The principal role of the left is to lend its energy and ideas to the empowerment of much larger class and social constituencies. In doing so it gains in experience and understanding as well as earns its leadership credentials in this wider social-political complex. Any idea that the left on its own can effect major social transformations finds no historical confirmation.

That understanding should deeply inform the politics of the left in these tumultuous times, when racial and class inequalities are so evident and the opportunity to clear the way for a new era of progress is within reach, only a election away.

And yet more than a few conversations on the left are primarily focused on the building of its own power apart from broader and powerful forces of social change.