The Third Way and the End of Politics

Clive Hamilton, The Australia Institute


Advocates of the Third Way have searched for a means of grafting traditional concerns for equality and social justice onto an economic system based on free markets. Yet they fail to consider whether attempts at reform are neutralised by the nature of consumer capitalism. The implicit philosophy of the Third Way is not based on any critical analysis of modern capitalism. In particular, it assiduously avoids any discussion of the sources and exercise of power, preferring to focus on ‘lifestyle choices’. The belief that inequality and exclusion can be resolved by education ignores structural disadvantage and emphasises the failings of individuals.

Clive Hamilton is Executive Director of The Australia Institute and Visiting Fellow in the Graduate Program in Public Policy at the ANU.

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