Radical Middle Newsletter
Idealism Without Illusions




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For the Wikipedia biography of Mark Satin, now a starred “Featured Article” there, go HERE.  For Satin’s Amazon Author Page linking to all six of his books, go HERE.


After 10+ years and 120 feature articles, Radical Middle Newsletter has come to an end (see goodbye article HERE).

But because political change in the U.S. is so slow, most of our articles are as timely now as ever!  I’ve linked the best ones for you below, then introduced and provided links to my earlier work – visionary work that paved the way to Radical Middle and, more broadly, pointed the way to a new political philosophy that takes everybody's deepest needs into account.  Many of us are still working on that. – M. S.

[We’ve had OVER FIVE MILLION ARTICLE VIEWS (“pageviews”) through 2015.  See stats at the bottom of this page.]


I. Best of Radical Middle Newsletter

II. Letter from Mark Satin About His Work from 1974 to Now

III. New Age Politics (1976)

IV. New World Alliance (1979 – 1983)

V. Best of New Options Newsletter (1984 – 1992)

VI. Radical Middle, the Book (2004)

VII. All of Radical Middle Newsletter (1999 – 2009)

VIII. Toronto Anti-Draft Programme: (1967 1968)

IX. Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (1965)

X. ... And Here Are My 12 Best Political Writings Ever

XI. Statistics for This Website, 2000 Present


The New Age 40 Years Later

Satin is interviewed about spirituality, politics, and social change by Rick Heller (M.P.P., Harvard Kennedy School) for the Huffington Post.

The Three Committees

Autobiographical short story by Satin about a SNCC civil rights worker losing his way in Holly Springs, Mississippi, in 1965.  Full of lessons for today’s activists and policymakers. This story can now also be found, with a different introduction, in the Our Stories section of the Civil Rights Movement Veterans website; go HERE.

How Can We Make Our Politics Reflect What’s Best In Us?

Writing in openDemocracy, policy analyst Michael Edwards argues for a new, trans-partisan politics – and (beginning at paragraph #9) shows that Satin’s work is foundational to that politics.

New Age Politics and Radical Middle at Harvard University

Brief comment by Satin about his experiences at the Harvard Institute of Politics.  In the last paragraph he explores – or confesses! – the relationship between New Age Politics (1976, rev. 2015) and Radical Middle (2004)


Yes, that’s me speaking at the July 6, 2016 launch of Stephen Dinan’s book Sacred America, Sacred World (I helped with it a tiny bit).  Stephen is on the right – I mean, to the right.  Alas, my dark glasses and white cane are not stage props, they’re the result of diabetes getting into my eyes.  Young activists, take heed:  DO NOT eat poorly in order to devote maximum time to saving the world. – M.S.


I. BEST OF Radical Middle Newsletter

A.  Introduction

Politicians, Pundits, and Activists Are Having a Culture War. The Rest of Us Are Nuanced or Ambivalent and Looking for New Directions

Post-Partisan! The First Uniquely American Political Ideology Is Being Born

Are the Best Conservative Thinkers Becoming Radical Middle?

Where’s the Juice? A Review of Halstead and Lind’s The Radical Center

Modest Women, Honorable Men

B.  Economy

Could Common Ground on Capitalism (and Globalization) Be at Hand?

Maybe the Election Will Shame Us Into Sharing Our Wealth

Selling U.S. Products Abroad: Malign, Moral, or a Chance for Mutual Learning?

Art Kleiner’s Good Corporate Guys vs. David Yamada’s Good Corporate Laws

Second Front in Our War For Democracy: Liberating the U.S. From Oil Dependence

To Balance the Federal Budget, Build a Better Society!

C.  Polity

Repairing American Democracy: Changing the Rules Is Not Enough

Mediator-Leaders: The Leadership We Need Now?

What Our Schools Need Now: Great Teachers, Great Teachers, Great Teachers

OK, Congressman Rangel, Let’s Bring Back the Draft – But a Better One Than Yours!

Healing First! Time for the U.S. Justice System to Get Less Mechanistic and More Therapeutic

D.  Society

What the Poor Need Now

Universal, Preventive, and Cost-Effective Health Care Is Within Our Grasp!

Confronting the Sociopolitical Causes of Psychological Depression: Too Taboo?

Liberal vs. Conservative vs. Holistic Immigration Reform

Economic-Class-Based Affirmative Action: The Elites Loathe It, The People Want It

Rx for Black America: Stop “Therapeutic Alienation” Now!

E.  Culture

Re-Inventing American History: When Narratives Collide

From Romantic Nationalists to Thoughtful Cosmopolitans

These Self-Help Books Celebrate Honesty, Connection, and Complexity!

Safety and Love First: The Politics of Children’s Literature

Zadie Smith’s On Beauty: First Great Radical Middle Political Novel

F.  Global  

a.  Principles

Coming to Grips with Our Badness

Is “Democracy” What the World Needs Now?

“Ethical Realism”: The Foreign Policy We Need Now

Fareed Zakaria’s Global Humanism vs. Alanna Hartzok’s Earth-Rights Idealism

b.  Applications

Tough on Terrorism AND Tough on the Causes of Terrorism: Our Only Hope

Brazil, India, and China: These Are Our Enemies?

Humanitarian Military Intervention: The Peace Movement of the ‘00s

The One-State Solution for Israel-Palestine Is the Most Visionary AND the Most Sensible

G.  Strategy  

Professional Schools, Not Radical Groups, Are Our Social Change Incubators Now

Alienation Forever?: A Critique of David Korten’s The Great Turning

Where’s the Depth?: A Critique of Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat

Where’s the Mutual Learning?: A Critique of George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant

Where’s the Backbone?: A Critique of Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest

H.  Groups

Participants Agonize Over (and Draw Lessons From) the Death and Life of the New World Alliance

Resentment and Transcendence at the NAACP Convention

Don Beck’s Spiral Dynamics Integral Confab: Political Evolution Now!

Coherent “Radical Centrist” Agenda Emerges at New America Foundation Conference

International Crisis Group: Get Your Solutions Here!

I.  Movement?

Futility, Fury and Hope Outside the Republican National Convention

“Rankism” (the Abuse of Rank) -- Last Big Barrier to a Just and Decent Society?

At Last, a Movement that Would Have Us Listen To and Learn From Each Other

First “Transpartisan” Political Organization Prepares for Liftoff

There Is a Radical Middle in Congress

J. Conclusion

Mushy Middle? No Way! A 12-Point Radical Middle Agenda

The Katrina Dialogues: A Dream Deferred


II. Letter from Mark Satin About His Work from 1974 to Now

Picture below: Satin guest-lecturing at U.C.-Berkeley, 2010.

Dear Viewer,

I have spent my entire adult life attempting to articulate the life-giving new post-liberal, post-socialist political ideology that I believe is arising just beneath the surface of things.

In my youth I expressed it in New Age Politics: Healing Self and Society (Dell 1979, orig. Canada 1976).  That book, which received over 50 mainstream and alternative media reviews, and which led to more than 90 public and radio appearances, is still under attack from conservative Christians and left-wing intellectuals.  You can now see much of it HERE:

To bring my feminist, ecological, decentralist, world-order, and human-growth ideas into the political arena, I helped organize and run a national political organization called the New World Alliance (1979 – 1983).  Although political observers today remember it as a precursor to the U.S. Green Party, it was in fact a more politically diverse and more genuinely beyond-left-and-right type entity, even a proto-radical-centrist entity, as you can see HERE.

In my Washington, D.C.-based international political newsletter New Options (1984 – 1992), I examined innovative policy proposals, groups, and books through my transformational lens.  New Options – which won Utne Reader’s first “Alternative Press Award for General Excellence: Best Publication from 10,000 to 30,000 Circulation” – was notable for its influence and honesty, which didn’t endear it to some activists.  You can now view much of it HERE.

As the 21st century began (and I entered my 50s!), I developed a more pragmatic version of the emerging political ideology.  The book that resulted, Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now (Westview Press and Basic Books, 2004), was named “Outstanding Book” for 2004 by the Ecological and Transformational Politics section (section #26) of the American Political Science Association.  You can see excerpts HERE.

To help develop my version of radical centrism, and apply radical-centrist ideas to the issues of the day, I produced Radical Middle Newsletter (1999 – 2009), stopping because of an eye condition.  Fifty representative articles are linked above, and all 120 of them can be found HERE.

My writings are unusually rich in ideas and information.  I hope you not only enjoy them, but are able to make good use of them.

Best, – Mark Satin

P.S.  I am working on a final political book, as steadily as my macular edema will allow.  My working title: This Revolution Will Be for Adults.


III. New Age Politics (ORIGINALLY 1976, REVITALIZED 2015)


What you’ll find there: Press release for 2015 edition, excerpts from 2015 edition, 50 media mentions, and more.

Picture at left: Cover of 2015 edition.  Represents what David Spangler calls “faceless people on both sides fighting with each other to the detriment of us all.”  Artwork by Jeremy Berg.

New Age Politics: Our Only Real Alternative ... stands as the first comprehensive articulation of a transformational political ideology.  It shows, in great and systemic detail, how we can depthfully understand our world of crisis and  get to a world of collaboration and wholeness.”
– David Spangler, “Foreword” to the 4th edition of New Age Politics, 2015


“In 60,000 words Satin has made a comprehensive critique of North American society and outlined [one] to replace it. ...  At 30 he’s already miles ahead of the academics and intellectuals who cling to the Marxist vision.”
– Robert Nielsen, Toronto Star, January 26, 1977

“[A[n extremely valuable contribution to contemporary political dialogue.”
– John McClaughry, Reason [libertarian magazine], August 1980

“The themes of New Age politics were first articulated in the late 1970s by Mark Satin, ... [after] it dawned on him that ‘the ideas and energies from the various “fringe” movements – feminist, ecological, spiritual, human potential and the rest – were beginning to come together in a new way’.”
– Harvey Wasserman, The Nation [left-wing magazine], August 31, 1985 



IV. New World Alliance (1979 – 1983)


What you’ll find there: Our brochure, our political platform, multiple media mentions, and more.

Picture at left: The cover art for our 102-page “Transformation Platform” was contributed by Rarihokwats, co-founder of Akwesasne Notes.

“[Satin] joined [management consultant] Marc Sarkady and others in an attempt (in Sarkady’s words) ‘to embody a new holistic vision of politics in America’: the New World Alliance.”
– Annie Gottlieb, Do You Believe in Magic?, Simon & Schuster, 1988

“[The Alliance’s] political vision included healing, rediscovery, human growth, ecology, participation, appropriate scale, globalism, technological creativity and spirituality.”
– Sara Parkin, Green Parties: An International Guide, Heretic Books Ltd. (Britain), 1989

“In 1981 the group put forward a ‘Transformational Platform,’ which was the first attempt [in the U.S.] to take ecological, decentralist, globalist, and human-growth ideas and translate them into a detailed, practical political platform with about 300 specific proposals.”
– Arthur Stein, Seeds of the Seventies, University Press of New England, 1985


V. Best of New Options Newsletter (1984 – 1992)


What you’ll find there: Twenty-five entire issues, excerpts from a “best-of” collection, 25 media mentions, and more.

Picture at left: Cover of Issue #67.

“Mark Satin publishes a highly influential newsleter, New Options, that tracks transformational social change, while avoiding the usual dogmas of the left, the new age, and the fading ‘60s.”
– Kevin Kelly, Whole Earth Review, Winter 1988-89


New Options is one of the hottest political newsletters in Washington. ...  [It] has gotten a fair amount of attention, and perhaps even some influence, because it self-consciously styles itself ‘posty-liberal.’”
– George Weigel, American Purpose, vol. 3, no. 3. March 1989


“Over the years, Satin has unabashedly challenged tired thinking on any part of the political spectrum – particularly the liberal-left shibboleths that many New Options readers may have held dear. ...  [And he] has not been hesitant to infuse political issues with what many activists consider ‘soft,’ peripheral concerns about love, sex, and relationships.”
– Helen Cordes, Utne Reader, May-June 1992




VI. Radical Middle, the Book (2004)


What you’ll find there: Book excerpts, 35 media mentions, list of 50 public appearances, and more.

Picture at left: After one deadly-dull cover design was tentatively accepted, artist Wendy Halitzer stepped in and produced this raucous and life-affirming gem.

“Mark Satin’s irritating Radical Middle is a timely clue to what gave liberalism a bad name.”
– Charles R. Morris, Commonweal, June 4, 2004


“[O]ne of the most refreshing political books I’ve ever encountered. ...  [M]ust-reading for those who are trying to find a ray of sanity in our present political climate.”
– Larry Cox, Tucson Citizen, March 18, 2004


“Passionate, popularized, and personalized, with frequent asides about Satin’s [activist] background. ...  [A] fresh and often original voice.”
– Michael Marien, Future Survey, April 2004


“[T]he policy proposals cataloged here don’t fii neatly into the standard left / right model. ...  The most provocaive ideas combine a leftist concern for the commonwealth with a conservative instinct for individual responsibility and self-reliance. ...  Despite the occasional lapse, this book is moderate in tone and intelligently reasoned – shockingly so.”
– Gadi Dechter (later appointed to Obama’s Commerce Dept.), Baltimore City Paper, February 25, 2004




VII. All of Radical Middle Newsletter (1999 – 2009)


What you’ll find there: All 120 major articles from the newsletter, listed and linked in backward chronological order. (Selected e-mails to the editor, our 25-person advisory board, our last 200 pledgers, and more, are on the left-hand side of this web page.)

Picture at left: Cover of Issue #31 (web issue #60).

“Mark Satin sees ... radical middle politics as an innovation that’s ideally suited to 21st century America.”
– Nancy Beardsley, Voice of America radio, April 15, 2004


“Satin ... sees [radical centrism] as a new, and original, political ideology.”
– Sean Golsalves, ComminDreams.org, November 18, 2008


“Satin ... attempt[s] to lift politics to a higher level of discourse.  His concise commentary [is] mixed with several parts idealism, a good dose of realism, a touch of spirituality, and always heaps of common sense.”
– Carter Phipps, EnlightenNext: The Magazine for Evolutionaries, June-August 2005




See HERE for TADP;

See HERE for the Manual.

If you are wondering how a small-town boy from the Midwest could be driven so far from the dominant “us-against-them” paradigm as to help invent and spread the now finally emerging transformational / radical centrist paradigm, then these sections are a good place to start.  The years 1967 and 1968 were a kind of shock therapy for me.  I had already watched my beloved SNCC cast off its white volunteers.  Now, as a Vietnam War draft refuser, I not only had to confront the hostility of most liberals and conservatives.  I also had to contend with the arrogance of most pacifists and socialists, who wanted draft refusers to go to jail or at least go “underground” and live half-lives with fake IDs.  The Manual and my 24 / 7 work with American war resisters in Toronto were my immediate responses to this overwhelming lack of empathy and connectivity that I felt in the world.  They would not be my last.

“In 1968, Satin wrote what would become an underground bestseller, the Manual. ...  He quickly became the media’s go-to guy for draft-dodger information, the [TADP] office a drop-in center for teenybopper ‘volunteers.’ ...  But he did himself no favours back home.”
– Lynda Hurst, Toronto Star, August 24, 2008




"I wrote [this short story]  in 2015 and offer it here as my contribution to the deep truth-telling that needs to take place, by people of all races, if this nation is ever to become healthy and whole.  [It]  differs from many fictional and non-fictional accounts of the movement in ways I feel are important and True. ...  I was a civil rights worker in Holly Springs, Mississippi, in the spring of 1965, and it has taken me all this time to fully come to grips with my experiences there."
– from my introduction  



Just look HERE.

What you’ll find there: Brief descriptions of each of the 12, and links to them all

“[O]ccasionally I would write more encompassing or more reflective or more self-critical pieces, and as I’ve grown older I’ve begun to think of that as my best work.  In addition, I’ve begun to see that what I was doing in those uneasy pieces evolved over time, in ways that I think the radical social change movement itself needs to evolve, if we are ever going to ... take the lead in healing and transforming this nation.”
– from my introduction  



XI. Statistics for This Website, 2000 – Present

See below.

Source since 2006: Urchin Software Corp.

Moral: You can build a website by word of mouth alone.

Year 2000    25,521 article views (aka "pageviews")
Year 2001    93,267
Year 2002    127,539
Year 2003    181,262
Year 2004    193,719
Year 2005    431,285
Year 2006    518,862
Year 2007    528,761 article views, avg. 1.84 views per session
Year 2008    467,689 article views, avg. 2.12 views per session
Year 2009    443,439 article views, avg. 2.07 views per session
Year 2010    462,918 article views, avg. 2.01 views per session
Year 2011    408,123 article views, avg. 2.05 views per session
Year 2012    384,784 article views, avg. 2.04 views per session
Year 2013    370,943 article views, avg. 2.15 views per session
Year 2014    454,182 article views, avg. 2.43 views per session
Year 2015    482,004 article views, avg. 2.52 views per session

Total through 2015    5,574,658 article views

"How much can you synthesize?  How much do you dare to take in?" 
Mark Satin, New Options Newsletter, January 1986


WHY "Radical Middle"?


50 Thinkers and Activists DESCRIBE the Radical Middle 

50 Best Radical Middle BOOKS of the '00s


100 Great Radical Centrist GROUPS and  Organizations

25 Great Radical Centrist BLOGS


Generational Equity and Communitarian platforms 1990s

First U.S. Green Party gatherings, 1987 - 1990

Green Party's "Ten Key Values" statement, 1984

New World Alliance, 1979 - 1983

PDF of  the Alliance's "Transformation Platform," 1981


What the Draft Resistance Movement Taught Me

What the Civil Rights Movement Taught Me


New Options Newsletter, 1984-1992 (includes back issue PDFs!)

New Age Politics: Healing Self and Society, 1976,  1978 (includes 1976 text PDF!)


50 Best "Third Way" Books of the 1990s

25 Best "Transformational" Books of the 1980s

25 Best "New Age Politics" Books of the 1970s


10 Best U.S. Political NOVELS

50 Current Political IDEOLOGIES

50 Current Political  MANIFESTOS