I was wondering if Ed Miliband, the new leader of the British Labour Party, is the son of the late Marxist theoretician and sociologist Ralph Miliband and, yes, indeed he is.
I have a copy of one of Ralph Miliband's most important books, The State In Capitalist Society, (1969) and which I bought for $2 in a second hand bookshop some years ago.
I was reading it again last night. In his conclusion Ralph Milband writes:
...social democratic leaders in government illustrate particularly clearly the limits of reform. For while they raise great hopes among their followers and many others when in opposition, the constrictions under which they labour when in government, allied to the ideological dispositions which lead them to submit to these constrictions, leave them with little room to implement their promises. This, however, is only half the story. The other half consists in the fact that, confronted with demands they cannot fulfil, and with pressures they cannot subdue by reform, they too turn themselves into protagonists of the reinforced state. Like their conservative opponents they too seek to undermine the strength of the defence organisations of the working class..
In his final work, Socialism for a Sceptical Age (1994) Miliband continued his demolition job on the fallacies of social democracy.
He describes 'mild social democracy' as an 'adaptation' to capitalism and not an alternative to it.
Ed Miliband though does not share his father's politics - he is, I'm afraid, yet another right wing social democrat. He's perhaps not as bad as Tony Blair (but I could be wrong) but he's not unlike Gordon Brown in many respects.
He's probably got a lot in common with Phil Goff too...