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Williams Progressive

The Williams Progressive looks like a fine addition to the set of campus publications.

The Williams Progressive is a brand new publication written and designed by
students at Williams College. Our purpose is both to educate by discussing
important political issues from a progressive perspective and to serve as
an outlet for progressive students who want to voice their opinions to the
Williams community. Various student groups devote themselves to progressive
causes, and The Williams Progressive aims to provide a forum that brings these
ideas together.

Good stuff. Here is the latest issue. (Thanks to Matt Piven ’07.) With luck, future issues of the Progressive will be available on-line.

Of course, the experienced reader of Eph publications will predict that the Progressive will follow the path laid down, in recent years, by Rumor and Scattershot. Motivated students tend to start up interesting publications but then, when they graduate, the publications perish. I hope that this doesn’t happen to the Progressive, but I predict that it will.

What would it take to create a long-lasting Eph student publication that combined the best elements of Rumor, Scattershot, the Progressive and (dare I mention it), the Free Press? I don’t know. Suggestions are welcome.

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#1 Comment By frank uible On May 13, 2006 @ 7:56 am

A quick scanning of the issue of The Williams Progressive provided here informs me that the content of that issue is significantly left of what I might call “progressive”, but far be it for me ….

#2 Comment By Loweeel On May 13, 2006 @ 10:05 am

I just love the word “progressive” … it always reminds me that one of their favorite ways to “advance” involves taking a “great leap forward”.

#3 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On May 13, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

Now let me tell you the tale of Damon Vangelis mass-mailing the alumni database from the basement of Jesup…

#4 Comment By Bill ’04 On May 13, 2006 @ 6:53 pm

I think the Williams Daily Worker is a better name. These are the kind of people who would vote for Hugo Chavez and then be suprised when he nationalized their property and had an “election” that put him in power for 25 years. Every college has them, but at least rational people can see these guys wearing their Che shirts and discard their ideas forthwith.

Progress comes from hard work and freedom, not crippling taxes and handouts. I though that this conversation was ended in 1989.

#5 Comment By David On May 13, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

Instead of snarky comments, why not pick an article in the issue and provide a (brief or otherwise) rebuttal? Name calling never convinced anyone.

#6 Comment By Anonymous On May 13, 2006 @ 9:31 pm

I second Bill’s idea, albeit with a slight modification. The title should be “The Worker and the parasite.”

#7 Comment By frank uible On May 13, 2006 @ 9:32 pm

David: If “significantly left of progressive” constitutes name calling, then so be it; but I’m not interested in debating any of the issues framed by the publication. If and when I change my mind on this score, be assured that you will be one of the first to know. It is presumed that you can be reached here since your identity and other whereabouts is unknown to me. At any rate thank you for your invitation.

#8 Comment By rory On May 15, 2006 @ 2:49 am

I don’t beliee David was calling out “significantly left of progressive” (whatever that means, as where “progressive” starts and ends is vague) but rather Lowell’s comment and Bill’s comment, both of which I found to be trite and not remotely funny (though, of course, I also would likely fall into the category of “left of progressive”. Funny, on this board on the nutty liberal, on another non-political discussion board, I’m the defender of “the system” when it gets discussed…only moment I can call myself truly “in the political center” in my life!).

I only skimmed the articles. Of course I found flaws…but Bill is, in a way, right that “this conversation ended in 1989″…the idea that progressive/liberal/leftist views in the US are just fronts for communist Russia I had thought ended in 1989. Guess I’m wrong!

#9 Comment By frank uible On May 15, 2006 @ 6:25 am

rory: I use a Potter Stewart definition of progressive.

#10 Comment By Lindsay On May 15, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

I have never been called a commie before! This is so exciting, I have to tell my parents.

If you guys think that we are actually advocating the workers revolution here on the Williams campus, as opposed to just presenting some views ranging from the moderate left to the far left…that’s a little bit of an over-reaction!

#11 Comment By geech fenton On May 16, 2006 @ 3:13 am

Okay guys, you got us… our intent in publishing the issue was to bring back Soviet Russia, which was obviously the ideal society. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some “Che” shirts to wash.

#12 Comment By Alexander Woo On May 16, 2006 @ 5:00 am

I disagree with David’s request for some permanance.
Publications are like any other student organization. They start up when the campus has a need for it, and go away when the need isn’t there. This is one of the great things about college campuses; there are fewer useless activities occuring just because some old fogey has a sentimental attachment to it.
If there is a need for some organization on campus, students will make it happen. Even a fairly permanent need does not require some permanent organization; it sometimes works better to keep having organizations be born and die. A new organization can put a new twist on things coming from its members rather than trying to do what some old organization whose founders are all gone did.
Sure this is a bit inefficient, but knowledge is rarely completely lost. There is usually some senior around who was marginally involved in the prior version of an organization, when it was dying, as a sophmore and freshman, and he or she can always put in some useful advice.
Even the long-lasting organizations – most of them go through periods of dormancy where they aren’t much more than a name. WARP comes to mind here.
I was involved in one group that petered out the year after I graduated (the founder graduated with me), but there were at least two organizations that were in part successors working in part on similar issues.