Andrew Levine writes at Counterpunch:
Not long ago, in what now seems a different universe, it was still possible to talk about “hope” and “change” without irony. And only a couple of decades before that, those words meant more than just holding reaction at bay.
Back when there was a flourishing left, “hope” and “change” were about moving the world forward – making the actual approach a rationally defensible ideal. For more than an entire century, Marxists were preeminent among the forces of forward-looking hope and change.
They disagreed about many things, sometimes bitterly. But all Marxists believed that socialism was capitalism’s future. Along with others, they agreed that private ownership of society’s principal means of production would somehow someday give way to social or collective ownership.
Along with Marxism itself, this conviction has fallen on hard times. The reasons why range from the empirical to the ridiculous to the tragic.