[Marxism] Doug Henwood on the New Deal (from pen-l)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 9 19:49:31 MST 2005

Here's some of what I said at the CUNY grad center panel on David
Harvey's latest on Oct 31 (full version coming in LBO #111, in prep):

>Both in this book and in The New Imperialism, David calls for some
>kind of New New Deal, as if we could somehow recover the world
>of...well I'm not sure what. 1978? 1958? 1938? The New Deal happened
>in this country because the economy had collapsed and the USSR
>provided an alternative model of how to organize an economy. The New
>Deal was a way for capital to give a little in order to preserve a
>lot. What exists in the present situation that offers even a remote
>promise of a re-run? Capitalism is triumphant and, aside from Hugo
>Chavez' proclamation of a 21st century socialism, we're largely
>incapable of even imagining a serious alternative. And I'd say that
>David's invocation of the New Deal is symptomatic of our current
>political impoverishment: we can't do much more than hope for a
>reincarnation of a reformist movement from 70 years ago. Until we
>can plausibly articulate something more substantial than that, we're
>bound to lose. And we can't, at least not right now. With no sign of
>a serious systemic threat, there's just no reason for the ruling
>class to accept even a mild reformist agenda.

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