Through the Workers’ Blood  

The Right and Labor in America: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination Nelson Lichtenstein and Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, eds. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012, 432 pp. As the overall unionization rate in the United States dips ever closer to single digits, the …



What Obama Omitted  

Dissent is a magazine for people who worry. So here is something to worry about, highlighted by Barack Obama’s inaugural address. I am certainly glad that it was his inauguration, but what he said or, better, didn’t say, illustrates one …



Becoming a Dissentnik  

Now that I am about to become an ordinary Dissentnik, I want to describe how that happened once before—in 1954, when I held the first issue of the magazine in my hands. I grew up in the Popular Front, reading …



Liberal or Social Democrat?  

Is there a difference between a liberal and a social democrat that amounts to a distinction? If there is, is it a distinction with merit? Michael Walzer is a social democrat; it is an honorary badge. For a long time, …





A Charter for the 99 Percent  

After November 6, 2012, the big sound rippling around the world was not a chorus of bipartisanship, not a whoop of euphoria, but a collective sigh of relief. Still, it must not be forgotten that nearly half of America’s voters …





An Election Won With Class  

Soon after Barack Obama won a second term with surprising ease, Pulitzer-Prize-winning artist Clay Bennett depicted a wealthy, white-haired man staring grimly at his television screen while around and behind him four servants, white and black, go about their jobs …



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The Horizontalists  

By working outside structures of power one may circumvent coercive systems but not necessarily subvert them. Localizing politics—stripping it of its larger institutional ambitions—has its advantages, but without a larger structural vision, it does not go far enough.



The Presidential Obsession  

Liberals have an obsession with the presidency. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt strode across the political arena like a colossus (albeit a colossus in a wheelchair), liberals have tended to equate success with electing one of their own to the White …