America and the Left: Past and Present
In light of all talk of conservatism and the apparent triumph of austerity budgets, income inequality, and market ideologies, we would do well to consider the role of the left in recent American politics and public policy. Rather than naive musings or pessimistic laments, the panelists will provide hard-hitting explorations of past and contemporary examples where the left has succeeded in shaping history as it unfolds. Of course many moments of political success have carved well-worn tracks in our historical memory, others less so. But the time has come to reexamine and reconsider the story of the American left through 21st century lenses. The key forces that shape our current political economy--the globalization and financialization of markets, deregulation and privatization, the feminization of the workforce, the technological divide and education gap, and more--are now clear. And it is time to reflect on how these forces emerged and how the left has or has not contributed and responded to their formation.