Tuesday, April 07, 2015

About the American left

The rise of the wonky left by Conor P. Williams, April  25, 2012:
"But if the eclipse of the new progressive era has many causes, one stands out: the American Left has no coherent or compelling moral vision to justify its policy aims. It frequently can’t articulate why it is it believes what it does. Leftists are philosophically adrift. To a substantial degree, this is because American liberalism has become a haven for wonks. Many prominent leftists seem to believe that political debates are won and lost by econometric analysis. This undercuts their willingness (and their capacity) to justify their projects."
Programmed for prime time by Bhaskar Sunkara, January 18, 2013:
"Klein is the archetype for the bankruptcy of modern liberalism, so much so that he disavows being a liberal at all. He’s a technocrat, obsessed with policy details, bereft of politics, earnestly searching for solutions to the world’s problems through the dialectic of an Excel spreadsheet. He told The New Republic’s Alec MacGillis, “At this point in my life, I don’t really think of myself as a liberal. That’s not the project I’m part of, which is to let the facts take me where they do.” This statement isn’t unusual. It reflects a new center-left common sense—liberals against politics and democratic messiness. Liberals, in the interest of humanity, against humanity."
Conor Williams response Should left fear (or hate) its wonks?, January 19, 2013:
"So when Bhaskar Sunkara writes that wonky bloggers like Ezra Klein, Matthew Yglesias, and Dylan Matthews are obsessed with technical policy design over persuasive politics, my head starts involuntarily nodding. As I’ve written before (manymanymany times), the institutional left is unduly obsessed with policy wonkery—to its political detriment."

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