An important feature in the wider political landscape [of the early 20th century] was the existence of a competing economic system in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. [T]his was instrumental in making capitalists in the West accept the need to come to terms with labor. It is important to note that the welfare state was never an expressed aim for the labor movement before it was created. The stated aim, of course, was socialism. It was the fear of socialism that drove capital to concede [. . .] unregulated, crisis-stricken capitalism had to come to an end because, if it didn’t, the balance of forces meant that capitalism itself might fall. It was under the Keynesian model of regulated capitalism that the social and economic foundation for the welfare state was created.

On ideological competition.