Recently I listened to an old interview of one of the last American public intellectuals, critic and Dissent‘s founder Irving Howe, by James Day as part of his TV series Day at Night (mid 1970s).
A self-described “democratic socialist,” Howe was a ferocious critic of late American radicalism, particularly that of the 1960s, and more specifically that of the New Left.
Here, Day asks him to elaborate on his idea of a “better world,” and Howe’s answer summarizes the ideal of social democracy: “a better world in which there is more equality… in which the democratic process which functions politically would be extended to economic life in industrial society.” “Is it achievable?,” counters Day. “One tries,” replies Howe.
Here is the full interview: