There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people’s thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible.
What leaps out from the history of the past hundred years is its utter unpredictability.
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Michael Albert: Tomorrow Is a Long Time
It is forty years on from when I and many other people of my generation became life-long activists and while the left’s efforts have ensured that nearly everyone now knows at some level that everything is broken – which wasn’t even barely the case in 1965 – still most people are passive, easily manipulated, lacking hope, barely involved, dismissive of politics and activism, hunkered down in virtual isolation, looking for crumbs that might be available, and above all spectators. In other words, what we on the left have been doing has had some impact, of course, but doing the same thing as in the past for another forty years would have barely any. A new left has got to be new where it matters – in having real and compelling shared vision, real and compelling short and mid term goals, and real and compelling shared practice and strategy – indeed, in having long term vision and empowering and engaging strategy at all……Elections are not the whole of politics, only a tiny part. The whole is, or should be, mostly the development of consciousness and commitment and the exercising of social pressure. We have to get right back to that. And we have to do it immediately. And we have to do it more wisely than in the past.
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