Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice. I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.I'd like to contrast two responses to this advice from Summers. First of all, Glenn Greenwald:
My book, and my writing and speaking more generally, usually criticizes insiders, and does so harshly and by name, so much of this reaction is simply a ritual of expulsion based on my chronic violation of Summers’ rule. I find that a relief.And secondly, BooMan:
If you want to have a real impact on policy, you have to be an insider or, at least, gain the insiders' trust. You can stay on the outside and lob bombs at everyone but that will have minimal effectiveness. Sen. Warren seems to have gotten the message. She's the senior senator from Massachusetts now, and she is in a position to impact policy.To tell you the truth, I'm not comfortable with the designation of "insiders and outsiders" the way Summers describes it. But BooMan uses this quote to make a point that he refers to pretty often: in order for liberals to actually implement progressive public policy, we have to shed our comfort in being anti-establishment and learn what it means to become the establishment. I agree. A world of only rebels will never be anything but anarchy.