Readers of The Bright Stuff may be interested in the launch of Arguing the World, a new blog from Dissent, the American journal of the American democratic Left.
The idea is to collect the thoughts of journalists and academics in Britain and America in a format beyond the usual long-form essays and reviews printed in Dissent itself.
For those unfamilar with Dissent, the editors describe the publication thus:
"Dissent is a quarterly magazine of politics and culture edited by Michael Kazin and Michael Walzer. A magazine of the left, Dissent is also one of independent minds and strong opinions. "A pillar of leftist intellectual provocation," writes the New York Times, Dissent is "devoted to slaying orthodoxies on the right and on the left." Adds historian John Patrick Diggins, "Dissent is kind of an anomaly…a magazine that’s all heart and good hope."
The journal — founded in 1954 in opposition to McCarthyism and Communism — has recently incorporated the British journal Democratiya, which was set up in 2005 to be the voice of the British anti-totalitarian left.
Arguing the World is a very exciting project.
Since I last posted on the future of the intellectual left in Britain, I have become even more convinced of the need for new voices. Apologies to my friends at Prospect, who objected to my description of them as being on the centre-right (not an insult in these parts!), but even if we may quibble with the exact political positioning of particular magazine, there has to be space for more diversity of thought.