Although most Americans are angry about the deterioration in their living and working conditions, mainstream analysts and decision-makers have nonetheless been remarkably successful in convincing them that only free-market policies can ensure the economic competitiveness required to achieve victory in the global marketplace and a reversal of negative trends. Many progressives have understandably responded to this successful ideological offensive with a strategic retreat and regrouping. Hoping to win a wider hearing for progressive policy initiatives, including a defense of past reforms, many are trying to craft new programs, and arguments for them, that will prove politically viable in the present conservative climate. One outcome of this effort has been the willingness of progressives to formulate and defend their new reforms not on the basis of their ability to advance an anti-capitalist political agenda but rather for their ability to improve working class conditions by enhancing the nation's economic performance.
This article can also be found at the Monthly Review website, where most recent articles are published in full.