Generative Justice: The Revolution Will Be Self-Organized

Whereas previous generations of revolutionary activists demonized technology, today’s generation has recognized the incredible opportunities to engage citizens that new technology affords. The emergence of the Open Source movement, which emphasizes continual modification and improvement, points to a future defined by generative justice: the constant generation of value within harmonious local networks.

The Future of Progressive Action in America

To grow strong, the multifaceted Left in America—including those who call themselves “liberals” or “progressives” as well as others who simply draw upon the central teachings of the Torah to love our neighbors as ourselves—must come together around our shared basic value of interconnection.

What the Left Needs to Be Heard

To steer our culture aggressively in a different direction, the Left needs what right-wing groups have long used effectively—power, influence, and, perhaps most importantly, money. By utilizing a concentrated and ongoing stream of funding from a diverse group of sources, small voices will again have the chance to speak out and be heard.

To Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible: Toward a Visionary Left

In the last forty years, the Left has utterly failed to articulate any viable alternative to neoliberalism’s vision of a fully marketized society. Still, the current global crisis of capitalism has made clear the contradiction of a civilization directed toward profit accumulation rather than human need and thus defined the task of an emancipatory Left: we must master capitalism’s own drive toward universality by making its benefits truly common.

Let Me Be the Leninist, Please

Let me offer a simple, alternative definition of what “Lenin” stands for: the view that great social change depends to some significant degree on “leadership.” That is, social change depends on groups of people who have developed effective organizing skills, concrete social connections in milieus engaged in protest, and some shared sense of a future to be won—and thereby can foster and advance momentum toward the desired transformation.

On Anxiety and the Next Left

The Left is moving from a politics of mourning and melancholy to a politics of anxiety. For a left bedeviled by a “will-to-powerlessness,” this shift might well turn out to be an unexpected bit of good news.

Man yells into megaphone speaker

The Power of a Decentralized Left

For a new Left to grow strong, we must rid ourselves of the false notion that unilateral solutions proposed by the Right must be met with isometric plans from a monolithic Left—a shift that requires engaging with the tumultuous and complicated relationships we have with one another. However, it is precisely through working out our disagreements that we will arrive at more sustainable, effective, and just decisions.

Joe Louis’s Fist

“My father said when Louis won, the radio static was a wave / of sound that stayed all night like the riots blocks away in Harlem, / as the scent of lilac and gin wafted down Broadway to his window.” A poem by Peter Balakian.