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Re: Why the US Left is Weak – and What to Do About It*


I very much like Barbara Epstein’s contribution. And though I do not agree with every detail of it, I think most of the  reasoning is also valid for Europe. Here as well, the left is weak, very weak and does not succeed in re-organizing itself, in overcoming old sectarian divergences, in finding new ways of giving a message that speaks to young people of today.

So yes, I think that one of the most urgent tasks we have is to try and re-formulate our message, in such a way that we can mobilize lots of young people. It also means that we have to stop thinking in white/black oppositions. The choices that rightwing political forces present us with are not our choices. It is not Rafsanjani OR Mousavi, we do not want either of them.We need to have our own message, a clearly leftwing message that avoids the pitfalls of the right. This will take time, but I think it is very necessary. Too many values are important today that we easily forgot last century (at least in Europe): ecology, participation, race, culture, gender …

And yes, I think we need organ izations, and that will also take time. We need to reclaim debate and politics, we also need to train people.

There is a lot of work to do. But the main thing is that we should know what we want, and if the left is weak today, it is mainly because it is short of real credible alternatives, ideas that people can believe in.

Francine Mestrum, Brussels. 

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