Content of The Utopian Vol. 18.1 - 2019

  • The Utopian, Vol. 18, No. 1, January 2019

    Jan 29, 2019

    Cover and contents of The Utopian vol. 18, no. 1 (January 2019). Articles on school stikes and the crisis in public education, climate change, and the Democratic party, plus book reviews and, as a special section, a revised Who We Are statement, for comment. For previous issues, see "Updates and New Discussion" (vol. 17, no. 5) and Archives.

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  • Crisis in Public Education

    Jan 30, 2019

    It’s absolutely true that the driving force in low student achievement, its highest correlate, is inequality – poverty – and that’s a function of race and class. So, it’s not going to be eliminated under capitalism. But how do we make the fight for better education part of, and connected to, a fight against capitalism? Right now, we have a fight on our hands against the destruction of public education nationwide. We have to take that defensive struggle and turn it into an offensive struggle. But we don’t do that by starting with simply revolution. We have to do both.


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  • Thoughts on the Democratic Party

    Jan 30, 2019

    Unlike the US constitution, which was explicitly devised to sustain the rule of an elite, the two-party system was not consciously developed to achieve this end. Despite this, it has certainly functioned this way over the course of its more than two centuries of existence. In fact, it is hard to conceive how an arrangement of political parties that was consciously designed to “divide and rule” could have achieved that result any better than the current, spontaneously evolved, one.


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  • Fighting Climate Change - What Is to Be Done?

    Jan 30, 2019

    I am skeptical that capitalism will do what's needed until the situation becomes much graver.  And it would very likely try to do so by top down, autarchic means. And even those will surely be too late to avert much suffering. - Jack Gerson

    The earth is headed toward a catastrophic crisis within a very few decades and all that is on offer is business as usual.... The idea that capitalism can deal with climate change seems to me to be fantasy. - Eric Chester

    I think that it is crucial to add something about the need for the radical dismantling and reorganizing of industrial agriculture in this country and around the world. - Jon M.


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  • Book Review - James Baldwin and the Heavenly City, by Christopher Z. Hobson

    Jan 30, 2019

    Chris contends that, of these two contrasting world-views [blues-based skepticism, Gospel-based hope - Ed.], Baldwin wants us to choose the second and to actively work for it. Despite his impressive efforts, Chris has not managed to completely convince me of his position. Based on the material that he presents, I can make a case that what Baldwin might be saying is that life - Black life, gay life, the life of all of us - is actually the nteraction, the oscillation, between the two points of view.


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  • Revised "Who We Are" Statement (Draft)

    Jan 30, 2019

    Below is a revised version of the ‘Who We Are’ statement that appears at the end of each issue of The Utopian. The decision to revise the statement was made at the group’s August 2018 meeting. Subsequently, a revised draft was written, and amendments submitted, discussed and voted on. The amended draft printed here includes a paragraph on climate change that has not been separately approved. Supporters of The Utopian are asked to indicate approval of the entire statement or not.


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  • Utopian Position Statement: Who We Are

    Jan 30, 2019

    Utopians do not accept “what is” as “what must be.” We see potential for freedom even in the hardest of apparent reality. Within our oppressive society are forces for hope, freedom, and human solidarity, possibilities pressing toward a self-managed, cooperative commonwealth. We don’t know if these forces will win out; we see them as hopes, as moral norms by which to judge society today, as challenges to all of us to act in such a way as to realize a fully human community.


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