Dissent begins the new year—and moves toward the new millennium—with a new look. It is our second “make-over” in forty-four years. We think it is fresh and attractive, and we hope our readers agree.
In Dissent’s first issue, its founders proposed to “bring together intellectual sentiment against the blight of conformism.” It’s still our aim since, regrettably, this blight remains very much with us. So Dissent continues to question buzzwords—and buzz-ideas. But not by asserting left-wing dogma as the alternative to right-wing clichés or to what might be called “sectarian centrism.” (The sectarian centrist, a strange creature of the Clinton-Blair universe, is usually a Democrat or a Laborite who accepts the bottom lines drawn by Reagan-Thatcher and brands any skeptic to the left as insufficiently “modernized.”) That democratic socialist George Orwell had it right when he wrote, “The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.”...
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