Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ed Milliband takes the Reins of the Labour Party. . . . .

It is very interesting that Ed Milliband has become the new leader of the Labour Party in Briton. It is even more interesting that he won this position while running against his own brother David Milliband. Now that must make for some interesting family dinners! The Milliband brothers are the sons of the late Ralph Milliband, one of the premiere Marxists theorists of 20th century England. Ralph Milliband left the Labour party long before he died in 1994 because he had little faith in the Parliamentary path to socialism. He was said to be very uncomfortable with his sons' involvement in the Labour Party particularly in his last days, just before Tony Blair took the reins of the party. Their mother, however, another left-wing activist named Marion Kozack was less reticent about the changes in the Labour Party and continued her affiliation with the Party. Understandably, people say that her sons take more after her politically than they do after their father. However, it should also be noted that Ed Milliband, who will now shape the futre of the Labour Party, is said to be more of a 'traditional' Labour supporter than his brother David, but only time will tell concerning this question.

I have a great deal of respect for Ralph Milliband, though I would not really call myself a Marxist. Anyway, I don't really believe that Marxism is a political theory, but rather a philosophical and historical one. (But we will leave that discussion for another time) Socialism is, on the other hand, a political theory, and one that I, in my own particular fashion, adhere to. But I also believe, as many Labour Party activists have argued, that one could potentially be a Capitalist of sorts and still be a Socialist. One could believe, for example, that the so-called market works in certain areas of society but not in others such as education and health. This idea points to the struggle between evolutionary socialsim as an idea and the idea presented by Marxists theorist like Ralph Milliband, that Capitalism as system of social, political, and economic organization will continually push out any chance for real socialist efforts even on a limited scale. Wherever one comes down on this debate it will be interesting to see in what direction Ed Milliband will take the Labour Party and whether he will confirm his father's belief that you can't build any kind of socialism through parliamentary politics, or whether he will make an effort to re-legitimize socialist efforts within the purview of the Labour Party.

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