The Social Democrat, therefore, is interested in extending the area of equal opportunity beyond the political sphere to all other areas of social life. He believes that all social institutions, to the extent to which they are modifiable, must be judged by their fruits, or consequences, for the lives of individual persons. It is from this premise of ‘democracy as a way of life,’ of equal opportunity for all to develop themselves as persons, taken as a regulative moral ideal, not as an inexorable, ‘dialectical’ law of history, that the social democrat derives the justification for multiple programs of social reform – whether it be social security, health and unemployment insurance, a guaranteed minimum family income, occupational safety, or improved and extended public education. . .
We are few in number and limited in influence. So was the Fabian Society of Great Britain. But in time it re-educated a great political party and much of the nation. We must try to do the same.
Sidney Hook, Address to Convention, Social Democrats USA, 1976