The Third Way and a New Left

Daniel Singer

Abstract


There are fashionable terms that are at once misleading and revealing. The third way is one of them. There was a time when this concept had a genuine meaning. Back in the 1950s, for the so-called revisionists in Eastern Europe it spelled the search for democratic socialism that had nothing to do with its Stalinist perversion but was not a return to capitalism either. For some radical dissidents in the West it had the same signi?cance: it was their way of telling Moscow and Washington a plague on both your houses during the period of the Cold War. But that con?ict is over, the neo-Stalinist empire has collapsed and capitalism is triumphant. In its new reincarnation, the third way does not even envisage the dismantling of capitalism. All it proposes is to put a coat of varnish on top. As applied by its chief practitioner, the British prime minister, Tony Blair, and as interpreted by his guru, Anthony Giddens, the model has been described, unkindly though not unfairly, as that contradiction in termsThatcherism with a human face.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2000.195

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Copyright (c) 2015 Daniel Singer

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