Caught the interview with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos on Dateline last night (click the link and find the interview, cannot link directly to interview). As interviewer George Negus said in the introduction “Lagos is a rare beast – a socialist who’s survived and prospered in a post Cold War world that’s been moving inexorably to the ideological right.” I found this little exchange between Negus and Lagos to be inspirational:
GEORGE NEGUS: Tell me about being a socialist in an era in history where people tell us ideology is dead. Do you feel like an ideological dinosaur, a blast?
RICARDO LAGOS: No, not at all no, not at all. Let me tell you this. 300 years ago to be socialist probably was meant to make a division of land because land was the source of wealth. 150 years ago the owner of the means of production and factory, so socialists would say let’s replace that. In today’s world, knowledge is the only important thing and therefore to be socialist today is how, are you going to address the issue that every kid has access to similar education no matter how much money the father or mother has.
To me it says that all this talk about immaterial labour is not so far from the mark.
It was also interesting how Lagos danced around the issue of saying John Howard was wrong to send Australian troops to Iraq.