Life is short. Throughout history normal people wasted their lives in a meaningless existence as they toiled hard to earn a living. The average life expectancy till the modern age in Europe was 30-35. For most life was a very brutal affair. And in large parts of Europe this state of affairs persisted till the post war period. It still persists in most of the world.
Social democracy restored dignity to human life by creating mechanisms which made a basic decent living a conditional right. This right remained conditional because the mechanisms of the welfare state remained tied to the logic and fluctuations of capitalist economies.
Surely capitalism created prosperity and wealth which made life more worth living. Apart from many useless gadgets, the productive forces unleashed by capitalism have created the net, mobile telephony and so many other inventions which improve our quality of life.
We have to admit that despite the current crisis we have no viable alternative to a capitalist economy. But now that bankers' risks are being socialised, it is also the time to socialise the risks faced by everyone of us living in this dangerous world.
The current crisis has exposed the fragility of our existence. For the plans and dreams of many can be shattered in a single stroke.
The left still has the historic mission of making social rights unconditional... as entrenched as all other freedoms we value.