My Resoc Interview
By Dean Baker at Nov 03, 2009
1. At a public talk someone asks you, "okay, I understand what
you reject, but I wonder what you are for? What institutions
do you want that you think will be better than what we have,
for the economy, polity, gender, race, ecology, or whatever
you think is central to have vision for?
I don't envision institutions developing from scratch. they evolve from existing institutions.
2. Next, someone at the same event asks, "Why do you do what you
do? That is, you are speaking to us, and I know you write, and
maybe you organize, but why do you do it? What do you think it
accomplishes? What is your goal for your coming year, or for
your next ten years?
I hope that it can help mobilize pressure in ways that make the world better. for example, we can get a health care reform that will extend health coverage. it won't be as good as it could be, but more people will be covered. Ideally, we will get to more basic questions, like patent protection for pharmaceuticals and medical devises and the structure of the labor market that allows for bloated wages for physicians. I think there are lots of areas where we can make advances.
3. You are at home and you get an email that says a new
organization is trying to form, internationally, federating
national chapters, etc. It asks you to join the effort. Can
you imagine plausible conditions under which you would say,
yes, I will give my energies to making it happen along with
the rest of you who are already involved? If so, what are
those conditions? Or - do you think instead that regardless of
the content of the agenda and make up of the participants, the
idea can't be worthy, now,or perhaps ever. If so, why?
Sure, i would want to see that the organization is run by serious people who have shown a record of doing useful things and that they have a well-thought out agenda.
4. Do you think efforts to organize movements, projects, and our
own organizations should embody the seeds of the future in the
present? If not, why? If yes, can you say what, very roughly,
you think some of the implications would be for an
organization you would favor?
They inevitably do.
5. Why did you answer this interview? Why do you think others did
not answer it?
I had a few minutes and I like to feel I am working on a common progressive project -- people are extremely busy and have to decide the best use of their time.