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Chelsea Green Blog

Are Progressives Depressed or Too Privileged to Produce Social Change?

Are you on the Left? Do you feel tired? Worn out? Beaten down? Do you suffer from Outrage Fatigue? Psychotherapist Bruce Levine thinks that may be because many on the left have given up hope, that progressive movements have grown too used to being on the losing side to mount much of a counterattack. Les Leopold disagrees, and feels that many progressive organizations aren’t being given their due for all of the work that they do. What do you think? Read their exchange to find out!

A few weeks ago Bruce Levine wrote a provocative article titled “Are Americans a Broken People? Why We’ve Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression.” Levine suggested that many progressives and much of the general population may be so broken by the system that they’ve given up hope and become passive. He uses the metaphor of an abusive relationship, in which lack of hope and the sense that nothing matters make people passive instead of angry.

Levine, a radical psychotherapist practicing in Cincinnati, Ohio, has carved out a popular niche with readers, writing about psychological issues related to politics and change. Two of his most-read articles are “The Case for Giving Eli Lilly the Corporate Death Penalty” and ” Has American Society Gone Insane?”

Longtime labor organizer and economic thinker Les Leopold, whose recent book The Looting of America was excerpted on AlterNet, took offense to Levine’s article and wrote a response. While calling Levine’s argument an eyeopener, Leopold wrote that he has not experienced the passivity Levine describes in labor unions and among progressives. Leopold insists that progress will come from the hard work of organizing: building infrastructure, connecting issues and thinking big. We can’t count on people like Al Gore, who was passive after the 2000 election, and Barack Obama.

Read the whole article here.


Born on Third Base: A Q&A with Author and Inequality Activist Chuck Collins

As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. Does it have to be this way?Can we suspend both class wars long enough to consider a new way forward? Is it really good for anyone that most of society’s […] Read More

Three Principles to Survive the Future

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one? Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, […] Read More

The 5 Rules of Lean Thinking

Are you ready to co-create the future? These 5 Rules of Lean Thinking are a useful tool as we set out to collectively invent a post-market future.Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

Solar Dollars: Promote Renewable Energy & Support Local Economies

How can you use the sun as a way to not only generate renewable energy, but support the local economy and provide interest-free financing for utility companies?Author Thomas Greco (The End of Money and the Future of Civilization) has the answer: Solar Dollars!In a recent post on this blog (Beyond Money), Greco makes the case […] Read More
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