Mark Naison: Two examples from America’s history show how protest movements that involved grave risk, that broke the law, and that used extremely controversial and disruptive practices, helped organize America’s workers and brought an end to legal segregation.
Walter Moss: From the Reagan years to the present, conservatives have been fond of quoting Friedman and Hayek. Their influence can be seen in such documents as the Republican Party’s 1994 “Contract with America.”
Steve Hochstadt: Kyoto is a Japanese treasure, and a monument to the development of human culture. In shrines and gardens hundreds of years old, an American tourist can experience the common human striving for understanding, for beauty, and for peace.
Walter Moss: If consumer capitalism is indeed replaced by a new economic structure, many capitalist bricks may still be needed for any new construction. Whether we choose to attempt new building or just apply a little patching here or there is up to us.
Mark Nevin: In the 1964 presidential campaign, Republican Barry Goldwater initially criticized Social Security but then backed away from that criticism after he fell under attack from fellow Republicans. Despite his backpedaling, Goldwater could never shake the label of Social Security foe. Might current Republican front-runner Rick Perry be in a similar situation?
Herb Engstrom: At this time of TEA Party hysteria, Fox News mendacity, and GOP hypocrisy a government guarantee of universal employment might seem like a radical idea, although it seemed not to be so to Franklin Roosevelt.
Adam Chapnik: Does North Korea’s rise to the presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament prove that the organization is dysfunctional? Yes, in a way it does, but it is precisely the kind of creative and ultimately useful dysfunction that the founders of the U.N. had in mind.
Paul Hogarth: Everyone from Howard Dean to Van Jones had the same message – that this political movement cannot be reliant on a charismatic leader, but instead on a charismatic network of activists.
Tina Dupuy: Especially in America where the vast majority of our media is profit and ratings driven – the media is programmed by us to give us what we want. Whether we like to admit it’s what we want or not (think stories about whoever is filling the role of a Kardashian or a Bieber).
Robert Illes: Grover Norquist, toady of America’s wealthy business class who few but political wonks have heard of, heads the so called “Club for Growth” which requires every Republican who wants to keep his or her government job to promise not to raise taxes.
Kenneth Weisbrode: Barack Obama has been compared to a variety of other U.S. presidents, from Franklin Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. But is he perhaps most like William Howard Taft? Historian Kenneth Weisbrode argues that a Taft-Obama comparison makes a good deal of sense.
Norman Solomon: The best way to defeat right-wing xenophobic “populism” is to build genuine progressive populism. In the process, we can draw on the spirit of the New Deal.
Norman Solomon: Deficit commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are pushing scenarios that would undermine Social Security, while all sorts of contorted rationales are in the air for continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.