Category: The Left

What Progressives Can Draw From Argentina’s Pro-Choice Victory

A FEW DAYS before the end of 2020, progressives in Latin America got some of the only good news the year had to offer: after decades of feminist activism, the Argentinian Senate legalized abortion. In a region known for its conservative politics, it was a rare triumph.

Argentina is now part of a small group of countries in the region where abortion is legal nationwide. Meanwhile, in the US, the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has widely been seen as a step toward the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

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“The way that we push forward is by investing in organizing”: an interview with Jackie Fielder

When you think about political figures associated with Stanford, it’s easy to think of a few archetypes: mainstream Democrats like Senators Dianne Feinstein or Cory Booker, national security bureaucrats like Condoleezza Rice, or big political donors like Tom Steyer or Peter Thiel. It’s harder to think of radical, progressive politicians that have come out of Stanford.

Jackie Fielder could change that. The 25-year-old alum of the class of 2016 is a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, running for state senate in the 11th district against Scott Wiener, a long-entrenched figure in San Francisco city politics. Her campaign focuses on environmental and racial justice, economic inequality, and fighting the housing crisis and the forces that have abetted it. The Stanford Sphere talked with her about these campaign issues over the phone last week.

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Editor’s Opening Statement, Vol. 3

THE LUXURIOUS quinceañera after a field trip to the slums. The bus packed just with women—all domestic workers—heading back from the rich part of town. The school employees who called us children “doctors” out of deference. You didn’t have to be particularly disadvantaged to find social injustice in Brazil. It was everywhere.

My leftism was born out of moral indignation. It felt immoral that I could get a tech internship at age 16 and make more money than half the country. It felt immoral that I was guaranteed a spot in college, while many paulistanos didn’t even know that the University of São Paulo existed. At some point, I realized that Brazilian society demanded radical wealth redistribution. And so, I became a socialist.

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Voices of Thunder: Prophecy and the Left

THE STATE of religion in politics today is a disappointment to those who hear echoes of fire in the voices of the prophets. Historically, the Left has veered away from religion. Today, it has considered religion primarily through the challenge of defending marginalized groups. But it must move beyond that and recognize the transformative power of the religious imagination to inspire change. Only a pluralist project of prophetic vision can accomplish the task.

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A Left Defense of Universal Basic Income

IN A WORLD in which fiscal policy becomes more complex with each passing administration, an alarmingly simple proposal like universal basic income brings all parties into a state of shock. At its core, UBI seeks to give citizens a periodic, no-strings-attached cash grant to do whatever they want. Whether you are rich or poor, from San Francisco or from Bakersfield, every so often you receive a check in the mail for a fixed amount directly from the government. You could spend it all in a one-night extravaganza or save it to buy the car you always wanted—you could even burn the money in a bonfire if you like (though I would not recommend doing so). The fundamental principle behind UBI is for citizens to choose what they want to do with their money, whatever that choice may be.

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