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The Democracy in Chains. av Nancy MacLean
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The Democracy in Chains. (2017)

av Nancy MacLean

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4441142,278 (3.86)34
"An explosive expose of the right's relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, and change the Constitution. "Perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government." --Booklist (starred review) Behind today's headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect--the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan--and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority. In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite's power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan's work in teaching others how to divide America into "makers" and "takers." And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan's strategy. Without Buchanan's ideas and Koch's money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government"--… (mer)
Medlem:muddyboy
Titel:The Democracy in Chains.
Författare:Nancy MacLean
Info:
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:*****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America av Nancy MacLean (Author) (2017)

Ingen/inga
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» Se även 34 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 11 (nästa | visa alla)
The most deeply disturbing book I have read to date, made more so by the fact that it isn't a work of fiction.

We get an indepth look at the root that has spread throughout our political parties that was only hinted at in Ratf*cked.

An eye opening look at the depths a handful of men will go through to ensure they will retain power at the expense of millions, and explains in detail how they did it.

A must read for anyone who cares about or country. ( )
1 rösta tebyen | May 27, 2020 |
A wonderful book. The missing half star is due to the fact that she does not give an adequate history of the Mt Pelerin Society. She focuses on
James Buchanan, a future Nobel in economics, and Charles Koch, and gives
a good background to each. I knew about KocH, but I ha d no idea about the economist. ( )
  annbury | Sep 6, 2019 |
I believe her. I've seen the effects with my own eyes. ( )
1 rösta creekbedangel | Sep 3, 2019 |
Well, that was terrifying! This NBA short listed book looks at the development of libertarian ideology in the US, which arose in the South following the Civil War when the federal government took “property” away from slave holders. The book mainly focuses on the influences of James Buchanan and Charles Koch. The two critiques in the book are that the ideas are often used as a smokescreen for racial prejudice and lack of empirical evidence in support of their economic theories. Real world experience with strong application of libertarian principles have given us the Pinochet regime in Chile and the Flint water crises. A number of these principles are also at work more recently in deregulation and public school vouchers. This is a 3.5⭐️ rating because of obvious bias and very dense reading experience. ( )
  redwritinghood38 | Nov 6, 2018 |
“Democracy in Chains” has received praise from the left and critique from the right. Some have called its journalistic integrity into question.

What is the context that has produced this book and controversy? Trump holds the presidency—an unprecedented failure of the immune system of our federal government. The Koch brothers plan to put $400 million into the 2018 election cycle. They’re so over-the-top that they got a millionaire’s tax pulled off the Massachusetts ballot—even though they have nothing to do with Massachusetts. Wealth inequality is at all-time highs in the United States; the United Nations did a study of the US and found 9 million houseless Americans, an embarrassment that will haunt our nation for centuries to come. Egged on by Russia, as well as libertarian funders at home, polarization has brought both the House and the Senate, as well as political discourse at large, to a halt. Belief in climate change peaked in the US somewhere around 2009. So is it any wonder that we’d have people looking to connect the dots?

There are other ways to explain how we’ve ended up here, but it’s not that much of a stretch to posit that James Buchanan, a 1986 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, had something to do with it. Buchanan died in 2013, and this book documents his career in a field called public choice theory. Buchanan and the Kochs are both looking to maximize “liberty” and minimize democracy. To some liberal Americans, this might sound striking, but the United States is actually one of the least democratic democracies, and is a great proving grounds for libertarian social policies.

The most memorable quote in the book is from Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University and pop blogger, about the libertarian vision for the liquidation of labor, and the US resembling the tent villages of Rio de Janeiro, where environmental legislation is lax enough to destroy access to potable drinking water.

The last section of this book slows down, but overall it’s riveting. My next area of research: public choice theory. ( )
  willszal | Jul 6, 2018 |
Visa 1-5 av 11 (nästa | visa alla)
This book ticks a lot of boxes. First, it does not shrink from acknowledging the existence of a conspiracy working against the interests of the ordinary folk. That it centres on neo-liberal economic theories and the money of – amongst others – the Koch brothers and the Mont Pelerin Society will come as no surprise to readers of this journal. The surprise may be the scope and depth revealed. Second, it respects the evidence and produces chapter and verse collated by an eminent historian who had the sense to fall on the archives of her anti-hero James Buchanan, the Nobel Prize winning neo-liberal economist. Third, it does not fail to identify the smoking guns and culprits responsible for many of the bad things going on in the world. Finally, it is written with verve and plenty of entertaining anecdotes. Other reviews have pointed to weaknesses but these are forgivable and 1 do not undermine the gist of the story. Moreover McLean has provided a robust defence.
...
My reaction on reading the book was to see it as showing a vast conspiracy to limit the scope of democracy, and damage the interests of ordinary people. Despite McLean’s own equivocation and the risks associated with calling out a conspiracy, I stick with my gut instinct and McLean’s final judgement, which I think meets the duck criterion in full. In other words if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks . . . it’s probably a duck.
tillagd av davidgn | ändraLobster, Bartholomew Steer (Jun 1, 2019)
 
Power consolidation sometimes seems like a perpetual motion machine, continually widening the gap between those who have power and money and those who don’t. Still, “Democracy in Chains” leaves me with hope: Perhaps as books like MacLean’s continue to shine a light on important truths, Americans will begin to realize they need to pay more attention and not succumb to the cynical view that known liars make the best leaders.
 
As I hope is clear, I think that Democracy in Chains is well written and that the research it contains is both interesting and in many cases illuminating. But as an actual history, as a reliable account of the centrality of James Buchanan and his work in a gigantic conspiracy designed to end democracy in America, it turns far away from its mark. It is the story of an alternative past that never actually happened.
 
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The public choice revolution rings the death knell
of the political "we."
- PIERRE LEMIEUX
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(Introduction) As 1956 drew to a close, Colegate Whitehead Darden Jr., the president of the University of Virginia, feared for the future of his beloved state.
(Prologue) Those who are leading today’s push to upend the political system are heirs to a set of ideas that goes back almost two centuries: the pushback of imperious property against democracy.
(Chapter 1) Virginia had become a defendant in one of the five cases folded into Brown v. Board of Education owing to the determination of one teenager who had had enough.
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"An explosive expose of the right's relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, and change the Constitution. "Perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government." --Booklist (starred review) Behind today's headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect--the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan--and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority. In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite's power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan's work in teaching others how to divide America into "makers" and "takers." And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan's strategy. Without Buchanan's ideas and Koch's money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government"--

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