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Vladmir Ilyich Lenin

Robert Owen

Karl Marx

Friedrich Engels

Eduard Bernstein

Vladmir Ilyich Lenin

Samuel Gompers

Eugene V. Debs

Benito Mussolini

Clement Atlee

Julius Nyerere

Mao Zedong

Deng Xiaoping

Mikhail Gorbachev

Karl blair

TONY BLAIR       1953-

By the 1980s social democrats throughout Europe recognized that the welfare state was not a way station to a new economy but had its own critical limits. With this realization as his hallmark, a young, charismatic would-be rock star resuscitated Attlee's moribund party by inventing “New Labour” and campaigning with the slogan, "Labour is the party of business."

In 1983 at the age of thirty, Tony Blair was elected a Minister of Parliament in a newly created district. Labour had been out of power since Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1979. He quickly rose through the party to become Shadow Home Secretary in 1992. When Labour leader John Smith died in 1994, Blair was elected to replace him. Blair challenged the parts of the Labour Party constitution that advocated common ownership. Some party members saw this as a rejection of the philosophical core of Labour’s socialist heritage. Blair called it a redefinition of socialism. He refashioned the party as “New Labour” focusing on market based reforms and industry friendly policies. In a landslide 1997 vote, Blair defeated John Major and is now the longest serving British prime minister, leading his party to three successive victories.


For more information, read interviews with:

Roy Hattersley
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (1983-1992)
Author, Choose Freedom: The Future for Democratic Socialism

Christopher Hitchens
Author, Blood, Class and Empire: The Enduring Anglo-American Relationship

Tony Wright
Labour Member of Parliament
Author, Socialisms: Old and New


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