Editor's Page: Beyond Anger

Editor's Page: Beyond Anger Editor’s Page Beyond Anger Michael Kazin Editor Michael Kazin Editors Emeriti Mitchell Cohen • Irving Howe (1920-1993) • Michael Walzer Book Review Editors Mark Levinson • Timothy Shenk Senior Editors Kaavya Asoka • Colin Kinniburgh • Natasha Lewis Editors at Large Tim Barker • Sarah Leonard David Marcus • Madeleine Schwartz • Nick Serpe D issen t · S umme r 2 0 1 7 Circulation Manager Alex Lubben Art Direction Rumors Interns Danyoung Kim • Martin Ridge Editorial Board Atossa Araxia Abrahamian Joanne Barkan • Paul Berman Sheri Berman • David Bromwich Luther P. Carpenter • Leo Casey Mark Engler • Cynthia Fuchs Epstein Gary Gerstle • Todd Gitlin • Sarah Jaffe • William Kornblum • Susie Linfield • Kate Losse • Kevin Mattson Deborah Meier • Harold Meyerson Nicolaus Mills • Jo-Ann Mort Maxine Phillips • Jedediah Purdy Ruth Rosen • James B. Rule Arlene Skolnick • Jim Sleeper Ann Snitow • Christine Stansell Jeffrey Wasserstrom • Sean Wilentz Contributing Editors Bernard Avishai • David Bensman Michelle Chen • Marcia Chatelain Jean L. Cohen • Tressie McMillan Cottom • Jeff Faux • Agnès Heller Jeffrey C. Isaac • Martin Kilson Mike Konczal • Jeremy Larner Brian Morton • George Packer Martin Peretz • Anson Rabinbach Alan Ryan • Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow Cornel West • Dennis Wrong Richard Yeselson Publisher The Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas in cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania Press Typefaces Neutral (Atelier Carvalho Bernau) Kozmos (David Rudnick) We live in an “age of anger,” writes Pankaj Mishra, as a burning resentment of the old order and the elites who run it dominate politics around the world. His new book with that title focuses on young terrorists and vengeful rightwing nationalists. But his phrase also fits the mood of the broad American left, particularly since Donald Trump’s election and the first six months of his presidency. There is, of course, a great deal to be angry about. From healthcare to the environment to immigration to labor, every major act by Trump’s administration and its Republican enablers has been profoundly inhumane and shot through with lies. Unless the Russia scandal blows their house down, they will likely continue on the same path into 2018 and perhaps beyond. But rage, by itself, will neither defeat this outrageous government nor get us closer to achieving the better society we want. During the late 1960s, leftists stoked fury at the Vietnam War but ended up with Richard Nixon as president. More recently, Occupy targeted the greedy 1 percent, and Black Lives Matter staged loud, righteous protests against police killings of unarmed African Americans. But Trump’s clever manipulation of the anger of key groups of white voters landed him in the White House. How the left builds on mass ire towards the ruling right will determine whether that emotion dissipates or grows into an articulate vision and a determined approach to achieving it. For decades, conservatives have left no doubt what they stand for: a huge military, “traditional” values, and lower taxes to starve domestic programs. The left’s alternative is murkier and diffuse. We know what we don’t like about capitalism, about sexism and racism, war and climate change. But we have yet to come up with a coherent and forceful alternative, one that speaks to the grievances and desires of a majority of Americans. Nor do we all agree about what kind of political strategy to follow. Some leftists cleave to the Democrats, others dream of third parties. We know that institutions matter. But how to revive unions, get the welter of NGOs to cooperate with one another, and train a new generation of organizers? Perhaps we can learn from Tony Navarrete, the thirtyone-year-old son of Mexican immigrants, from Phoenix, who got elected to the Arizona legislature last year on a wave of outrage against crackdowns by local authorities. He told the New York Times that sheriff’s deputies routinely raided the homes of his neighbors, seeking anyone who might be in the country without documents. “That fueled my anger,” said Navarrete. “But I couldn’t be angry. I really needed to find a way to build power and to make change.” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Dissent University of Pennsylvania Press

Editor's Page: Beyond Anger

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Editor’s Page Beyond Anger Michael Kazin Editor Michael Kazin Editors Emeriti Mitchell Cohen • Irving Howe (1920-1993) • Michael Walzer Book Review Editors Mark Levinson • Timothy Shenk Senior Editors Kaavya Asoka • Colin Kinniburgh • Natasha Lewis Editors at Large Tim Barker • Sarah Leonard David Marcus • Madeleine Schwartz • Nick Serpe D issen t · S umme r 2 0 1 7 Circulation Manager Alex Lubben Art Direction Rumors Interns Danyoung Kim • Martin Ridge Editorial Board Atossa Araxia Abrahamian Joanne Barkan • Paul Berman Sheri Berman • David Bromwich Luther P. Carpenter • Leo Casey Mark Engler • Cynthia Fuchs Epstein Gary Gerstle • Todd Gitlin • Sarah Jaffe • William Kornblum • Susie Linfield • Kate Losse • Kevin Mattson Deborah Meier • Harold Meyerson Nicolaus Mills • Jo-Ann Mort Maxine Phillips • Jedediah Purdy Ruth Rosen • James B. Rule Arlene Skolnick • Jim Sleeper Ann Snitow • Christine Stansell Jeffrey Wasserstrom • Sean Wilentz Contributing Editors Bernard Avishai • David Bensman Michelle Chen • Marcia Chatelain Jean L. Cohen • Tressie McMillan Cottom • Jeff Faux • Agnès Heller Jeffrey C. Isaac • Martin Kilson Mike Konczal • Jeremy Larner Brian Morton • George Packer Martin Peretz • Anson Rabinbach Alan Ryan • Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow Cornel West • Dennis Wrong Richard Yeselson Publisher The Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas in cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania Press Typefaces Neutral (Atelier Carvalho Bernau) Kozmos (David Rudnick) We live in an “age of anger,” writes Pankaj Mishra, as a burning resentment of the old order and the elites who run it dominate politics around the world. His new book with that title focuses on young terrorists and vengeful rightwing nationalists. But his phrase also fits the mood of the broad American left, particularly since Donald Trump’s election and the first six months of his presidency. There is, of course, a great deal to be angry about. From healthcare to the environment to immigration to labor, every major act by Trump’s administration and its Republican enablers has been profoundly inhumane and shot through with lies. Unless the Russia scandal blows their house down, they will likely continue on the same path into 2018 and perhaps beyond. But rage, by itself, will neither defeat this outrageous government nor get us closer to achieving the better society we want. During the late 1960s, leftists stoked fury at the Vietnam War but ended up with Richard Nixon as president. More recently, Occupy targeted the greedy 1 percent, and Black Lives Matter staged loud, righteous protests against police killings of unarmed African Americans. But Trump’s clever manipulation of the anger of key groups of white voters landed him in the White House. How the left builds on mass ire towards the ruling right will determine whether that emotion dissipates or grows into an articulate vision and a determined approach to achieving it. For decades, conservatives have left no doubt what they stand for: a huge military, “traditional” values, and lower taxes to starve domestic programs. The left’s alternative is murkier and diffuse. We know what we don’t like about capitalism, about sexism and racism, war and climate change. But we have yet to come up with a coherent and forceful alternative, one that speaks to the grievances and desires of a majority of Americans. Nor do we all agree about what kind of political strategy to follow. Some leftists cleave to the Democrats, others dream of third parties. We know that institutions matter. But how to revive unions, get the welter of NGOs to cooperate with one another, and train a new generation of organizers? Perhaps we can learn from Tony Navarrete, the thirtyone-year-old son of Mexican immigrants, from Phoenix, who got elected to the Arizona legislature last year on a wave of outrage against crackdowns by local authorities. He told the New York Times that sheriff’s deputies routinely raided the homes of his neighbors, seeking anyone who might be in the country without documents. “That fueled my anger,” said Navarrete. “But I couldn’t be angry. I really needed to find a way to build power and to make change.”

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DissentUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Jul 20, 2017

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