Miliband, Ralph

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MILIBAND, RALPH (1924–1994), British academic and socialist theorist. Born in Brussels, Miliband was a member of *Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir before fleeing to England with his father in 1940 just before the German invasion of Belgium. He was educated at the London School of Economics and came under the influence of Harold *Laski. An independent socialist, in the 1950s, Miliband was associated with E.P. Thompson, John Saville, and other active intellectuals of the British "New Left." Miliband taught at the London School of Economics before moving to Leeds University as professor of politics from 1972 to 1978. He was best known for his influential political works such as Parliamentary Socialism (1961), which argued that the British Labour Party, heavily weighed down by constitutional niceties, could never enact true socialism, and by works such as The State in Capitalist Society (1969) and Capitalist Democracy in Britain (1982), all written from an independent Marxist position. In his later Socialism for a Skeptical Age (1994), Miliband admitted the previous failures of socialism, but remained an independent, pro-democracy Marxist to the end. His son david (1965– ), who was educated at Oxford and mit, was a leading figure on the moderate Labour left. He edited Reinventing the Left (1994) and became a Labour member of parliament in 2001. He was made minister for schools by Tony Blair in 2002 and entered the cabinet as cabinet secretary in 2004. Unlike his father, David Miliband was a moderate center-leftist, and headed Tony Blair's Policy Unit after Blair became prime minister in 1997.


odnb online; M. Newman, Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left (2002).

[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]