I consider myself a left-wing person because I believe that human beings are all more equal than different (whoever does not agree with this definition, and does not have the capacity to accept that this is the definition that will be used in this text, can stop reading now ).
Thus, in a well-ordered society, it cannot happen that someone considered "the best" has privileges millions of times greater than that considered "the worst". The magnitude of natural differences between human beings does not justify these discrepancies, which are only possible due to economic and social distortions.
From here, it is a question of finding the economic and social systems that most balance human beings, in their differences and similarities.
In practice, the system that has been most successful in bringing this approach closer together is social democracy, born in Europe in the post-World War II era.
It is a system that allows economic freedom through market capitalism, balanced by a strong presence of the State (namely in health, education, social security, defense and justice) which, through progressive taxes, positive discrimination against the disadvantaged and labor regulations and of economic competition, it allows that the differences of birth are not accentuated too much, nor that the sorts of life excessively dictate the path of each one.
It is a system of sharing risks and luck, in which it must be taken from those who are favored, and redistributed by those who have less.
The countries in the world that live in this evolved social democracy (Denmark, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Iceland) are also the happiest - empirical research demonstrates it unmistakably.
That is the left that I see myself, that is the left that I defend.
Now, since the fall of “real socialism”, there has been an ideological shift to the right in the western world, with the progressive deregulation of markets, the financialization of the economy and the withdrawal of state power ( hence democracy).
This was so, that the Social Democratic parties, which were always from the center / center-left, if not aligned with neoliberal logic, came to be seen as dangerous left-wing extremists.
In Portugal, this paranoia is displayed, paradigmically, by the delusionals of the Liberal Initiative who see socialism everywhere, and who have infected the right with this refrain of socialism, destroying the possibility of a healthy political conversation.
If someone is opposed to neoliberalism, or denounces the aforementioned ideological shift to the right of the western world after the 80s, there will soon be insults, mixed with the words "Venezuela", "North Korea", "Cuba", " commune ”,“ communist ”,“ socialist ”,“ dictator ”,“ cannibal ”. In the most pathological cases, they can reach the "child-eater". And they say that Portugal, because it has a party in the government with the word cursed, is a socialist country, when the Party that bears that name is not even socialist (as the PSD is little social democratic).
The truth is that today, to be on the left (as I defined at the beginning) is to be on the side of freedom, democracy and against all forms of dictatorship. From the dictatorships that usurped the word communism - to perpetuate families or military dynasties in power - from absolutist monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, or from the pseudo-democracies in which only those who are wealthy have power.
Interestingly, many of those who argue for freedom on the right, and are enchanted by the socialist devil, immediately pardon when the topic is money: be it from Angola, from the “dos Santos” family, or from Chávez's Venezuela (to buy computers), or the Chinese (these communes), whose capital is so well received by our capitalist elite.
Anyway, for my part, I'm calm. I have always defended liberal democracy as I know it and what I want is its improvement. The failures of democracy are combated with more, not less, democracy (as the rightists of illiberal democracy now want).
For that, we need a strong, but scrutinized and transparent state, and competitive, non-rentist, non-monopolistic and non-sucker State capitalism, and a public policy aided by science. We don't have time for “bogeymen” or primary school arguments.
The author writes according to the old spelling.