I am not a fan of thirds; I am suspicious of anything that describes itself as a “third” something or other. What am I talking about? I am talking about the tendency of today’s politicians to claim that they are taking a political third ‘route’ – for want of a better expression.They are dishonest with themselves and dishonest with the voting public.
We’ve had Third Way, Third Camp, Third position and Third Reich. I’ve had a belly full of them! The Third Way was espoused by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton; it was adopted by European social democrats as a way of appealing to wavering voters who would ordinarily vote for a conservative or Christian democratic party. In the process, the Third Way actually took social democrats further to the right, so that they were barely distinguishable from the left wing of conservatism. Proponents of the Third Way fell into the arms of the world’s bankers and now we live the consequences.
Third Camp was a Trotskyite position during WWII that was taken up by Max Shachtman and his followers. Third camp socialism was against all forms of imperialism, including Soviet imperialism. The Third Camp dissolved into various camps, some of them became social democrats who were avowedly ‘anti-communist’ in their rhetoric; others went on to form a variety of Trotskyite groupings. Third camp became nothing more than a shabby compromise and like the Third Way it was discredited and criticised by many Marxists – particularly as many Third Campers ended up becoming neo-conservatives.
The Third Position was an attempt by Euro-fascists to soften their line and present themselves as ‘nationalists’. It claims to oppose both ‘communism and capitalism’. Like the Third Camp, they want to appear neither left nor right but have a great deal of trouble concealing the fact that they both are racist and right wing. While Nick Griffin and the BNP have made piecemeal gestures to appease their critics, people like Patrick Harrington have tried to continue the ‘political soldier’ idea outside the BNP. I’ve actually argued with Harrington on a well-known political forum and he tries to c0me across as reasonable but always betrays his ‘true self’ through his comments on race, class and immigration. The Third Position is the bastard offspring of the Third Reich.
The Third Reich has been done to death. We know what it stood for and we know that we don’t want it.