Ralph Miliband

Ralph Miliband

Ralph Miliband (January 7, 1924May 21, 1994) was a notable Marxist political theorist. He was the father of two British MPs, David and Ed Miliband, who are both members of the British Cabinet under Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Early life and family

As Adolphe Miliband, he was born in Brussels of Polish-Jewish emigré parents. Both his parents lived in the Jewish quarter of Warsaw, before his father, Samuel Miliband, joined the Red Army in the Polish-Soviet War. [ [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/HISmiliband.htm] [http://www.marxists.org/glossary/people/m/i.htm] ] He is buried in Highgate Cemetery close to Karl Marx and many other celebrated left-leaning minds of the 20th Century.

The young Miliband was forced to relocate from Belgium in 1940 as Hitler's army moved westwards through the country and he managed to catch a boat for London at Ostend. He and his father Samuel entered UK illegally on forged papers [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080804.wbritain04/BNStory/International/?query=] . Once in England he further changed his name to Ralph.

tudies in England

While a student at Acton Technical College (now Brunel University) in West London, he became an active Marxist and in 1941 was awarded a place at the London School of Economics, where he studied under Harold Laski. At this time the LSE was evacuated to Cambridge University. After three years' service in the Royal Navy during the war, Miliband resumed his studies at the LSE and graduated with a First in 1947. After obtaining a Leverhulme research scholarship to continue studies at the LSE, Professor Laski arranged for Miliband to teach at the Roosevelt College (now Roosevelt University) in Chicago. In 1949 he was offered the post of an Assistant Lectureship in Political Science back at the LSE.

New Left

Miliband was on the critical British New Left during the 1950s, alongside the likes of E.P. Thompson and John Saville, with whom he launched the "New Reasoner" and the "New Left Review". He also set up the "Socialist Register" with Saville in 1964 and was influenced by the American sociologist C. Wright Mills, of whom he was a friend. He left the LSE in 1972, having found himself torn by the controversies which had beleaguered the institution over the preceding few years, to take up the post of Professor of Politics at the University of Leeds. The time at Leeds was an unhappy period for Miliband, and he subsequently chose to assume several posts in Canada and the US.

Opposition to the Vietnam war and criticism of the Labour Party

Miliband was passionately opposed to the American war in Vietnam. In 1967 he wrote in the "Socialist Register" that "the US has over...a period of years been engaged...in the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children, the maiming of many more" and that the United States' "catalogue of horrors" against the Vietnamese people was being done "in the name of an enormous lie". [cite journal
quotes =
last = Miliband
first = Ralph
year = 1967
title = Vietnam and Western Socialism
journal = The Socialist Register
volume = 4
issue = 1
pages = 11–25
publisher = Merlin Press
location = London
issn = 0081-0606
url = http://socialistregister.com/socialistregister.com/files/SR_1967_Miliband.pdf
accessdate = 2008-05-07
quote =

In the same article, he attacked Harold Wilson for his defence of the United States' action in Vietnam, describing it as being the "most shameful chapter in the history of the Labour Party". He went on to say that the US Government "made no secret of the political and diplomatic importance it attached to the unwavering support of a British Labour Government".

Miliband's sons

After Ralph Miliband's death in the City of Westminster in 1994, his son David Miliband was elected Labour MP for South Shields in 2001. Since 2007 he has served in the cabinet as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Ralph's second son, Ed Miliband, was elected a Labour MP for the Doncaster North seat in 2005. Since 2007 he has served as Minister for the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office and currently has the task of drafting Labour's manifesto for the next general election. As of October 3, 2008 Ed has been promoted to the position of Secretary of the newly-formed Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Key works

*"Parliamentary Socialism: A Study of the Politics of Labour" (1961). ISBN 0-85036-135-4.
*"The State in Capitalist Society" (1969), ISBN 0-704-31028-7
*"Marxism and Politics" (1977), ISBN 0-85036-531-7
*"Capitalist Democracy in Britain" (1982), ISBN 0-19-827445-9
*"Class Power and State Power" (1983)
*"Divided Societies: Class Struggle in Contemporary Capitalism" (1989)
*"Socialism for a Sceptical Age" (1994)

Further reading

*Michael Newman, "Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left" (Merlin Press, 2002)


ee also

* List of British Jews

External links

* [http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/miliband/ralphMiliband.htm LSE profile]
* [http://www.marxists.org/glossary/people/m/i.htm#miliband-ralph Marxists.org Bibliography of Miliband]
* [http://www.lipman-miliband.org.uk/biographies.html Lipman-Miliband Trust]
* [http://socialistregister.com/ Socialist Register]
* [http://www.findmypast.com England and Wales Deaths 1984-2005]

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