The Importance of Ideas

While on a panel with John Fullerton last week at the BALLE conference, Gar Alperovitz offered a powerful thought on the importance of ideas which we subsequently asked him to capture in writing.  Here is his response:

“Rarely do important new ideas matter in politics. What usually matters is the momentum of entrenched power….
But not always!
Sometimes–when the old ideas no longer explain the world, when it is obvious that something is wrong–new ideas matter, and matter a very great deal. Now is such a time: As the global and domestic economic, political, and climate change crisis increase pain and force people to ask ever more penetrating questions, there is a need for–and a hunger for–new understanding, new clarity, and a new way forward that is intelligible and intelligent. Ideas matter now, perhaps more profoundly than at any time in modern American history.”