McCaughan believes that a better understanding of left liberal, orthodox socialist, and renovative
socialist ideas about the state, national sovereignty, socialism, democracy, market economies, and alternative economic models in Cuba and Mexico can contribute important elements to the construction of a new paradigm, with new strategies for change in the face of the serious crises faced by the previous dominant contenders, reform liberalism and orthodox (Soviet-influenced) socialism.
The rise of an explicitly theoretical discourse in the field had some drawbacks, of course, although these were outweighed by the renovative
charge given to a moribund field; but what goes almost unremarked in this volume - perhaps because it is the alteration that many of these essayists really deplore - is that since the sixties and seventies it has become ever more difficult to think of comparative literature as a set of intellectual practices and academic customs as opposed to a discipline, but at the same time the identity of the discipline is not much easier to define except as problematic.
And nature, for all its proven renovative
power, could never repair the worst that might befall us.