Radical, transformative social movements face two major challenges: They must present a compelling and viable vision of an alternative social order; and they need a strategy to attract widespread public support for that system. Building such support appears all but impossible in today’s polarized political climate. The left appears as divided as ever, and many working class voters and small business owners all too often vote under the influence of identity politics for Republican Party candidates and their big business allies. These voters need to come to the realization that big business and competition for survival is the problem, not government itself.
In this panel, we take on the twin issues of radical vision and strategy. Inspired by the Zeitgeist movement’s goal of a post-scarcity economy, we sketch the key facets of a workable political-economic model beyond capitalism. We discuss why Zeitgeist’s appeal for this alternative system – like other radical calls for social transformation – often fall on deaf ears in the public arena. We contend that this has to do with social-psychological differences between the left and right that are exploited by elites and exacerbate social divisions. We hope that attention to vision and psychologically-informed strategy will provide clues regarding our short-term strategic priorities (e.g., campaign financing, banking and monopoly regulations, etc.) as we seek serious systemic change. We invite discussion on these key issues and encourage your participation.