
these developments allowed for a rise in the general standard
of living, enhanced and confirmed the legitimacy of the system,
and ultimately made it possible to generate sufficient revenues
from "high" wages for the creation of a social wage,
the fiscal foundation of modern social reforms.
If these have been the principal reasons for and conditions
underlying the coming of the welfare state - with national particularities
but common to all industrial countries - they must be seen as
comprising a multidimensional rationale, in the context of the
contradictions of nationally structured capitalism. The empirical
analysis of social reforms in a given country will almost certainly
reveal the greater relative importance of one or another factor,
with a single factor rarely standing alone. Despite the commonality
of these conditions, moreover, they do not necessarily translate
into the same legislated forms across nations. While reforms throughout
the industrial world attempt to address broadly the same needs
and problems intrinsic to capitalist society, the specific forms
they take as "policy regimes" depend on a host of particular
historical and national factors.
There is no single historical moment in any country when these
social reforms were introduced as a comprehensive system. In fact,
they and the various modes of implementation have generally appeared
in a piecemeal fashion following the long development of capitalism
and the modern state. For the most part, before World War II they
were specific and limited responses to trade union pressures,
corporate desires to socialize costs, and the destabilizing effects
of unemployment and worker unrest. These disparate beginnings
and this checkered development have given rise to the question
of when a society can be defined as a welfare state or, more briefly,
what a welfare state is.
Although there have been several attempts to define the welfare
state, there is no generally accepted and coherent concept. Approaches
to its analysis and the choice of the defining variables all vary
considerably, and a critical review of these variations does not
bring us much closer to a viable definition. The brief outline
of causal factors, however, leads to a plausible, comprehensive,
and workable concept.
Although sometimes used as a generic term for government intervention
"on many fronts," the welfare state can also be seen
as a capitalist society in which the state has intervened in the
form of social policies, programs, standards, and regulations
in order to mitigate class conflict and to provide for, answer,
or accommodate certain social needs for which the capitalist mode
of production in itself has no solution or makes no provision.
These state interventions are typically made in four key,
overlapping arenas of societal reproduction. Perhaps the arena
most commonly associated with the welfare state is that of the
physical propagation of the working class and its preparation
for the labour market. This includes the healthcare and educational
systems, and many of the non-contributory social benefits (the
largest recipients of which are women and children), which include
subsidized child care, child/family allowance, food stamps, and
transfer payments to single mothers.
Another arena is the labour market, and here the state has
intervened not only to mitigate the extent of leverage that capital
has over labour in this market, but also to prepare fresh workers
for the market and to ensure an "adequate" labour supply.
Typically, this arena includes regulations on the minimum wage,
hours of work, child labour, retirement age, education/training,
injury insurance, immigration, and so on.
The third arena is the point of production: the point of contact
between workers and the representatives of capital and the point
at which labour has submitted to the dictates of capital. Here
the state intervenes to provide the institutional framework for
class conflict (collective bargaining) and to protect the workers
from the worst effects of the exploitation by capital. Collective
bargaining rights are central here, but employment and health
and safety standards are also important.
The fourth arena is the provision of income assurance for
the "unproductive'' and after-productive life. This includes
old age pensions and other pensions and social assistance of all
kinds paid out to those who for whatever reason are unable to
work in the system.
The most commonly recognized form of implementation of these
social reforms is most likely the provision of services, such
as education, health care, and child care. But reforms are also
realized through income transfers, such as pensions, unemployment
or injury insurance, and social security payments. In some countries
the supply of goods, for example in the form of public housing,
is also an important kind of social reform. Lastly, the state
has promulgated a large number of laws, regulations, and standards
to institutionalize inherent conflicts and protect the disadvantaged
in a system resting on inequalities.
This definition is clearly both broader and narrower than
a specification of the general role of the state in a capitalist
society. On the one hand, the state in welfare state refers to
the body politic, the organized community; in this sense, it is
all-inclusive and not a reference merely to government. On the
other hand, the welfare in welfare state pertains to certain functions
of government, which concern the four arenas of societal reproduction
but do not usually include, for instance, the provision of infrastructure,
the maintenance of law and order, or subsidies to capital. All
of these functions, as well as many of those associated with the
welfare state, have been historically part of the definition of
the state as government, but to make them inclusive of the definition
of the welfare state is to conflate the two and make one or the
When does state intervention become "the welfare state"?
To maintain the distinction we might ask, when can a society be
defined as a welfare state? That is, when do the kind and amount
of state intervention in the four arenas give rise to the definable
phenomenon of the welfare state?
The general answer is that the welfare state has arrived when
class conflict, reduced to the contest between workers and the
representatives of capital, presents a chronic threat to the stability
of the system and has to be "institutionalized" (placed
within a legal framework of industrial relations); and when the
majority of social needs pertaining to the reproduction of the
working classes are addressed formally (by the state via "public"
policies) rather than informally (via the community, family, friends).
This definition, of course, leaves aside the question of when
exactly in history these conditions occur, but that is a problem
that remains specific to each country.
In general, however, the arrival of the welfare state is a
post-World War II phenomenon. In light of the conditions in the
postwar period, the welfare state became a political and economic
"necessity." At that time, with the exception of the
United States, the industrial economies lay exhausted or in ruins,
and for the working classes the experience of the 1930s and the
collective war effort made socialism an attractive alternative
to the fears and indignities of the capitalist labour market.
To reconstruct national capitalism in Europe and to resist widespread
popular support for socialism in the industrial world, the capitalist
classes had to employ the state to a degree not seen in earlier
decades to socialize the costs of reconstruction and to circumvent
a repeat of the Depression and its consequent class struggles.
So began almost three decades of unprecedented state intervention.
The modern welfare state is often referred to as the Keynesian
welfare state (KWS), the name deriving in part from the economist
John Maynard Keynes. The principal assumption in his work was
the existence of a national economy in which, he argued, the state
could intervene to influence levels of investment and domestic
income and thereby partially regulate unemployment through national
"demand management" policies. Such intervention represented
a certain socialization of the costs of production (with state
credits, guarantees, grants, and concessions) and of working-class
reproduction (through public works and forms of income support),
as part of a political compromise with the working classes in
an attempt to moderate the business cycle (to prevent a repeat
of the unrest of the 1930s), to help rebuild the war-destroyed
economies of Europe (to ensure the reconstruction of capitalism),
and to contain or diminish a growing interest in socialism due
to the experience of the 1930s and the devastation of the war.
In an open letter to Roosevelt about the New Deal, Keynes wrote:
"If you fail, rational change will be gravely prejudiced
throughout the world, leaving orthodoxy and revolution to fight
it out." Donald Winch argues that Keynesian policies were
"an effective weapon for use against the Marxists on the
one hand and the defenders of old style capitalism on the other;
a real third alternative, the absence of which before the General
Theory had driven many into the Communist camp.''
This rationale for state intervention in the economies of
the industrial nations was complemented by several other postwar
developments that combined to create the general conditions demanding
and allowing for the construction of the welfare state in this
period. These conditions were multifold and interrelated, but
the most significant was the persistence of the national state,
the political counterpart to the existence of national corporate
enterprise. Here lay the political and operational framework of
the welfare state. That is, social reforms have been defined and
administered as national programs; they have represented the political
compromise between a national capitalist class and resistance
to its particular forms of exploitation by sections of a national
working class or social movements; and they have depended partly
on the kind and degree of political alternatives that have evolved
in particular nations.
The ability of the state to finance the programs of the KWS
rested on several economic prerequisites. One was massive state
indebtedness and expenditures during and after World War II (Lend-lease
for the war effort, the Marshall Plan for reconstruction, then
the Korean and Vietnam wars, for instance). Another was decolonization,
which created new markets and an expanded labour supply. A third
prerequisite was the "deepening of the domestic market,"
consumerism by another name, which depended on the vast expansion
of ever-cheapening domestic commodities. Under these conditions
enormous surplus value was generated, gross national products
expanded relatively constantly, and high wages became a possibility,
with the tax bases in the industrial nations growing in concert.
Advanced Fordism transformed the capitalist labour market,
expanding and consolidating it with dramatic reductions in farm
labour and the rapid growth of unproductive sectors. A relatively
consistent high demand for labour and corresponding rises in wages
and salaries in these postwar decades formed the basis for the
growth in number and size of trade unions. New or more comprehensive
institutions of collective bargaining accompanied this increasing
union strength. The importance of collective bargaining for maintaining
capitalism, in its national form - with the organized working
class otherwise presenting a threat to state power and capitalist
hegemony - is much underrated.
The concomitant development of huge numbers and many layers
of technical, paraprofessional, and administrative workers in
both the private and public spheres substantially increased the
strata of the working class, with its immediate interests resting
on employment hierarchies, a growing state sector, and national
economic expansion. Here lay the rationale for the political platform
promoted by social democracy and its vision of reformed capitalism.
It is in this postwar period, then, that we find the culmination
of social reform in the shape of the KWS. Most of the labour force
had become working class, with substantial numbers organized into
trade unions. Class conflict now implied a chronic threat to the
reproduction of the system and so had to be contained by institutionalized
legal means. Moreover, with the transformation of the labour force
and demise of precapitalist modes of production, most social needs
necessary to the reproduction of the working class (health, education,
and social security) could only be met in formal, institutional
ways by the state through public policies, programs, and standards,
that is, through macroeconomic policies based on state indebtedness
and the social wage.
The Meaning of Social Reform
The social reforms that constitute the welfare state represent,
then, the attempt by government to contain intractable conflict
arising from the contradictory interests of the subordinate and
ruling classes, and to implement redistributive or "averaging"
mechanisms as a response to resistance by working classes to intolerable
conditions surrounding the reproduction of their labour. Social
reforms are a compromise response to the outcomes of the contradiction
between labour and capital in a system with no inherent mechanisms
for addressing such conflicts.
In other words, reforms are an "answer" to class
conflict in the form of concessionary state policies, made possible
by the potential for party alternations in power, the existence
of partially organized dependent classes, an accommodative ruling
class, and by the ability to secure the necessary revenues from
"surplus wages" or state indebtedness. They are the
"solutions" to class conflict in a certain period of
history when the political and economic preconditions make it
possible to construct class compromises.
Given this definition, it can be seen that, [social] reforms
are not ends in themselves but rather state-mandated "accords."
Through these accords the capitalist class can continue to exploit
the working classes and natural resources, and the subordinate
classes are able to protect themselves and provide reasonable
assurances of their reproduction in a manner that maintains or
improves health, education, and living standards. The reforms
are, in short, compromises that allow corporations to ameliorate
social unrest and to socialize various "costs" of production,
and that prevent the otherwise unprincipled degradation of the
working classes and nature by capital.
It follows from this that implicit in reforms as a product
of state legislation is a division of societal power in which
some classes and institutions are able to grant concessions, while
some are able only to demand and receive. A society with reforms,
by definition, is a society in which working people do not possess
power over their own lives, but can make changes to their well-being
only indirectly, and ultimately can only be recipients of concessions.
This point holds true even when social reforms are defined as
"social rights," that is, when social assistance appears
as "entitlements" and is sufficient to free individuals
from complete dependence on the labour market. Such claims, however,
do not by any means completely free the working class from the
labour market; they do not change fundamental relations of ownership
in society; and they are only possible under certain social and
The hitherto apparent permanence of reforms, moreover, stems
from their more or less rapid growth after World War II into the
welfare state, which gave the mitigated contradictions the appearance
of reformed capitalism and strengthened the idea that capitalism
was reformable, grounding the notion of reformism. The more the
reforms, the stronger and more pervasive the belief. To see beyond
reformism has always been very difficult as long as reforms could
be conceded or demanded (because the prerequisites made them possible),
or as long as reforms were a plausible answer to social, economic,
or environmental problems. By the late 1970s, however, the erosion
of reforms had begun. This erosion continued throughout the 1980s,
revealing the nature of reforms as a product of class tension
in a period of national capitalist expansion. Although the ideology
of reformism has come increasingly under attack by industry and
government, it is still harboured by the organized sector of the
working class as the only visible alternative to the utter subordination
that the class sees for itself within the capitalist system.
Because social reforms are compromises, they embody the contradictions
from which they constitute a temporary reprieve. They are mutable
concessions designed to ameliorate the worst effects of capitalism
and to placate resistance to these effects. But they are not resolutions
to the contradictions between these classes, between different
fractions of the ruling class, or between capitalism and nature.
They are a sort of respite for unresolved contradictions, which
at some point must be resolved; and the degree of reform in a
nation-state closely reflects the degree of continuing conflict
and the organized strength of the parties involved.
Reforms, furthermore, have only a temporary existence. They
have always been provisional or conditional measures, with their
limits determined by the particular conjunction of the elements
defined as the preconditions of the welfare state. Reforms are
a living reminder that the resolution to these conflicts is merely
postponed. As long as the possibility of a revolution is not there,
the choice becomes reforms or an unchallenged deterioration of
the working class and nature into dissolution.
Reforms are, therefore, paradoxical in nature. They are, on
one hand, a form of resistance to the capitalist mode of production,
necessary for the protection of the working classes and nature.
On the other hand, they comprise important elements in maintaining
capitalism, the object of their corrective purpose, not to mention
in bolstering the legitimacy of the state. Such a paradox inhabits
By grasping only one side of the paradoxical nature of reform,
a great many writers on the left (cognizant and critical of the
nature of capitalism and desirous of its transformation) have
been led to dismiss reforms or the welfare state as mere class
compromise, as the co-optation and integration of the working
class into capitalism, as a counter to "class war,"
or an "alternative to socialism." These arguments, however,
usually assume a great deal.
They overlook, first of all, the possibility that capitalism
without reforms might not spur a working class into revolution
but instead simply reduce it to poverty, destitution, and fear
of itself - and thereby break its will to resist. Second, they
take for granted that in times other than extreme crisis and social
breakdown the working classes could be an effective opposition
to a trained and disciplined modern army or police force. The
evidence would strongly suggest otherwise. Third, these arguments
imply that reforms are adopted at the cost of class consciousness
and revolutionary aims, but fail to see the other side, namely,
that reforms can raise working-class consciousness and expectations,
can lead to demands for more reforms, and even in some cases be
legislated at the expense of capital. In short, any dismissal
of welfare state policies that does not address these assumptions
would appear to come from rather privileged or romantically revolutionary
Also missed by those who dismiss the welfare state as mere
compromise is the implicit criticism of capitalism represented
by reforms. The very existence of reforms attests to the fact
that subordinate classes have had to defend themselves against
the depredations of the corporate sector; they reveal that the
much vaunted marketplace cannot provide employment or distribute
goods and services in a way that ensures a tolerable existence
for all; and they are testimony to the fact that the most elementary
regulations have had to be imposed upon the corporate sector to
prevent the wholesale degradation of water, air, soil, and food
- the elements of life itself - not to mention the debasement
of human beings and the basic conditions of work. To be sure,
a certain fraction of the business class understands this point,
hence the phenomenon of corporate "liberalism" in the
United States and reform-minded industrialists in Britain and
To dismiss reforms is also to misunderstand their necessity.
No social order, to paraphrase Marx, is ready for transformation
until all the possibilities for development within it have been
exhausted. If we accept this, then, a transition to a co-operative
and human society from industrial capitalism before the latter
has completed its possibilities for expansion, while not impossible,
is difficult and unlikely. In the meantime, without reforms, both
the working class and nature might be exhausted long before a
transition would be possible. Here again is the paradox.
To grasp the nature of reforms is to understand the dilemma
they embody: they are necessary for the well-being of working
classes and for society and nature in general, yet they are compromises
that perpetuate the system, bolster its legitimacy, and conceal
contradictions that remain unresolved. It is also to understand
that because reforms are the product of the historical evolution
of certain conditions, they correspond to a certain period in
the development of the capitalist mode of production; they are
not permanent or immutable. Reforms do not make capitalism other
than what it is; they represent the imposed amelioration of the
worst effects, but they do not transform or fundamentally change
the principles or contradictions in operation. They merely temper
them over a period of time.
and the Decline of Social Reform