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Evolutionary politics

The search for the third way must begin by rejecting all forms of political ideology, including benign socialism and benign Thatcherism. Political progress is to be measured by the extent to which institutions adapt to specific social and economic contexts

By John Kay   July 1998

Talk of the third way lends itself to banality and caricature because it invariably begins with a description of what it is not. It rejects the doctrines of Marxist socialism, and of the New Right. It believes in markets, but not too much; in regulation, but not too much. It supports success, but is sympathetic to failure. It emphasises equality of opportunity, but not equality of outcome.

There is nothing wrong with these sentiments; few would disagree with them. But by that very token they offer no guidance in the policy dilemmas of our age. Avoiding extremes is wise counsel…

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