His parents were Polish Jews and his father, Sam Miliband, had been a soldier in the Bolsheviks' Red Army. On 28 February 2004, The Guardian reported thus:
"In May 1940, the ominous world situation he enjoyed discussing with his fellow teenage activists became an indisputable reality. On the 10th, the Germans invaded Belgium. By the 16th, they had almost reached Brussels...Almost immediately upon arrival in 1940, the Milibands' father was moved to write the following in his diary:
Ralph heard a radio announcement that all boys of his age - he was now 16 - were to be conscripted into the Belgian army... This was not his idea of useful political sacrifice; he decided he would walk to France.
After a frantic family debate, the plan was amended: Ralph and his father would walk to the Channel instead, a distance of more than 60 miles, while the rest of the family stayed in Brussels and looked for another way out...
At Ostend, they talked their way on to the last boat to England. Once they were at sea, they asked for refugee status. It was granted".
"The Englishman is a rabid nationalist... they are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world... When you hear the English talk of this war you sometimes almost want them to lose it to show them how things are".Which does tend to make you think that old Adolphe wasn't exactly all that grateful to those who had just given him and his dad sanctuary. The Guardian article continues:
"Driving around the capital with other labourers, looking at everything with the quick eyes of a new arrival, Ralph acquired a sense of England and its underlying structures: 'We found out about middle-class meanness and snobbery'...I guess, the Milibands' dad was one of those Jews who wanted to do the thinking for the labouring classes but wasn't all that keen on doing any labouring himself. The Guardian continues:
One boiling afternoon during his first summer in London, he went to Highgate cemetery, found Karl Marx's grave and, standing with his fist clenched, swore 'My own private oath that I would be faithful to the workers' cause'. Not that he intended to remain a worker himself: he found clearing bombsites 'an arduous business' and felt a distance from his fellow labourers... He wanted to be an intellectual."
"In 1941, he applied to study politics at the London School of Economics. He was accepted. The LSE had temporarily moved to Cambridge to escape the bombing. For the next two years, Ralph relished the cloisters and the quiet, worked closely with the local Communist party... 'A grand lad - one of the best I have had in years,' wrote the famous socialist professor, who became a mentor".
At Cambridge, Miliband was active in a variety of left-wing groups and in January 1943 was elected Vice President of the LSE Students' Union. Of Laski, Adolphe was moved to write:
"His lectures taught more, much more than political science. They taught a faith that ideas mattered... he loved students because they were young... he was helping the future and bringing nearer that brave world in which he so passionately believed."In the 1955 essay, The Political Ideas of Harold Laski, Miliband wrote:
"He also believed that... one of the essential causes of the postwar tensions was the determination of the West to pursue its ancient and futile crusade against the idea which Russia had come to embody. And it was one of his most bitter disappointments that a Labour Government should have been willing to pursue foreign policies which only had meaning in terms of an acceptance of the values implicit in such a crusade.So, here we see that both Miliband and his mentor, Laski, believed that accommodation should have been made with a regime that had so brutally murdered tens of millions of its own citizens. Most of whom were entirely innocent of any crime.
The first duty of a Labour Government, he insisted, was to come to terms, despite all difficulties, with the Communist world. Nothing that has happened since he died suggests that duty to be less imperative or less urgent."
Miliband will certainly have known of the genocidal role played in the extermination policies of the predominantly Jewish Cheka at the time he was writing the above. In the aforementioned Guardian article we are also told:
"In 1967, Leo Panitch, who today edits the Socialist Register, was a bored would-be lawyer from Canada with vague leftwing sympathies...Jo Slovo was also Jewish.
To Panitch, who was also Jewish, Miliband exposed a part of himself that he did not display to his usual, generally secular, leftwing circle: they would sometimes chat in Yiddish.
In other ways, too, Miliband's life was less austere than his public persona suggested. In 1961, he had married Marion Kozak... Her background and politics were similar to his...
David was only a few weeks old when they moved in, but Marion quickly filled the house with visitors: relatives and fellow leftwing writers, dissidents and academics from abroad, the occasional politician - all of them arguing around the basement dining table or on the narrow stairs at parties. As soon as David and Ed were old enough, they were encouraged to join in...
One afternoon while David was still a schoolboy, he was at home studying when the doorbell rang. No one else was in, so he answered it, to find Joe Slovo, head of the military wing of the African National Congress, then engaged in armed actions against the South African government."
Leo Panitch wrote the following in the essay: Ralph Miliband, Socialist Intellectual, 1924-1994:
"Ralph Miliband stood as a beacon on the international Left... He ranks among those most directly associated with the emergence of the British New Left after 1956, and for the flourishing Marxist scholarship it spawned in the following decades...Leon Blum was also Jewish.
I knew Ralph Miliband for 27 years. He was my teacher and supervisor, later briefly my academic colleague, and for the past ten years I had the great privilege of sharing the editorship of The Socialist Register with him. We were very close friends...
His family's circle in Brussels was that of Jewish immigrants who were `authentic products of the ghetto': Yiddish was their common tongue... The rise of German fascism, closely observed by these immigrants, merged with their own experience of Polish and Russian anti-semitism to reinforce a culture of isolation, reflecting a sense that 'the world outside the Jews was more or less hostile, suspect at least, not to be trusted or even penetrated'!...
Ralph had joined his father in paying `close attention' to French politics in general... The fact that it was French rather than Belgian politics that was the object of their attention, had, of course, much to do with Leon Blum's leadership of the 3 French Socialist Party, and his becoming Premier in the Popular Front Government in 1936...
The political climate in our house was generally and loosely left: it was unthinkable that a Jew, our sort of Jew, the artisan Jewish worker, self-employed, poor, Yiddish speaking, unassimilated, non religious, could be anything but socialistic, undoctrinally.
The right was taken to be antisemitic, the left less so or not at all - after all Blum was Prime Minister of France."
After graduating with a PhD, he taught at Roosevelt College in Chicago, before, in 1949, taking up the post of Assistant Lecturer in Political Science at the LSE. He was to teach there for the next 23 years.
He left in 1972 after being offered the Professorship of Politics at the University of Leeds. However, he wasn't there long and left to take up lucrative job offers in Canada which was followed by a long spell in prestigious New York universities.
In a lecture delivered in Amsterdam in February 1993, Miliband said:
"It is a great deal easier to attribute social ills to Jews, black people, immigrants, other ethnic or religious groups than to a social system and to the men who run it and who are of the same nationality, ethnicity, or religion."So minorities never do anything wrong? It's always the fault of the 'social system' and 'the men who run it'? Who are, of course, 'of the same nationality, ethnicity, or religion.'
Sound familiar? Miliband's obituary in The Independent tells us:
"In the late Sixties and Seventies, he was in great demand at campuses throughout Britain and North America."Great demand, indeed. Miliband was one of the most influential lecturers of the second half of the twentieth century, teaching Marxist philosophy to the Blair, Brown, Straw, Harman and Mandelson type for more than thirty years.
Oh yes, if ever a man influenced the way we are now, ladies and gents, it was 'the man who hated Britain.'