Harrington predicts a ``slow 1992,'' that is, gradual economic stagnation and social collapse in the years ahead. These conditions, he argues, will give the political left an opportunity to take power in the U.S. and Europe within the next five years. Even if that sounds farfetched, this scholarly, belabored manifesto by the author of The Other America and The Vast Majority may give readers pause. Arguing that Reagan's policies have drastically redistributed wealth and income from the poor and middle classes to the rich, he calls for a program of economic and industrial democracy. Goals that he feels should be on the left's immediate agenda include: transforming the character of work, involving employees in technological decision-making, guaranteed full employment and a renewal of trade unionism. Disarmament and an end to tax loopholes for corporations also take high priority. Harrington stresses that unless the left unites around a genuine moral vision, it will miss its chance. First serial to Dissent. February 20
In his new book, Harrington still best known as the author of The Other America speculates on the rise to power of socialist governments in the Western world in the near future. While this may seem an unlikely scenario, he argues convincingly that ``We are living through a social-economic-political-cultural-technological upheaval'' due to the failure of conservative, capitalist economic policies. He is equally adept at historical analysis and contemporary economic criticism. Harrington intends this book as a kind of ``translation'' of a body of scholarship for a wide audience, and thus he does not burden the reader with footnotes or lengthy interpretations. The Next Left is, therefore, not as significant a work as Harrington's Toward a Democratic Left, but it deserves to be read by anyone concerned about the future direction of American society. Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, Pa.