Is There a “New” New Left Emerging? — Podcast August 7, 2017


They’re Baaack! Why Socialism Is Again a Topic of Serious Discussion Among the Young. Host Steve Williamson and Bill Timberman, Democratic Perspective’s webmaster, discuss what appears to be a growing reluctance on the part of young people to accept at face value the reassurances of a neoliberal political class which can’t seem to admit to its past failures, let alone learn anything from them.

The list of those failures is long: endless war, decreasing public investment, stagnating wages, a failing health care system, government sanctification of racists and misogynists, the blatant militarization of civil society, and last, but not least, an irresponsibly tepid federal response to the existential threat of global warming. Small wonder that many young people are again rummaging through historical leftist critiques of the established order, hoping to find in them some better way to avoid the future disasters that we all fear.

We look at why this is happening now, examine such historical precedents as exist, and ask whether or not we’re seeing early signs of a serious resurgence of left-wing political activity in the U.S. Given that the Left hasn’t any significant political influence in the U.S. since the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left of the 1960’s, this may seem unlikely, but simple extrapolation from the status quo, especially in troubled times, has never been a reliable guide to what may happen in the future.

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