Editor’s Page  

How to think straight about America’s imbalanced politics? It’s not so easy nowadays. David Plotke’s smart article in this issue ought to initiate considerable debate about how we went from the New Deal to Bush’s bum deal. Bush has not …





Editor’s Page  

“The man who first flung a word of abuse at an enemy instead of a spear was the founder of civilization.” Sigmund Freud once quoted this adage with approval, and its (apocryphal) point is plain enough. But its insufficiency as …



Editor’s Page  

Readers of small left-wing magazines will no doubt be surprised to learn of dramatic growth in economic inequality and the mounting impact of social class in America. Readers of larger, not-so-left sources may be really surprised. The New York Times, …



Editor’s Page  

The elections presage troubling times in American life. The Republicans certainly triumphed. But their claim to a “mandate” for a zealous agenda is, if unsurprising, reckless-especially in wartime. They are bad winners when they prevail, but no less than when …



A Thought Experiment for the Left  

Here is a thought experiment for the left. It requires a bit of historical imagination, something for which the left is known. Its political implications are weighty. So weighty, I think, that the answer-your answer, Comrade Reader-to the question I …



Editor’s Page  

What hurts more? Torture in Abu Ghraib prison by Saddam Hussein’s thugs or torture in Abu Ghraib by American brutes? Torture to sustain a vicious dictatorship or torture in the name of democracy? A torture victim might be excused for …



Editor’s Page  

This issue marks the fiftieth anniversary of our magazine. We plan a number of events in the coming year to celebrate, even if the political environment is uncongenial to elation. It prompts dissent instead. Our main event remains the ideas …



Decades of Dissent  

Little political magazines try to traffic in big, often unorthodox ideas-the sort of ideas that don’t always enjoy mainstream circulation. Dissent has been making this effort since 1954. Its founders came out of the left, and they considered the mood …



Editor’s Page  

Did a “new world order” materialize out of communism’s collapse and the Gulf War, only to impose itself now on Iraq? With 9/11 a convenient, mediating excuse? The events of 1989-1991 produced vast change, but I think fluidity resulted-a new …



Mitchell Cohen Responds  

Is Baghdad simply another miserable regime? Just one of those unpleasant tyrannies that, sadly, speckles our globe, but ought not to compel overbearing concern? Much depends on how one answers this question. The answer, I think, is no. Saddam Hussein’s …



Editor’s Page  

Iraq is not Vietnam. Lyndon Johnson sacrificed a popular majority and promising social reforms to a futile war. George Bush – who won the presidency while losing the popular vote – and the leadership of Congress-which owes its legislative majorities …