Third Way is an economically centre to centre-right, civically moderate and culturally variable (though usually center-left) ideology inhabiting the centre square. It is the child of Economic Liberalism/ Neoliberalism and Social Liberalism/ Social Democracy, borrowing elements from both. As with most centrist balls, it seeks to find a compromise between different political positions.
The modern understanding of Third Way politics was popularized in the 1990s by Anthony Giddens, who wrote a series of books detailing the qualities of the Third Way. He called for a re-evaluation of policies from both progressive and conservative parties. The ideology became popular in many western countries, including the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Mainland Europe. The most notable advocates for Third Way are former American president Bill Clinton and former UK prime minister Tony Blair, who both supported its ideas while in office during the 1990s and early 2000s
In the 90s, the concept of the "Third Way" was first thought up by Anthony Gidden. Originally intended to be a rebranded version of Social Democracy, aswell as an alternative to traditional forms of Socialism and Capitalism. The Labour Party, after 4 consecutive election losses to the Tory Party, decided to adopt Gidden's idea of the "Third Way" under the leadership of Tony Blair and rebranded itself as "New Labour". Blair moved the party to the right, embracing most of Margaret Thatcher's polices. Blair went on to beat the Tories in a landslide in 1997, being the first Labour leader to be PM in 18 years. After his involvement in the Iraq War in 2003, Blair's premiership became increasingly unpopular with the public. He resigned in 2007 and was replaced with Gordan Brown, who was nearly identical to Blair in policy but differed interpersonally. Brown lost in a landslide against the Tories under David Cameron in 2010. His replacement, Ed Miliband was slightly to the left of him and Blair, but still compromised on issues like austerity. In 2015, Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party and his victory was seen as a rejection of the Blairite establishment and the party finally moving back to the left. However, now that Corbyn has been replaced with new leader Keir Starmer, the party has now mostly reverted back to the centre to centre-left.
In the mid 80s, the New Democrats faction of the Democratic Party first appeared, emerging after the landslide victories by president Ronald Reagan. Instead of continuing with the more left-leaning direction the party had taken since FDR, this new group embraced Reagan's economic reforms with more of an emphasis on progressive values, due to feeling that the party was becoming out of touch on economic issues. Bill Clinton became the first New Democrat to win the presidency in 1992, with the New Democrats becoming the dominant faction in the party since. Barack Obama, in a meeting with the New Democrat Coalition, said he was a New Democrat. Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2016 as a New Democrat, but lost. During the presidency of Donald Trump, many Moderates in the Republican Party swapped to the New Democrat Coalition. Joe Biden, one of the first New Democrats, won the American presidency in 2020.
One of the most notable proponents of Third Way politics in France is current president Emmanuel Macron and his party "La République En Marche!". The party was founded with a goal to "modernise and moralise" French politics, and would go on to win in a landslide against Right-Wing candidate Marine Le Pen in the 2017 election. Politicians also associated with Third Way politics include former president François Hollande and former prime minister Manuel Valls.
- Ion Iliescu is a Romanian politician and engineer, the founder of the Social Democratic Party, who served as President of Romania from 1989 to 1996 and from 2000 to 2004. Iliescu rose to prominence during the communist era when he joined the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) in 1953 and became a member of its Central Committee in 1965. He was eventually marginalized by dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and eventually came to play a leading role in the Romanian Revolution during the fall of communism.
After the overthrow of Ceaușescu in December 1989, Ion Iliescu was recognized as the co-leader leader of the National Salvation Front (FSN) an organization formed by second-rank Communist party members opposed to the policies of Ceaușescu to fill in the power vacuum caused by the fall of the dictator and lead the transition to parliamentary democracy. In recent times Iliescu has been accused of committing crimes against humanity by approving deadly militaristic measures against civilians during the aftermath of the Romanian Revolution.
In 2004, during Iliescu's second presidency, Romania joined NATO and has taken part in the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War with boots-on-the-ground troops in both wars.
Third Way in Australia largely takes the form of Economic Rationalism, which was a movement with in the Labor Party lead by Bob Hawke. It shifted the formally social democratic ALP to more market based solutions. WIP
As the political situation is different, there is a difference in the interpretation of the third way by each country. Although each country does not explicitly advocate a “third way,” one commonality can be found:
This Third way (left-wing regimes) have largely embraced neoliberalism since the 1980s, denying the existing excessive welfare policies, and claiming a new "radical" center course, breaking away from socialist ideology.
The left, which has represented the working class, sets the new middle class as a political base and attempts to change as the living standards of the working class improve and the scope expands.
Third Way believes in a theory of "social-ism" which tries to pursue the goals of equality and social justice in a framework of a Neoliberal society. By fusing traditional social democratic goals with an acceptance of globalism and free markets, Third Way creates a philosophy which is similar to Social Liberalism or Radical Centrism, but built on a more modern theoretical basis. In Beyond Left and Right, Giddens gives a 6 point ideological framework of the Third Way
- Repair damaged solidarities.
- Recognise the centrality of life politics.
- Accept that active trust implies generative politics.
- Embrace dialogic democracy.
- Rethink the welfare state.
- Confront violence.
There are two Third Way factions: The social liberal faction and the social democratic faction. Justin Trudeau belongs to the social liberal branch while Tony Blair belongs to the social democrat branch. Despite holding similar policy prescriptions, the philosophical differences between social liberalism and social democracy apply here and it explains many policy divisions among Third Wayers.
Third Way advocates champion a "social captalist" economic system. They hope to achieve social liberal or communitarian ends within the context of a neoliberal system. Third Wayers support welfare programs, but, accepting right-wing criticisms of benefits (e.g., waste and discouraging productivity), will balance it out with an emphasis on personal responsibility.
For example, they will favor increasing access to education and vocational training (as seen with Hillary Clinton's plan to eliminate educational tuition and debt), so the impoverished can "pull themselves up by the bootstraps" by acquiring marketable skills: A government-funded scheme that not only allows more people to attain economic security (increasing individual liberty in a positive sense or benefiting the community by reducing intergenerational poverty), but encourages people to make something of themselves.
Third Wayers pursue other neoliberal economic policies, such as cutting "unnecessary government red tape", privatizing social services, gutting perceivably ineffective welfare programs, a positive relationship between business and state, and (sometimes but not always) union busting. Third Way economics can be compared to Ordo-Liberalism, though modernized and friendlier to big capital.
Proponents of the Third Way have been known to take a generally interventionist foreign policy and have made several alliances with Neoconservatism. Most infamous example being when Tony Blair allied with George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003.
Another example is the German Green Party, which holds broadly atlanticist and pro-NATO stances on diplomacy. It follows what it dubs a "foreign policy to protect human rights", manifested in their hawkish stance on autocratic regimes such as Russia and China. Current German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock has stated in the past that military intervention is sometimes necessary in order to save human lives.
The most infamous example of military intervention by the Greens is that of 1999, when the foreign minister Joschka Fischer decided to deploy German troops in Kosovo, thus marking the first time since WW2 that German troops have been involved in a foreign war. This action made Fischer receive high amounts of criticism, particularly from the contemporary red-green coalition as well as the opposition, the former of which having felt left behind in the decision making process.
Some leftists still argue that even if the equality of labor and educational opportunities (which is proposed as a welfare policy) provides opportunities for everyone, it is difficult to guarantee "actual equality" because the situation after that (employment, startup ect..) is left to one's ability.
Opinions from socialists
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- Pragmatism - I'm basically him codified into an ideolgy.
- Neoliberalism - I owe it all to you dad! Just please try to compromise with Soclib more.
- Radical Centrism - Mixing up the center gang.
- Moderatism - One of my biggest fans.
- Globalism - Globe Gang!
- Liberal Internationalism - Global Liberalism Gang!
- Social Liberalism - My other dad, who will begrudgingly admit that my policies are a good compromise. Usually forms coalitions with me.
- US Democrats - Fellow member of Bill Clinton and Obama fan club.
- Neoconservatism - My best friend! From Yugoslavia, to Iraq, to Libya, our teamwork makes the dream work. Still, calm down a bit.
- Social Capitalism - Literally me.
- Ordo-Liberalism - My German predecessor.
- Fiscal Conservatism - Austerity time!
- Rockefeller Republicanism - My more conservative brother. We must stay moderate!
- Liberalism - Grandpa who is too anti-war sometimes, but good direction.
- Zionism - I have my disputes with Bibi and the Israeli far-right but Obama gave you the Iron Dome and signed historic military aid deals for you.
- Liberaltarianism - The best type of libertarian and most certainly not a lolbert.
- Welfarism - Ok, just needs some reform to get people working again.
- Nordic Model - Scandinavian pal. The fact that all of you are either in, or want to join NATO makes it all better.
Police Statism - Hey buddy, want some more military gear?
- Bull Moose Progressivism - Economically a bit too far, but we are both progressive welfarist hawks.
- Social Democracy - Hates my deregulation and fiscal responsibility. But also a fellow economic centrist and a triggerer of lolberts and contards.
- Liberal Conservatism - A member of the centrist moderate Gang and some of my supporter used to support you but please compromise with soclib instead of him. Also a Republican worth changing parties for and I'm very greatful to you for you rathering abandon your party than support that laughable Prince but still, see you in elections!
- Pink Capitalism - More libertarian counterpart of mine, still calm down a bit, m'kay?
- Girondism and La Plaineism - You both should've been the direction of the french revolution!
- Social Libertarianism - Andrew Yang is based but most of you complain about me being a ”Woke Imperialist” and an ”Establishment Shill” as if that is a bad thing.
- Classical Liberalism - My great-grandpa! Even more anti-war, but at least economically based. Still, my regulation is necessary.
- Tridemism - Ok economics, but I prefer DPP to rule Taiwan you CCP shill.
- Chicago School - Your economics are good, but can you focus on equality a little bit more?
- Keynesianism - I support regulatory capitalism and welfare, but can you please be more fiscally responcible and more privatized?
- Gaddafism - While he may be a totalitarian dictator, I like his idea of the "Third International Theory" and we had a brief alliance in the 2000s. But I still had to take him out when the time came.
- Progressivism - Feminism and gay rights sound pretty cool!
Just please don't bring up Iraq or Clinton banning gay marriage
- Yeltsinism - Some say I helped you rig the 1996 Russian Election. Either way, we clashed over Chechnya. Still better than Putin.
- Dengism - Sorry for bombing your embassy in Belgrade, 1999. But I let you join WTO and helped you integrate into the world economy. Unfortunately, Xi taking you back to the days of Mao so our alliance has come to an end.
- PiS - Too conservative, but at least you're also a pro-NATO welfarist. And you're a Huge fan of Zelensky, too! But please leave Tusk and Trzaskowski alone.
- Shia Theocracy - What I replaced Saddam in Iraq. In retrospect, after the rise of ISIS and Al-Qaeda, maybe I should’ve thought things through in beforehand.
- Neo-Libertarianism - A bit too deregulated in general but it's still pro-NATO and pro-interventions.
- Khomeinism - Contrary what Republicans may say, the JCPOA (Iran Nuclear Deal) isn’t meant to appease you but rather to contain your influence in the Middle East. Also, I helped the Saudis bomb your proxy in Yemen.
- Social Authoritarianism - You're going way too far there buddy.
Please ignore Blair and Clinton increasing police power and Thaksin's war on drugs.
- National Liberalism - What's keeping you off the enemies list is the DPP and Ciudadanos being some of the most amazing friends I could ever ask for and to certain extent Bibi, Navalny and Sternenko The rest of you are a bunch of xenophobic Brexit-loving trash.
- Satirism - I'm not sure if I will enjoy your jokes and Your Obama Prism memes are the reasons some people don't take Obama seriously, but Stephen Colbert is super based.
- State Liberalism - This is just a strawman who is too deregulated and dogmatic economically.
But Trudeau and Thaksin are close to you.
- Medvedevism - Preferable to Putin as we had a good partnership during the Russian Reset. But now you're insane.
- Civic Nationalism - Most tolerable member of his family.
- Patriotism - Sorry but you have the bronze medal.
- Conservatism - I microwave my food for 44 seconds instead of 45.
- Socialism - No, not "Socialism", Social-ism!
- Miloševićism - I bombed you for a reason.
- Jihadism - Drone strike go brrr… Seriously tho, increasing drone strikes was a great idea. Excellent precision, spare American lives, and keep down the anti-war sentiment at home.
- Marxism–Leninism - Bloody tankies!
- Left-Wing Populism and Democratic Socialism - Bloody Corbynites!
- Putinism - Any hope I may have had for you in the past is gone now. NATO and EU shall bring you to your downfall.
But Schröder likes you.
- National Socialism - You're third position, not third way!
- Fascism - Same with you!
- Reactionary Liberalism - We may both be capitalist, but you're just an edgelord and you have nothing to with liberalism.
- Democratic Confederalism - Yes, I helped Turkey capture Öcalan and yes, you are terrorists!
- Ba'athism - bUt WhAtAbOoT eErAcK. I will never apologise for Iraq! And yes, I intervened in the Syrian civil war
to occupy their oil fields.
- Welfare Chauvinism - Utterly insane extremist and my complete opposite! Way too culturally far-right and economically left, the worst of both worlds.
- Trumpism - Utterly deplorable!
- Right-Wing Populism - European supporters of the above.
- Paleoconservatism - I AM a Protestant! And I did not legalise Satanism!
- Libertarianism - Naive non-interventionist coward, and the economy is too deregulated!
- Libertarian Conservatism - You basically combine the worst of both Libertarianism and Conservatism. Sure, Biden may be senile, but so is your overlord. I am not a Communist!
- Conservative Socialism - I am not a Fascist!
- National Bolshevism - Wow, a literal Commie Fascist and extreme version of the above. You also take the worst of two worlds.
- National Conservatism - Damn Trump-like reactionaries!
- Korwinism - If Trump was a Pole.
- Braunism - You're like the guy above but even more old-fashioned, outdated and conspiracist.
- National Democracy - 4th place in the elections.
- Alt-Lite - Can you stop comparing Libya and Iraq to Ukraine, Watson?!
- Classical Conservatism - Bloody Enoch!
- Neo-Ottomanism - I won't be as loose as Trump, one more outburst and I will sanction you!
- Monarcho-Fascism - Salims that supported the overthrow of Thaksin and Yingluck. This is something akin to Valorum from Star Wars.
- Fourth Theory - Damn Putinists...
- Noam Chomsky - Defending Milošević? What the hell is wrong with you?
- Paleolibertarianism - You're too long-nosed, Ronnie!
- Barracks Communism - Not that Barack!
- Alt-Right - Some douche who thinks I'm some sort of Jewish lizard controlling the world and releasing vaccines with microchips that turns frogs gay or something.
- Illegalism - Average anarchist.
- The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy by Anthony Giddens
- Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical Politics by Anthony Giddens
- A Journey: My Political Life by Tony Blair
- Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government by Bill Clinton
- The Purple Book: A Progressive Future For Labour by Various Blairite Labour MPs
Parties and Organizations
- New Labour
- Third Way (Organization)
- New Democrats
- New Democrat Coalition
- Labor Right (Australia)
- Brazilian Social Democracy Party
- La République En Marche!
- National Liberation Party
- Social Party of National Unity
- Union,Progress and Democracy
- Third Way
- Purple Party
- Yesh Atid
- The Rise and Fall of New Labour by BritMonkey
- The Century of the Self - Part 4: "Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering" by Adam Curtis
- The Third Way by John Stossel
And Justice for all by Michael D’Antuono
Credit: OzymndiasFR, Third Way is used as the Ideology of Justin Trudeau.
- ↑ Speech by Tony Blair to the Labour Party Conference 1994
- ↑ Carl Bildt generally side with the Democrats such as Clinton, Obama, and Biden in US elections and despise populism and traditionalism. He also reformed and privatized the Swedish welfare state without abolishing it.
- ↑ https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/2022/may/13/tony-blair-tells-keir-starmer-to-drop-woke-politics-and-focus-on-economy-labour
- ↑ During the second half of the 2010s, his often incomprehensible speeches became the subject of various memes.
- ↑ Barack Obama takes on 'woke' call-out culture: 'That's not activism'
- ↑ https://kosovotwopointzero.com/en/not-a-feminist-government/
- ↑ https://apnews.com/article/europe-business-albania-tirana-cabinets-2b36eed37b209e051278d1b10327ad7f
- ↑ https://www.aei.org/articles/why-the-german-left-is-better-for-free-markets-than-the-right-2/
- ↑ https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304141204577508530981893226
- ↑ https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/bilanz-der-aera-schroeder-der-zwischenkanzler-a-379027.html
- ↑ 
- ↑ Labor unions are a source of division among Third Wayers. Some of them are supportive (Bob Hawke); some are outright hostile (Emmanuel Macron); others are indifferent (Justin Trudeau).