Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Lerner's more recent statement on the issue

Also note here's Lerner's more recent statement on this issue. Some excerpts:

"The assaults on Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy reached new lows in the past week. Unable to effectively challenge the value of his policies, the denizens of the status quo have now focused on his alleged utopianism and his supposedly flawed vision of how change happens. [...] Yet such leaders are only possible if they emerge from and are supported by larger visionary movements to whom they are accountable. Krugman wildly underestimates the importance of maximalist demands for peace, social justice, and environmental sanity, and thereby fails to see the importance of leaders who urge us to seek a fundamental transformation of our deeply broken society"

"Yet all of these movements have run up against the most intractable of all enemies: the global capitalist system. When Krugman and others talk about being realistic, what they really mean is that they will only support changes that minimally reform some of the worst excesses of this system. And what progressives have gradually come to realize is that such changes are mostly undermined by the dynamics of the global marketplace, as the endlessly inventive servants of international finance, globalized corporations, the top one tenth of one percent of the super-rich, and the 60 billionaires who own more wealth than half the people on our planet, manage to find new ways to protect their wealth, promote their worldview, and exploit the resources of the earth while (unintentionally but inevitably) destroying the Earth."

"It is true that such leaders, including Bernie if he is elected, cannot expect to find their highest ideals legislated by the Congress likely to be produced in the gerrymandered Congressional districts of 2016. But the President could use her or his office to shape public opinion and build a powerful grass roots movement that could eventually reshape public discourse in this country. [...] President Obama’s liberal and progressive critics were depressed not because Obama made compromises in the course of fighting for the ideals he said he would fight for, but in making those compromises as his opening position, and then compromising further in order to be 'realistic,' rarely articulating the ideals around which he had built support during his 2008 campaign."

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