It’s useful, sometimes even fun, to locate one’s self on the political map. This is true both for us as individuals and for Dissent collectively. As a political publication we need to maintain a distinctive position for ourselves among the array that makes up political geography.
When in our lifetimes have those maps changed so rapidly and so radically? For Dissent, of course, these times bring special
hazards. The great danger is that of being dismissed as part of an outmoded political idea—socialism—whose undoing is manifest in the collapse of the Soviet system. Most of us never felt any stake in “socialism” of that sort, and we feel optimism at the prospect of something better. But that won’t stop many critics from writing us off, along with the egalitarian and democratic ideas we stand for. The proper response is to make our own
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