In France they are called Gauche Caviar. You can see quite a lot of them in Woody Allen's movies as well (Everybody says I love you definitely rocks).

They usually (but not always) come from upper-class families, have a limited knowledge of the working class, but feel a strong empathy towards "the People". They are too blasé/lazy/intelligent to get into real politics, however - and if they do, it is usually with one single target in mind : the Top.

They are commonly loathed and despised, which I find somewhat harsh. Showing concern for your fellow men's living condition should not make you the ridicule of your contemporaries. Do you really have to utter stupid slogans or fight policemen in the streets to gain respect? (However, note that being a hardened, cop-beating leftist in your early years does not prevent you from becoming an embodiment of champagne socialism at a more mature age - see Joschka Fischer of Germany.)

As a crude summary : while a real socialist's pillow book would be Capital (although as we all know, nobody has ever read Marx's Capital - have you?), a Champagne Socialist's would be The Grapes of Wrath.

PS: I tend to disagree with the list that was given by afk2000 - if Tony Blair is to be called a Socialist, then Lionel Jospin must be the result of some genetic experiment to melt the DNAs of Proudhon, Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao in one single man.

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