The Case Against Larry Summers

By Yong Kwon

Since the news broke that Larry Summers is advising the Biden campaign, several progressive commentators and organizations have called out the former Treasury Secretary’s regressive politics on income inequality and environmental regulation. And, of course, his past sexist remarks on women, science, and math will haunt him forever.

Adding to this growing list of reasons that disqualify him from shaping the Democratic Party’s policy platform, Summers’ approach to international economic policy compromises the welfare of workers. He also lacks the vision to coordinate a much-needed international response to recurring global crises. His actions during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis showed remarkable apathy toward marginalized communities, especially women. Moreover, his poor stewardship of that financial maelstrom directly contributed to the 2007 global financial crisis. It is time for Democrats to move on to thinkers who rightly focus on international solidarity and economic justice everywhere.

Continue reading “The Case Against Larry Summers”

Policy from the People: Seizing Agency

This is the second installment in our Policy from the People series, in partnership with Win Without War. Each month, Policy from the People will feature thoughts on foreign policy challenges from activists at the leading edge of the progressive movement.

By Tristan Guyette

As an organizer with Beyond the Bomb, a people-powered campaign to mitigate the threat of another global catastrophe — nuclear war — I feel an inescapable sense of futile rage with the COVID-19 crisis. I suspect most of us do, no matter where we work or what we do. How do we protect against a virus many of us are unable to avoid contracting? How do we continue our own work in the face of a virus that cares not for borders, laws, or social contracts? How do we fight against a system that devalues the lives of so many  when our usual tactics — rallies, demonstrations, marches — are off the table?

For many in America, this is a familiar feeling.  It is the feeling of powerlessness. It is the feeling of railing against a system that seems never to budge. It is the feeling of having something essential stripped from us: our agency.

Continue reading “Policy from the People: Seizing Agency”

The Kids Are Alright

By Andrew Leber

As Millennials and Gen-Z become the largest segments of the US voting age population, their views on a host of issues present new opportunities for progressive politicians and activists seeking to remake US politics – including foreign policy.

Now and again, a few commentators have noted that younger US generations seem more skeptical than their elders about a foreign-policy establishment that, in their lifetimes, did little to stop (and largely cheered on) a disastrous war in Iraq, signed off on an ever-expanding set of covert military engagements in the name of waging the War on Terror, and has trumpeted the mutual benefits of trade while overlooking the stark rise of inequality at home.   

Continue reading “The Kids Are Alright”

November Revolution: Win Or Lose, We Need A Real Coalition

By Pam Campos-Palma

In the past few weeks, I have had more flashbacks to my days in the military than at any other time since stepping out of uniform four years ago. The military wired me to make battlefield predictions in uncertain situations, and that training feels eerily activated today. Between living a stone’s throw away from New York City – the current epicenter of COVID-19 in the US; getting texts from my mom who works in a hospital emergency room; and seeing politicians react to the mounting death toll with a mixture of dangerous buffoonery and vicious xenophobia, I find myself thinking constantly about our society’s many vulnerabilities. I’m also thinking a lot about the normalization of death, a disturbing aspect of our current phase of the crisis.  At this deeply turbulent moment, I worry that the absence of a strategic alignment between progressive grassroots movement and the Democratic party establishment will leave the survival of our democracy in a fragile balance.    Continue reading “November Revolution: Win Or Lose, We Need A Real Coalition”

American Jubilee

By Yong Kwon

The ongoing pandemic will disproportionately harm countries in the Global South, which are less able to mobilize resources needed to address both the public health crisis and its economic consequences. The United States government is uniquely positioned to help these vulnerable economies recover by coordinating debt forgiveness. In doing so, the US will help indebted countries create fiscal space to make critical investments in social infrastructure that can address current challenges, minimize the economic consequences, and prevent future health crises.

While debt forgiveness does not address other growth impediments such as gaps in capacity and knowledge, historical case studies show that indebted governments increase public investments when their obligations to creditors are lessened. And during crises, debt relief is an effective tool for stopping the sudden outflow of investments – a paramount threat to the health of emerging economies. Post-war Germany and Latin America in the 1980s provide examples of these cases.

Continue reading “American Jubilee”

Centering Feminism in Progressive Foreign Policy

By Dustin Johnson

Arguing for progressive foreign policy, especially in the United States, can feel like a Sisyphean task. Many of the goals put forth in this blog, such as ending sanctions, challenging militarism, and dismantling our nuclear arsenal seem as distant as ever. Consequently, it is important to highlight areas of progressive foreign policy advocacy and practice that have made substantial advances over the past decade. Feminist foreign policy, while still often greatly flawed in its design and implementation, has achieved remarkable acceptance, both in US foreign policy platforms and globally. While further progress is required for feminist foreign policy to challenge the core security ideologies of the state when it comes to war and militarization, its combination of foregrounding intersectionality and the rights and security of the most marginalized, and its growing mainstream acceptance demonstrate its importance for achieving a progressive foreign policy.

Continue reading “Centering Feminism in Progressive Foreign Policy”