John Schwarzmantel speaks about Ralph Miliband on 22 Jan 2014

Taking Soundings is taking a break for December, but our meeting in the New Year is:

John Schwarzmantel: Ralph Miliband and the Left Today

The text of John’s talk is available here, posted after the event:

John S – Ralph Miliband and the Left Today

Ralph Miliband has recently been vilified by The Daily Mail as ‘the man who hated Britain’, and who left a ‘poisonous legacy’. This legacy, according to The Daily Mail, has been inherited by his son Ed, leader of the Labour Party, and has inspired his attempt to turn the Labour Party to the Left.

To combat these distortions of right-wing hysteria, it is necessary to reflect on Ralph Miliband’s ideas and his socialist and democratic commitments as expressed in his writings, and to consider in what ways his ideas remain relevant today, some 19 years after his death in 1994.


John Schwarzmantel taught for many years in the Politics Department at Leeds University, where Ralph Miliband was Professor of Politics from 1972 until 1977, and remained associated with him after his departure from Leeds until his death. This talk is intended to analyse Ralph Miliband’s views on the capitalist state, on Marxism, on capitalist democracy, and on the Labour Party, and to open up a discussion of the relevance of those ideas to the very changed conditions of British and world politics today.

Wednesday 22nd January 2014, 6pm, at Broadcasting Place, Room AG10, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds Met University, LS2 9EN

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