Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon S. Wolin
Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

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Synopsis

Democracy is struggling in America--by now this statement is almost cliché. But what if the country is no longer a democracy at all? In Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin considers the unthinkable: has America unwittingly morphed into a new and strange kind of political hybrid, one where economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled? Can the nation check its descent into what the author terms "inverted totalitarianism"?

Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive--and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a "managed democracy" where the public is shepherded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin makes clear that today's America is in no way morally or politically comparable to totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, yet he warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies. Wolin examines the myths and mythmaking that justify today's politics, the quest for an ever-expanding economy, and the perverse attractions of an endless war on terror. He argues passionately that democracy's best hope lies in citizens themselves learning anew to exercise power at the local level.

Democracy Incorporated is one of the most worrying diagnoses of America's political ills to emerge in decades. It is sure to be a lightning rod for political debate for years to come.

In a new preface, Wolin describes how the Obama administration, despite promises of change, has left the underlying dynamics of managed democracy intact.

 

About Sheldon S. Wolin

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Sheldon S. Wolin is professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University. His books include "Politics and Vision" and "Tocqueville between Two Worlds" (both Princeton).
 
Published February 1, 2010 by Princeton University Press. 384 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Democracy Incorporated

truthdig

Posted on Jun 15, 2015.

Mar 05 2013 | Read Full Review of Democracy Incorporated: Manag...

truthdig

If you properly address the cause and corrective action to reduce at least one of those contributors , you cause the TOTAL defects ( less than 4 ounces of sugar ) to be reduced, unless there was some interaction.

Jul 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Democracy Incorporated: Manag...

truthdig

With Medicare expected to grow by only 2 percent of GDP to just under 6 percent by 2035 and Social Security benefits forecast to increase from 5 percent of GDP to no more than 6 percent by the mid-2030s, such increases are easily manageable.

Oct 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Democracy Incorporated: Manag...

truthdig

But with precious few detours, the court has become, in Ginsburg’s words, “one of the most activist courts in history.”.

Sep 05 2013 | Read Full Review of Democracy Incorporated: Manag...

truthdig

The case forced the high court to confront a simple question it had never answered: Did the 2nd Amendment limit only the federal government’s ability to regulate guns and state militias, or did it also give citizens a right to challenge state and local restrictions on guns?.

Mar 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Democracy Incorporated: Manag...

truthdig

In fact, Manning inspired numerous leakers, including some who blew the whistle on PLO corruption and willingness to give away most of Jerusalem to Israel, and, likely, Edward Snowden, who revealed to us that our government has us all under surveillance.

Jul 31 2013 | Read Full Review of Democracy Incorporated: Manag...

truthdig

About a year from now, the big new medical news will be that eating walnuts while running, for longer than a year, causes your genitalia to shrivel-up and look like walnuts.

Mar 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Democracy Incorporated: Manag...

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