New Labour, Old Labour: The Wilson and Callaghan Governments by Anthony Seldon, Kevin Hickson

By Anthony Seldon, Kevin Hickson

We're continually instructed that New Labour varieties an historical departure from the traditions of the Labour celebration. This booklet, written via a extraordinary collection of teachers and commentators, offers the main certain comparability but of outdated and new Labour in energy. it's also the 1st to supply a finished research of the final Labour executive sooner than the increase of Thatcher and the re-emergence of the Labour celebration below Tony Blair's management. It unearths a lot in regards to the heritage of the Labour celebration in addition to offering a much-needed context from which to pass judgement on the present executive.

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Extra resources for New Labour, Old Labour: The Wilson and Callaghan Governments 1974-1979

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In his classic study of the relationship between Keynesianism and social democracy, in Capitalism and Social Democracy, Adam Przeworski argues as follows: The fact is that social democrats everywhere soon discovered in Keynes’ ideas, particularly after the appearance of his General Theory, something they urgently needed: a distinct policy for administering capitalist economies. The Keynesian revolution – and this is what it was – provided social democrats with a goal and hence the justification of their governmental role, and simultaneously transformed the significance of distributive politics that favoured the working class.

The left was in the process of developing an alternative economic strategy associated primarily with Tony Benn and on the left too Stuart Holland had produced a book, The Socialist Challenge,4 which was a severe critique of the Crosland position and which argued for the significance for the future of socialism of some of the features of what have subsequently come to be called ‘globalisation’. On the right there was a growing interest in economic liberalism among both politicians such as Maragaret Thatcher, Keith Joseph, Geoffrey Howe and Peter Thorneycroft, who had indeed resigned from the Conservative Cabinet in 1957 on essentially an economic liberal critique of the Macmillan Government, as had his colleague Enoch Powell, and among academics and think tanks, particularly the Institute for Economic Affairs and the Centre for Policy Studies.

So the world scene and the domestic scene were set for a frontal assault on Keynesian approaches and upon the whole social democratic project which had been erected on the basis of the Keynesian revolution. In this chapter I shall not consider the detailed issues in economic policy which led to this situation since they have been dealt with elsewhere in this book. I shall rather in this chapter, which is to do with theoretical issues, concentrate on the theoretical critique of what might be called Keynesian social democracy by the economic liberals.

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