Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Wed Jun 10 12:08:22 PDT 1998

Justin Schwartz wrote:

>No, but what's wrong with trying to stop utility companies from overcharging?

Nothing. Nor is there anything wrong with stopping cars from spontaneously exploding, or even getting a stoplight where one is needed. But these sorts of things rarely go anywhere, intellectually or organizationally. Nader's got a flock of interest groups that separately often do fine work, but they never cohere into anything. (His organizations are also notorious for not entering coalitions that they can't dominate and for trying to hog the limelight.) You can say the same about the thousands of Alinskyish community organizations all across the U.S. - not hogging the limelight, but operating in a fragmented way and competing against each other for foundation funding. This diffuse pragmatism is a major part of the structural idiocy of American politics.


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