Mark Latham

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Mark Latham, 2003

Mark Latham (born 28 February 1961), an Australian writer and former politician, who was leader of the Australian Labor Party from early 2004 to early 2005.


  • “This task, in fact, requires a new type of politics. The left and right have been as bad as each other. The left has allowed its distrust of markets and endless faith in government to obscure the importance of civil society. The right has been so focused on replacing the state with markets that it has forgotten how to cultivate a trusting society.”
  • “The Third Way is neither anti-state nor anti-market; it sees both sides of the old politics as a positive force for progress. It simply seeks to balance them against the virtues of mutual trust and shared obligation. It is, uniquely in the politics of our time, pro-market, pro-state and pro-civil society.”
  • “The first way lies in the individualism of the market. The second way lies in the hierarchies of the state. A Third Way can be found in the mutualism of network organisations. It is the coming way.”
  • “The Industrial Age was characterised by the aggregation of economics and governance. This was the era of massification and standardisation -- big industrial corporations, big government departments and big interest groups. The Information Age is turning these principles on their head. It is an era of disaggregation and demassification, hence the stunning growth of small businesses and niche markets.”
  • “Globalisation is forcing the convergence of economic policy and limiting the power of the nation-state. An increasingly self-reliant and information-rich electorate has no time and no need for the nanny state.”
  • “The innovative ideas of social democracy are emerging in other forums, in the networks of creative small business and social entrepreneurs.”
  • ‘The point to be confirmed, especially by the standards of social capital studies internationally, is that Australia cannot be regarded as a high trust, densely civic society.’


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