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Democracy in chains : the deep history of the radical right's stealth plan for America

Author: Nancy MacLean
Publisher: New York : Viking, [2017] ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"What is really happening to American politics? Behind the headlines of billionaires taking over our government is the surprising story of a secretive cause with deep and troubling roots. Democracy in Chains uncovers the history of the well-heeled radical right's vast network and explains why this movement doesn't want simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance as we  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
MacLean, Nancy.
Democracy in chains.
New York : Viking, 2017
(DLC) 2017023712
(OCoLC)987437553
Named Person: James M Buchanan; James M Buchanan
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Nancy MacLean
ISBN: 9781101980965 1101980966
OCLC Number: 987376346
Description: xxxii, 334 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: A quiet deal in Dixie --
Prologue: the Marx of the master class --
There was no stopping us --
Part I: The ideas take shape. A country boy goes to the Windy City ; The real purpose of the program ; Letting the chips fall where they may ; To protect capitalism from government ; A counterrevolution takes time ; A world gone mad --
Part II: Ideas in action. Large things can start from small beginnings ; Never compromise ; A constitution with locks and bolts ; Democracy defeats the doctrine ; The kind of force that propelled Columbus --
Part III: The fallout. Conclusion: Get ready.
Responsibility: Nancy MacLean.

Abstract:

"What is really happening to American politics? Behind the headlines of billionaires taking over our government is the surprising story of a secretive cause with deep and troubling roots. Democracy in Chains uncovers the history of the well-heeled radical right's vast network and explains why this movement doesn't want simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance as we have known it in the United States. But while billionaires now drive the effort, they did not start it; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Nancy MacLean names the true author of this cause's playbook--the Nobel Prize-winning economist James McGill Buchanan--and documents for the first time the strategy he and his collaborators developed over six decades to disempower the majority. In an engrossing narrative, MacLean shows how Buchanan first forged his ideas in Virginia, in a last-gasp attempt to preserve the power of the white elite in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. Right-wing corporate donors and their foundations were only too eager to support his work in teaching others how to divide the citizenry into "makers" and "takers." When, on his messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, multibillionaire Charles Koch discovered the utility of Buchanan's thought, he deployed a vast, many-armed apparatus to carry out a strategy steered by it. By showing when and how Buchanan figured out a way to prevent those without great property or power from using their majority votes to better their lives, MacLean fills in the missing piece of the increasingly sinister story of dark money and radical right politics. She decodes the language and strategic moves Buchanan taught the movement to employ in order to hide its true intentions even from its own base of support. Using the insiders' own words, she exposes what is in store for the country if this movement, already gaining strength, actually succeeds. There can be no denying now the logic and the endgame of the capitalist right's relentless push to remodel our public life. Without Buchanan's ideas and Koch's money, the libertarian cause would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Mike Pence's rise puts a longtime loyalist in the White House, backed by a phalanx of fighters in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and many courts across the country. Their agenda includes measures calculated to kill off unions, keep millions of citizens from voting, privatize everything from schools to highways to Medicare and Social Security, stop any action on climate change--and transform the legal system and amend the Constitution to lock all of this in place permanently. Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This tour de force of historical research and synthesis traces the lineage of current events and makes their ultimate import unmistakable. Strikingly original, it is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government, and democracy itself."--Dust jacket flaps.
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