Thursday, July 06, 2017

"A Left That Can Win"

"But like John Dewey, he rejects self-loathing as 'a luxury which agents––either individuals or nations––cannot afford,' and finds other aspects of American history and national character to celebrate. Today's Left would more effectively advance social justice if its adherents possessed a historical memory that extended farther back than the 1960s, he argued, to a movement more than a century old 'that has served human liberty well.' It would help, for example, 'if students became as familiar with the Pullman Strike, the Great Coalfield War, and the passage of the Wagner Act as with the march from Selma, Berkeley free-speech demonstrations, and Stonewall.'
"If more Leftists saw themselves as part of that history, with all its achievements, they might continue to lament that 'America is not a morally pure country,' but might better understand that 'no country ever has been or ever will be,' and that no country will ever have 'a morally pure, homogeneous Left' to bring about social justice."

Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic looks to Richard Rorty for guidance.

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