Neither Revolution Nor Reform: A New Strategy for the Left
At the heart of the spectrum of emerging institutional change is the traditional radical principle that the ownership of capital should be subject to democratic control. In a nation where 1 percent of the population owns nearly as much wealth as the entire bottom half of the nation, this principle may be particularly appealing to the young—the people who will shape the next political era. In 2009, even as Republicans assailed President Obama and his liberal allies as immoral “socialists,” a Rasmussen poll reported that Americans under thirty were “essentially evenly divided” as to whether they preferred “capitalism” or “socialism.” Even if many were unsure about what “socialism” is, they were clearly open to something new, whatever it might be called. A non-statist, community-building, institution-changing, democratizing strategy might well capture their imagination and channel their desire to heal the world. It is surely a positive direction to pursue. Just possibly, it could open the way to an era of true progressive renewal, even one day perhaps step-by-step systemic change or the kind of unexpected, explosive, movement-building power evidenced in the “Arab Spring” and, historically, in our own civil rights, feminist, and other great movements.