by Jerry Alatalo
We would rather be ruined than changed
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die
W.H. AUDEN (1907-1973) British-born American poet
The Real News Network (TRNN) recently began a multi-part discussion with Salvatore Babones, an associate professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney in Australia. His book “Sixteen for ’16: A Progressive Agenda for a Better America” was just published in May 2015 on Amazon and will be found here:
Using Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature, the book is proposed as a “progressive field manual for the 2016 elections”. In the book’s description the author states that:
“America needs jobs, infrastructure, a rededication to public education, universal healthcare, higher taxes on higher incomes, a more secure Social Security, and end to the rule of the bankers, stronger unions, a living minimum wage, better working conditions, an end to the prison state, secure reproductive rights, voter equality, a more moral foreign policy, a more humane refugee policy, and action on global warming”.
All profits from the book’s sales are going to Truthout and the Institute for Policy Studies.
Thus far, around one month since publication, the book has received three reviews, all at 5-stars. One reviewer wrote:
“A very credible road map of a progressive agenda. In these days of crystallized politics, people have already made up their minds before they have started. That said, if the analysis here reorients lefties away from side agendas – and makes even one of its sixteen points to readers either of the middle or the right, a lot of good will have been done”.
“Crystallized” means definite or lucid, so the reviewer is describing what’s in Mr. Babones’ book as information that could seem reasonable for readers to the political right of progressive, as well as giving a more intense focus for “lefties” – away from less important issues and toward the major issues of the day. Ironically for this writer, the front of the book includes praise from well-known professor at Canada’s McMaster University Henry Giroux:
“This book brilliantly critiques and offers concrete practices and policy suggestions about how to move from calls for empty reform to real change. A must read”.
The reason for using “ironic” with respect to Mr. Giroux’s contribution to Mr. Babones’ book is that, after reading a number of his (Mr. Giroux’s) excellent writings, it seemed invariably that after finishing his typically 4-5,000 word pieces the feeling of disappointment came, because his articles seemed always absent any solutions. “Sixteen for ’16” is the type of book(s) – entirely focused on solutions – that one wishes Mr. Giroux would write, because his intellect certainly shines when articulating serious problems. To be completely fair to Mr. Giroux, the writer has only read his articles which are many times re-posted across the internet – but none of his books. His books most likely contain equally impressive solutions, given his praise of/alignment with “Sixteen for ’16”. This minute observation is simply mentioned here only for its coincidental, ironic nature, and not as a criticism of Mr. Giroux. A humorous oddity…
At any rate, it is probably the case that men and women active in trying to improve living conditions for people in America and in the world are glad and appreciative when a too-rare journalistic effort focused on solutions comes around. It might have been John Lennon who said “there are no problems, only solutions”. Here’s to the Real News Network’s interview of Salvatore Babones igniting a bonfire leading to a solutions-focused independent, internet, alternative media activism “raging inferno” around the Earth.
Thank you to Salvatore Babones and TRNN for deciding to move in this ascendant direction.
(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)