Scenarios for Possible Lefts

Scenarios for Possible Lefts

Let’s begin an argument (here in the pages of Dissent) about the future of the left—an open, many-sided, tentative, experimental argument, without manifestos or ideologically correct positions. We are in a period of uncertainty and confusion. The collapse of communism ought to open new opportunities for the democratic left, but its immediate effect has been to raise questions about many leftist (not only communist) orthodoxies: about the “direction” of history, the role of state planning in the economy, the value and effectiveness of the market, the future of nationalism, and so on. I am not going to try to answer questions like these. It seems useful to bracket them and ask another: what might be the shape of a left within which answers could be worked out? What kind of left politics is possible now, appealing to what constituencies, organized how? What are our options?

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Lima