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"Radical Middle [Newsletter] carries the encouraging news of an
emerging group with a
different voice, one that is nuanced, hopeful, adult."
-- from Walter Truett
Connected Now: Life in the First Global Civilization (2001)
Tracking the Savvy and Visionary Center
This Archive consists of articles from Radical Middle Newsletter when it
was a pricey printed periodical (January 1999 through December
2004). They are now freely available below.
Read, link, and reproduce to your heart's content.
If you'd like to view articles from Radical Middle Online Newsletter (January 2005
-June 2009), just go HERE.
An overview of our book Radical Middle: The
Politics We Need Now (Basic Books, 2004) is HERE.
Articles from New Options Newsletter (1984 - 1992),
which took a more long-term (aka "idealistic") approach to
the same fundamental issues dealt with in Radical Middle Newsletter,
can be found HERE.
And an introduction to the New World Alliance (1979
- 1983), arguably the first national radical-centrist /
transformational political organization in the U.S., can be found HERE.
An Identifiable "Radical
Middle" Is Quietly at Work -- in Congress!
All over Washington, groups like the ACLU created scorecards of the 108th Congress that were carefully calculated to make liberals the
"winners." On parallel track, groups like the Christian
Coalition created scorecards that made conservatives the winners. We created
a scorecard that tracked over 50 radical middle pieces of legislation . . . and uncovered
a whole new set of thoughtful & visionary champions.
Our Next Foreign Policy Needs to Learn from ALL of Us
Most of our politicians are trying to find some mushy compromise between two
laughably polarized foreign policy positions -- "realism" and
"idealism." Meanwhile, radical middle thinkers are trying to
incorporate the truths contained in ALL the ways we'd save the world.
Five Books That Would Make a Radical Middle Revolution
If you missed John Avlon's Independent Nation (2004), Ted Halstead's
The Real State of the Union (2004), Matt Miller's The Two
Percent Solution (2003), Ronn Owens's Voice of Reason (2004), and one 2004 tome that was attacked by the
policy director of the Democratic Leadership Council, then you've been missing the most exciting and relevant spate of
political books in the last 25 years!
OK, Vote -- But More Important, Be a
Player, Not a Good Soldier or a Rebel
We've been publishing five years now, and in this article I step back and try to
describe a political strategy that's consistent with the kinds of political
ideas we've been developing (and that's already being carried out, in bits and
pieces, by radical middle thinkers and activists).
At Last, a Movement That Would Have Us Listen To and Learn
From Each Other
July / August 2004
Twenty-four left-wing, right-wing, and independent opinion leaders got
together in the Michigan woods this summer to lay the groundwork for a movement
that might -- just might -- succeed in implementing the kinds of ideas we've
been writing about here.
Four Key Values + Any Caring
Person = A Principled, Radical Middle Politics
We've been publishing almost five years now, and in this article I step back and try to
articulate the larger political message we've been developing.
Wake Up, You There
in the Beltway -- Here Come the Independents
Independent Nation author and former Giuliani
speechwriter John Avlon (b. 1973) tells the "Beltway crowd"
that a grassroots independent movement is growing in America.
Law Reform as if People Mattered
A new breed of lawyer and legal scholar is less interested in endless
"theoretical nondebates" over issues like criminals' rights, and more
interested in making the legal system as humanly friendly as possible.
Making it accountable, affordable, humane. Making it -- even --
Ignore the Noise!
This is the preface to Mark Satin's just-released book, Radical
Middle: The Politics We Need Now (Westview Press / Perseus Books
Group, March 2, 2004).
Front in Our War For Democracy: Liberating the U.S. From Oil Dependence
January / February 2004
The fight is on as to how to do this. Some would have us pick their
favorite "soft" energy paths. Others, at the radical middle, would have us provide substantial amounts of
support to each of six "parallel" energy paths -- conservation,
renewables, non-oil fossil fuels, hydrogen, nuclear, and values-change
-- in the
expectation that some will be preferable today, others tomorrow, and so on back
Listen, Politicians (and Activists): Public
Opinion Is Radical Middle Now
Increasingly, the public appears to be -- on many policy issues -- subtle and
imaginative, rational and creative, sensible and forward-looking,
pragmatic and visionary. By contrast, most of our politicians (and,
sadly, many of our activists) appear to be simplistic, unimaginative, and
What Our Schools
Need Now: Great Teachers, Great Teachers, Great Teachers
Maybe high-stakes testing will frighten some students into memorizing more
facts. And it couldn't hurt if classes were smaller. But no
political leader in this country has the courage to stand up
to the education bureaucracy and say what's obvious to most Americans and to a
rapidly growing cadre of "radical middle" education reformers: THE
TEACHER is the key to reinventing American education.
Romantic Nationalists to Thoughtful Cosmopolitans
Republicans and Democrats, even Greens and Libertarians, seem
terrified of deviating from the rhetoric of romantic
nationalism. Talk with Americans in any depth, though, and
you'll discover that our nationalism is beginning to shade into a
tentative and thoughtful cosmopolitanism. Pollsters,
philosophers, activists, travel guidebooks, and basketball
writers are all beginning to pick up on this.
Universal, Preventive, and Cost-Effective Health Care Is Within Our Grasp!
Not one of the over 1,000 health care bills in Congress comes close to giving us
what we want and need: Universal health care that's NOT totally run by the
government and DOES allow us to take full advantage of
preventive services and alternative therapies. But -- psst! -- some
health care workers and policy analysts have figured out
how to give us exactly that. And save us money in the process.
Affirmative Action: The Elites Loathe It, The People Want It
July / August 2003
The most morally compelling issue on college campuses today is all about class,
not race. Students from the top economic quartile take 74% of the slots at
our 150 best universities; students from the bottom quartile, 3%.
Admissions officers and the Supreme Court pretend this is a non-issue. But
most Americans want to make it an issue, and thinkers at the radical middle are
suggesting how to proceed.
Blinded by the Present to Hot-Wired to the Past and Future
Academics and activists enjoy bashing us for
caring only about the present, but hello!?! For the last decade,
our culture has been hot-wiring itself to the (global) past and
(global) future. It's a plot by Baby Boomers with a
social conscience -- educators from the National Center for History, world historians
from the World History
Association, & "scenario planners" from the World
Race-Conscious Gruel vs. Amer'c'n
Gumbo: Letter to My Afroamerican Nephew
Although extraordinary debates are taking place now in the African-American
community, few white journalists are willing to honestly assess them. We
make up for that here -- we tell you why visionary realists Stanley Crouch and
John McWhorter are more relevant now than black Victimologists Derrick
Bell and Randall Robinson. ESPECIALLY if you're a young black kid in
Oakland. . . .
Nature on a Pedestal to Nature as a Slightly Ditzy Companion
The ANWR "debate" was surreal; we don't have to choose
between those who'd exploit nature and those who'd put her on a
pedestal. Cutting-edge ecologists like Cal's Daniel Botkin and Yale's
Daniel Esty are creating a "radical middle environmentalism"
that's beginning to be heard in the classrooms of our best
universities and the conference rooms of our best think tanks and
The Cool Diffidence and
Passionate Realism of the Rising Generation
Despite encouragement from legions of nostalgic Baby Boomers, the generation of people age 21-35 isn't heading to the barricades anytime
soon. It's a generation of thoughtful, sensitive, creative, and highly
responsible pragmatists. And it's developing its OWN brand of politics, thank
Top Visionaries: Reps. Filner and Frank and Sen. Tim Johnson
January / February 2003
To identify the most "radical middle" legislators in the
107th Congress (2001-02), we created a Scorecard that tracked
100 radical middle pieces of legislation. Unfortunately, the
Scorecard gave top scores only to left-leaning members of Congress! We
learned from this experience, and our Scorecard from the 108th Congress, November
/ December 2004 above, is a lot more reliable.
Juice?: A Review of Halstead and Lind's The Radical Center
Finally we have it! -- a readable, sensible, and
sophisticated introduction to radical middle politics by U.S. authors
(both in their 30s). But can it win activists away from
nihilistic tracts like Hardt and Negri's Empire, and messianic
tracts like David Korten's The Post-Corporate World?
Forget Bush's Cowboy
Unilateralism -- Global Governance Is Busy Being Born
The Washington press corps is full of angst about President Bush's "unilateralism."
Meanwhile, national government agencies, international
governmental organizations, transnational corporations, and civil society
organizations have begun to collaborate to such an
extent that we're on the verge of having
something genuinely new on Earth -- an increasingly transparent and accountable
Professional Schools, Not Radical
Groups, Are Our Social Change Incubators Now
Although the mainstream and alternative media are fixated on what's
happening in the streets, most of tomorrow's most effective social
change agents are prepping for the long haul in medical, business and
Forget Socialism and Protectionism -- Here Comes
Many think there are only two political
points of view right now: "corporate capitalism," and the witches'
brew of socialism, anarchism, identity politics, technophobia, and economic
protectionism that burst forth on the streets of Seattle. We
say a third view is arising. Call it "planetary humanism."
Goodbye, Victim Feminists and
Soft Men! Hello, Equity Feminists and Standup Guys
July / August 2002
Historians rarely dwell on the human costs of immersing oneself in
Necessary and Important social movements. Here, we rip that politically
correct curtain away. We also discover that
and men's liberation have recently taken a turn for the better.
We Need To Alter the Culture at Places Like Enron -- Not
Just Pass More Laws
Liberals and conservatives are twiddling the dials; radicals are plotting
revenge; New Agers are spouting feel-good pipe dreams. Meanwhile, radical
centrist management consultants and policy analysts are showing the world how to
steer corporate culture in the right direction.
Nine Ways of Looking at
the Next Great Social Change Movement
Although the old social change movement may be running on empty, spokespeople for eight distinct political
traditions are calling for a new social change movement. We
should listen to these human rights advocates, communitarians,
ecologists, "values conservatives," localists, globalists,
economic democrats, and radical centrists -- and synthesize key truths
from each of them.
Confronting the Social Causes of
Psychological Depression: Too Taboo?
Twice as many Americans suffer from psychological depression as live
in poverty. Although most politicians won't touch this issue, some
underappreciated scholars and psychologists have begun proposing ways
that families, schools, and workplaces can be made more friendly to
Bring Back the Draft -- For Everyone! --
and Offer Community and Military Options
From Col. David Hackworth to communitarian Amitai Etzioni, people of
integrity are beginning to talk about universal national service --
for EVERYONE, pardner.
Selling U.S. Products Abroad: Malign, Moral, or a Chance for Mutual
January / February 2002
Ralph Nader sees multinationals as the enemy. George Priest sees
them as evidence of the "moral virtue of capitalism."
Increasingly, radical middle thinkers see them as at least potentially
Learning Organizations; and feel the learning needs to cut both ways.
Are We "Cultural
Creatives," "New Monastic Individuals," or
Paul Ray says that 50 million green or personal-growth-oriented Americans are about to change the world! But
Morris Berman says that the most perceptive social change-oriented Americans
are pretty much alone now. And Chris Clausen says that the borrowing and
commingling that's going on all around us now -- of ethnic traits, ideas, values
-- is the real metapolitical movement of our time.
Tough on Terrorism AND Tough on
the Causes of Terrorism: Our Only Hope
The far right, the far left, the peace movement, and the New Age have all proved
themselves irrelevant in this crisis. But fortunately for all of us who've
felt politically isolated since 9/11, hundreds of thoughtful, nuanced, intelligently hopeful Americans
are calling for a two-track approach to the terrorist threat. Call them the
An Upper Class Fit for the 21st Century
Where John Judis (Paradox of American Democracy) sees callous sell-outs,
David Brooks (Bobos in Paradise) sees bourgeois
bohemians. But both authors hold out hope.
Left, Right and Evangelicals Hammer Out Holistic Anti-Poverty
Innovative thinking about poverty has become a lot more realistic
since the Great Society. The most promising new approaches are
more supervisory -- some might say more paternalistic (or "maternalistic")
-- than the rights-based approaches of the Sixties. At the same
time, though, the new approaches are more sensitive to individual poor
people's unique situations.
An Egalitarianism Fit for the 21st Century
July / August 2001
Nobel-Prize-winning economist Robert Fogel (The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism)
says we need to focus less on
equalizing material assets, and more on equalizing
"spiritual" and "immaterial" assets.
Coming To Grips With Biotechnology:
Beyond Complacency and Fear
The Masters of the Universe are telling us not to worry, and the Saviors of
the Universe are UP IN ARMS. But slowly, mercifully, a Third Voice
-- nuanced, grown-up, cautiously optimistic -- is beginning to be
Different Words, Same Song?
Review of William Ury, Getting to Peace,
and Robert Kaplan, The Coming Anarchy
Real "Campaign Finance
Reform" Is More About Process Than Money
McCain and his rivals are getting most of the ink, but the
heroes in this battle are the Process Reformers -- those who'd
shorten the election cycle, provide free TV time to qualified
candidates, provide $50 tax credits so all people can contribute to
candidates. . . .
Four Books, Four Visions; or, Where Have You Gone, Herbert
Review of Thomas Berry, The Great Work; Joseph Coates, 2025; Roberto
Unger and Cornel West, The Future of American Progressivism; and Michael
Lind, The Next American Nation
Humanitarian Military Intervention: The “Peace Movement” of the ‘00s?
January / February 2001
The Old Peace Movement disavowed use of the gun. The New Peace
Movement will learn -- is learning -- when to call on the world to
pick up the gun and intervene in the affairs of sovereign nations.
A Bold New Kind of Global History Steps Out Upon the Stage
Review of J.M. Roberts, Twentieth Century; David Landes, The Wealth and
Poverty of Nations; Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Millennium; and Theodore
Zeldin, An Intimate History of Humanity
Maybe the Election Will Shame Us
Into Sharing Our Wealth
Forget the politicians' cynical talk about prescription drug coverage for
seniors. Just beneath the radar screens of the mainstream media, thinkers
and activists are revising old wealth-sharing ideas and proposing new ones
-- basic annual incomes, universal access to stock dividends, public employment
for all, private employment for all (!), "individual
development" accounts. . . .
Seriously, Folks -- Do We Really Need a Meritocracy?
Review of Nicholas Lemann, The Big Test: The Secret History of the American
Futility, Fury and Hope Outside the
Republican National Convention
The New Protest Movement and the featured speakers at Arianna Huffington's
Shadow Convention may think they've got the answers you need -- but they're missing a
more timely message coming from the likes of Philadelphia
Police Commissioner John Timoney and the self-confident Gen-Y'ers who scoped
out, but didn't buy into, the protests.
Goodbye, ACLU -- Today We Need Communitarians and "Technorealists"
July / August 2000
Today's ACLU can be counted upon to privilege individual rights over
the common good at every turn. We need to recapture a sense of
balance or limits. [A year after this article came 9/11, and
many commentators suddenly began saying the same thing.]
Unlocking All Our Children's
Potentials: The Children's Defense Fund Roars Into the 21st Century
Over 2,000 activists at the national meeting of the Children's Defense Fund
blaze a path beyond "identity politics," teachers' unions, and
Debate Burning Political Issues While Press Sleeps
This is not your father's AAAS (American Association for the
Advancement of Science).
Trade Wars: Responses to the WTO Cover Story
(from January / February 2000), With a Reply from
Our cover story was enormously controversial at the time (and cost us
all our radical-liberal foundation support), but it expressed what
would eventually, by 2004-05, become the majority position among
social change agents.
AALS Section on Socio-Economics: Gathering of Savvy “Socio-Economists”
Challenges Traditional Economics
Credentialed economists and other social scientists from the rising
new group SASE (Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economists) take
on traditional liberals -- and each other.
Hey, WTO Protesters! The “Radical Middle” Has Got Your Number
January / February 2000
We don't need protectionism, even if it will make the labor unions
love us. What we do need is to (a) open our borders to
agricultural and manufactured goods from the poorest countries, and
(b) build labor, environmental, and human rights concerns into our
Harvard Center for Ethics and the Professions: Religion in Public Life --
Beyond the Wall of Separation?
National Trust for Historic Preservation: The
Smart-Growthers and the
World Future Society: Feast of the “Insider” Change Agents
From “Please, Mr. Capitalist?” to the NEXT Industrial Revolution
Review of William McDonough, “The NEXT Industrial Revolution,"
and Paul Hawken et al., Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial
Resentment and Transcendence at the NAACP Convention
July / August 1999
National Taxpayers Union: From Tax Reduction to Tax
A Positive Vision for the New Planetary Civilization
Review of Peter Schwartz et al., The Long Boom
Responses to the “Globalism vs. Localism” Cover Story
(from January / February 1999)
Modest Women, Honorable Men
Review of Wendy Shalit, A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue
Globalization vs. Localism: Our Real Political Debate
January / February 1999
ABOUT THE RADICAL MIDDLE CONCEPT
WHY "Radical Middle"?
50 Thinkers and Activists DESCRIBE
the Radical Middle
Radical Middle BOOKS of the '00s
GREAT RADICAL MIDDLE GROUPS AND BLOGS:
100 Great Radical Centrist GROUPS and Organizations
25 Great Radical Centrist BLOGS
SOME PRIOR RADICAL MIDDLE INITIATIVES:
Generational Equity and Communitarian
First U.S. Green Party gatherings, 1987 -
"Ten Key Values" statement, 1984
New World Alliance, 1979 - 1983
PDF of the Alliance's "Transformation
SOME RADICAL MIDDLE LESSONS:
What the Draft Resistance Movement Taught Me
What the Civil Rights Movement Taught Me
SOME PRIOR WRITINGS BY MARK SATIN:
Options Newsletter, 1984-1992 (includes back issue PDFs!)
New Age Politics: Healing Self and Society, 1976,
1978 (includes 1976 text PDF!)
PRIOR RADICAL MIDDLE TEXTS:
50 Best "Third Way" Books of the 1990s
25 Best "Transformational" Books of the
25 Best "New Age Politics" Books of the
NOT JUST RADICAL MIDDLE:
10 Best U.S. Political NOVELS
Current Political IDEOLOGIES
50 Current Political MANIFESTOS