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a total perspective on life

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A young Tony Blair on Marxism, Socialism, Michael Foot’s Debts of Honour. From the New Statesman:

The young Blair continues: “In this I can’t help feeling the continual association of Marxism with Socialism is in part to blame. Like many middle-class people I came to Socialism through Marxism (to be more specific through Deutscher’s biography of Trotsky). The trouble with Marxism is that it is fine if you make it your political servant but terrible if it becomes your political master. I actually did trouble to read Marx first hand. I found it illuminating in so many ways; in particular, my perception of the relationship between people and the society in which they live was irreversibly altered. But ultimately it was stifling because it sought to embrace in its philosophy every facet of existence. That, of course, is its attraction to many. It gives them a total perspective on life. But that can simply become an excuse to stop searching for the truth. Political thought didn’t begin nor should it end with Marx. Yet it is impossible to understand the 20-40 age group in today’s Labour Party without understanding the pervasiveness of Marxist teaching. For me at university, left-wing politics was Marx and the liberal tradition was either scorned or analysed only in terms of its influence on Marx. It is so abundantly plain to me when I read D of H that there is a treasure trove of ideas that I never imagined existed. We need to recover the searching radicalism of these people.”

Written by adswithoutproducts

June 15, 2006 at 9:05 am

Posted in socialism

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