August 18th, 2012

ASA Awards Ceremony and Presidential Address (2012)


The Presidential Plenary featuring the formal address of ASA President Erik Olin Wright will be held on Saturday, August 18, at 4:30pm. The ASA Awards Ceremony, conferring the 2012 major ASA awards, will open the session. All registrants are invited to attend this plenary session and the Honorary Reception afterwards to honor President Erik Olin Wright and the award recipients.


EDWARD TELLES: Good afternoon. I'd like to call this session to order. Boy, that's power. Silence. Okay. Good afternoon.
And on behalf of the ASA, welcome to the 2012 awards ceremony and presidential address. My name is Edward Telles and I am the current ASA vice president. I will be your emcee.
I hope all of you are enjoying Denver and the 107th annual meetings of the ASA. But first, let's take a moment to remember those sociologists who passed away, and
whose legacy we will always remember. Thank you. We now turn to the presentation of the 2012 awards by your awards master of ceremonies, Dr. Sarah Fenstermaker at the University of Michigan.
Please welcome Sarah. SARAH FENSTERMAKER: Good afternoon. The ASA Dissertation Award honors the best PhD dissertation from among those submitted by advisors and mentors in the discipline.
Please welcome Susan Farrell as she highlights the award and the dynamic work of this year's recipient. SUSAN FARRELL: Good afternoon.
Drawing on 15 months of research tracing the dialectical link between the political economies of sex work and intimacy in Vietnam, Dr.
Hoang used a creative form of field work to engage and observe the daily world of sex work in Ho Chi Minh City. She served as a hostess in bars catering to four different groups of clients.
Speaking with these clients, the workers, and the madams known as "mommies," Hoang illuminates a world in which, to paraphrase her dissertation chair's nominating letter, all those
involved navigate social and global forces to enhance their social and their economic positions in the global economy, thus weaving together the micro and macro socio- economic worlds.
The committee offers its hearty congratulations to Dr.
Kimberly Hoang for an excellent dissertation, and one which we think will make a major contribution to the fields of gender, sexuality, and political economy in a global context.
Kimberly? KIMBERLY HOANG: Thank you, thank you. I was born here in Denver to Vietnamese refugees who were just getting their lives started in the U.S.
before they moved to California to open their first business. They ran [inaudible] for 15 years, and then in 2001, my parents sold everything to send my sister and me to school.
They now run a motel that caters mainly to drug dealers, sex workers, migrant farmers, and the growing number of homeless families.
They're here today, and I want to dedicate this award to them for the countless sacrifices that they've made in their lives.
I'm humbled by their grace, dedication, and extraordinary courage. I feel like I'm living a dream, one that would not be possible without the mentorship of my committee at UC Berkeley.
I would especially like to thank my chair, Raka Ray, for her guidance and for believing me in every step of the way, from the initial conception to fieldwork and writing.
Barry Thorn, Irene Bloemraad, and Peter Zinoman read multiple drafts of my dissertation, and provided me with the most invaluable feedback.
At Rice University, I'd like to thank Michael Emerson, Elizabeth Long, and Diana Strassman. And Rhacel Parrenas and Kay Valentine have been great informal mentors.
And I'm excited to continue my work at Boston College, where there are many great scholars, including the work of Bill Gamson, who's worked for Celebrating Today.
Finally, I must say that none of this would have been possible without the institutional support of the sociology of gender and the sociology diversity working groups at UC Berkeley,
and the financial support from the Ford Foundation at Seroptimist International.
These programs helped close the gaps between the extreme poverty that I experienced and my parent's motel, and the privilege that I stepped into at UC Berkeley.
I hope that as sociologists, we will continue to promote diversity in the academy, to broaden and deepen the educational field and scholarly achievement. Thank you. SARAH FENSTERMAKER:
The Jessie Bernard Award is given annually in recognition of a body of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society.
Please welcome Judith Howard as she presents this year's award. JUDITH HOWARD: Good afternoon.
I am honored and delighted to introduce the 2012 recipient of the Jessie Bernard Award, Michael Messner, Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California.
Mike is a leading sociologist of gender, indeed the leading figure in the study of gender and sports. In his many books and articles, Mike
has addressed head on a fundamental conundrum in the struggle for gender equality, illustrated through sports as a pivotal site of gender politics. Why is it that women's increased equality
in every arena of sports has led to dramatic increases in participation at every level, and yet failed to transform the public's relationship toward, and media coverage of, women's sports?
The recent London Olympics are a new chapter on this topic, giving Mike plenty of new material for the next probably decade. Mike is also a very active public sociologist, bringing
his expertise to the service of community organizations such as the Women's Sports Foundation, the California Women's Law Center, and the Amateur Athletic Association. As many of you know,
he has also received many professional recognitions, including several book awards, and serving as the Chair of the Sex & Gender Section and the SWS Distinguished Feminist Lecturer.
A colleague of Mike's wrote, and I'm quoting, sociology is often a grim subject, documenting oppression, marginalization, and the disappointment of hopes.
Mike is the kind of intellectual who can face these realities, but can also see the humane and democratic possibilities in human institutions.
Mike Messner, like Jessie Bernard, inspires all who work with him to do impassioned feminist work, both in the academy and beyond.
Congratulate Mike. MICHAEL MESSNER: Thank you very much, and thanks very much to the ASA and to the committee for this great honor.
I want to thank also my friends from graduate school at UC Berkeley, my colleagues at USC, and the wonderful graduate students that I've had the privilege to work with over the years.
I also thank my family, my sons Sasha and Miles, and especially Pierrette Hondagneu Sotelo, who inspires me daily. Jessie Bernard was a courageous, path-breaking scholar.
As I reflect on my own career, it strikes me that I've never had to muster much courage to do what I do. There are two reasons for this. First, when I speak publicly, I
am granted a baseline of respect, an assumption that I know what I'm talking about. This is a privilege that I carry with me as a white, heterosexual man speaking about social inequality.
Second, I'm cognizant that it was the generation of women who came before me who did the hard work to create women's studies, the SWS, and the sex and gender section of the ASA.
These brave scholars opened and legitimized new scholarly terrain. When I came along, I toiled in this clearing, and I've been rewarded continually for doing what I do.
So it's with much appreciation for the collective courage and political savvy
of this earlier generation of feminist scholars, Maxine Baca Zinn, Barry Thorn, and others who have inspired me that I gratefully accept this honor. Thank you. SARAH FENSTERMAKER:
The Public Understanding of Sociology award is given annually to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research, and scholarship among the general public.
Please welcome Jake Rosenfeld as he presents this year's recipient. JAKE ROSENFELD: No American is unaffected by our nation's evolving policy stance toward immigrants.
The major institutions of our collective life bear the imprint of a radically transformed approach to handling newcomers and their offspring.
No sociologist has done more than Professor Douglas Massey to inform a variety of publics about the contradictions and unintended consequences resulting from many of our immigration laws.
Whether testifying before the U.S. Senate, granting dozens of interviews, or penning op-eds in our most prominent newspapers, Professor Massey
has been a tireless emissary on behalf of a humane approach to immigration. All of Professor Massey's public endeavors to improve our immigration system
would define him as one of the most prominent public sociologists of our time. Yet his efforts on behalf of public sociology do not end there.
For decades, he has translated key sociological findings from studies of race, our cities, and the changing demographics of the country for audiences outside of the academy.
All of these efforts share common elements: they remain close to the relevant research, they are comprehensive and clear, and they offer possible solutions to pressing social problems.
For all of these endeavors, the American Sociological Association has named Professor Massey winner of the Public Understanding of Sociology Award for 2012.
DOUGLAS MASSEY: George Orwell once wrote that in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Unfortunately, we live in such a time.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once wrote that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.
We live in an age when facts have been reduced to politically spun factoids. The current era is perhaps the most anti- scientific, anti-intellectual period in American history.
Framers of the U.S. Constitution such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, all sons of the enlightenment, would be appalled.
Unfortunately, this is the world in which we live. It is therefore critical
that evidence to -- it is therefore critical that all those who believe in facts and logic and evidence speak out whenever and wherever they can, especially if they receive public funding.
Throughout my career, I have endeavored to do just that. And for this reason, I am proud to accept the ASA Award for Public Understanding of Sociology.
It is my hope that the spotlight this award puts on me and my career will inspire others to come forward to tilt at the windmills of lies and misinformation that now swirl around us.
I believe that eventually truth will prevail and the tide will be turned. SARAH FENSTERMAKER:
The next award honors the intellectual tradition of Oliver Cox, Charles S Johnson, and E Franklin Frazier.
Please welcome Matt Wray as he presents this year's recipient. MATT WRAY: Each year, the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award
recognizes outstanding achievement in research, teaching, and service to the community, with a particular focus on work in the areas of human rights and social justice.
Special consideration is given to work that emphasizes African American and other disadvantaged populations which have experienced historical racial discrimination.
Professor James Loewen is the 2012 award winner. Jim's life and work embody the spirit and intellect of the pioneering African American scholar-activists for whom the award is named.
From his early years at the historically black Tougaloo College to his later years at the University of Vermont,
Loewen fought for diversity and racial inclusion in higher education. Outside academia, he testified,
filed briefs, and offered statistical consulting in high profile court cases involving employment discrimination, bias in standardized testing, and the rights of prisoners and students.
In addition to authoring scores of academic studies, Professor Loewen is a model public sociologist. His award-winning book, Lies My Teacher
Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, is an eye-opening critique of the ways that high school history texts distort facts about racial discrimination and inequality.
The book has sold over one million copies since its publication in 1995.
Few sociologists find such large audiences for their scholarship; fewer still find that their work makes such a powerful impact in the public sphere.
Loewen's career spans more than 40 years of service, teaching, and scholarship devoted to exposing the causes and the costs of racial discrimination.
For these and other outstanding contributions to racial justice and human rights, we proudly and unanimously bestow upon Professor James Loewen the 2012 Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award.
JAMES LOEWEN: First, I want to thank my students and colleagues at Tougaloo College, at the University of Vermont, and
most recently at Catholic University and in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois.
And the only other thing I want to do is I want to tell you what this award means to me. I've long known that my career was unusual.
Tougaloo College in Mississippi seemed the right road to go down in 1968 to teach sociology and to use it to change race relations. Pretty soon, I found myself
the lone social scientist in a courtroom, testifying that it's just not possible to draw two black jurors out of 14 in a fifty/fifty county, and do this time and time again by change.
It's not likely that 28 of the 31 unpaved streets in Jackson, Mississippi just happened to lay in black neighborhoods.
One thing led to another, and pretty soon I found myself writing a new history of the state for 9th graders, and then suing the state to get it adopted.
Sometimes this road was a bit lonely, such as when I wrote an op-ed piece in the Burlington Free Press, taking the students' side of their takeover
of the University of Vermont's administrative offices owing to race relations issues, only to be booted from the chairmanship of the major interracial committee on campus as a result.
Or when I was confirming that a county in southwestern Illinois was still a sundown county that did not allow black residents in the year 2009, and probably in the year 2012.
But today, I feel that you folks, the ASA, while you didn't exactly have my back, but you were at my side looking on. And with approval.
I want you to know that to me, with the career I chose, this is the most important award the ASA offers. To me, it was always the award I hoped against hope to get.
It's three names, Oliver Cromwell Cox, E. Franklin Frazier, and Charles S. Johnson, have always been important to me. I read their works decades ago.
And to have their names on the award means the world to me. To be the first of, shall I say, my ilk to get this award means the world to me.
To learn that your choice was unanimous means the world to me. So that's what this award means to me. Thank you very much. SARAH FENSTERMAKER:
The Award for Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues honors individuals for their promotion of sociological findings and a broader vision of society. Please
welcome Vicky Smith as she presents this year's recipient. VICKY SMITH: The Award for Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues goes to Katha Politt, writer and columnist for The Nation.
Demonstrating the breadth of her support, her nominating letter was signed by more than 60 sociologists. As the letter stated, Politt's incisive voice
covers a wide range of sociologically relevant topics, revealing a keen understanding of social science research, tying social science to the issues of the day.
Over the years, Politt's work has critically, many times
humorously, tackled sociologically relevant themes such as religion and politics, poverty, popular culture, social movements, and most prominently gender inequality in its myriad forms.
Often, Politt's work debunks conventional understandings of current social issues by bringing to bear, directly or indirectly, sociological thinking and research.
For instance, she has critiqued studies that suggest a decline in women's happiness relative to men's over the last generation,
offering an interpretation of general social survey data that refutes the conclusion that feminism is to blame for the phenomenon.
She identified the messages about masculine privilege embedded in the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, and
used poverty statistics to argue that child poverty, not too much or too little testing, not the wrong kind of parenting, is the biggest barrier to educational achievement.
For these accomplishments and many others, we are delighted to award the American Sociological Association's 2012 Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues Award to Katha Politt.
KATHA POLITT: Thank you, ASA, for this wonderful award. It means so much to me to be standing here sharing award receiving with such unbelievably distinguished and brilliant people.
And it means so much to me to be recognized by a field I so much admire. In fact, I admire sociology so much, I married a sociologist.
I can't tell you how many times my husband, Steven Lukes, has helped me refine my language to be more precise and accurate, if not subtle.
He always hopes for subtle when I veer over into discussing social questions. And it helps a lot to have one's own resident sociological advisor.
So thank you, Steven, for keeping me sociologically correct. A long time ago, I wrote that social science is nine parts social and one part science.
But perhaps those proportions more accurately describe the way journalists write about social science.
24 pandas think Lindsay Lohan is more beautiful than Edith Wharton. That must mean our current gender conventions have come down untouched from the old stone age.
So thank you, sociologists en masse, for helping me to deconstruct the errors of my own undisciplined discipline, journalism. Thank you.
SARAH FENSTERMAKER: The Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology honors outstanding contributions to sociological practice through the work
facilitated or served as a model for the work of others, work that has significantly advanced the utility of one or more specialty areas in sociology.
Please welcome Katherine Rowell as she presents this year's recipient. KATHERINE ROWELL:
I am honored to introduce the 2012 recipient of the Distinguished Career for the Practice of Sociology Award, Judith Blau. In preparing my remarks, I
asked a few colleagues to share their thoughts on Judith's distinguished career. One noted, clearly Judith has made a tremendous impact through her books and articles,
but it's also worth noting that she has served as a mentor to dozens of scholars through Sociologists Without Borders and the ASA Human Rights section.
All of these scholars credit her with creating a space for us, both virtual and real, to undertake the kind of work that takes seriously the responsibility to make the world a better place.
In talking with Judith and those who know her, I
think it would be fair to state Judith Blau is a sociologist who's taken to heart the inspirational line from Gandhi: be the change you wish to see in this world.
Please join me in congratulating Judith for her dedication to the practice of sociology. JUDITH BLAU: Buenos noches. You can do better than that. Buenos noches. Wonderful.
When I heard about the award, I told my chair, Howard Aldrich, that there was a misprint in Footnotes. It is, I said, the Mid-Career Award. I think he said, yeah, or sure.
Now the utopian theme of this meeting is, I think, so timely, so perfect. And it taps some of the undercurrents of sociology that have been there with us for a long time.
Sociologists Without Borders, SWS, SSSP, ABS, the Sociology of Islam, these are cross- disciplinary fields with a point of view, and
makes it possible to have discussions that overarch our particular subspecialties and engage what if kinds of conversations, what if about that better world. Now besides the classroom,
I'm in the trenches of founding in February 2009 the Human Rights Center of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. My hope is that this idea will spark inspiration among sociologists across the country.
You know, human rights is everything from food and water and housing and jobs, the rights of migrants, the rights of refugees. If you want to find out more about us, I'll give you a website.
It's www.humanrightscities.org. My very deep and heart-felt thanks for this award. I was so surprised. Thank you very much. SARAH FENSTERMAKER: The Distinguished Contribution to Teaching Award
is given to honor outstanding contributions to the undergraduate and/or graduate teaching and learning of sociology that improve the quality of teaching.
Please welcome Steven Sweet as he presents this year's recipient. STEVEN SWEET:
It's my honor to present the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award to two recipients. Dr. Katherine Rowell, Professor of Sociology at Sinclair College,
has demonstrated distinction by advancing quality teaching and quantitative literacy as core issues within the profession of sociology. At her institution, Dr.
Rowell served as the founding director of the Applied Social Issues Research Center, and in 2008 became the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Dr. Rowell's numerous publications and presentations
provide contributions to a far�ranging set of issues and topics, disseminating innovative teaching techniques to the discipline, and helping sociologists become better teachers.
Diane Pike, Professor of Sociology at Augsburg College, is one of the driving forces in the advancement of teaching sociology, and
has assumed many leadership positions in these efforts, such as within the ASA's Department Resources Group. She demonstrated an enduring commitment to teaching
by delivering an incredible number of papers, workshops, panels, and keynote addresses, including sessions on teaching and learning at nearly every meeting of the ASA for the past two decades.
Through these efforts, she has helped centralize teaching as a primary professional activity within the discipline,
leading many to embrace the idea that, in her words, if you teach, you belong. Please let us congratulate Dr. Rowell and Dr. Pike. KATHERINE ROWELL: I wanted to take this time
to say thank you to the American Sociological Association, the committee, my colleagues at both my home institution and within this association, and my students, as well as my co-recipient.
In my ways, I am here today because another ASA teaching award recipient, Jeanne Ballantine, recommended that I participate in the ASA Honors Program in 1989 in Atlanta.
Since that experience, I have been fortunate to have numerous ASA members serve as mentors and colleagues to me. So in many ways, I'm a product of the American Sociological Association,
and I really want to personally thank this association for those experiences, and especially note the ASA Honors Program had a huge impact on who I am today.
Thanks to everyone in this audience who has been a mentor and a colleague. Excellent teaching truly is learned from working with and learning from other excellent teachers.
Thank you. DIANE PIKE: With the possible exception of being first officer on the Starship Enterprise, I am having the best career I could possibly imagine.
And it is difficult to limit whom I can thank today. My love of sociology was instilled by my mentors at Connecticut College.
And Yale University's graduate program, especially Kai Erikson's Writing Seminar, provided an extraordinary intellectual foundation that has lasted a lifetime.
My academic home at Augsburg College makes possible the joy of working with terrific students. The anchor in my professional life is the ASA Section on Teaching and Learning.
And I invite you to join this outstanding community. To the colleagues who supported my nomination, I am honored. And to my co-winner for this award, my heartfelt congratulations.
Finally, to my husband and three children, a physicist, astronomer, physician and geologist, thank you for letting me argue repeatedly that sociology is a science too.
Mostly, I love you for making it possible to have both a wonderful career and an amazing family. I am thrilled by this award and I thank you all.
SARAH FENSTERMAKER: The Distinguished Book Award is presented annually for a single book or monograph published in the three preceding calendar years.
Please welcome Marc Ventrasca as he presents this year's recipient. MARC VENTRASCA: Hello. Thank you, everyone. I guess I -- I think everyone knows this.
Everyone in this room has read a lot of books. And I'd like you to think for a minute about what makes a great book. Arguably, I would say time makes a classic, but along the way, I
think each of us would probably have insights and visions based on our own specialties: design, data, arguments, innovativeness, impact, and so forth. So as you probably know, each year
a group of eight or nine sociologists read a lot more books, about 70 most years, in the same search for what kind of a book or what book would speak to this notion of a distinguished award.
What kind of a book would really embody a vision of sociological theory, practice, and imagination?
So this year, I'm pleased to note two books that have this recognition, one Impossible Engineering: technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi, by Chandra Mukerji.
And another, Inventing Equal Opportunity, by Frank Dobbin. I'm going to say just a few minutes about the books and the book award in a sense, and then they'll have a chance to speak as well.
Both books are published by Princeton University Press as well, which is interesting. So here's a little bit from the committee.
The book share -- both books share a telling set of features: their imaginative historical designs and evidence. There's an engagement with a range of subfield approaches.
There's vivid writing, really delightful, enjoyable writing. In both books, a direct concern with gender in various policy and practice settings. There's also
an interesting link, a kind of a legacy of concern with collective knowing and ways of knowing both on its own terms, but also as the start or the source of legacy activities over time.
In the case of the Canal du Midi hundreds of years, almost thousands of years. In the case of Inventing Equal Opportunity, a relatively shorter timeframe.
There's also a kind of fascination in both books with how expertise and power get refracted in a range of political and institutional contexts.
And so, you know, that's the shared kind of qualities of these books, one about a 17th century experiment in engineering, one about a 1960s to 1990s experiment in social policy.
I think the two books exercise this same imagination, but in very different ways, and that's I think why we -- the committee came to offer the recognition to both.
Just really quickly to give you a kind of an insight about each book, Dobbin invites us to look beyond the standard story of how states and courts make policies, and really tries to understand
the role of a series of, until now, unrecognized corporate HR professionals, and how they imagine solutions in anticipation of changes in federal contracting and procurement policies.
The argument he makes, though, says landmark civil rights cases and the role of the state are important, but actually become --
provide a platform for ambiguity that over time, these professionals develop, argue about, debate, and eventually work through the institutions of the U.S.
system, courts, and so forth. He also argues that these are practices that become models that stabilize a set of arguments over time.
Mukerji in Impossible Engineering takes a very different context, a very different set of issues. She starts with a puzzle.
How is it that this canal in the 17th century, an impossible engineering project, happened? Which makes a set of very powerful claims about the feat of the engineering itself,
the ways that local practice, interestingly among artisans and peasant women who did a lot of the work on the canal itself, resonated with earlier forms of Roman engineering.
And the interesting claim here is that that form of knowing from the Roman times
was at considerable odds with the existing knowledge and expertise of military and political authorities, who were in some sense coordinating this building.
She also underscores how plurality of forms of knowledge, cartography, survey -- that is not limiting of a single kind
of scientific knowledge allowed Louis the 14th and his Colbert to exercise a kind of control that displaced the regional nobles who had historically controlled water. So in that sense,
both books I think give us a very interesting historical and sociological understanding of both science and the role of expertise; also the role of organizations and political power.
So please join me in celebrating both of these books. FRANK DOBBIN: Many thanks to the committee for this award.
I'm honored and it's a particular honor to be up here with Chandra Mukerji and her wonderful book, Impossible Engineering.
I want to thank my parents, leftist social workers who brought me and my brothers to Washington not to see the White House, but to demonstrate in civil rights demonstrations. I want
to thank John Meyer, Dick Scott, and Ann Swidler, who were brilliant mentors at Stanford, and who hired me early on to help Lori Adelmann interview personnel managers around the Bay Area.
Together, we saw what dramatic changes were going on in organizations, and what changes civil rights law had wrought.
Thanks to Lori for braving my hazardous driving to interviews in a failing Fiat, and for being a great critic and friend over the years.
Thanks to John Sutton, also a collaborator, for years of close collaboration and friendship, and for many epiphanies. Thanks to Erin Kelly and Sandra Calev, students at Princeton
and now professors at Minnesota and Tel Aviv, who spearheaded two of the retrospective surveys the book depends on, and contributed many of the insights found in the book.
And finally, thanks to Michèle Lamont, my partner of nearly 30 years, and still my favorite sociologist. CHANDRA MUKERJI: Hello.
I am so proud to win this and win with such a distinguished colleague. I'm also the blind one, so I'm lifting up the hidden paper.
I was surprised and pleased to be chosen for this award, buoyed by the shift in the mainstream of our field toward cultural sociology and the sociology of science.
I am indebted to scholars who have also worked on materiality in social life, particularly Pamela Smith, Patrick Joyce, Karin Knorr-Cetina, and Patrick Carroll.
And I have benefited from the good counsel of my mentor, Howie Becker, my former husband, Bennett Berger, and also Joe Gusfield, Sharon Zukin, Michael Schudson, Elizabeth Long,
Michèle Lamont, Robin Wagner-Pacifici, and my dear friend Kristin Luker. I have been deeply influenced too by Bruno Latour, Steve Shapin, Claude Rosental, and Steve Epstein.
I owe a great debt too to my wonderful colleagues at UCSD in Communication and Science Studies, and
to my graduate students, too numerous to list by name, who have taught me more than I could ever teach them.
I remember with gratitude my parents for their support, and thank my husband, Zachary Fisk, and my children, Kenneth and Stephanie Berger, for their belief and actual interest in my work.
And I am indebted in a perverse way to a stranger at a conference who said I could not write a theory of the state looking at landscapes.
I started this research to prove him wrong, to study infrastructure, and demonstrated the political significance of logistics and territories shaped by memory and built for power.
Thank you very much. SARAH FENSTERMAKER: The W.E.B. DuBois Career Award of Distinguished Scholarship honors scholars who have shown outstanding commitment to the profession of sociology
and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline. Please welcome Bert Klandermans as he presents this year's recipient.
BERT KLANDERMANS: I am honored and proud to present the 2012 W.E.B. DuBois -- some people would say DuBois in Europe, to my dear friend and colleague, William Gamson. Dr.
Gamson has made exceptional contributions to at least three fields in sociology: social movements and collective behavior, political sociology, and the sociology of culture and media studies.
He was also president of the ASA in 1993-1994. Gamson
commits himself on three fronts: as a profound analyst of social processes, as a talented expositor of sociological ideas and materials, as a passionate advocate of equality and justice.
Gamson's scholarship has been influential in shaping how social scientists theorize and research political power and social movements. His most influential book, The Strategy of Social Protest,
broke the then dominant collective behavior perspective on social movements. He was as important as anyone in creating a new social movement subfield within sociology.
Gamson's empirical and theoretical work demonstrated that collective action was political, rational, and embedded in social organizations.
His work has also proved valuable to social change agents. Its insights resonate with the real world of political and social forces with which activists must contend.
But even more importantly, Gamson himself has been an agent of social change. All this makes him a worthy recipient of the W.E.B. DuBois Career Award.
WILLIAM GAMSON: I want to start by quoting from memory the remarks of an earlier recipient of this award well before it was renamed as the DuBois award.
He said, such awards are wonderful for driving away the blue devils of self-doubt. The quote always remained in my mind.
And I would add that for me, there is a greatly added pleasure in being associated in this way with W.E.B.
DuBois, one of the greatest of sociologists, who received little recognition from the profession in his day. He was a generation ahead of his time
in recognizing that, in a time of many dubious theories about racial differences, the very category was a social construction. I'm deeply honored to receive an award bearing his name.
Finally, I would like to dedicate this award to my lifelong friend, Mayer Zald, whom, as many of you know, died a couple of weeks ago and is still very much in my thoughts.
Thank you. EDWARD TELLES: Thank you, Sarah, and thank you for the award presenters and the awardees.
I would like the awardees to stand up and we'll give them a final round of applause. Thank you to the awardees and for representing our discipline so well.
I think we can be very proud. I want to remind you, first of all, about the honorary reception after the presidential address in the presidential foyer next door
-- I mean, sorry, in the centennial foyer next door. Also, you are invited to the -- please
remember the all-genre musical jam tomorrow at 7:30PM, featuring various ASA musicians of various skill levels, and real utopia kazoos will be provided, and children are more than welcome.
This will be followed by an 8:30PM square dance party with a real caller, who is accustomed to having people of various skill levels also.
It is my privilege and honor to introduce Erik Owen Wright, the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, and the 107th president of the ASA.
Since his entry into the field of sociology approximately 35 years ago, Wright
has played a pioneering role by making Marxian class concepts empirically and theoretically applicable to complex societies. In
a series of classic books, including Class Crisis in the State, Class Structure in Income Determination, The Debate on Classes, Interrogating Inequality, and the two version of Class Counts,
he has put analytical focus on the diverse mechanisms that link economic position and social power.
He has consistently worked to bring Marxian concepts of class into engagement with other traditions of analyzing social stratification and class. Since 1991, he
has led the Real Utopias project, the theme of this conference, which has yielded several edited volumes and the recently released Envisioning Real Utopias. Wright's legendary generosity,
with generations of graduate students at the University of Wisconsin, has complemented an endless curiosity and willingness to engage with student work that is far afield from his own.
He has supervised exactly 50 PhD dissertations with an extraordinary level of care.
He combines a deep intellectual engagement with that work, and the recognition that it is ultimately the student's work.
He manages to support students' diverse visions for their own scholarship rather than imposing his own. Actually, many of us have been students of his work, but
many in this room have actually been his students. Wright's activism spans more than 40 years, beginning with his work as an intern chaplain at San Quentin Prison,
where he worked with the Prisoners Rights Project that led to his first book, The Politics of Punishment, to his central role in last year's occupation of the Wisconsin state capitol building
and more recently his central role in protesting Governor Scott Walker's offensive against public sector unions and state spending. Eric.
Eric has also been the director since its founding almost 30 years ago of the A.E. Havens Center for the Study of Social Structure and Social Change.
This fixture of UW Madison campus life reflects Eric's intellectual approach more broadly. It brings together speakers and audiences from a broad range of disciplines, subject matters,
and theoretical approaches, with the common project of using rigorous social science to further human emancipation and social justice.
Recently, Eric has used his position as the ASA president to spread his teaching much farther than the University of Wisconsin.
He made us proud with his three-week tour of historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges, and
Hispanic serving institutions in the south and the southwest, where he met with administrators and students to promote the benefits of a sociological education.
In sum, I think the film that he produced as a very young man, The Chess Game, illustrates the path that Eric chose early on.
Time does not permit me -- I would have hoped to have been able to show The Chess Game on our monitors, but you can check it out on YouTube.
The key idea of The Chess Game is that the pawns revolt against the ruling class pieces, sweep them off the board, and then perform a victory square dance.
It sounds familiar, huh? The film then proceeds to a new chess game, but this time the pawns are on the back row, moving like kings, queens,
and bishops, while the old aristocratic pieces must now occupy the pawn row and move like pawns.
Thus, the film's message is that the pawns fail to make a revolution because they thought it was sufficient to depose to old elite, but they neglected to remove the board itself.
The chess board then is a metaphor for an underlying social structure that generates the rules of the game.
That was 1968, and Eric continues down the path in trying to understand deep sociological structures, but
in ways that have led to more sophisticated and nuanced analysis, including a search for viable alternatives to merely replacing the proverbial chess board.
Although I could go on much longer about his accomplishments, I know you would rather hear from Eric himself, so
please join me in welcoming this legendary scholar and citizen of our discipline, Eric Owen Wright, for the 107th presidential address. ERIC WRIGHT:
You know, after attending so many American Sociological Association meetings for so many years, sitting on that side of the podium and thinking,
what would happen, if it came to pass, that I would be on this side of the podium? I'm just elated with the opportunity of speaking to you. I'm also pleased that
it seems like the house lights have been brought up a little from the first time I spoke a few days ago at the opening plenary, where I was blinded by the lights and I couldn't see anybody.
And I felt, even though I was only making simple introductions, I was speaking to a void. It's a relief.
I feel it as a bodily relief. I think this may be a Borgesian moment. The habitus of speaking to people requires that you see people.
And so I can now engage in a discussion of important issues to an actual audience rather than to bright lights and a black void.
I'd like to begin by going back to some very basic, fundamental propositions.
I want to share with you what I would call the foundational proposition of a critical social science and the foundational proposition of an emancipatory social science.
So first, the foundational proposition of a critical social science. Here's the proposition. Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing
are the result of existing institutions and social structures. Whatever variety of critical perspective you take, whatever genre of critical theory, that's the foundation of the perspective.
Now, of course, all the action is in what institutions and what mechanisms and what aspects of social structures generate many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing.
So while I think for sociologists the proposition as I stated it in its abstract form is not controversial,
hardly anyone would say, no, it's not true that many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutions and social structures.
A few people would, sociologists anyway, would say suffering is the result of god or human nature or genetic flaws or something like that.
So while there's general agreement about the abstract formulation, there's massive disagreement about the mechanisms and institutions.
But nevertheless, that's the foundation, that proposition. Second proposition, the foundational proposition of emancipatory social science.
Transforming existing institutions and social structures has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibility for human flourishing.
The proposition of emancipatory social science is a response to the conclusions of critical social science. But it should not be viewed simply as a corollary. It's an independent proposition.
It could be false that transforming institutions would do anything to improve things, even if it were true that the structure of existing institutions create great harms.
It could always be the case, for example, that the cure is worse than the disease. Hayek could be right.
He's not, but he could be right that the unintended consequences of social change always make things worse. And the bigger the social change, the bigger the unintended consequences.
So if you want to fundamentally transform society, you can only make things fundamentally worse. And thus the emancipatory thesis is not a corollary of the critical thesis.
It takes a lot of additional work, therefore, to argue about the nature of transformation and how they could, in fact, produce a better world. Well,
that's the purpose of the idea of real utopias. It's one way of thinking through the problem of transformation, of the nature of alternatives, of what the tasks are for transformation itself.
The term real utopia, of course, is a provocation. It wasn't a sort of naïve juxtaposition of two words. It was a deliberate combining of two words that don't go together.
Utopia directs us towards alternative dominant institutions that embody our deepest aspirations for a just and humane world without imperfection.
It's a no place, a nowhere place of perfection, of full human emancipation and justice and harmony. It's a dream.
Realists, of course, reject such dreams. If you are a politician and you want to dismiss out of hand a proposal for social change, what do you say?
It's utopian. To say something is utopian means you don't even have to argue against it, because by definition it's pointless.
It's a dream, a fantasy. The real in real utopia points to the importance of alternatives to dominant institutions, thinking
about alternatives to dominant institutions in ways that are attentive to problems of unintended consequences, self-destructive dynamics, and difficult dilemmas of normative tradeoffs.
A real utopian is someone who holds onto the emancipatory ideas without compromise and without cynicism, and yet recognizes the deep and pervasive problems of unintended consequences,
self-destructive dynamics, and the difficult tradeoffs of normative -- dilemmas of normative tradeoffs. As long as you care about more than one value --
as soon as you care about two things, you face dilemmas of tradeoff. And if you have a multi-dimensional space of values that you wish to accomplish through your social institutions,
it's simply implausible that no tensions and difficulties and contradictions among them would occur as you push forward in trying to transform those institutions.
There are four tasks of an emancipatory social science that embodies this idea of real utopias.
And what I'd like to do in this presentation is say something about each of these tasks. There are four tasks. The first is clarifying the moral foundations for the search for alternatives.
The second is providing a diagnosis and critique of existing institutions in terms of those moral foundations. The third is elaborating an account of alternatives themselves.
And the fourth is developing a theory of transformation. I sometimes like to use a nautical metaphor to describe this endeavor.
The diagnosis and critique based on the moral foundations tells you why you might want to leave the world in which we live. The clarification of alternatives tells us where we want to go.
And a theory of transformation tells us how to get from here to there. So what I'd like to do now is spend some time on each of those.
There was some risk in thinking about this talk. And as you can imagine, the cycle for this office is a two-year cycle. You get elected two years ago.
Then you have a year to plan the conference and then a year to be president, and then you're here. It's a lot of time to stew about a presentation.
Fortunately, I had plenty of opportunity to try out different versions during this tour of historically black colleges in the south and Hispanic institutions in south Texas and elsewhere.
I tried out many different versions of this. And in each attempt, I left out bits.
And in the end, I decided, no, this is my chance to give you the full -- the full architecture of my argument, to put the whole -- all the pieces together.
In some places, I'll do so in a cursory manner. And thus I'm at risk of having a longer than optimal presentation. I was told, though, that as president, this event ends when I finish.
And while I hope I don't abuse your patience, I decided the best thing to do is just to go for it and lay out the entire framework of my concerns. Okay, enough prologue.
Part one: moral foundations. As I've elaborated the real utopias idea in my own work, I've built it around three central principles: a principle of equality, a principle of democracy, and
a principle of sustainability, the last being the most recent in my work. In earlier things, it's mostly equality and democracy that are the two dimensions on which I build these arguments.
Let me say a little bit about each of those. First, the principle of equality. I would define this principle in the following way.
In a socially just society, all persons would have broadly equal access to the material and social means necessary to live a flourishing life. All persons
would have broadly equal access to the material and social means necessary to live a flourishing life. Let me just comment on some of the elements. First of all, all persons, all persons.
And that should be taken strongly. It means all persons, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, religion, nationality.
You name it, all persons by virtue of being persons in a just society would have broadly equal access to the material and social means necessary to live a flourishing life.
It also doesn't mean just all persons in the United States or all persons in Europe. It means all persons.
It's an unjust world when we live in a rich country and there's massive poverty elsewhere. That's an injustice. Now you might say it's an injustice and there's nothing we can do about it.
Fine, that's one answer. You can say it's an injustice in which the political conditions don't make it possible to do something about it.
Again, fine, that's a problem. But it doesn't make it just just because you can't do something about it.
Secondly, I say equal access to the material and social means necessary to live a flourishing life, access. I don't say equal opportunity. Equal opportunity is another good formulation.
I believe in equal opportunity. I think it's a good value, but I don't think it's quite capturing, at least for me, the deeper moral intuition as to why I care about equality.
Equal opportunity, for example, is consistent with a lottery. As long as everybody has an equal chance of winning, it's equal opportunity to win.
One could imagine, and there are science fiction versions of such stories, a world in which there's a lottery at birth,
a literal lottery, irrespective of background, ascriptive characteristics, or anything else, and 10% of the babies get to live a flourishing life and 90% live a life of deprivation.
And it's random. Well, that's a version of equal opportunity, at least an equal chance version of opportunity, but hardly what anyone would consider just.
I think equal access is the way to think about this issue. And finally, it's the material and social means necessary to live a flourishing life.
There's no privileging of material means to live a flourishing life, although I think they are fantastically important. Social recognition, the absence of stigma,
the full inclusion as a social person is equally central to the conditions to live a flourishing life as having adequate material resources to pursue one's life plans.
That's the equality principle. The democracy principle. In a fully democratic society, all people would have broadly equal access,
note the equal access principle again, to the necessary means to participate meaningfully in decisions about things which affect their lives. The underlying value of democracy
is a value about being empowered to participate meaningfully in decisions which have consequences for your life. Now a couple of notes about that specification.
If you define the democratic value that way, it makes the idea of individual freedom and democracy basically sharing the same value. Individual freedom says you
should be in a position to make decisions about things which affect your life autonomously, without consulting anyone else, under conditions where those decisions don't affect other people.
But if the decisions that you're making, let's say for the allocation of resources, have significant effects on other people, they should be co-participants in the decision.
That's a democratic form. So democracy as a collective form of action, and individual freedom as control over one's own choices and actions,
are actually sharing this deeper kind of value of self-determination or self- governance or however you want to frame it. Finally, sustainability.
Future generations should have access to the social and material means to live flourishing lives at least at the same level as the present generation.
That's not an uncontroversial way of thinking about sustainability. It's a very anthropocentric way.
I care about global warming and other environmental issues because of their consequences for human flourishing. The sustainability principle in this context
shares much with the equality principle, but it's an equality principle of justice applied across time to the future rather than across -- simply across people in the present.
So equality is a just society among the people in the world today. Sustainability is a justice principle about fairness for people in the future
in which the principle is that they should have at least as good access to the social and material means to live a flourishing life at least at the same level as the present generation.
As a practical matter, I don't think there's a whole lot of practical difference between this person-centered or human well-being centered
definition of sustainability and other definitions that don't place human beings at the center because what you would do to accomplish this value would be pretty much the same.
Okay, those are the moral foundations. Second task. Remember, there were four tasks that I said were necessary for any emancipatory social theory. The second task: diagnosis and critique.
Now the diagnosis and critique issue can be applied to any social structure, any institution, any particular way of understanding the system in which we live.
I'm going to apply it to capitalism, and thus the title of this talk was Transforming Capitalism through Real Utopias.
I'm going to focus on capitalism because whatever else one might think, it is one of the most powerful and important structures that needs transformation.
I am not, however, by focusing on capitalism implying that capitalism is the foundation of all other forms of harm, or
that solving the problem of capitalism can be done independently of tackling other sources of harm in the world in which we live. But it is, for better or worse, the focus of my own work, and
thus the focus of my comments this evening. All right, diagnosis and critique of capitalism. The task here then is to apply the three values, the three principles, equality, democracy,
and sustainability, to this complex institutional structure that we call capitalism, and ask the question, well, how well does capitalism do?
Remember the first foundational proposition of critical social science is much human suffering in many forms, many deficits in human flourishing are the result of our institutions.
Well, let's look at capitalism with respect to harms and deficits. First on the equality principle. Capitalism inherently, not contingently, but
inherently generates levels of inequality in income and wealth that systematically violates social justice and perpetuate eliminable deficits in human flourishing.
That's intrinsic to capitalism. If you have capitalism, you
are going to have a violation of the principle of social justice and deficits of human flourishing because of the levels of inequality of income and wealth that capitalism will generate.
Now one note. This does not imply that the only solution to that problem is to get rid of capitalism. It could be that you could
neutralize this problem through some clever redistribution mechanism that would take the harms of capitalism and counteract them through some mechanism and still leave capitalism in place.
You can solve headaches with aspirins without the absence of aspirin being the cause of the headache.
So it is possible, although I am skeptical, that you could create a sufficiently robust set of mechanisms in place to neutralize these inegalitarian and unjust consequences.
But the consequences would still be generated by capitalism.
Capitalism would still be the source, I would argue, of the forms of inequality that generate injustices that create harms and deficits in human flourishing.
Democracy, second principle. How does capitalism fare with respect to democracy? Capitalism generates severe deficits in realizing democratic values
by first excluding crucial decisions from public deliberation, second by allowing private wealth affect access to political power, and third by allowing workplace dictatorships.
The first of these is absolutely intrinsic to the very concept of private property and the means of production.
What private property means is you have the power to exclude other people from any role in the decisions about how you use that private property.
You move a factory from Akron, Ohio to Mexico or to some other place, you destroy the lives and values in the community, you wreck the housing market and create huge losses for people.
And it's perfectly legitimate to do so simply on the criterion, is it beneficial to the people who own that property?
The people whose lives are affected by that decision have no right whatsoever in a capitalist economy to be co-participants in the decision about what to do with those means of production.
And that's fundamentally a violation of the principle of democracy. Now again, one might say, okay, it's a violation of democracy. Life is complicated. Democracy
isn't the only thing we care about. Maybe we care about some other value which is realized through the absolute right to destroy the values of homes and lives of other people in the community.
It's possible. But one can't say it's possible, and therefore it's not a violation of democracy.
One would have to say, yes, there are other values we care about that justify destroying these values of other people, and therefore we will violate democracy because of these other values.
It nevertheless is a deep violation of democracy. I said there were three reasons why capitalism violates democracy.
The first is that it excludes crucial decisions from public deliberation. It allows private wealth to affect access to political power.
In the United States, as everyone knows, we are in the business of trying to intensify that assault on democracy. It's inherent in the kind of inequalities of wealth that occur in capitalism,
but it didn't have to be as massively translated into special access to political power as has been the case in the United States recently.
And finally, capitalism violates democracy by allowing workplace dictatorships. Now strictly speaking, capitalism doesn't require workplace dictatorship.
A capitalist owner could say to the workers in a firm, I believe in democracy. I am giving all power of decision-making over what you do in this workplace over to you.
You have complete power. I will abdicate all responsibility for this. You could have a capitalist who would do that.
After all, as a owner of the means of production, capitalists have the power to abdicate power. Needless to say, if all capitalists did that, it would cease to
be capitalism because the kinds of decisions that would get made under those conditions would not be decisions which would reproduce the inequalities in the ownership of means of production.
And therefore, that abdication is likely to have a little asterisk even in my fantasy.
And the little asterisk could say you can make decisions on whatever you want so long as it doesn't affect my ownership of the means of production.
Finally, sustainability. Capitalism inherently threatens the quality of the environment for future generations because of imperatives for consumerism and endless growth.
Consumerism and imperatives for growth are not just cultural facts. They are cultural facts. People believe and want endless growth.
It is a cultural fact, but it's not only a cultural fact. A stagnant, steady state capitalism would be an extremely fragile and precarious capitalism.
Just imagine in the current crisis if four years, when the crisis hit with intensity, Obama or anyone else had said, fantastic, we now have this opportunity
to finally reduce consumption in the United States and to reengineer the economy in such a way that people can acquire an adequate standard of living without having to have continual growth.
How would that sell? And what kind of mobilization of political forces against such an idea would be generated?
And furthermore, if the required rules of the game were changed to make that possible, capitalism itself would become an unsustainable social structure.
Environmental sustainability in the long term, I would argue, is incompatible with the reproduction of a capitalist economy.
Well, all of those claims, my diagnosis and critique based on these three moral concerns, these are all massively controversial, needless to say.
I'm not going to go through the detailed arguments behind them here, but I think they resonate and at least they will have intuitive plausibility hopefully to many of you. Well, we
have our moral foundations. I've at least suggested how I see these get cashed out as a diagnosis and critique of existing social structures around the question of the nature of our economy.
The third task of an emancipatory social theory, then,
is how to think about alternatives, how to think about alternatives of the way we organize such big and complex things as an economic system.
Let me begin by just making a distinction between what might be thought of as three dimensions of the problem of alternative.
Alternatives to existing structures and institutions can be evaluated in terms of their desirability, in terms of their viability, and in terms of their achievability.
It's a kind of triplet: desirability, viability, achievability. If you worry about desirability and ignore viability or achievability, then you're just a plain ordinary utopian.
That's what utopians do. They think about the desirability of some alternative without worrying too much about whether it would actually work.
Viability says if we could get there, could we stay there? If we could have this alternative world that we can think of in our imagination, would we be able to stay there?
Or would it have such unintended consequences, self-destructive dynamics, and so on, that it would not be sustainable? That's the viability problem. Achievability says, okay, it's viable.
How do we move from here to there? Now I think the key problem to worry about at this particular moment in history is the viability problem, the middle of these three. In a way,
the desirability question is too easy. You can ask a group of freshmen in a introductory sociology course to do the exercise of imagining the perfect world, and everybody can do it.
I mean, they can come up with, in their imagination, some kind of perfect world. It's just that it doesn't make any sense. It wouldn't possibly work. Desirability in a sense
is -- I'm overstating this, too easy a problem. There are, of course, deep philosophical issues around a serious discussion of desirability, but still, in some ways it's too easy.
Achievability I think turns out to be too hard a problem. It's too hard a problem at least to have as your starting point. And the reason is we just can't look into the future far enough with
any plausibility to know what is achievable and what is not. It's just too difficult a problem. Two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, nobody would have thought that was possible.
There's just too many examples in history where things that are completely outside of the limits of possibility actually occur.
But furthermore, I think there's a more important reason why I would privilege at this point viability.
Developing credible ideas about viable alternatives is one way of enhancing the possibility of their achievability.
People are more likely to struggle and mobilize and form collective action around alternatives they believe would work than around alternatives they think are pie in the sky.
Viability affects achievability.
This reflects, I think, an interesting -- really interesting aspect of the notion of the limits of possibility in a social context, in contrast to the natural world.
Before Einstein demonstrated that the absolute limit of possibility for the speed of anything, what we now know as the speed of light, it was still true that that was the absolute limit.
The truth of those limits of possibility did not actually depend upon their discovery. They existed prior to the discovery, and thus we call it a discovery.
But the limits of social possibility aren't quite like that because people's belief in what's possible affects what's possible.
The belief in the limits of possibility is one of the things that affects what in fact becomes possible.
And that's precisely because the realization of those possibilities doesn't flow from some sort of organic process acting behind the backs of people.
It flows from the capacity of people to imagine it and to mobilize collective forces to accomplish it. In any case, that's why I focus on viability.
I'd like to make two other comments about -- general comments about the problem of alternatives,
and then I will get down to business of talking more concretely about real utopian alternatives.
First, how you think about alternatives depends a bit upon how the general concept you have of what a social system is.
I'd like to draw a contrast between two images, or two metaphors about social systems. One is a kind of organic view of social systems.
Society is like an organism. All of its parts are tightly integrated. The system constitutes a kind of totality, as is the case in an organism.
A human being as an organism consists of many parts that fit together in a causal set of interactions. There are some degrees of freedom, some degrees of variability, but not a whole lot.
If you remove certain parts of that whole, the whole disintegrates. An alternative metaphor for thinking about social systems is that it's more like an ecosystem.
Think of society like a pond. A pond is going to have dominant species. Those species could be, you know, aggressive, carnivorous fish, but
you can introduce alien species into a pond that didn't belong there. And maybe they get gobbled up by the voracious fish, but maybe they take hold. You can think of --
if you think of society as an ecosystem, it still is the case that everything is causally interdependent and affects each other, but it doesn't do so in a tightly functionalized totality.
And if you think of it as an ecosystem, then it opens up a different way of thinking about what a transformation might be like.
Because one way of transforming an ecosystem is to introduce alien species, which then can take over.
So I adopt, as you will see in my more substantive analysis which follows, the ecosystem view of society rather than the organic system, rather than an organismic,
I think I should say, view of society as a system. Second general comment about alternatives is two contrasting ways of thinking about how to make the world a better place.
And this is a contrast between what could be called ameliorative reform and real utopias.
Ameliorative reform, that way of thinking about making the world a better place says look at existing institutions,
identify their flaws, and propose improvements, improvements on the margins of what exists that are demonstrable, they produce beneficial effects, they reduce harms,
they expand human flourishing. So it's ameliorative reforms looks at existing institutions, identifies their flaws, and proposes improvements.
Real Utopias has a different stance towards the question of alternatives. Envision
the contours of an alternative social world that embodies emancipatory ideals, and then look for social innovations we can create in the world as it is that moves us towards that destination.
So think of the destination, of the ideal emancipatory possibilities that you'd like to see, and then ask, what can we change now?
What innovations can we make that move us in the direction of that more fundamental alternative? Now sometimes that turns out to be the same as an ameliorative reform.
But sometimes ameliorative reforms don't act as building blocks of an alternative. We can all think of lots of examples. Just to give one, I'm a very strong supporter of affirmative action.
I think affirmative action around race is absolutely essential to combating the pernicious, ongoing, continuing, and deep effects of racism.
But I don't think of affirmative action as a building block of a world of racial justice and emancipation.
It's a necessary means to move towards such a world, but it is not itself a building block of the alternative that we seek.
Food stamps are another example. I think it's absolutely essential that we defend food stamps against the depredations of austerity budgets. Food stamps
are the mechanism we have devised in this country for alleviating at least to some extent hunger among people who lack adequate income to purchase their own food. Food stamps are important.
But surely it is not the case that the world which I at least envision as a world of human emancipation and flourishing is one in which there would be a broad proliferation of food stamps.
Food stamps is not a constitutive component. It's an ameliorative reform, but it's not a real utopian moment.
So real utopias then is a demanding way of thinking about alternatives. It says, can we imagine the alternative world we want? And then can we build it?
Can we begin to create the building blocks of it so that we're at least creating part of what we want to exist in the future? To embrace real utopias in this way
is not to reject ameliorative reforms. It's not to say we should be idealists and reject anything that smacks of simply patching up and making do, but doesn't build an alternative.
No, it's not that at all. It simply says whatever else we do, we should also try to build alternatives.
It also doesn't imply that these -- as I will stress later, that building real alternatives happens through goodwill and collaborative processes.
Much of what it takes to build alternatives in the real utopian sense is struggle and contestation.
This is not meant to be a plea for harmonious win-win solutions to our problems. It says there's just a different way of thinking about what it is we're trying to accomplish.
Let me give you some examples of real utopias, and then what I'm going to do is propose a framework, a theoretical framework,
for why this is not just a laundry list of interesting possible forms, why it's not just a random set of things, why these fit together in a kind of coherent way.
I'll only spend a very short time with each. If you're interested, many of these are discussed in Envisioning Real Utopias.
First, participatory budgeting. Participatory budgeting -- oh, and also, by the way, many of these
are being discussed in various sessions at the conference, so if you look in your program and find some of these interesting, some of them are still yet to be discussed in the days ahead.
And indeed, I think there's a session on participatory budgeting tomorrow morning. Participatory budgeting is a transformation of the way urban budgets are created.
The standard way budgets are created is that mayors have a planning office. The planning office has technical experts. They concoct a budget in cahoots with political priorities.
And those budgets then get submitted to city councils for ratification. In participatory budgeting, the budget process begins with neighborhood assemblies.
Assemblies throughout a city are empowered to debate about budgetary priorities, to propose specific kinds of budgetary projects, and then to choose delegates
to a city-wide budget council who will bring all these proposals from the different neighborhood assemblies together and reconcile them into some kind of coherent city budget.
Participatory budgeting began in the city of Porto Alegre in the southeast of Brazil 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 22 years ago.
In its first couple of years, it was a complete mess. It was introduced and it produced completely scrambled and incoherent budgets.
But after experimentation, the process settled down and produced a process of generating city budgets that transformed the priorities of the use of public resources in that city.
From Porto Alegre, it has spread through many other cities. And in recent years, in the last few years, it's even come to the United States.
In Chicago in the 49th ward, the alderperson in -- alderpeople in Chicago have a discretionary budget. In the 49th ward, the alderperson, Joe Moore, decided to create a participatory budget.
He told the people of his ward, I've got one and a half million dollars to spend. You tell me how to spend it. The result was a complete transformation of the use of those funds.
Before the participatory budget in Roger's Park, 85% of the budget was used to fill potholes. After the participatory budget, that declined to 15 or 20%. Because when people get together
and discuss what we can use this money for, even though individually when the money was allocated just by yelling and calling up the mayor and complaining, it all went to potholes.
When they got together and talked about it, they realized we've got a million and a half dollars. What can we do for our neighborhood? And they came up with a very different set of priorities.
Participatory budgeting is now being done in four wards in New York City, council districts in New York City, and next year in eight districts.
And the city of Vallejo, California, I understand, is embarking on the first city-wide participatory budget in the United States. I think participatory budgeting is the next new thing.
It's going to be spreading through the United States. It has a very ambiguous standing in an era of austerity because it's a way of legitimating austerity.
Because, after all, the people decided what to do with the miserable funds that were available. That's the contradictory quality of a real utopian alternative.
But it also empowers people to create new institutions in which they get together and worry about these priorities and become aware of the consequences of cuts.
Wikipedia. I'll spend less time on the rest of these. Wikipedia clearly is impossible.
There's no way you can get 300,000 or 400,000 people around the world to cooperate to produce the world's largest encyclopedia without paying them, and then making it free to everybody.
It's clearly impossible. If anybody had proposed it before it happened, it would have been laughed at. Yet it exists. It's produced the world's largest reference book.
Within ten years, it destroyed a 300-year market in encyclopedias. The Encyclopedia Britannica announced it no longer will sell its encyclopedias in print form.
Because I'm an enthusiastic fan of Wikipedia -- you know, five years ago, professors in general said, don't use it, it's terrible. I don't know anybody who doesn't use it themselves.
And so long as students then follow up and check things out, I think it's a fine portal, a fine first place to look for things. Because I'm an enthusiast for it,
I as one of my initiatives as ASA president, was to launch the ASA Wikipedia initiative, which is designed to make it easy for faculty to give Wikipedia writing assignments in their classes.
I did this in a graduate seminar last fall, I think to great success. I think it was a lively additional piece of the written work in the class.
The students had to still write their regular research term papers, but as a spinoff of their term paper, they had as an assignment to contribute to Wikipedia.
If any of you -- now I'm giving you a sales pitch. If any of you think this would be an enhancement to your pedagogy, the Wikimedia foundation has a booth in the exhibition hall
with two wonderful Wikipedian staff members of the Wikimedia foundation who are there to do a little handholding and show you how to use Wikipedia writing assignments in your coursework.
I think it's useable in advanced undergraduate courses and senior seminars and capstone courses, and certainly in graduate courses.
The idea then is that if we get sociologists involved in writing Wikipedia articles and
in entering the fray of this weird culture of Wikipedia, which is a strange culture, that the sociology relevant articles over the next decade or so will gradually improve.
This is an example if you read an article and you think, that's a terrible article. Then there's a simple response. Well, do something about it.
Anybody can edit any article. That's both its advantage and its liability, because anybody can unedit whatever you do. Wikipedia.
Public libraries. To each according to need. That's a familiar distributional principle. You go into a library, you check out the books you need.
You go into a bookstore, you go to the shelf, find the book you need, open it up, see it's too expensive, and put it back. Public libraries are fundamentally anti- capitalist institutions.
They allocate resources on the basis of need and they ration them by waiting lists. A good library takes the length of the waiting list as a criteria for ordering more books.
The production of books, therefore, is dependent upon need. It's a market in that sense. There's demand and supply. But it's not allocated on the basis of price.
Public libraries are a good example of how real utopia does not imply extravagant, radical institutions unfamiliar to us in the world in which we live.
They can be well-established institutions. And indeed, there's this great irony in the United States.
We have fantastically good public libraries compared to other rich countries, many other rich countries. They are often defended by people who are opposed to taxes.
They'll come to their defense when budget cuts threaten their library. And they're fundamentally a kind of communist institution because they provide access to resources based on need.
Solidarity finance is a mechanism for allocating part of the pension funds -- this was developed in Quebec. Part of the pension funds of unions not to socially screened investments.
So it's not that kind of socially conscious investment, but to use investment funds deliberately as private equity funds in geographically
rooted small and medium enterprises in Quebec in exchange for the firm's agreeing to charters of labor rights and having representation of workers on boards of directors.
Solidarity finance is a way within the context of the capitalist economy of enhancing the role of workers and
actually allocating surplus to different kinds of investments in ways that make them more democratically accountable because they're geographically rooted.
The Mondragon worker cooperative I think is familiar to many of you. It's the world's largest collection of cooperatives.
They produce high-end refrigerators, auto parts -- this is an industrial cooperative. There are 270 cooperatives that form the conglomerate.
In the current economic crisis, it's my understanding that only one of them had to be dissolved. It has weathered the Spanish crisis much better than conventional capitalist firms.
It demonstrates that worker-owned cooperatives need not be restricted to small, niche firms in local markets. The Quebec Social Economy Council.
The social economy consists of community-based economic organizations that produce directly for need. In Quebec, one of the examples is community- based childcare services.
In Quebec, a council -- a province-wide council has been formed with representatives from all of the different sectors of the social economy that act as a mediator between the social economy
and the provincial government in order to obtain resources to expand and deepen and make more robust the social economy of Quebec. Urban agriculture with community land trusts.
Many cities in the United States now are experiencing a new outburst, a growth of enthusiasm for urban agriculture. Not just in the sense of individual, private gardens,
but in the sense of real agricultural production processes, which in some cities the hope is would even help solve issues around the food desert.
The issue then becomes what are the property rights involved in this urban agriculture? And how can it be sustained in a way which is accountable to communities?
Internet-based gift economy and music. This is an idea that I learned of -- learned about from Yochai Benkler, who did a session at the conference earlier today.
The idea is that musicians create a website where they put their own music up and have free downloads rather than go through a label or through iTunes or any other broker, free downloads.
And then they ask people to pay whatever they want, but indicate how much they have to earn in order to keep producing the income -- the music.
So the idea is you decommodify the music, make it a question of reciprocity, where resources get allocated to musicians dependent upon how much people want them to produce music.
But people can also get access to the music without pay. They can sample it, they can try it, they can feel guilty about not paying for a while, and then eventually
come around and understand the importance of reciprocity. Policy juries and randomocracy. This was discussed at another session organized around John Gastil's proposal today.
The idea is to take the idea of a jury. The jury is a deeply democratic institution in the United States. It's the last vestige of Athenian democracy that we have.
In Athens, legislation was done by a random selection of citizens, of course males and not slaves, but still random selections of citizens was the way in
which democracy was -- legislators were chosen. We do that in juries. Policy juries adopt that procedure for various kinds of public policy, where it is
felt that it's better to have non-politicians make the decisions -- actually make the decisions, because they would have greater capacity to do so in a disinterested, community-oriented way.
And we can imagine all sorts of additional ways of expanding a randomocracy.
I proposed with my colleague, Harry Brighouse, we wrote a paper suggesting a reform of the House of Lords in Britain and saying it should be turned into a randomly chosen citizen's assembly.
Because then you'd have two houses in Britain, one elected and one randomized, and they would deal with complementary deficits of democracy.
So far, it does not seem to be a central option in the reform of the House of Lords. Finally, unconditional basic income. That was an idea featured in the first plenary two days ago.
Unconditional basic income is a proposal to give every person, either every citizen or every legal resident or simply every person who isn't a tourist, so to speak, anybody who
is in place in a territory, so there's different ways that you could define the boundaries, to simply give them unconditionally a level of income sufficient to live above the poverty line.
Simple, gets rid of poverty, doesn't have poverty traps. It has all sorts of interesting consequences.
You replace existing structures of income support and income redistribution when you have an unconditional basic income. Indeed, you can get rid of the minimum wage.
There's no reason to prevent voluntary contracts between people at whatever wage they decide so long as a person's basic needs are not contingent upon that relation.
It guarantees that any young person can do an internship, not just those whose parents are prepared to subsidize them.
It's giving to all young people what currently is given only to those of the relatively affluent. Of course there's questions of whether it's feasible and whether it's viable.
Basic income has been very -- there's very lively debates, and much of the interesting debate is about viability.
Could you have a sustainable basic income? And I won't go into the arguments for and against that now.
If you could have a sustainable basic income, it would have really interesting ramifications for some of these other proposals. For example,
worker co-ops would suddenly become much more viable if the workers in a co-op did not have to generate the income for basic needs right from the start in their collective organization.
Worker co-ops would suddenly become good credit risks to banks
if the bank knew that the basic standard of living of the members of that co-op did not depend upon how quickly that co-op was up and running and able to be a viable economic organization.
That's a list of ten. How can we make sense of this? Okay, now let's see. Okay, I am testing your patience. I do, however, want to still exercise my unilateral power to finish this.
I now want to lay out the framework. I refer to this as the framework for exploring real utopias in and beyond capitalism.
Another slogan I use to describe this is taking the social in socialism seriously. Taking the social in socialism seriously.
What I'm going to do is give you very rapidly a series of definitions of concepts, the building blocks for this framework that I'm going to propose. And then I will lay --
after I do that, I will lay out a visual vocabulary that will provide me a way of mapping out the different ways in which real utopias can be built in and beyond capitalism.
All right, so let me give you the concepts. First, I need to distinguish three kinds of power deployed within economic systems, three different kinds of power.
First, economic power, power based on control over economic resources. Simple. State power, power based on the control of rulemaking and rule enforcing over territory.
And what I am going to call social power, power based on the capacity to mobilize voluntary cooperation and collective action.
I'm going to use the expression social power therefore in a technical way. It's a narrow, jargonish way rather than in a casual way.
It means power that's based on voluntary cooperation and collective action.
If you want a slogan to capture the three forms of power, you can get people to do things by bribing them, forcing them, or persuading them.
Okay, with those three forms of power, we can then differentiate different ideal type economic structures on the basis of which form of power
is most central to the overall organization of that economic structure. So I'm going to give you a power differentiated definition of economic systems or economic structures.
It's not the only way to distinguish these economic structures, and it's certainly not a complete way, but it's a way that's useful for purposes of exploring the building of alternatives.
So in these terms, we can define capitalism in power terms as an economic structure within which economic activity is controlled through the exercise of economic power.
What I'm going to call statism is an economic structure within which economic activity is controlled through the exercise of state power.
And naturally, given the linguistic device I'm using, socialism is an economic structure within which economic activity is controlled through the exercise of social power.
Again, power based on the capacity to mobilize voluntary cooperation and collective action. Now this is hardly a sufficient definition of socialism. There's much more needed.
Nor is it a sufficient definition of capitalism. Capitalism isn't merely an economic structure within which economic activity is controlled through the exercise of economic power,
but that is the power dimension of the differentiation of capitalism from statism and socialism. One more concept and then we can get on with business, with the actual model,
and it's the idea of hybrids. All real economic systems are complex combinations of capitalism, statism, and socialism.
We call a system as a whole capitalism as a shorthand for an economic hybrid combining capitalism, socialism, and statism within which capitalism is dominant.
This is state capitalism. Capitalism is the ecosystem, the pond within which the capitalist predatory fish is dominant, to play out that metaphor.
To talk about socialism then, and to talk about moving towards socialism as an alternative to capitalism, means on the one hand
weakening the capitalist component of that hybrid, depriving the voracious fish of its nutrients, and enlargening and depending the role of the socialist component of the hybrid.
To the extent that the social power is enhanced in the organization of economic life, and economic power organized by capital is diminished, we have moved the hybrid in a socialist direction.
All right, now I'm going to give you a visual vocabulary, which I then use to lay out this framework for real utopias.
Three types of power: social power, state power, and economic power. Arrows indicate the interaction of forms of power.
And the thickness of the arrow indicates the strength and autonomy of different interactions of forms of power. Let me illustrate that.
The first -- in the first illustration, social power subordinates state power. This is what we mean conventionally by the term democracy. I mean, what does democracy mean?
Democracy means not that there is no state power. No, the state power exists. It's important, but it is subordinated to the will of the people. That's what democracy is supposed to be like.
But what does subordination to the will of the people mean? It means it's subordinated to the voluntary cooperation and collective action of people.
And there are mechanisms through which that subordination takes place. It involves organizations, we call them political parties, and institutions, we call them elections.
Elections then are the way through which voluntary cooperation and collective action of people, through political parties,
effectively subordinate, or ineffectively in weak democracies, subordinate the exercise of state power. So I would represent that by a bold arrow between social power and state power.
Corporate control of political parties, on the other hand, a familiar problem in the United States, is reflected by social power being subordinated to economic power.
You can then string these together in more complicated patterns. Economic -- corporate control of state power via the funding of political parties is represented by the top of these.
Social control of economic power via state regulation of capital is represented by the bottom. Okay, next element.
So here's how I'm going to lay out these pictures. We have three forms of power and we're going to see how they are interconnected to control economic activity.
And remember, the whole point of this is to map out real utopias in and beyond capitalism,
how we can move away from capitalism by enhancing social power within the hybrid configurations of capitalist, socialist, and statist elements.
The configurations of capitalist empowerment look like this.
Economic power directly regulates economic activity, and indirectly does so through its subordination of state power and social power. Configurations of social empowerment look like this.
Social power directly subordinates or regulates economic activity, and does so indirectly through the ways in which it controls the use of state power and economic power.
Now what I want to do, and fasten your seatbelts because this will be very quick,
I want to break this general configuration down into seven different configurations, which enable us to identify the specificity of different kind of real utopia institutions.
The first one is what I would call statist socialism. Statist socialism corresponds to the classic image of socialism in the socialist tradition.
In the classic conception of socialism, the economy, economic activity, is controlled by state power, but state power is subordinated to the people.
The rhetoric of that subordination was often to the working class, but I think the substance of the point is it's subordinated to society, to the people.
That is the ideal of statist socialism. The actual experience of the attempts of building statist socialism, certainly through revolutionary transformations, the actual experience
was producing authoritarian statism rather than statist socialism. Instead of state power being subordinated to social power, state power subordinated both economic activity and social power.
That's a component of a statist economy, not a socialist economy. The second configuration is associated with social democracy.
I'll call this one social democratic statist regulation. In social democratic statist regulation, as a form of social empowerment, economic power directly allocates economic activity,
but it is itself regulated by state power, and state power is subordinated to social power. So there's a double mediation between social power and the economy.
Social power controls the state. The state regulates the exercise of economic activity. And economic power -- and economic power directly affects economic activity.
As in the case of statist socialism, social democratic statist regulation also has what I would call a degenerate form.
Other people would just call it its normal form, in which it's not the case that state power is primarily subordinated to social power. It's subordinated itself to economic power.
So economic power subordinates the use of state power to regulate itself, and economic power then directly controls economic activity.
This is the model of the capitalist state, not the social democratic state as I am using these terms.
The third configuration of social power that constitutes the basis for building real utopias is what I call --
is also associated with social democracy and can be called associational democracy, or associative democracy.
In this model, social power, state power, and economic power co-determine economic activity. All three directly bear on the use of resources and the regulation of economic activities. But
within that configuration, social power is dominant when this is a configuration of social empowerment. The next three cases are examples of what I'd call aspects of the social economy.
Social capitalism exists where social power subordinates economic power, but economic power directly controls economic activity. Solidarity finance, which I briefly described,
would be an example. In solidarity finance, the collective organizations of workers though their unions allocate part of their investment funds to small and medium capitalist firms in order
to enhance their capacity to control the activities of those firms by having representation on the boards of directors and by having the firms sign onto various kinds of charter rights.
The core of the social economy is simply the direct use of social power, of the capacity for collective action and cooperation to organize economic activity.
Wikipedia is an example of the core social economy. Wikipedia broadly falls under this pattern, where people voluntarily cooperate not through the exercise of economic power,
nor state power, to directly produce an important economic good. It's an economic good because it satisfies needs: a global encyclopedia.
A cooperative market economy is the third form of social economy. An isolated worker co-op that's not part of a cooperative market economy is really a special example of social power.
It becomes an example -- it becomes a component of a cooperative market economy when there exists the possibility of significant cooperation among cooperatives.
That's where the direct effect of social power on economic activity comes. That's why Mondragon I think is properly thought of not as a co-op, but as a cooperative market economy
in a particular region, where the network and forms of collaboration among the 270 cooperatives renders the form of social power and its exercise over the economy in this more complex format.
Finally, there's what I would call participatory socialism. In participatory socialism, social power directly organizes economic activity in addition to working through the state.
The participatory budget is an example of participatory socialism. The participatory budget in a city like Porto Alegre is not just a reform of the city government.
Because what comes out of the use of those resources is the production of infrastructure: buildings, streets, playgrounds, daycare centers, clinics.
These are what the city budget gets used for. That involves the direct use of social power to regulate those activities, as well as its indirect use through its control over the state.
Putting those together, you get this nice multicolored diagram. For those of you who are embedded in a left political culture and know the history of such things,
this is also a way of showing -- of saying to comrades with other priorities, calm down, we can all work together.
We're just on different pathways in this multicolored configuration The social economy configurations have more resonance within the anarchist tradition. Ignore the state.
The socialist configurations say, let's try to marginalize economic power. Let's just work through the state in various ways. And the social democratic configurations try to combine all three.
I think we need the full array of these in order to have a viable map of how to enhance social power. Now the point of these diagrams
is to provide a coherent way of locating all the different proposals and activities that real utopians and progressives engage in, and showing how they fit together.
But it still leaves unanswered the problem of how do you actually get there. This is the kind of roadmap of where one might want to go.
Enhancing social power in these complicated ways still leaves open the problem of transformation. That's the fourth task. That wasn't supposed to come on. Oh, I guess it can come on.
All right, that's the -- there's no more slides. So now let me briefly make some comments about transformation. I'd like to distinguish three logics of transformation, three ways of thinking
about the task of how you transform a system, how you would move from a pattern where you have the dominance of the capitalist configuration to the dominance of the social configuration.
Three logics of transformation. The first is a ruptural logic. This implies a radical break in institutions.
It's associated with the revolutionary socialist tradition. That's the ruptural logic of transformation. The second is an interstitial logic of transformation.
Build new institutions in the cracks of the system. This is associated more with the anarchist tradition. And finally, there's the symbiotic logic of transformation.
Use existing institutions to solve problems in ways that transform institutions. This is associated with the social democratic tradition.
If you want again slogans for these, with respect to the state, ruptural logics say smash the state, interstitial logics say ignore the state, and symbiotic logics say use the state.
Now, of course, whether you want to smash, ignore, or use the state requires mobilization.
All of these logics of transformation depend upon the capacity to mobilize social forces around the different projects implied by these configurations of social power.
In different historical contexts, the mobilization of collective action for interstitial transformation is relatively easy, and the mobilization for collective action
for ruptural transformation impossible. In other contexts, different possibilities might occur. But in any case, regardless of which context you're in,
it's still mobilization of collective action and struggle, using these different logics of transformation that makes possible the realization of transformations of social power.
In terms of the world in which we happen to find ourself as a kind of strategic vision for the 21st century, I would say the following with respect to these logics of transformation.
Ruptural strategies directed at capitalism as a system I think are implausible.
I see no plausible scenario by which state power is seized and capitalism is transformed through a ruptural logic.
But ruptures in specific institutions may still be needed to open up possibilities for symbiotic transformations.
And then symbiotic transformations, that is using the state to solve practical problems, symbiotic strategies are needed to expand the space for interstitial transformations.
An example would be -- a good symbiotic transformation would be unconditional basic income.
If unconditional basic income were achieved as a reform of the distributive mechanisms of the welfare state, and
in some parts of the world it's on the historical agenda to do so, if that were to happen, that would be a symbiotic transformation.
It would be using the state to change certain key aspects of the way in which people get connected to income. That would open up a massive space for new interstitial transformations.
It would essentially be, if you will, a way of transferring part of the social surplus from capital accumulation to social accumulation.
And then interstitial strategies are needed to create the actual building blocks of emancipatory alternatives. Well, there's much more to say about transformation,
but since I've way tried your patience here, let me just give you a conclusion. I'll conclude with five statements. Not five arguments, five sentences.
These are my five big idea conclusions, and I won't elaborate them. I'll just state them. No digressions. First, democratization is the central problem for transcending capitalism.
Democracy is the heart of the problem. Second, institutional pluralism and heterogeneity. There are multiple configurations of social empowerment, not one.
Third, there are no guarantees. Socialism is a terrain for working for equality, democracy, and sustainability. It's not a guarantee of realizing those ideas.
It transforms power relations in ways in which I believe those problems become more tractable, those ideals more realizable, but not a guarantee that they are realized.
Four, strategic indeterminacy. There is no one way strategically. You have institutional heterogeneity, but also strategic heterogeneity.
And finally, the opacity of future limits of possibility. We cannot know in advance how far we can go in this trajectory of social empowerment. Thank you very much.