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United and Popular Front: Lessons from 1935-2017

Paul Krehbiel CCDS-Discussion
Millions of people are protesting Trump's ascension to power, beginning with the powerful Women's Marches the day after Trump assumed office. Street demonstrations, rallies, mass Congressional phone calls and town hall meetings, and much more have continued since. How best to build this resistance movement? While we can learn from many sources, the success of the United Front and Popular Front strategies of the 1930's and beyond provide important lessons for us today.

A 21st Century New Deal for Jobs - Congressional Progressive Caucus and Allies Unveil Principles for Infrastructure and Bold Proposal to Create Millions of Jobs

Congressional Progressive Caucus Congressional Progressive Caucus
A new infrastructure proposal, a 21st Century New Deal For Jobs, boldly invest $2 trillion to fix our nation's crumbling infrastructure, create millions of jobs, reduce inequality, and clean up our environment, was introduced in Congress today by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). The CPC is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country.

A New Deal to Save Europe

Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate
Until recently, any proposal to "save" Europe was regarded sympathetically, albeit with skepticism about its feasibility. Today, the skepticism is about whether Europe is worth saving. The European idea is being driven into retreat by the combined force of a denial, an insurgency, and a fallacy. progressives need to ask a straightforward question: Why is the European idea dying? The answers are clear: involuntary unemployment and involuntary intra-EU migration.

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There's No Going Back

Sam Rosenfeld Democracy Journal, Spring 2016
The initiatives of the New Deal and FDR's Second Bill of Rights represented less a permanent triumph of the welfare state or a model for a progressive way forward than a unique combination of non replicable circumstances, including a temporary cessation of enduring tensions involving race, immigration, culture, class, and individualism, which served to sustain a pale social democratic reform for just a few decades. What followed instead was today's new Gilded Age.

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Beware the Blue State Model: How the Democrats Created a "Liberalism of the Rich"

Thomas Frank Tom Dispatch
Reading Thomas Frank's new book, Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?, I was reminded of the snapshot that Oxfam offered us early this year: 62 billionaires now have more wealth than the bottom 50% of the global population, while the richest 1% own more than the other 99% combined...In 2010, it took 388 of the super-rich to equal the holdings of that bottom 50%. At this rate...by 2030, just the top 10 billionaires might do the trick. [*]

5 Vital Lessons from American Labor's Rise and Fall

James M. Larkin The Nation
America's unions have been in retreat for decades - but can history point toward some fresh starts? Steve Fraser's book The Age of Acquiescence reminds us that America's worker movement-100 years ago-was a rather militant creature compared to today. Then, it was worker militias, "bread and roses," and unabashed class conflict; now, it's defense and dwindling membership, and disappointing Democrats. How did we get here? Is there still power in a union?

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Where's the Outrage?

Rich Yeselson Dissent Summer 2015 issue
The book under review examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts by workers to resist and the housebreaking of a long-running anti-capitalist ethos from imaginative, frenzied opposition to diffuse, angry, but ultimate accommodation. While a residual 19th century fight-back culture built the CIO and defended the New Deal into the 1960s, it lacked the same emancipatory charge it had earlier, and unions shifted to cautious monitors of the working class

Culture Isn’t Free

Miranda Campbell Jacobin
Expecting artists to work for free hands the reins of cultural production to ruling elites.

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How Long Have We Really Been `One Nation Under God'?

Molly Worthen The Nation, June 8, 2015 edition
With its numerous religious awakenings and repeated instances of religiosity as political theater, it's easy to forget US civic life is secular. Author Kevin Kruse argues that the effort to ground political rights in spiritual authority and not in democratic discussion and decision-making originated with a coterie of corporate heads, right-wing politicians, reactionary pastors and cultural icons as a bulwark against progressive politics and New Deal legislation.

Ai-jen Poo’s ‘The Age of Dignity’ Is a Wake-up Call for an Aging—and Unprepared—Nation

Joanna Scutts In These Times
Ai-jen Poo's 'The Age of Dignity' bridges the gap between the concrete political and practical challenges of an aging population—and the harder moral questions of how we ought to treat our elders and how we imagine our own aging and death. The book is part testimony from caregivers and recipients; part manifesto, urging us to see the new demographic reality in a positive light; and, more cautiously, part exploration of how we might do better by our senior citizens.
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