Why the early Greens said: “Neither left nor right”

Steven Welzer
1 min readMay 30, 2021

Following up on my last post (“Toward a constructive praxis based on a positive vision”) re: life here on Turtle Island circa 1491 vs. life here in America in 2021 . . .

It’s not a question of “going back” or (as John Zerzan seems to imply) “deconstructing it all.” It’s a question of recognizing how profound the difference has been between the two distinctive human lifeways and then — upon deeply contemplating what it means in terms of where we’ve been and where we’re going — re-considering “progress” and re-directing our pathways forward.

Naturally, we don’t want to jettison things associated with the “New Ways” that can lead to a better quality of life and can be sustainable. David Watson calls for a “synthesis of the primitive and the modern.”

But it may very well look more like the former than the latter.

Leftists: Rather than thinking in terms of a “new system,” think in terms of new lifeways.

Radicals: Talk about a radically new direction for humanity.

Greens: We should stick to our slogan, “Neither Left nor Right, but Out in Front.” Recall how one of our founding thinkers, Edward Goldsmith, identified as a conservative with a small ‘c’. He had no love for big government any more than for big business or big cities or leviathan-scale technology. He said we need to slow down, scale down, and decentralize; live more lightly and more locally. Our Ten Key Values originally derived from that kind of eco-communitarian worldview.

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Steven Welzer

The editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a movement activist for many years (he was an original co-editor of DSA’s “Ecosocialist Review”).