EcoIQ Magazine Reviews
The "Unusual" Yet Ubiquitous Left-Right Alliance:
Towards an Anti-Establishment Center
By Sam Husseini


Many acknowledge that notwithstanding the substantial technical and economic challenges of transitioning to a sustainable civilization, the most daunting challenge is political. Much existing investment (coal mines, power plants, etc.) will decline in value, and a big slice of our current consumption must be redirected to investment in new sustainable systems. This will be politically very difficult, and thus it will require very broad social agreement – winning support across the political spectrum. “A real dialogue between the left and right may lead to a sort of political re-alignment,” notes Husseini. “If (the media) were to pay more attention to issues… it might become clear that there's quite a bit the principled left and right agree on.”

Indications of left-right alliance potential have been noted in a surprisingly wide array of policy arenas, including: cuts in military spending; curbing NSA data collection programs; curbing pre-conviction property forfeiture in drug-related cases; opposing “free trade” agreements; opposing bailouts and instead pushing to break up or downsize banks deemed “too big to fail;” supporting corporate minimum taxes; cutting financially wasteful and environmentally harmful spending programs, including corn-based ethanol, oil tax credits, and crop and timber subsidies; and opposing growth and consolidation of the largest existing mainstream media.


Every time you have this convergence of progressives and conservatives against the establishment, it's regarded as "unusual" "odd" or "bizarre" – even though it keeps coming up on issue after issue: war, military spending, trade, corporate power, Wall Street, fossil fuel subsidies, as well as – in the case of the NSA spying on the citizenry – the central issue of Constitutional rights and civil liberties… The meme in the media and elsewhere is a permanent note of surprise, when it should be an established aspect of U.S. politics: There are in fact two "centers" – one that is pro-war and Wall Street (the establishment center) – and another that is pro-peace and populist (the anti-establishment center). More…

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