A Brief Introduction to “Centrism”

Continual concessions by the Left, paired with the expansion of the Right, means that we currently have a political spectrum that is shifted so far to the right that, in essence, today’s Democrats are yesterday’s moderate Republicans.

For What it’s Worth: Neoliberal Notions in a Populist Age. Issue: 1

For the past 40 years, the establishment of the Democratic Party has peddled the same recycled falsehood: If we want to win, we must run to the center! But what is the “center” and who defines it? 

The Center, as the name might suggest, is directly in between the political Left and the political Right. Just how left or right either side is is determined by the values and goals of their respective political coalitions at a given time. Unfortunately for the Left, its primary political representative (The Democratic Party) has been on a race to the Center for the past 40 years. Even worse, this race did not happen in a vacuum; you see, as the Left chased the Center, the political Right moved further right by distancing itself from its classical-liberal roots and embracing new-liberalism, also known as neoliberalism (neither of which are to be confused with the current mainstream meaning of the word ‘liberal’). 

Continual concessions by the Left, paired with the expansion of the Right, means that we currently have a political spectrum that is shifted so far to the right that, in essence, today’s Democrats are yesterday’s moderate Republicans.

This unfortunate reality can be definitively traced back to the 1980s when the Left officially conceded to the Right, abandoning its longstanding socially democratic values, in exchange for the fruits of the “free-market” that neoliberalism promised. By adopting the neoliberal consensus of the 1980s, the Democratic Party finalized its merger with the Republican Party; making it the second faction of a much larger party: The Business Party.

 “In the US, there is basically one party – the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies”.

-Noam Chomsky

This article was written by Angel Olvera. Please send an email to managing@oncenturyavenue.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: David Shankbone

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