The Right dominates. Since the late 1970s and Ronald Reagan’s inauguration we’ve seen supply side economics, deregulation, an explosive growth of free markets, the sapping of union power.
The Left is at a low ebb. Liberalism gets its spirit from equality and collective action. That spirit is all but broken, witness the precipitous inequalities in America, witness the disappearance from our language of terms like “the common good,” witness unions at their all-time low memberships, witness the Supreme Court retreating from enforcement of anti-trust laws.
Tolerance has melted into passivity. Energetic leftists of the 1960s, once in the media spotlight, have grown wealthy and cautious.
Not just that. What’s left of the left’s spirit is also broken down into fractions. Watch a peace march, a good place to find leftists, and you will see a sea of different banners, for as many different causes. All of them good. But there is no center now.
The left is in deep crisis.
In Congress, liberals stand to protest as if standing in a small, leaking boat. Democracy, we wonder, circles the drain.
The heart of the matter is that there is no new ideology.
Of course there’s leftist commentators, left wing editors. But no coherent new theory, to unify.