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Rebuilding Conservatism

David Cameron wants to heal the rift between Thatcherites and modernisers while also coining a distinctive new Tory ideology. To achieve this he must ditch flashy initiatives and show that he is truly committed to decentralising Britain

By Ferdinand Mount   October 2007

In his heyday, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin reserved his most venomous attacks for something he called “economism.” The “economists” were to be found among the social democrats, then the leading faction on the left in Russia, and their heresy was to believe that socialism was simply a matter of improving the wages and conditions of the workers. In his celebrated polemic What is to be Done? (1902), Lenin accused the economists of failing to understand that society had to be transformed before humanity could be liberated. A decent wage rise, a tolerable public health service, a holiday with pay—these were desirable,…

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