Potemkin wrote:The social consensus in Germany depends on the existence of a 'Mittelstand', the maintenance of good relations between workers and management, an education system geared to produce the best outcomes for the majority of the population, and a generous system of social welfare. None of these factors apply in either the UK or the USA, and I suspect in few other places either.
There are obviously many factors contributing to what makes Germany what it is; however, the social consensus takes a central role since it provides for the social peace that allows for economic development.
It goes without saying that other countries have other traditions, but that doesn't mean that other countries cannot reach a stable social state. Social upheavals, revolts, revolutions, etc., seldom improve a country's situation. Almost all Arab countries are worse off after the Arab Spring. Even Tunisia, which has escaped catastrophe so far, is worse off economically and the security situation is a constant concern. More Arabs join IS from Tunisia than from other countries. The civil war in Syria put an end to reforms initiated by the Assad regimes.
The militancy of the UK's labor unions in the 70s led straight to Thatcher's neo-liberal policies which led to the disenchantment with globalization and Brexit, with the referendum further polarizing the nation. Were these pendulum swings between the extremes necessary? I don't think so. A political class which puts the interest of the country above the interest of the party would have worked for a social consensus instead of further polarizing the country. Perhaps the UK needs to change its fptp election system and use devolution to move towards a federal system.
All of this points to the fact that gradual reforms from the inside are more effective in improving living conditions than a violent upheaval like a revolution. This may be a bitter pill to swallow for an old revolutionary, but it's always better to face the facts.