Books

This section of the blog will list and briefly comment on the most important books in the area of corporatism.  Some have made the list even though they do not directly address this issue, but because they are -- in and of themselves -- extraordinary works that compliment the general theme.  This section, like the entire blogsite, is a work in progress, so stay tuned for new additions. 


1. "Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became Persons"; Thom Hartmann.  This is critical reading for anyone interested in changing the arc of current trends that are so dramatically affecting us.


In the Introduction of the book, Hartmann says this:
"Is it possible that what’s really incompatible with democracy isn’t socialism or a regulated marketplace but, instead, is the ultimate manifestation of corporate power -- corporate person-hood? And, if so -- a case I’ll build in this book -- how do "We the People" take back our democratic institutions like the Congress from their current corporate masters?"


You can access the online version at Truthout here.  


2. "A Peoples' History of the United States"; Howard Zinn.  An incredibly powerful book on the efforts of those outside the elite -- ordinary Americans, regular people, as in "We The People" -- to change their condition, and affect society as a whole.  


You can access the online version here.


3. "The Conservative Nanny State"; Dean Baker.  In the conclusion section of this short book, Baker writes this: 
"The nanny state conservatives have spent the last quarter century putting in place a set of policies and rules that ensure that the river flows in a way that sends income upwards.  If these rules are not challenged, then it will be impossible to design policies that ensure that the bulk of the population enjoys a decent standard of living.  It is also ridiculous to claim that conservatives don’t like government or that they don’t run it well.  It is true that conservatives don’t like big government social programs, but that is because they want to redistribute income upward and big government social programs are designed to provide security for the entire population.  But conservatives are enthusiastic supporters of the big government policies that send income flowing upward, and they are quite effective in running the sectors of government that bring about this end."


You can access the online version here.


4.  "Wealth and Democracy"; Kevin Phillips, Broadway Books.  This is a serious book, by a serious author.  He has written several others worthy of note, including "The Politics of Rich and Poor".


Phillips concludes this excellent survey of his "political history of the American rich" with the following paragraph:
"As the twenty-first century gets underway, the imbalance of wealth and democracy in the United States is unsustainable, at least by traditional yardsticks.  Market theology and unelected leadership have been displacing politics and elections.  Either democracy must be renewed, with politics brought back to life, or wealth is likely to cement a new and less democratic regime -- plutocracy by some other name."


5.  "The Shock Doctrine"; Naomi Klein.  Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff once said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."  This is the essence of Klein's book.  It is a powerful truth that crises (shocks) are used as cover by politicians and their corporate allies to quietly further their self-serving agenda -- Bush/Cheney used 9/11 for a host of draconian measures.  This is a must-read.


This book explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically.  Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world -- through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.