Totalitarianism Reconsidered  

Can the mind confront a harder task than to imagine—truly, deeply to imagine—circumstances radically at variance with those of the immediate moment? Such an effort must be especially hard for intellectuals, who tend to impose theories drawn from the present …



Notes from the Left  

Now that the exhilaration of glasnost is wearing off and the problems of perestroika grow acute, there is a striking change of response to Gorbachev. Wise men shake their heads. They mutter, with crocodile regret or burbling delight, that he …



From the Dustbin of History  

Anyone who follows, even from a distance, the discussions now taking place among political thinkers in the Soviet Union, and who also remembers something about the history of Russian radicalism, must be experiencing an uncanny feeling. It’s as if the …





An American Tragedy  

I want to mention very briefly–not discuss, not analyze–a few matters that we will be returning to in future issues of Dissent. They are central to our moment. A few facts, perhaps known but worth repeating: -Nearly one out of …



Michael Harrington 1928-1989  

He was our voice, our hope, our pride. When Mike Harrington rose to speak, in that piercing alto of his, we all felt that the familiar language of socialism took on the complexion of youth, the freshness of truth. For …



Gene and Me  

I used to be an admirer of Eugene McCarthy. While Senator from Minnesota, he was just about the first prominent figure in the political establishment to come out unambiguously against the Vietnam War. When he started to campaign for the …



China!  

These have been stirring days. The popular uprising in China, begun by students and then taken up by hundreds of thousands of workers, farmers, and other citizens—who could witness this, however fleetingly, on television or read about it, however skimpily, …





Joseph Clark  

You might say that my first encounter with Joe Clark was not entirely friendly. He was speaking at a Communist rally in the Bronx, and several young Socialists, I among them, went with the intention of heckling. We tried, but …



About the Election  

I’m not quite as sanguine as some Dissent editors about Dukakis but when you look at the other candidate, Bush caving in to the troglodyte right and its Quayle, there isn’t any choice but Dukakis. He isn’t going to set …



The Earth Still Turns  

Tremendously important changes are taking place in the world today, so rapidly it often seems impossible to keep track. The great powers are starting to back away from their military interventions, not because they have concluded that lions should lie …