Derber, Charles
May 1983
Theory & Society;May83, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p343
Academic Journal
The article focuses on new populism and the limits of structural reforms. The new populists see winning as the key catalyst to democratic politics in the U.S. Small victories on reform issues can generate widespread hope for change, hope motivates people to mobilize their energies and mass mobilizations empower people to take greater control over their everyday lives. The new populists are political pragmatists. They advocate a family of democratic values that are rooted in American traditions and they support reforms that touch the everyday concerns of American citizens. Socialist writer Carl Boggs argues that new populist pragmatism produces systematic tensions or contradictions that point toward new populist assimilation to bourgeois politics. He believes that the new populists are so immersed in conventional politics and values that they are almost certain to sink into the mainstream, become indistinct from the good intentioned liberals who are complicit in persisting modes of domination and subordination.


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