Mark Schmidt of the New America organization and Robert Reich, former United States Sec. of Labor, in an article and letter ( respectively) in the New York Times last week (June 13-19, 2016) discuss the progressive agenda after the Bernie’s Sanders campaign ends. Schmidt argues that Sander’s agenda proposals are out of line with the thinking of new progressives who propose a large set of reform ideas in the form of pushing harder against conservative elements in America which has consistently opposed them. Sanders ideas, he says, are too limited. We need to push harder, according to Schmidt, with more ambitious programs. Reich proposes modest, incremental reforms to end the power of big money in politics.
What is most remarkable about these proposals is that they have been reiterated time and time again in some form by many progressively-minded people. They all consistently imply working incrementally within the current political-economic system. No one has really raised the idea that the current system, unlike every other component of American society – transportation, communications, management, administration, etc. – has radically moved beyond its 18th-Century version. However, American governance and social relations have not moved much at all beyond 18th-Century principles and institutions.
No one has presented a theoretically-sound and feasible, proposal to rework the underlying substructure of policymaking, implementation, and governance in general. in other words we need both 21st-Century American governance and social relations and a flattening of the social hierarchy to benefit the so-called “little people.”
While Schmidt proposes to think (a bit) “bigger” and Reich proposes to think “incrementally,” none of these approaches, or others simil do) anything significant to change our present economic-political situation of an extreme hierarchy representing economic injustice and our archaic governance system representing dysfunction, and stupidity, as viewed from a modern, collective perspective.
That’s why we need a theoretically sound and prprogram like the National Character Program articulated in the book An Action Manual.
Not only does the book spec speak “big,” but also “new” and “smart.”
People ought to give it a read.