(Hons) History and Politics Politics and the End of History.
To what extent do the ideas of the "third way" represent a new form of politics?.
The "New Politics" of "New Labour", is to a large extent, based on the work of Anthony Giddens. Giddens, a Cambridge Don and Director of the London School of Economics, is a disciple of "The Third Way" and is widely known as Tony Blair's favourite intellectual; he is often referred to by the press as "Mr Third Way". The Third Way or "Middle Way" seeks to avoid the extremes of both left and right in its political philosophy, it claims that the traditional left-right ideologies have failed society and must therefore give way to a new ideology. The claim made by New Labour is that they represent this new ideology, and that the path that they follow is not between left and right; but beyond left and right. .
According to Blair, the Third Way lays, "Beyond an Old Left preoccupied by state control, high taxation and producer interests; and beyond a new lasses-faire Right championing narrow individualism and a belief that free markets are the answer to every problem". The Third Way stresses activist, dynamic government for, "In a globalizing world, we need more government, not less." After all," We need the active hand of government to refurbish civic culture, to reconstruct everyday civility." Hence, Blair is able to "argue as confidently as ever that the Right does not have the answer to the problems of social polarization, rising crime, failing education and low productivity and growth." (Fraser Institute). At first glance, the above statements made by Tony Blair, could be dismissed as platitudes, or high minded sound bites, after all Blair is noted for and very good at producing hard hitting one line statements of strategy and policy. Or, could it be that he is giving voice to his belief in the ideology of New Labour, with regard to the evolution of Labour strategy and its relevance to socialism?.