If we don’t radically change course, humanity may not survive the century. But if we choose to, we can make this the century where humanity’s ancient Big Dream comes true: Over thousands of years, we’ve built up the technology and capital that will now allow us to build a world where everyone has a fulfilling, prosperous and sustainable way to make a living that they control. It’s difficult to imagine today, but try: a world in which everyone, in every country and community, is equipped and free to provide itself with clean water, healthy food, great education, quality healthcare, connectivity and world travel — all while protecting our rights, environment, and institutions for future generations.
So what’s stopping us? Tragically, right at the moment when we achieved the power to make the Big Dream come true last century, the world was convinced to stop dreaming.1 And when we gave up the dream, we stopped developing practical plans to achieve it, making it even harder to imagine — in effect, burning the bridge behind us, stranding ourselves on a island of cynicism where only dystopian futures can be imagined.
Left Right Forward’s mission is to build a bridge back to the Big Dream by developing the Big Fix: the practical plans that societies can follow to achieve the practical utopia that humanity is fully equipped to create this century. We are a public policy workshop that conducts research, creates and promotes content, and supports likeminded leaders, academics and activists.
We are neither left wing nor right wing. The events in the 20th century that killed the Big Dream were driven by people who identified on both sides of the left/right divide. We believe that a majority of people everywhere will want to work in solidarity for the progress of humanity as a whole if offered a practical plan for doing so. And we believe that left and right political affiliations don’t predict today whether someone falls into that majority. Therefore, we have separate efforts designed to reach right-leaning, left-leaning and non-political audiences.
Last century, the left often proposed to sacrifice freedom for prosperity. The right often did the opposite (but sometimes did the same to the extreme). We learned, however, that freedom and economic progress are independent variables, and that societies can choose to have both, one or neither. Many democracies grew rich while others left a couple billion stranded in poverty. Many authoritarian societies grew rich while others left a couple more more billion in poverty. The good news is that those of us in countries with strong democratic institutions can remain perfectly free while carrying out the Big Fix. And there is nothing stopping economically successful authoritarian countries, such as China, from becoming more free while continuing to pull millions out of poverty every year.
We are just getting started. Please sign up to keep in touch with us as we grow. You can also apply to volunteer if you’d like be more involved in our work.
1. See: Phillips-Fein, Kim. Invisible hands: the businessman’s crusade against the New Deal. Norton, 2010.