Gradualism in the UK

In politics, gradualism is a hypothesis that social change can be achieved through small, discrete improvements, rather than through abrupt movements such as revolutions or revolts. Gradualism is one of the defining characteristics of social democracy and reformism. In Machiavellian politics, congressmen are forced to adopt gradualism.

We have previously discussed democratization in the UK, but what does democracy have to do with gradualism?  As we mentioned earlier, gradualism refers to political and social changes in a gradual way, without arriving at the result abruptly, or in a democratic way. 

Now, democracy as a political system, we understand that it has a particular form of exercise in the UK, this as a consequence of its Political Model. It is true that citizens can elect their representatives in the House of Commons, but it is also true that they have a House of Lords that basically represents the political, economic, legal and social customs inherited from their ancestors. 

Britain has been known for being consistent with the fundamentals of gradualism. However, the political dynamics of the United Kingdom have shown not to believe too much in gradualism, as history proves, here are a few examples: 

A half-length portrait photograph of Thatcher in the mid-1990s

Margaret Thatcher, leader of the British Conservative Party, was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The “iron lady” earned her nickname by confronting the hard-line miners’ unions, defending British interests against Europe, the IRA, whipping the then Soviet Union and -what touches us closely- punishing the audacity of a decadent military government that had occupied de facto -as it could not be otherwise- the Falkland Islands.

Her coming to power brought about a complete transformation of the United Kingdom by supporting the privatization of state-owned industries and public transport; reforming the trade unions, which he practically stripped of power; reducing taxes and public spending; and labor flexibility. The measures soon succeeded in bringing down a seemingly unchecked inflation, but they came at a high social cost, especially rising unemployment. She did not believe in gradualism.  

Éxodo de empresas por el Brexit

On the other hand, a much more current example with points for and against is the Brexit, It has been quite evident for years that the Euro Zone, economically at least, is a formidable failure. The nations that belong to the subsidiary Euro Zone have been forced to live with the same currency and monetary policy, even though each one locally suffers from enormous differences in productivity, a determining element of the exchange rate and interest rates. The resignation of the Euro Zone is the failure of gradualism, a gradualism that characterizes almost all Western democracies with the United States and Europe at the head of the enguizgado. The financial sector is not in favor of regulation of any kind, and the constant complaints against the covert federalism of Brussels mask the supposed benefits of no rules to abide by – or taxes to pay. But the elimination of political gradualism, or this un-English giddiness in facing and processing the contours of change, is striking. 

How do we account for this gradualism and for the fact that while Britain’s political development has not been bloodless by any means, it has been characterized by far less upheaval and conflict? England’s separation from Europe clearly afforded important advantages throughout its history  and the establishment of territorial unity by the beginning of the 18th century was also not contested by its neighbors in the ways that borders throughout the rest of Europe were until 1945. Spared the need for the kind of land-based army that Germany and France required, it could focus on developing its navy and using it to open up new commercial opportunities around the globe at a time when European powers were battling for territorial control on the European continent.

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