The globalization of Social Democracy. Morphogenetic-Recursive processes


The last visit of President Obama to Cuba cannot be analysed and measured only in terms of its consequences in international relations. It has a symbolic meaning, that might be interpreted in terms of spontaneous recursive consequences in other spaces or emergent properties as British Sociologist Margaret Archer might suggest through her Morphogenetic approach (1995). This entails perceiving a capitalist ideology begining to interact, to mix with a socialist set of ideas. It is not only the perception of the integration of two nations but also of two different ideologies that for a long time has been separated and fragmented.

These types of “spontaneous” interactions leading to morphogenesis or morphostatic processes are not new. They are constantly happening and are part and parcel of the history of humanity. Interpreted through these lens, what might be interesting to see is not only the movement, the adaptation of structures and agents to their current environment for morphostatic processes but also some timid change that might lead eventually to morphogenetic-recursive processes.

The Morphogenesis 

The Sociologist Esping-Andersen published in 1990 the “Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism”. In his book he argues that different movements of the capitalist system (historical and political) reflected different political ideologies that in turn have different economic, social and political consequences. He proposed the idea of three types of welfare states in modern capitalism: Liberal (United States), Corporatist-Statist (Germany) and Social Democratic (Sweden). Societies might be changing from one welfare state to the other according to different factors. These movements could be associated today not only to recent interactions between the American and Cuban government but also to the increasing support for the ideas of the democrat candidate Bernie Sanders in America. This might be evidence that citizens are very slowly starting to recognize the importance of protecting the vital minimun of societies needed to live an adequate and dignified life at the same time that they acknowledge that a strong level of monitoring and control is needed to establish social order in our lives.

These particular processes or movements are important and contribute to the fulfillment of the principles and standards of International Law. Art. 2 of the International Covenant of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for instance has established that: “Each State Party to the present covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and cooperation, especially economic and technical, to the maximun of its available resources, with a view of achieving progressively the full realization of the rights…”. A Social democratic vision aims to fulfill this specific goal by taking steps immediately to provide the minimun essential levels through economic and social interventions and welfare provisions while achieving progressively the full realization of human rights through democratic socialism processes.

As Bernie Sanders argues Social Security, minimun wage, unemployment insurance, public education, strong banking regulations, protection of the rights of workers are urgently needed in America in order to generate a different process of redistribution that might guarantee an adequate life with dignity to millions of americans facing poverty today.

This is certainly a reality in a country which is facing real problems at this particular point of time. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2014 there were 46.7 million people in poverty. This is up from 37.3 million in 2007. In addition to that a catastrophic number of children living in poverty of more than 15.5 million has increased despite America being the wealthies country in the world. Bernie Sanders is certainly advocating an agenda to expand social benefits and increase the minimun salary of workers as well as promoting more accessibility to public colleges financed by the rich. The candidate is clearly sending a message to corporations that if they want to enjoy the benefits they have to share part of their wealth.

This radical approach if implemented successfully in America without any doubt could have a positive impact at the global level in terms of fulfilment of international human rights law leading to massive reductions of people that live in extreme poverty and marginalization. This timid change might lead eventually to morphogenetic-recursive processes.

It is clear that if Social Democracy aims to achieve the immediate obligations  Democratic Socialism aims the progressive realisation.






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