Testimonials / 2017
See also Testimonials from the year 2042
“Basing himself on a lifetime of dedicated and highly productive activism and many years of detailed inquiry into the kind of society to which we should aspire, Mike Albert has now undertaken a novel and imaginative approach to leading us to think seriously about these fundamental issues and concerns – which may fade under the impact of immediate demands but should be prominent in our minds as we develop ways to deal with concerns of the moment More than anyone I know, Mike has emphasized the need to relate long-term vision to devising practical strategies for today. This imaginative oral history from the future is a provocative and most welcome contribution to this urgent and ever-present task.”
– Noam Chomsky, U.S.
“Writing in 1946, Albert Camus proposed that in the midst of a murderous would, wherein ‘we’re in history up to our necks,’ people could nevertheless decide to ‘give a chance for survival to later generations better equipped than we are’ by staking everything on what Camus termed a ‘formidable gamble: that words are more powerful than munitions.’ Michael Albert bravely takes a fictional leap into a future where survival is enabled and sanity prevails. He gambles on literature, in the form of meaningful fiction, to help readers puzzle through crucial ethical questions. Once he equips himself, and us, with the fanciful chance to look back on a developing history, he clearly delights in the kind of curiosity that has motivated his earlier writings. He takes time to dwell on interesting personalities who lived through the earlier, more desperate times. With Michael Albert’s capable guidance, we flip on the switch and discover ideas and even hopes that otherwise might have been hidden. Throughout this imaginative and needed novel, the essential ethical question persists: how can we learn to live together without killing one another?”
– Kathy Kelly, U.S.
“Michael Albert has created the most unusual and intriguing combination of prophecy, manifesto and movement-building manual that I have ever encountered. Using the scifi genre of ‘future as history,’ Albert introduces a journalistic format in order to draw out lessons and potential strategies in the fight for social transformation that should be considered by any serious Left or progressive activist. It is also a book that contains the reasonable and essential optimism that is so valuable for activists in times like these. Bravo, Michael!”
– Bill Fletcher, Jr, U.S.
“Mike Albert is attempting here something I wouldn’t dare – a description of a revolution in the future based on the mayhem of today. Aldous Huxley and George Orwell did something similar and provided us with ways of measuring our regression. In an era when the dominant propaganda attempts to convince us we are living in an “eternal present” (Time magazine), this original and wonderfully ambitious project feels like a welcome antidote.”
– John Pilger, Australia
“Michael Albert has with great determination and creativity put strategy and vision front and center of his lifelong work for radical social change. RPS/2044 is his most inventive work to date. A journalist interviews key participants in 2044 about the years that led to the Revolution for a Participatory Society. They share the strategies that brought about victories, the breakthroughs in healing the divides that kept people apart, and the discipline and commitment that was necessary to survive tumultuous but exciting times. In current times, we know a lot about what’s wrong, and we have access to reasonably effective short-term tactics. But long-term strategy and vision are largely missing from our movements. With RPS/2044 , we get a taste of what it could look like — a large-scale, radical overturning of current systems, which then puts in place new systems based on solidarity, diversity, and equity. This work fills a huge gap in our social movement literature.”
– Cynthia Peters, U.S
“This is a valuable addition to the rich history of visionary speculative fiction in which writers imagine good worlds (or universes) that would be wonderful to live in. The striking feature of RPS/2044 is that Michael Albert doesn’t content himself with dreaming up a utopia, he maps out the way we got from here to there, from Trump, Sanders and Black Lives Matter to a democratised economy and a just society. Whether you agree or disagree with any particular insight or tactic, or with the whole strategic arc Michael Albert describes, this is a generous offering of well-grounded hope for desperate times. I can’t imagine any point on the political spectrum that won’t benefit from engaging with and arguing over RPS/2044.”
– Milan Rai, UK
“In the great tradition of utopian literature, Michael Albert gives us a novel about what a better world could look like and how we might get there. RPS/2044’s interviewees tell their personal stories, advocate their favored positions, respond to their critics, and describe their fears and feelings. They discuss income in a just society, relating to lesser evil candidates, the pros and cons of markets, the role of violence in social change, connecting race, gender, and class agendas, overcoming sectarianism, generating mutual aid, building lasting organization, conducting effective boycotts, strikes, and occupations, building the seeds of the future, and much more always via an engaging fictional emotive format. RPS/2044 is an oral history of winning a revolutionary future. That every event and struggle it recounts reads like fact is no mean feat in times like ours.”
– Stephen R. Shalom, U.S.
“It is so hard for us, encased is a world full of threats and injustice, even to imagine a different and better one. It may be even harder to imagine a way to get there. RPS/2044 is a unique and provocative projection of how such radical change might actually occur. Plausible? Well, who knows? Worthwhile as a thought experiment? For sure.
– Jeremy Brecher, U.S.
“For decades Michael Albert has been calling our attention to the fact that anti-capitalist activists need to focus on vision and strategy, and not just in the critique of the present. His own work on those matters is certainly among the most developed and interesting contributions worldwide. What an excellent idea to convey it in literary form by imagining the next American Revolution through the eyes of its main characters!”
– Ezequiel Adamovsky, Argentina
“No one on the U.S. left has done more than Michael Albert to imagine a future in which worker and community control over economic decision-making could be the basis for a more just and sustainable society. Now, Albert has applied his considerable talents as a radical journalist, essayist, and theorist to a thought-provoking work of fiction. RPS/2044 helps readers, young and old, see that the collapsing capitalist road we’re on today is a path neither pre-ordained nor without alternatives. In the grim, dystopian but hopefully short-lived Trump era, Albert’s ‘futurism” keeps us focused on the small and large important steps in the right direction that can end up shaping what becomes, in our own rear view mirror, fulfilling history.”
– Steve Early, U.S.
“One knows the stench of Trump’s presidency will eventually dissipate but it’s really the right-wing’s agenda that must be reversed – and Mike Albert tells his readers why and how it can be done. With a lifetime of passionate left-wing activism behind him, few are better placed to tell how the alt-future must be reimagined if Americans are to build a humane, caring, and decent society. The issues of a post-industrial society being dauntingly complex, there’s much hard thinking here. Fortunately the innovative use of ‘oral history’ – history that hasn’t yet happened – keeps the reader engaged.”
– Pervez Hoodbhoy, Pakistan
“Much progressive writing aims to expose the machinations and effects of power politics. Far too few books reveal realistic alternatives to the societal status quo. Even fewer works highlight sensible political strategies to reach a better world. Michael Albert’s new book RPS/2044 perfectly fuses visionary and strategic thinking for political activism. Guided by a sophisticated vision for a participatory society, RPS/2044 provides a multitude of personal and collective practical examples that can be emulated by people and movements during their day-to-day struggles for a better world. RPS/2044 is a must-read for anyone concerned with the current trajectory of society and how to change it.”
– Florian Zollmann, UK/Germany