By Jenny Andersson
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Additional resources for The Library and the Workshop: Social Democracy and Capitalism in the Knowledge Age
14 Its consumption is also its production. 15This dream of the productivity potential embedded in the knowledge-driven economy mirrors social democracy’s postwar growth utopia. This optimistic prospect for a new golden era is what explains the hype around the new economy in the 1990s. 16Central to this growth discourse as it took shape in the 1990s was the drawing up of a macro–micro strategy designed to promote stability and prosperity. 17This led to the emergence of a social democratic economic language construed around the watchword of prudence and the setting in place of a macroeconomic framework designed to foster long-term stability.
Social democratic growth discourses have always been concerned with the rationalization and utilization of labor. In the Keynesian era, social democracy was concerned with manpower and labor resources. In the knowledge era, it is concerned with the rationalization of the human capital of the skills revolution and with exploiting the intellectual resources that drive a knowledge-based economy. Perhaps we should not overstate the role of the knowledge economy to contemporary social democracy. Social democracy is involved in traditional policies, such as apprenticeships, that had relevance long before the idea of the information revolution.
52 The idea of partnerships has been described as a new form of competitive corporatism, where the production of surplus takes place in coproduction between state and market, through a new social contract where the state assumes an overall responsibility for creating the competitive environment for industry, while the firm assumes a certain responsibility for fostering social capital and encouraging learning. In this way, the firm—just like the family— becomes a provider of social virtues, trust, and learning in harmony with the surrounding community.
The Library and the Workshop: Social Democracy and Capitalism in the Knowledge Age by Jenny Andersson