(ed:..this debate was also raging in the nz labour party not that long ago – things have been quiet lately – but that could just indicate a lack of media-coverage – hard to see how those fervently-held beliefs on both sides would have at all dissipated..
so clearly that is also still bubbling away here – making the following piece relevant for the players in those factions in this part of the world..)
Neither identity politics nor economic populism can return the Democrats to power on their own.
We need solidarity.
People in rural and small-town America know the dangers of industry consolidation better than anyone – having seen it strip away the livelihoods of independent farmers and local banks and merchants long before most city slickers even realized that corporate concentration was an issue.
All this points to a simple conclusion: Democrats should make fighting monopolies the central organizing principle of their economic agenda.
This approach holds the promise of bringing together groups that seem inherently at odds: nativists and cosmopolitans – fundamentalists and secularists – urbanites and rural dwellers.
The strongest reason to think this could work is – quite simply – that it has worked before.
A century ago agrarian populists and big-city progressives united around a common opposition to monopoly – forming a movement that dominated American politics for decades and helped deliver a broadly shared prosperity.
Because the economic landscape today is strikingly similar to what it was a hundred years ago – there’s every reason to believe that the conditions are right for a similar alliance to arise again.