I've been looking for some book length works of political analysis, to add to what my consulting experience and reading of other sources tells me is going on beneath today's headlines. I'm particularly interested in Sheldon Wolin's Democracy, Incorporated and Chris Hedge's Death of the Liberal Class. Of the two, Wolin's book is the more provocative and scholarly, with pages of sources and footnotes for each chapter, while Hedges, who takes much of his argument from Wolin, adds interesting insights of his own, but writes in a breezier, more journalistic style. Both are eminently readable; however, and highly recommended.
Wolin's theme is the evolution of American government from an elitist republican system, as formulated by the Constitution, to the liberal democratic system that grew out of The Great Depression, and its devolution, since then, into what Wolin defines as Inverted Totalitarianism. As Wolin suggests, there has been a constant tension between republicanism and democracy throughout our nation's history, and periods during which one or the other was the dominant political paradigm. What is different today is that we are witnessing a period of retrenchment in which the will of the people, as expressed through their votes, is being frustrated beyond all precedent.
What does he mean by Inverted Totalitarianism? More
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