Lots of progressives tell me about all of the victories they win. "We got them to stop this or that." "We got 10,000 people in the streets against this bill." "We defended these rights."
But in my mind, what I see is the inexorable juggernaut of self-destructive hegemony rumbling on its way, pretty much indifferent to all the battles being carried out by the tiny figures on its surface.
It's a long time ago (maybe more than a year ago) but remember what economic historian Thomaas Piketty said: What created a genuine degree of social equality and economic stability and decent living standards in the leading industrial powers wasn't liberal democracy, or the Wobblies or the genius of capitalism. No. It was the political upheavals brought about by World War I, the Great Depression and World War II.
Now, obviously, to a great degree, if there had been no labour movement and no feminist movement, the elite response to those cataclysms would have been different from what they were. But let's not pat ourselves on the back too much here. Elites learned lessons too. Elite manipulation of the money supply and deficit financing and austerity and social control (propaganda, militarized police forces, etc.,) have made it so that the criminal scum who caused the world economic crisis are the people who have benefited from the economic crisis.
Excuse me for saying so again, but unless and until more progressives think hard about the causes of things, the core of the problem, the root of the matter, the realities of power in the human world, we will continue to be taken along by the juggernaut on its path to oblivion.