Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What Is To Be Done?

I've been thinking about a blog post based on the latest blogospheric uproar over President Obama's failure to find the One Big Speech that will Turn Things Around.

That post will be a thing of beauty, but it seems timely to reveal the basic message: the people and their elected representatives have to be prepared to hear and act on that speech.

Steven Walt has written a post with some of the elements I would use in my post. Particularly
And make no mistake: what is needed now is a foreign policy that is based on a clear and hard-headed strategy, one that identifies key priorities, writes off liabilities, and marshals the relevant elements of power to preserve what is vital first and foremost. Instead, we get a foreign policy based on wishful thinking, lofty ideals, or an endless list of global projects offered up by policy wonks and special interest groups, along with more bad advice from the people who got us into our present circumstances.
Walt is talking about foreign policy, and he is right enough about that, but I was thinking the same sorts of things about domestic policy as well.

What is to be done?

I'm taking that in a different direction than Vladimir Lenin did; we need a vision of the future we want, not just sparkly ponies, but a hard-headed strategy toward the society we want to live in. And that's all of us, not just the folks with 72-room mansions who fly on private jets. As we're seeing in Britain, all those folks who don't fly on private jets can begin to make things unpleasant, just one of the reasons for looking toward better lives for all.

But I don't see the political parties or the think tanks coming up with a vision of the future. Policy pronouncements and ideology abound, but not a whole-society vision.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Social unrest like what's been taking place in the U.K. is a real threat for the U.S. As people run out of safety nets, like unemployment, the number of them that have nothing to lose will turn to desperate measures.