I am a Socialist not through reading a textbook that has caught my intellectual fancy, nor through unthinking tradition, but because I believe that, at its best, Socialism corresponds most closely to an existence that is both rational and moral. It stands for co-operation, not confrontation; for fellowship, not fear. It stands for equality, not because it wants people to be the same but because only through equality in our economic circumstances can our individuality develop properly.
Tony Blair, in his maiden speech as MP for Sedgefield (6 July 1983)
What went wrong Tony? You sounded so promising back then…
I’ve found the answer for you:
“I am a Socialist not through reading a textbook”
Someone who professes to be something, yet professes not to have read about it, probably won’t be very good at being that thing.
A socialist that hasn’t read about socialism probably won’t do a good job of sticking to socialist ideals.
He’s also a bourgeois politician before he’s a socialist, a reactionary to the core, and you can say lots of good things with a bit of fancy rhetoric but that doesn’t mean you have to believe them. Just as the sophists trained excellent politicians based on how well they spoke rather than what they did, we have returned to ancient Athens and the era of sophistry. We need a modern day Socrates (and my money is on Zizek).