We seem to be watching -- and living through and for many suffering -- a collapse of a mostly stable democracy with considerable elements of egalitarianism and rule of law. Imperfect sure, but those of us on the left had a pretty clear idea what was wrong with it and whose fault that was. We still have a pretty clear idea of the obstacles to something better: white supremacy, plutocracy, ignorance, greed.
But "new occasions teach new duties" in the language of James Russell Lowell's poem written in 1845. He was trying (floridly) to imagine possibilities for the new American republic without the blot of slavery. Can we imagine something better in our day?