Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rejecting the Politics of Pragmatism

Following is a letter to the editor that I sent to The Nation.

Even though Jean Hardisty and Deepak Bhargava's article "Wrong About the Right" appeared months ago, it could be read as a response to the political pragmatism described by Sam Graham-Felsen in his article "The New Face of the Campus Left". Campus Progress, The Roosevelt Institution, and other such organizations are not only practicing a politics of expediency, but they are training a whole generation of campus activists to do the same. Hardisty and Bhargava warn us against coalescing "around the most 'achievable' social change as opposed to the most just social change." How did "progressives" forget that there are no results worth having if they are gained at the expense of our principles? To answer Graham-Felsen's closing question, if there is to be a movement, let alone a future, we must choose visionaries over pragmatists every time.


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